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Monrovia Bakery from the New “Iceland” Pilot

Apr 1st, 2011 | By | Category: TV Locations

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During this entire past week, the television pilot for the new Fox comedy series Iceland, which stars Scrubs’ Kerry Bishe, Friday Night Lights’ Zach Gilford, and 24’s John Boyd, has been filming on location on Myrtle Avenue in Old Town Monrovia, just down the street from where my parents now live.  The show, which takes place in a supposed small town in Minnesota, centers around a young woman (Bishe) whose fiancé dies suddenly shortly before their wedding day – and yes, despite its tragic-sounding premise, the series is being pitched as a comedy.  So I, of course, asked my parents to keep tabs for me on what was going on – and to take lots of photographs of the filming, which my dad has been doing on a pretty much daily basis.  My mom had also heard that some filming would be taking place at the Monrovia Bakery, which is located at 506 South Myrtle Avenue, this past Wednesday, so I ventured on over there on Wednesday morning to do some stalking of the set.

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Sadly though, the shoot at the Monrovia Bakery was not scheduled to take place until the evening hours and most of the cast and crew was filming at an apartment building located a few miles away when I showed up to stalk the set.  The day was not entirely lost, though, as I did get to speak with the SUPER nice owner of the bakery, which has remarkably been in business since 1900!, who filled me in on all of the filming that has taken place in her shop over the years. 

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I was extremely excited to hear that in the Season 3 episode of Mad Men titled “Seven Twenty Three”, the Monrovia Bakery stood in for the supposed Ossining, New York-area Swenson’s Bakery where Betty Draper (aka January Jones) met Henry Francis (aka Christopher Stanley) to discuss saving the local Pleasantville Road Reservoir.  Both the interior . . .

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. . . and the exterior of Monrovia Bakery were featured in the episode.

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After leaving the bakery, Betty and Henry walk by Wentworth’s Furniture Store, where Henry spots a “fainting chair” in the window and suggests that Betty should purchase it.

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In real life Wentworth’s Furniture Store is the Irish Gardener gift boutique located right next door to Monrovia Bakery.

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In 1992’s Beethoven, Monrovia Bakery was the neighborhood bake shop where Beethoven the dog stopped to pick up a free bear claw.

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For the 2007 Jim Carrey movie The Number 23, producers transformed Monrovia Bakery into a model train shop while, in an odd twist,  the nail shop next door was transformed into a . . . you guessed it, bakery!  Apparently, Monrovia Bakery did not have the exact look that producers desired for the shoot and they felt that they would be better able to redress the nail shop than redecorate the real life bakery into the image that they wanted.  So, a false rear wall was constructed inside of the nail shop and a myriad of bakery cases and bakery equipment was brought in for the filming, when all the while all of those exact same things could be found already in place right next door!  I will never understand production decisions like that, I swear!  Winking smile

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Monrovia Bakery was also featured in the 1988 made-for-TV movie Rock ‘n’ Roll Mom and in a television pilot starring That ‘70s Show’s Laura Prepon that was, unfortunately, never picked up.

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While we were stalking the bakery, some set dressers came to start preparing the premises for filming, which included putting up the above-pictured “Ellie’s Bakery” sign over Monrovia Bakery’s real life front awning.  So incredibly cool!

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Pictured above are some photographs that my dad took this past Monday afternoon during the filming of Iceland.  The shoot took place in front of the Monrovia Library and involved a wedding scene of some sort.  From what the owner of the Monrovia Bakery told me, in the pilot of Iceland, Kerry Bishe’s character decides to go on with her wedding, even though her fiancé has just recently passed away.  I believe that is the scene they were filming above.

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Stars Kerry Bishe, Jack Gilford, and John Boyd were all on set on Monday.

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And my dad managed to snap some great shots of both Kerry . . .

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. . . and Zach.  I sent the pictures over to my friend Christine at fave website OnLocationVacations on Monday afternoon and after she looked at them she said that my dad should seriously consider becoming a paparazzi!  Love it!  Smile 

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On a Kerry Bishe side note – In one of the actress’ very first film roles, she portrayed the twenty-something woman shown looking into a department store window while Carrie Bradshaw (aka Sarah Jessica Parker) says in one of her famous voiceovers, “Year after year, twenty-something women come to New York City in search of the two L’s – Labels and Love” in the opening scene of Sex and the City: The Movie.  So incredibly cool!

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: Monrovia Bakery, from the new Iceland pilot and the “Seven Twenty Three” episode of Mad Men, is located at 506 South Myrtle Avenue in Monrovia.  The Irish Gardener, aka Wentworth Furniture Store from Mad Men, is located next door at 504 South Myrtle Avenue.

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  1. Melissa says:

    I love Zach Gilford… he’s great in off the map


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