Alvarado Street School from “Beverly Hills, 90210”Dec 24th, 2013 | By Lindsay | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations
For my final holiday post of 2013, I thought I would blog about a locale from my favorite television series of all time, Beverly Hills, 90210. Last September, I dragged the Grim Cheaper out to Culver City to stalk Playa del Rey Elementary School, which masqueraded as Alvarado Street School, where Brenda Walsh (my girl Shannen Doherty), Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth), Dylan McKay (Luke Perry), and the rest of the West Beverly gang handed out gifts to needy children in the Season 3 Yuletide-themed episode “It’s a Totally Happening Life.” Because I do not own the series’ third season on DVD, though, and because the episodes are maddeningly not available to stream on iTunes, Netflix or Amazon, I was not able to blog about the site last Christmas. So this year, I enlisted my good friend Mike, from MovieShotsLA, to provide me with a recap and screen captures so that I could finally do so. Thank you, Mike!
In real life, Playa del Rey Elementary School, which is known as the “Jewel of the Westside,” is an SAS (School for Advanced Studies) establishment for gifted and high-achieving students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Besides traditional courses, such subjects as theatre arts, dance and choral music are also offered.
Playa del Rey Elementary School was featured prominently in “It’s a Totally Happening Life,” in which, in an homage to the 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life, two guardian angels, Clarence and Miriam, watch over the 90210 gang. And, in what turns out to be a Christmas miracle, the angels even manage to save the group from a fatal bus accident at the end of the show.
In the episode, Brenda and Kelly give Dylan an ultimatum, telling him that he must choose between the two of them by New Year’s Day. (He makes the wrong choice, incidentally, and the show never recovered, at least in my never-to-be humble opinion. I’ve shared my thoughts about the Dylan-Kelly-Brenda love triangle ad nauseam over the years, though, so I will spare y’all from digressing further. )
While the school still does look very similar to how it appeared when filming took place back in 1992 (has it seriously been 21 years?!?), sadly the area that was featured in the episode is now covered over with blue-paneled fencing and is no longer visible from the street. Ironically enough, that is the only portion of the school’s fencing that is covered in such a manner. The paneling must have been installed to ward off the many stalkers who drop by.
You can see areas of the school that were not featured on Beverly Hills, 90210, but are visible from the street in the photographs below.
Sadly, the gate that the gang walked through in “It’s a Totally Happening Life” has also since been removed. It was formerly located at the front of Playa del Rey Elementary, just east of the main entrance, in the area where Santa is standing in the photograph below. Oh, how I wanted to pose for a photograph next to that gate!
I will be taking the rest of the week (and possibly next Monday) off from blogging in order to celebrate Christmas with my family and for a quick trip to L.A. I hope all of my fellow stalkers have a fabulous holiday!
For more stalking fun, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Los Angeles magazine online. And you can check out my other blog, The Well-Heeled Diabetic, here.
Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for making the screen captures that appear in this post.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Playa del Rey Elementary School, aka Alvarado Street School from the “It’s a Totally Happening Life” episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, is located at 12221 Juniette Street in Culver City. The southeast corner of the school, near the intersection of Juniette and Randall Streets, was the area that appeared in the episode.