The “Christmas Vacation” PoolDec 21st, 2012 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Another Christmas-themed locale that I had long wanted to track down and stalk was Clark W. Griswold’s (Chevy Chase’s) dream pool from the 1989 classic Christmas Vacation. (Is it odd, by the way, that I can still remember exactly where I was and who I was with the first time I saw the flick back in middle school? But I digress.) Being that the pool had only popped up once in the movie and that a very small portion of it was ever shown, I had no clue whatsoever where it might be located or how to even begin searching for it. Then, back in February, while Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I were visiting Warner Bros. Ranch, where the majority of Christmas Vacation was lensed, our lovely tour guide took us by the lot’s pool and I got an inkling that it might have been the one used in the movie. Our guide was unsure if that was the case, though, and when I re-watched the flick to make comparisons later that day, I noticed some differences in the two pools which led me to believe that they were not one and the same.
Then, in October, I returned to the Ranch for another tour, this time with fellow stalkers Kim and Lavonna, and our guide informed us that Old Navy had just shot a series of Christmas Vacation-themed commercials (one of which you can watch by clicking below) on the premises and that, during the filming, Chevy Chase had mentioned that the lot’s pool had been used as Clark’s dream pool in the original movie. YAY! As someone who is always seeking further verification, though, I popped in my dad’s Christmas Vacation DVD while visiting my parents during Thanksgiving to see if any mention of the pool’s location was made in the commentary and, sure enough, director Jeremiah S. Chechik stated that the pool scene was filmed at Warner Bros. Ranch, just across from the house used as the Griswold residence in the film.
Clark’s dream pool, which, according to the fabulous Columbia Ranch website, was originally built in 1948, is located in the Park section of Warner Bros. Ranch, right next to the fountain used in the Friends opening credits and the Alan House from Pushing Daisies and Small Soldiers.
Mike took the photographs below during our February visit and, as you can see, a backdrop was installed around the southern portion of the pool at the time for a production that did not want it to be visible.
For the filming of Christmas Vacation, a significant amount of foliage was added to the premises to make it appear more like a residential backyard. And, as you can see below, while the lip of the pool was plain cement at the time of the shoot, it is now brick, and the metal ladder that was once affixed to the side of the structure has also since been removed.
But, thankfully, the legs of the diving board still look EXACTLY the same today as they did in 1989 when Christmas Vacation was filmed! LOVE IT!
You can check out a close-up photograph of those legs below.
And I, of course, just had to pose on the diving board like Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) while I was there. If only I had brought my skivvies that day!
The Warner Bros. Ranch pool also appeared very briefly in the Season 1 episode of The Monkees titled “The Chaperone” during their “You Just May Be the One” performance.
The pool also popped up several times in various The Partridge Family episodes, including the Season 1 episode titled “Danny and the Mob” . . .
. . . and the Season 2 episode titled “Home Is Where the Heart Was”.
And while the pool was used in the Season 1 episode of Bewitched titled “And Something Makes Three”, it was never actually shown. In the episode, Samantha Stephens (Elizabeth Montgomery) conjures up a pool in her backyard on a hot summer day, absolutely perplexing nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz (Alice Pearce), who can only see small glimpses of Samantha, jumping up and down on a diving board and splashing water, over their shared fence.
The Warner Bros. Ranch pool was also used significantly in the 2012 high school comedy Project X.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Christmas Vacation pool is located on the Warner Bros. Ranch lot at 411 North Hollywood Way in Burbank. Unfortunately, the Ranch is gated and not accessible to the public.