The “Keep It Together” Park from “Beverly Hills, 90210”Dec 30th, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations
Another location that Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I visited during our Valley stalking day back in October was the Van Nuys – Sherman Oaks War Memorial Park, aka the spot where Brandon Walsh was “discovered” in the Season One episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 entitled “Fame Is Where You Find It”. The War Memorial Park is so named because in 1947 the American Legion organization raised money to purchase a 63 acre parcel of land which was then donated to the City of Los Angeles to be used as a public park dedicated to the memory of war veterans. The original plan was to build the park as a sort of homage to “The Wizard of Oz” books – what “The Wizard of Oz” has to do with war veterans, I’m not exactly sure, but I guess that’s why I’m not a city planner – with different sections of the property featuring scenery from the Land of Oz. In the end, though, only two “Wizard of Oz” structures were ever built – an “Over the Rainbow” bridge and a castle, both of which have since been demolished. The absolutely ginormous War Memorial Park currently boasts two basketball courts, a jungle gym, a football field, a soccer field, a gymnasium, eight tennis courts, three running tracks, and eight baseball diamonds. Like I said, the place is absolutely HUGE! And it is actually thanks to those baseball diamonds that Mike discovered this location. As fate would have it, in the early ‘90s Mike belonged to a softball league which held its weekly games on the War Memorial Park fields. So, when he first watched the “Fame Is Where You Find It” episode of 90210, he recognized the park immediately. YAY! And, of course, ever since he mentioned the place to me, I was absolutely dying to stalk it. Which I finally got to do this past October. Thank you, Mike!
Sadly, though, when we arrived at the park we discovered that the little picnic table canopy area, which just so happens to be the part of War Memorial most recognizable from 90210, was in the process of being torn down. Such a bummer!!
War Memorial Park shows up numerous times in the “Fame Is Where You Find It” episode. It first appears at the very beginning of the show, in the scene in which Brandon plays a little solo game of street hockey next to a playground.
As fate would have it, an episode of the show Keep It Together just so happens to be filming at the very same park where Brandon is playing. When a key actor fails to show up to the set, Brandon is immediately hired to replace him, and voila, a star is born! Or so Brandon thinks.
Brandon’s small Keep It Together scene, in which his only line is “Hey, Babe! Looking good. Real good, babe.” – LOL – was also filmed at War Memorial Park. The now defunct “Over The Rainbow” Bridge is visible behind Keep It Together’s lead actress Lydia Leeds in the above screen capture.
At the end of the episode, the park pops up once again in the scene in which Brandon forgives Lydia for being such a diva.
On a very interesting side note – While watching the “Fame Is Where You Find It” episode a few months back, Mike – who has got to be one of the most observant people I’ve ever met in my life!!! – noticed some very fascinating scenery in the background of a few of the scenes. Because the episode centered around the filming of the television show Keep It Together, much of the action took place on a studio backlot. But instead of renting out a different Hollywood lot for the filming of the Keep It Together scenes, producers simply decided to masquerade their own 90210 soundstages as those of the show within the show. Which, of course, makes sense. But what they didn’t realize was that, years later, an eagle-eyed stalker would figure out their little location trick. As you can see in the above screen capture, the famous red brick Peach Pit After Dark wall is visible in the background of the scene in which Lydia Leeds applies Brandon’s makeup in the Keep It Together makeup trailer. And I am fairly certain that the makeup trailer used in that scene was the real life 90210 makeup trailer! Yes, ladies and gentleman, that means that you are looking at the actual spot where Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry, Jennie Garth, and Jason Priestley got their makeup done before filming each and every morning! SO DARN COOL!
I took the above photograph of the Peach Pit’s brick wall back in August of 2008 during Mike and my private tour of the former 90210 studio. As you can see, it matches the brick wall pictured behind Lydia in the make-up trailer scene perfectly. Mike told me that he actually drove by the 90210 studio several times while the show was still on the air and that the make-up and wardrobe trailers were indeed parked in the area directly in front of the Peach Pit wall. So darn cool!!!!!!!
Because the former 90210 studio was located in a industrial area, it was surrounded by various warehouses, one of which happened to be a washing machine factory. When Mike and I visited the studio last year, he pointed out the factory to me and, let me tell you, I’ve never seen so many washing machines in my entire life! There were literally hundreds upon hundreds of them lined up alongside the building. LOL Well, in the scene in which Brandon and Lydia arrive at the Keep It Together studios via limousine, you can not only see that washing machine factory, but you can even see quite a few of their washing machines! Too darn funny!
The above image is an aerial view of the area where that scene was filmed. The pink “X” denotes the spot where Lydia and Brandon were standing and the purple circle shows the hundreds upon hundreds of washing machines stationed just outside of the studio. LOL LOL LOL
Most interesting, though, was what showed up in a later scene from the “Fame Is Where You Find It” episode – the scene in which, while walking around the studio, Brandon finds out that the entire Keep It Together script has been rewritten.
In that scene, you can ACTUALLY SEE THE REAL LIFE WALSH FRONT PORCH SET AND THE EXTERIOR OF THE WALSH’S DINING ROOM WINDOW (denoted with the pink arrows above)!!!!! How incredibly cool is that???? When Mike first sent me the screen captures from that scene and pointed out the Walsh house in the background I just about died I was so excited. LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!
And, a little bit of 90210 trivia for you – a very young Melissa Rivers (pictured above) made one of her first television appearances in the “Fame Is Where You Find It” episode playing an actress named MacKenzie, who, according to Lydia Leeds, only has a career because her uncle is “like this really big producer” . Hmmm, sound familiar, Tori Spelling?? 😉
A big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for finding this location and for discovering all of the behind-the-scenes location information from the “Fame Is Where You Find It” episode! You are my hero!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks War Memorial Park, aka the park where Brandon Walsh was discovered, is located at 14201 Huston Street in Sherman Oaks. The area used in the “Fame Is Where You Find It” episode can be found near the corner of Hazeltine Avenue and Huston Street.