The Historic Mayfair Hotel from “The Office”Apr 5th, 2012 | By Lindsay | Category: The Office Filming Locations
Fellow stalker John Bengtson, from the SIlent Locations blog, sent me an email last week after reading my post on Red Studios Hollywood from The Artist (a location that I had learned about from his website) informing me that he had tracked down some locales from Season 7’s “The Search” episode of The Office that I might be interested in stalking, most notably The Historic Mayfair Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles where Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) shared a rooftop kiss. Ironically enough, my good friend, fellow stalker Owen, from the When Write Is Wrong blog, had also sent me this location on February 4th of last year, the day after the episode had originally aired, along with a list of all of the other places featured in “The Search”. And while I did stalk a few of them – Kung Pao China Bistro and Larry’s Chili Dog – for whatever reason, I never made it out to The Mayfair. So, this past weekend, I decided to change that and dragged the Grim Cheaper right on over there. (I am not sure what happened with the above photograph, but somehow it turned out a bit wonky and neither the GC nor I realized it at the time.)
The Historic Mayfair Hotel was originally designed in 1927 by Alexander E. Curlett and Claud W. Beelman, the same architecture team who gave us the Park Plaza Hotel near MacArthur Park (an extremely popular filming location that I have stalked, but have yet to blog about), the Cooper Arms condominium building in Long Beach, and the Los Angeles Board of Trade Building in Downtown L.A. The 13-story hotel, which at the time was named simply The Mayfair, was commissioned by Texas oil tycoons and was constructed at a cost of $1.5 million – and we’re talking 1920’s dollars! In its heyday, the luxury property hosted such luminaries as Mary Pickford and John Barrymore. Raymond Chandler even wrote and set his 1939 short story “I’ll Be Waiting” at The Mayfair, although he dubbed the place the “Windermere Hotel” in the tale.
The property, which originally boasted 350 rooms, but now has just 304, was the largest hotel west of the Mississippi at one time and featured an immensely popular supper and dance club known as the Rainbow Isle Room, from which George Eckhardts, Jr. and the Rainbow Isle Orchestra would broadcast a live radio show each night. In 2004, after suffering from a long period of neglect, the structure underwent a massive and much-needed $40 million renovation, at which point it was renamed The Historic Mayfair Hotel. You can check out some great photographs of the place during its early days on The Mayfair’s Facebook page here.
In “The Search” episode of The Office, after being stranded at a supposed Scranton, Pennsylvania-area gas station, Michael Scott goes on a walkabout which ends on the rooftop of The Historic Mayfair Hotel. When Holly finds him there and Michael tells her how much he has missed her, the two finally kiss, ending several years worth of will-they-or-won’t-they-get-together storylines and allowing audiences to finally breath a long-overdue sigh of relief. Not surprisingly, the roof area of The Mayfair is closed to the public, so I was unable to snap any pictures of it.
Mike, from MovieShotsLA, figured out that The Mayfair stood in for the supposed Chicago, Illinois-area The Addison Hotel where Beth Cappadora (Michelle Pfeiffer) attended her 15-year high school reunion in 1999’s The Deep End of the Ocean.
It was from the lobby of The Mayfair that Beth’s 3-year-old son, Ben Cappadora (Michael McElroy), was kidnapped.
As you can see above, despite the renovation, the lobby still looks very much the same today as it did back in 1998 when The Deep End of the Ocean was filmed.
The super-nice front desk clerk that we spoke with while we were there informed us that both the interior and the exterior of the property had also appeared in 1994’s True Lies, as the supposed Washington, D.C.-area Washington Mayfair Hotel where Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger), on horseback, chased motor-cycle-riding religious zealot Salim Abu Aziz (Art Malik) through a lobby.
The Mayfair lobby was actually one of three different lobbies used in that particular scene. Harry is first shown chasing Salim across the length of The Mayfair’s lobby.
The two then turn a corner and are magically transported to the now-defunct The Ambassador hotel, the same lobby of which was used as the Regent Beverly Wilshire in 1990’s Pretty Woman.
The duo then heads outside, “across the street” and into The Westin Bonaventure Hotel. In reality, when the Ambassador was still standing, it was located a good two miles away from The Bonaventure. Ah, the magic of Hollywood!
Thanks to the Richard Dean Anderson Website, I learned that The Historic Mayfair Hotel was also used in the 1986 Season 1 episode of MacGyver titled “The Assassin”.
I am fairly certain that only the exterior of the property appeared in the episode, though, and that all of the interior hotel scenes were filmed on a set. And while IMDB states that The Mayfair was also featured in 2009’s Don’t Look Up, I scanned through the flick yesterday while doing research for this post and did not see it pop up anywhere.
Big THANK YOU to fellow stalkers John Bengtson, from the SIlent Locations blog, and Owen, from the When Write Is Wrong blog, for telling me about this location and to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for informing me of its appearance in The Deep End of the Ocean!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!