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Crossroads of the World from “Dexter”

Feb 15th, 2011 | By | Category: TV Locations

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Before I get started, I’d like to give a big birthday shout-out to my beloved Grandma, who turns 86 today.  Happy Birthday, Grandma!  I love you!  And now, on with the post!  One location that I dragged the Grim Cheaper out to stalk while in the Hollywood area a few weeks back was Crossroads of the World, a historic Hollywood landmark which was featured in the Season 5 episode of Dexter titled “Practically Perfect”, among numerous other productions, including L.A. Confidential and Indecent Proposal.  I had actually driven by Crossroads of the World countless times over the past ten-plus years that I have lived in Los Angeles and had even known of the place’s legendary filming history, but for whatever reason had never stalked it.  So, after I noticed the historic property pop up on Dexter last October, I added the place to my extensive and ever-growing To-Stalk list and finally made it out there a couple of weeks ago.

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Crossroads of the World was first opened in 1936 and is often credited as the U.S.’ first outdoor shopping center.  It was built in the Streamline Moderne-style – a type of Art Deco design which features nautical elements – by architect Robert V. Derrah, who also designed the the Coca-Cola Building and the Southern California Gas Company Building, both in Downtown Los Angeles.  The theme of the two and a half acre property, which opened to the public on October 29th, 1936, was envisioned by Ella Crawford, the widow of real estate mogul and racketeer Charlie Crawford, as a port-of-call, a “cultural and business center offering an experience like taking a trip around the world”.  The marketplace was built to look like a large ocean liner docked at an international village and incorporated Spanish, Mediterranean, Moorish, Cape Cod, and Old English design elements. 

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The village section of Crossroads of the World, which can be found at the rear of the property on Selma Avenue, very closely resembles Fantasy Land at Disneyland.

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There is even a wishing well, a la Snow White’s wishing well at Disneyland, situated in the village area!  Which is highly ironic being that Crossroad’s of the World ship building was recreated in part at the Disney Hollywood Studios section of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, which you can see a photograph of here.

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Crossroad’s most prominent and recognizable feature is its sixty-foot-tall tower which is capped off with a revolving eight-foot-tall neon globe.  The property, which is no longer a shopping center but currently serves as an office park, became a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1974 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.  Such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock, Walter Heider, Randolph Duke, Tim Burton, and Rob Lowe have all had offices there at one time or another.

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In the “Practically Perfect” episode of Dexter, Crossroads of the World stood in for the supposed Miami-area Hungry Dog Diner at which Dexter Morgan (aka Michael C. Hall) spies on, and then has lunch with, serial killer Boyd Fowler (aka Shawn Hatosy). 

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The Dexter episode was filmed in the northwest corner of Crossroads of the World.  Dexter was sitting just outside of Suite 1521 at a prop table that was brought in just for the filming. 

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The Hungry Dog Diner was set up in a vacant storefront just across from where Dexter was sitting in the scene.

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The Hush-Hush Magazine office where gossip reporter Sid Hudgens (aka Danny DeVito) worked in the 1997 movie L.A. Confidential is located just around the corner from where Dexter was filmed.

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His corner office is numbered 1523 and is located next to the center’s parking lot area.

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The real estate office where Diana Murphy (aka Demi Moore) worked in 1993’s Indecent Proposal is also located at Crossroads of the World. 

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Diana worked in Suite 1500, which can be found in the rounded portion of the center’s ship building in the southern-most section of the property.

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The water fountain that was visible behind John Gage (aka Robert Redford) in the scene in which he visits Diana at her office can be found at the southern-most tip of the property near the center’s main entrance on Sunset Boulevard.

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The office where Ford Fairlane (aka Andrew Dice Clay) worked in The Adventures of Ford Fairlane was also located at Crossroads of the World, on the second floor of the property’s ship building. 

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The center’s front office area, which was the same area used in Indecent Proposal, was even made to look like a gym for the movie.

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You can see a complete list of productions that have been filmed at Crossroads of the World on the property’s official website here.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Crossroads of the World map

Stalk It: Crossroads of the World is located at 6671 West Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.  You can visit the property’s official website here.  The Hungry Dog Diner from Dexter was located in the vacant storefront across from the office numbered 1521 and is denoted with a blue arrow in the above aerial view.  The area where Dexter was sitting in the episode is denoted with a pink “X”.  Suite number 1523 was used as Sid Hudgens’ office in L.A. Confidential and is marked with a purple arrow in the above aerial view.  And finally, Diana’s office in Indecent Proposal was Suite 1500, which comprises the entire circular area located under the center’s tower and globe.  The door she used to enter and exit her office is marked with a light pink arrow in the above aerial view.

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4 comments

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  1. Richard says:

    Nice photos and captures. I used some of them for the Google Earth model of Crossroads – the part on your aerial photo is now largely complete, lacking some details and the vegetation. To see it, enable 3d buildings in Google Earth. If you have more photos, or higher-resolution ones, I’d appreciate copies.

  2. Ashley says:

    How cool! I’ve also driven past here countless times, never realized how big it was! I remember it being a place where a character in a book I read worked … I think it may have been White Oleander?

  3. John (Bay Area) says:

    Great post. I remember discovering Crossroads of the World by accident from the back entrance. We were driving on Selma Ave looking for parking and saw a scaled down lighthouse and these funny little buildings that looked like a movie set. There was a very old but cool looking sign that identified it as Crossroads. That whole other half of the complex is not shown in the aerial photo above. And the reason we were parking was to go to Boardners on nearby Cherokee Ave which was also a filming location for LA Confidential among other movies. There’s an interesting article on Boardner’s history which includes a connection to Crossroads of the World you can read here: http://www.boardners.com/boardners_story.php


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