Jim and Pam’s Wedding Hotel from “The Office”Aug 2nd, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: The Office Filming Locations
Now that I have watched all six seasons of The Office, I can honestly say that my favorite episode hands down has to be the Season 6 episode titled “Niagara” in which Jim Halpert (aka John Krasinski) and Pam Beasley (aka Jenna Fischer) finally get married. I loved the episode for two very different reasons – one, because Jim and Pam’s relationship is so incredibly sweet, and two, because it so perfectly captures what it is like to plan a wedding. Whoever wrote “Niagara” must have gone through the ordeal that is planning a wedding just prior to penning it, because, let me tell you, they got things absolutely, one hundred percent SPOT ON! And right now I can TOTALLY relate. Yes, planning a wedding is fun and exciting and heartwarming, but, at the same time, dealing with people is just not my forte. I honestly want to call up some of our guests and/or vendors and scream, “NO, I will not provide you with shade during the ceremony, NO, I will not pick you up from the airport on the morning of my wedding, and NO, it’s not OK that you RSVP-ed yes, but are now backing out even though I have already given my caterer the final head count!” – all of which were recently said to or asked of me and my fiancé! Sigh! The scene in which Pam says to Jim, “Everyone’s driving me crazy. This is supposed to be our wedding day! Why did we invite all these people?” especially resonated with me when I watched the episode and I can’t tell you the number of times since then that I’ve seriously considered jumping on a ship to tie the knot sans guests just like Pam and Jim eventually did. 😉 Anyway, while watching “Niagara”, I immediately recognized the hotel where Jim and Pam’s guests stayed during their wedding as the historic Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. So, I dragged my fiancé right out to stalk it when we were in the area two weekends ago.
The Sportmen’s Lodge Hotel has been around since the early 1880s, but at the time it was named Hollywood Trout Farms thanks to the fact that it was surrounded by a series of man-made lakes and piers from which guests could fish for trout which would then subsequently be cooked and served to them for dinner by the staff at the main restaurant. In 1962, a new, larger hotel was built on the property, which had since been re-named the Sportsmen’s Lodge. It is that structure that still stands today.
And while the trout lakes have long since been removed, the hotel now boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool, numerous ponds and waterfalls, and eight picturesque acres of land. Due to its proximity to the Hollywood studios, the Lodge has long been popular with movie stars, including Clark Gable, Marlon Brando, Doris Day, David Lee Roth, Billy Bob Thornton, Trisha Yearwood, Spencer Tracy, Lauren Bacall, Tallulah Bankhead, Lena Horne, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn, and Bette Davis, all of whom have been spotted there at one time or another. In 2007, the hotel was purchased by real estate developer Richard Weintraub who set about extensively renovating the property. And, unfortunately, along with that renovation came quite a bit of change.
In The Office’s aptly named “Niagara” episode, Pam and Jim head to Niagara Falls to tie the knot. And while the interior scenes were filmed at the Sportsmen’s Lodge, as I mentioned above, the exterior shots were filmed at an actual Niagara Falls lodging named the Red Coach Inn. And, as you can see in the above screen capture and photograph, the two hotels look nothing alike.
The Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel actually has two lobbies, and it is the back lobby, which is located off of Coldwater Canyon Avenue, that was used in the episode. Unfortunately, as you can see in the above screen captures and photographs, that lobby looks MUCH different today than it did when The Office was filmed. During the recent remodel, all of the back lobby’s wood was covered over with white paint, making the space appear much less lodge-like.
Gone, too, is the hotel’s former stone-covered fireplace, which has been revamped to look like an ordinary, everyday fireplace. Such a shame! The hotel, which used to have a very kitschy feel to it, now appears traditional and run-of-the-mill. I am actually quite surprised that Weintraub had the place remodeled in such a way, as I am sure that it is no longer quite as appealing to producers and location managers.
And I have to say here that I absolutely LOVE the scene in which Michael Scott (aka Steve Carell) shows up to the hotel’s front desk and informs the clerk that he doesn’t have a reservation because Jim and Pam have “blocked” rooms for their guests. LOL LOL LOL Man, I can SO see that happening in real life! I don’t know what it is about a wedding that renders seemingly normal, intelligent people into helpless, self-absorbed morons, but, let me tell you, it happens!
Several of the Lodge’s hotel rooms were also featured in the “Niagara” episode, including Room 642, where Pam’s grandmother, Meemaw, stayed;
Room 644, where Pam stayed;
Room 641, where Dwight stayed;
and Suite 639, aka the “Honeymoon Suite”, where Andy stayed.
All of the rooms featured in the episode can be found in the same hallway, which is located on the hotel’s second floor, directly above the main lobby.
I could NOT for the life of me find the ice/vending machine closet where Michael spent the night in “Niagara”, though. Oddly enough, according to the housekeeper that I spoke with, the hotel only has one ice machine area and it is located next to the pool. I checked it out, though, and it looks nothing like the room pictured above, which leads me to believe that producers either created a fake room in one of the hotel’s storage closets for the filming or that the ice machine room where filming took place was removed during the recent remodel.
The very same back lobby which appeared in The Office was also the site of the graduation dance in the Britney Spears’ movie Crossroads. I obtained this information from a crew member while I was working as an extra in the movie and I actually thought it was a bit odd being that a vast majority of the flick was lensed at the now-defunct Ambassador Hotel. It seems like it would have been a whole lot easier to just shoot the dance sequence in one of the former hotel’s many ballrooms since the cast and crew were already filming on location there, but, then again, what do I know? 😉
And, of course, I just HAD to pose on the Sportmen’s Lodge’s stairwell since Britney had once been there.
The actual dance scene in Crossroads was filmed in the Lodge’s Starlight ballroom. And, as you can see in the above screen captures and photograph, the room’s light fixtures and the banister surrounding the dance floor still look the same today as they did in 2002 when Crossroads was filmed. YAY!
The hotel was also where Lynette Scavo (aka Felicity Huffman) stayed after leaving her husband Tom (aka Doug Savant) in the Season 2 episode of Desperate Housewives titled “Remember (1)”.
And if you look at the room where Lynette stayed in that episode, you will notice that it is a perfect match to the room Lucy Wagner (aka Britney Spears) and Henry (aka Justin Long) rented after the dance in Crossroads, which is extremely odd as I would have guessed – once again – that that scene would have been filmed at the above-mentioned Ambassador, as was the case with all of the other hotel room scenes in the movie. So odd!
The front entrance of the hotel also appeared in Crossroads.
The wedding from the end of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was filmed at the Lodge, in the hotel’s lagoon area, and, according to a staff member I spoke with, the movies Leverage, Made, and Day the World Ended, and episodes of the television series Reno 911, Columbo, and Falcon Crest were also all filmed at the Sportsmen’s Lodge,
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Sportmen’s Lodge, aka Jim and Pam’s wedding hotel from The Office, is located at 12825 Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. You can visit the hotel’s official website here. In the “Niagara” episode, Pam stayed in Room 644, Dwight in Room 641, Pam’s Meemaw in Room 642, and Andy in Suite 639. All of the rooms that were featured in the episode are located in the same second floor hallway of the hotel, directly above the main lobby. The back lobby, which appeared in the both The Office and Crossroads, can be reached via Coldwater Canyon Avenue.