Mountain View Cemetery from “The Office”Oct 27th, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: The Office Filming Locations
Since my favorite holiday, Halloween, is fast approaching, I thought it would only be appropriate to devote the next few blog posts to some filming locations of a spookier nature. So, this past Sunday morning, Mike, from MovieShotsLA, the Grim Cheaper, and I went on a joint stalking venture up to Altadena to stalk Mountain View Cemetery which appeared in the Season 4 episode of The Office titled “The Chair Model”, among countless other productions. I first found out about this locale from my parents’ neighbor, Julie, who owns The Coffee Gallery in Altadena – a location which was also used in “The Chair Model” episode and which I blogged about this past July. According to Julie, while scouting locations for the “Chair Model” episode, location managers sought out a coffee shop that was in close proximity to Mountain View Cemetery where they were also shooting scenes, which is how they came to use her cafe. Like the old saying goes, it’s all about location, location, location. 😉 Anyway, once Julie told me about the place, I started doing some research on it and discovered that Mountain View Cemetery has been featured in hundreds upon hundreds of productions over the years. Apparently, the 60-acre cemetery is used for filming an average of 150 days out of EACH AND EVERY year, which is absolutely incredible to me! Upon finding out that fact, I promptly informed both Mike and the GC that Mountain View Cemetery was the ONLY place I wanted to be buried. Spending my hereafter at a site that is in use as a filming location almost half of each year sounds like absolute heaven to me (pun intended). Mike jokingly said that if I did end up being buried there, my tombstone should read, “Lindsay Blake, from IAMNOTASTALKER –Still Stalking Filming Sites From Beyond the Grave”.
Mountain View Cemetery, which is one of the oldest cemeteries in the San Gabriel Valley, was first established in 1882 when a man named Levi W. Giddings designated a plot of his family’s land to be used as a site for burials for the citizens of Pasadena. His descendants still own and operate the cemetery to this day, over 128 years later. Mountain View, which as the name implies does boast picturesque views of the San Gabriel Mountains, is an absolutely enormous and quite beautiful property, with sprawling lawns, stately trees from all over the world, an art collection, two chapels, and two mausoleums. Besides being a filming location, Mountain View is also the final resting place of several notables, including actor George Reeves, who played TV’s original Superman in the 1950s television series of the same name. George is entombed in the cemetery’s Pasadena Mausoleum. Thaddeus Sobieski Constantine Lowe, one of the original founders of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and builder of the Mount Lowe Railway, is also buried at Mountain View, in the cemetery’s Royal Oak’s section.
The yet-to-be released show Franklin & Bash was setting up to do some filming while we were stalking the cemetery on Sunday, and as you can see in the above photographs, had fake tombstones, floodlights, a generator, and a mock funeral assembled, which was very cool to see.
There was also a fake crypt set up on the property, which none of us actually realized was a fake . . .
. . . until we got around to the back of it and saw the prop door. So, of course, I just had to get inside of it to snap a quick picture. I am not sure if the fake crypt was a prop for Franklin & Bash or for Wicked Literature: A Halloween Theatre Festival – a Halloween-themed live theatre event which is running at the cemetery now through the end of October. But being that Franklin & Bash is a series about a law firm, I am going to go out on a limb and guess that the crypt was set up for the Wicked Literature show.
In “The Chair Model” episode of The Office, Michael Scott (aka Steve Carell) falls in love with a chair model whom he sees in an office supply catalog. He sends Dwight Schrute (aka Rainn Wilson) on a recognizance mission to track down the model and is crushed when he learns that she was recently killed in a car accident. Dwight and Michael later visit the cemetery where she is buried in order to pay their respects. While there, they break into a rousing rendition of the song “American Pie”.
While stalking Mountain View on Sunday, I was absolutely dying to find the exact spot where The Office had been filmed. Unfortunately though, I was unable to figure it out at the time. It wasn’t until after I got home and re-watched “The Chair Model” episode that I was able to discern the correct location. So, bright and early yesterday morning, I dragged my dad out to re-stalk the place so that I could get some photos of the spot where Michael and Dwight had mourned, ahem, sang. That spot can be found in the northeastern section of the cemetery.
In the Season 1 episode of Desperate Housewives titled “There Won’t Be Trumpets”, Mountain View was the site of Mama Solis’ (aka Lupe Ontiveros’) funeral. In the scene filmed at the cemetery, Gaby Solis (aka Eva Longoria Parker) flies into a rage after discovering that her destitute husband Carlos (aka Ricardo Antonio Chavira) has purchased a large crypt for his dead mother. It was during the filming of that scene that Eva Longoria Parker accidentally (and hilariously) got the heel of her stiletto stuck in the cemetery’s grass. Some paparazzi who were on hand managed to snap pictures of the event and those pictures later made their way onto the pages of US Magazine, but unfortunately I cannot find copies of those photographs anywhere online.
While watching the “There Won’t Be Trumpets” episode, I was convinced that Mama Solis’ crypt had been a prop put into place for the filming. As I discovered yesterday morning, though, her burial site is an actual crypt belonging to the Buckley family. So darn cool! I would like to let it be known here and now that, upon my death, filmmakers have my permission to use whatever it is I end up being buried in – whether it be a crypt, a mausoleum, or a simple grave – whenever and in as many productions as they so desire! 😉
The cemetery was also used in the Season 8 episode of Seinfeld titled “The Foundation” as the final resting place of Susan Ross (aka Heidi Swedberg), George Costanza’s (aka Jason Alexander’s) former fiancé, who died after ingesting toxic glue while licking the envelopes of their wedding invitations.
Mountain View also appeared in the Season 11 episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation titled “Shock Waves” as the site of the funeral of Officer Franklin Clark (aka Reggie Von Watkins), during which a bomb explodes. Fave website Altadenablog was on hand during the filming of that episode and took some great photographs of the crew setting up the extensive rigging for the explosion scene.
The cemetery also popped up in the pilot episode of the HBO series Six Feet Under as the site of the funeral of Nathaniel Fisher (aka Richard Jenkins).
The cemetery was also used in Ozzy Osbourne’s video for his 2010 song “Life Won’t Wait” . . .
. . . which you can watch by clicking above.
Ironically enough, after visiting the cemetery, I had a feeling that it might have been the very cemetery used in fave movie A Lot Like Love, so after I got home I re-watched the flick and noticed the large, open-air grave-marker located in the background behind Oliver Martin (aka Ashton Kutcher) in the scene pictured above.
I could also just make out the last name “Holmes” written on the marker. So, yesterday morning, while re-stalking the cemetery with my dad, I walked around to see if I could spot that open air crypt.
And, amazingly enough, I did! As it turns out, the filming of A Lot Like Love had taken place just due west of where The Office had filmed. The grave where Emily Friehl’s (aka Amanda Peet’s) mother was buried in the movie was a fake that was put into place solely for the filming. In real life, her grave is just empty space. Ironically enough, Ashton Kutcher returned to the cemetery once again this past May to film scenes for the yet-to-be released comedy No Strings, along with co-star Natalie Portman. You can check out some photographs of them filming here. The 2007 remake of the classic horror film Halloween was also filmed at Mountain View Cemetery.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Mountain View Cemetery is located at 2400 North Fair Oaks Avenue in Altadena. The area which appeared in The Office is in the northeastern portion of the cemetery and is denoted with a pink circle and a pink “X” in the above aerial views. A Lot Like Love filmed just due west of where The Office was filmed in the area of the cemetery numbered 4474, which is denoted with a purple circle in the above aerial views. Desperate Housewives was filmed in front of the Buckley crypt, which is located in the section of the cemetery numbered 4386, directly across from the Vista Del Monte mausoleum, which is denoted with a blue circle and a blue arrow in the above aerial views.