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“The Big Bang Theory” Rooftop – Where Howard and Bernadette Got Married

May 16th, 2012 | By | Category: TV Locations

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This past Monday evening, the Grim Cheaper and I sat down to catch up on a slew of television episodes that we had backlogged over the past week, one of which was The Big Bang Theory’s “The Countdown Reflection”.   In the episode, which has to be one of the cutest of the entire series, Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and longtime girlfriend, Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch), finally tie the knot on the rooftop of the building where Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) live.  Well, as you can imagine, as soon as I finished watching the wedding scene, I became just a wee-bit obsessed with tracking down that rooftop.  I was fairly certain that it was located somewhere in Pasadena as the Big Bang gang supposedly lives in the City of Roses and area locations appear regularly on the show.  Heck, even my building was filmed once for the background of a driving scene back in 2010, although I was never able to spot it in an episode.  And while Leonard and Sheldon’s address has been referred to a few times as 2311 North Los Robles Avenue, in actuality that location does not exist as Los Robles ends at the 2200 block.  So thinking I would need some help with this one, I immediately texted fellow stalker Owen, from the When Write is Wrong blog, to ask for his assistance.  And imagine my surprise when, at 7:30 yesterday morning, I received a text back from him with an address!  Yay!  When I asked how he had found the rooftop so fast, he replied, “Sheldon isn’t the only smart guy around.”  Winking smile

As it turns out, one quick Google search had led Owen to the YouTube video posted below, which pinpointed the rooftop’s exact location.  So, as soon as I received Owen’s text, I headed right on over there to stalk the place, after first hitting up a Starbucks, of course.

“The Big Bang Theory” Rooftop from “The Countdown Reflection” Episode
In “The Countdown Reflection”, Bernadette decides she wants to marry Howard before he takes off on his venture into space, so the two go down to the local courthouse and attempt to have a quickie ceremony.  When those plans fall through, Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) suggests that they hold their wedding on Leonard and Sheldon’s rooftop that upcoming Sunday, when the Google Earth satellite will be overhead.  All five of Howard and Bernadette’s closest friends – Raj, Leonard, Sheldon, Penny (Kaley Cuoco), and Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) – quickly ordain themselves as ministers and, in a tear-inducing moment, perform the ceremony together.
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After Howard and Bernadette seal their union with a kiss, the camera pulls away from the group and we see that Raj, who in the episode said, “If I wasn’t an astrophysicist, I would have been a party planner!”, has decorated the rooftop with a heart and arrow made out of silk.  SO DARN CUTE!  I literally got goose bumps when I saw it!

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As the camera pulls farther away, we are given an aerial view of Leonard and Sheldon’s building and the surrounding area.  And while The Big Bang rooftop and the structure located directly below it do not match up to what appeared onscreen (thanks to some CGI magic), the rest of the surrounding buildings do, as you can see below.  And while Owen suggested that I rent a plane to get some actual photographs of the rooftop, until I have the means to do so, Google aerial images will have to do.  Winking smile

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I did manage to snap some actual photographs of the front of the building, though.  Interestingly enough, while doing research for today’s post, I happened to come across a Big Bang Theory forum in which member “jcc551f9n” states that he or she is fairly certain that the interior of Leonard and Sheldon’s building was based on the Brookmore Apartments located at 189 North Marengo Avenue in Pasadena.  Jcc551f9n says, “I lived in the building for two years and the inside looks like the exact replica of The Big Bang Theory apartments.  Exposed brick, stairwell looping around the elevator, very similar front doors as the show.  And the Brookmore Apartments elevator was always broken.  Even the laundry room looks the same.  A number of Caltech and JPL physicists live there as well as more than one aspiring actress.”  Another commenter named “ottonomy” replied to jcc551f9n’s post stating that he or she also thought the Brookmore was the inspiration for the Big Bang apartment set.   He or she says, “Hmm… The Brookmore Apartments were one of the first places I considered, when trying to guess where the apartment might be.  You’re spot on about the stairs and elevator.  I remember delivering pizzas there in the eighties.  It was run down, and the halls were lined with addicts, prostitutes, and their dealers and pimps.  The renaissance of Old Pasadena had changed it by the late nineties, when I started working as a locksmith and made frequent appearances there to open locked doors for people who were better at rocket science than at keeping track of their keys.  It’s amazing how much the place has improved, though the elevator was indeed not working when last I was there.”  So interesting!  I stopped by the Brookmore yesterday to try to sneak a peak at the elevator area through the front door, but unfortunately it was not visible.  What I wouldn’t give to see the inside of that building, though!

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On a The Big Bang Theory side-note – I am just a wee-bit obsessed with series star Kaley Cuoco’s recent in-flight photo shoot for CBS Watch Magazine (which is like the best magazine, ever, by the way – if you do not already have a subscription, I highly recommend getting one).  The shoot, which took place during an actual flight, intrigued me for two reasons – one because I am absolutely petrified of flying and am astounded that the crew was able to pull off an entire photo shoot while aboard a 777 jet en route from New York to London.

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And two, because I absolutely fell in love with Kaley’s Louis Vuitton clutch, which I am fairly certain is vintage, being that I cannot find it anywhere on the LV website.  Love it, love it, love it!  Why this stalker’s eye is immediately drawn to anything in that classic, brown LV pattern, I will never know, but it is – like a magnet!  Oh, Grim Cheaper, are you listening?  My birthday is coming up! Winking smile

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Be sure to “Like” IAMNOTASTALKER on Facebook here and “Friend” me on my personal page here.  You can also check out the IAMNOTASTALKER About Me page here.  And you can follow me on Twitter at @IAMNOTASTALKER.

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Big THANK YOU to fellow stalker Owen, from the When Write Is Wrong blog, for finding this location!  Smile

Stalk It: Leonard and Sheldon’s rooftop from The Big Bang Theory is located at 215 South Madison Avenue in Pasadena.

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11 comments

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  1. josh curry says:

    I have spent everyday almost since this episode came out trying to find it and now I see this wow now I just need to see the rest of howards mom we saw a side view in series 6 episode 4 and now I want to see her face although I am afraid of getting nightmares which I never get

  2. Igor says:

    I thought that only me so crazy fan of this cool and really kind Big Bang Theory and tried to find this place in Google Map ))) so God Save the Google which allows us to be in some great places of the world, visually, but it does! Thank you boys and girls ))) and let’s wait for the 6th season ))) ta ta ta ta )))

  3. Snoo says:

    Funny, I thought it looked familiar on the show…I live at 215 s Mad. and could have sworn it was my apartment, even though they always say Los Robles on the show :) Very cool.

  4. Peter says:

    I have been trying to find the spot myself until i stumbled over your post. Thank you for saving me a lot of time.
    I was looking for it in Pasadena right away and recognized the interstate in the final shot but due to more than just a little photo shop on the actual roof top I couldn’t find the location. In fact on close observation, I found that the entire block, the apartment building was supposedly on, is different. And anything north of E Colorado Blvd is not quite the same either. (Notice the ball park north west of the roof top that is not there in reality.) And to top things off, they didn’t even display Ventura Fwy west of the intersection with the Foothill Fwy.
    What do you think is their reason for that?

    • Lindsay says:

      I did notice that. So strange! I’m not sure why they would have done that, but am guessing it is because they want to keep the location of Sheldon and Leonard’s building a mystery, like Mr. Big’s first name on Sex and the City. I think that is why they never show the exterior of the building, to keep it mysterious.

  5. Cat says:

    Well! Thank you very much for solving the mystery for me! I just couldn’t bring myself to search the roof tops for days on google earth, but its nice to know someone else has the drive. : )

  6. Heather says:

    Love this post! I’m definitely going there on my next stalking trip! So interesting that the inside resembles the show apartments so much.

  7. Owen says:

    Just to clarify and to let your readers know I’m not out of touch with reality, I suggested a plane rental (and a subsequent photo shoot during a parachute descent toward Pasadena terra firma) jokingly. :) I’m smart, like Sheldon, but I’m also funny, like Howard. Alas, I also have an inability to speak with women, like Raj. Sigh.

    Anyway, I loved today’s post. The info about the Brookmore was particularly interesting. My favorite part, however, was your not-so-subtle hint in the second-to-last photo.

    Way to go out with a (big) bang!

    • Her Mom says:

      Her birthday is coming up….I wonder if GC will be able to find it! :-)

      BTW, readers – My husband and I were able to spend time with Owen in NYC a few years ago and he is the best! Funny, smart and genuine…we love this guy!

  8. lavonna says:

    Love this post and the Big Bang episode.


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