The Omega Beta Zeta House from “Scream 2”Mar 11th, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
This past Saturday, while I was out stalking the Oscars, fellow stalker Tony spent his day trying to track down the large Victorian mansion which appeared as both the Omega Beta Zeta sorority house in Scream 2 and the Strong residence in Catch Me If You Can. Tony knew that the house was located somewhere in the Altadena area and, since I live in the vicinity, was hoping I could help him find it. We spent quite a bit of time emailing back and forth that day – me on my blackberry while out and about in Hollywood and Tony on his computer at home. I am sad to say that I was unable to provide him with any help whatsoever in this particular hunt, though, as I had long been under the incorrect assumption that the Woodbury Story House on Madison Avenue in Altadena was the residence used as the Strong mansion in Catch Me If You Can. Tony proved me wrong, though, and, as it turns out, didn’t need my help after all. He managed to track down the correct location fairly quickly, first using Google to make a list of all of the large Victorian-style houses in the Altadena area and then viewing each one using aerial maps. YAY! Thank you, Tony! So, once Tony gave me the address, I, of course, had to run right out to immediately stalk the place.
The Scream 2/Catch Me If You Can estate is actually known as both the Crank House and Fair Oaks Ranch and is something of a historical residence. The vacant property was first owned by a wealthy landowner named Dr. John S. Griffin. In 1862, Griffin sold the lot to his sister, Eliza Griffin Johnston, for $1000 after her husband, Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston, passed away during the Civil War. Eliza built a small abode on the property and dubbed her new home “Fair Oaks Ranch”, after the city of Fair Oaks in Virginia where she was born. In 1864, following the death of her son in a steamship accident, Eliza sold the property to Benjamin Eaton, one of Pasadena’s first founders. Eaton ended up splitting the land in half and in 1876 sold one of the halves to a New Yorker named James F. Crank. Crank had Eliza’s original home moved off of the property (it is currently located at 2072 Oakwood Avenue in Altadena) and in 1882 built a much larger, two and a half story, Victorian-style abode, named the Crank House, in its place. In 1910, after investing and subsequently losing his fortune in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroads, Crank was forced to sell the residence. And while his property was further subdivided after the sale, I am happy to report that his former house still stands and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The seven bedroom, four bathroom home measures a whopping 6,450 square feet and currently sits on over one and a half acres of land. Sadly, though, the residence is situated behind a large gate and is not very visible from the street.
But, as luck would have it, when I showed up to stalk the place yesterday, not only was the property’s back gate standing open . . .
. . . but, the front gate was, as well! So, I just had to stick my arm around the open gate and snap the above pictures! YAY!
And, being that the house is not visible from the street, I can’t really recommend visiting it in person. But if you are absolutely dying to catch a glimpse of it, I am happy to report that parts of it can actually be seen from the streets surrounding the property.
In Scream 2, the Crank House stood in for the Omega Beta Zeta sorority house located on the campus of the fictional Windsor College in Ohio.
The house is where sorority girl CiCi Cooper (aka Sarah Michelle Gellar) meets her untimely end thanks to a push off the mansion’s second floor balcony. In the movie, the house is supposedly situated within walking distance of the Delta Lambda Zeta house, where the “Martini Mixer” fraternity party was held, but in actuality it is located a good six miles away from that residence. On a side note – I have to admit that I must have jumped out of my chair at least ten times while making the above screen captures! LOL
In Catch Me If You Can, the Crank House stood in for the New Orleans residence belonging to Roger (aka Martin Sheen) and Carol Strong (aka Nancy Lenehan) and their daughter Brenda (aka Amy Adams). The house showed up in several scenes in the movie, most notably as the location of Frank Abagnale (aka Leonardo DiCaprio) and Brenda’s engagement party.
Both the interior and the exterior of the Crank House were used extensively in the filming of Scream 2 and Catch Me If You Can. As you can in the above screen captures, which were taken from both films, the interiors match almost exactly. Love it!
Big THANK YOU to Tony for finding this location! And be sure to check out Tony’s Flickr site, as it features some fabulous photographs of filming locations in and around the L.A. area.
On a very sad side note – I was heartbroken today to learn of the untimely death of actor Corey Haim. Corey was one of my very first movie star crushes. I was eleven years old when I first layed eyes on him in 1988’s License to Drive and I think it’s safe to save I’ve been smitten ever since. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones at this difficult time. I hope that in death Corey has finally found the peace that he never seemed to have in life. Rest in peace, sweet Corey.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Crank Estate, aka Fair Oaks Ranch, is located at 2186 East Crary Street in Altadena. The property’s front gate is located around the corner, at the end of Layton Street. Remember, this is a private residence, so please do not trespass. To see the best views of the house, drive on Crary Street just a bit east of the property and look backwards or drive a block south to Garfias Drive and look north. I’ve marked the areas with the best views of the house on the map above.