The Chandler Estate from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”Oct 8th, 2014 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
The Chandlers are widely considered to be one of L.A.’s “first families.” Patriarch Harry not only served as publisher of the Los Angeles Times for 27 years, but was largely responsible for developing the San Fernando Valley, the Hollywood Hills and Dana Point in the O.C., as well. He was also instrumental in the construction of some of the city’s most famous structures including the Biltmore Hotel, the Hollywood Bowl, the California Institute of Technology and the Los Angeles Coliseum. So when I found out that his Los Feliz estate had been used in the 1956 science fiction thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I ran right out to stalk the place.
The 8,891-square-foot, red-brick, Georgian-style manse was built from 1914 to 1916 and boasts 24 rooms, including eight bedrooms and four baths, a two-story entrance hall, a library, a solarium, a butler’s pantry, a pool, a detached four-car garage, and a one-bedroom guesthouse. Sadly, outside of a long tree-lined driveway, little else of the place is visible to the public. The views from the street out front are pretty darn spectacular, though.
An aerial view of the Chandler estate is pictured below. As you can see, it is quite impressive. You can also check out some close-up and interior photographs of the pad here.
After Harry Chandler passed away in 1944, his wife Marian continued to live at the mansion until her own death in 1952. The Chandler family held onto the property for quite some time and in 1972 leased it at a rate of $1,000 a month to the Source Family (the cult that operated The Source Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, which I blogged about here). During their time there, the Source Family dubbed the estate “Mother House.” The Chandler’s opted not to renew the group’s lease after the first year, so in 1973 the Family moved elsewhere. In September 2008, the mansion was put on the market for $6,799,000. There were no takers, though, and in January of the following year the price was dropped to $5.499 million. The residence finally sold in October 2009 for $3,696,000.
It is well-documented online that the Chandler estate served as the home of Jack Belicec (King Donovan) and his wife, Theodora (Carolyn Jones), in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Having scanned through the flick in preparation for this post, though, I cannot say with certainty that the reports are correct. So little of the house can been seen in the movie that it is virtually impossible to confirm or deny the location.
It has also been reported on several Invasion of the Body Snatchers websites and message boards that the Chandler estate was demolished sometime after filming took place. I think what led to that assumption is the fact that most sites list the address of the residence as 2330 Hillhurst Avenue. There is no such address is Los Feliz. The Chandler estate is actually located at 2411 Inverness Avenue. But as you can see below, both addresses point to the same spot, which leads me to believe that the home was originally numbered 2330 Hillhurst. In its early days, the Chandler estate boasted five acres. The majority of the land was sold off over the years, though, and the residence currently sits on 0.83 acres. I am guessing that the address was changed to 2411 Inverness at some point due to that division of land, leading Invasion fans to believe that the residence was no longer. Thankfully though, it is still standing in its original state.
The interior of the Belicec home was also shown in two Invasion of the Body Snatchers scenes, but I am uncertain if the the Chandler estate’s actual interior (if filming did, in fact, take place there) was used or a set. I am leaning toward the latter, though.
In 1985, the estate was used in a few Season 4 episodes of Falcoln Crest as the home of Gustav Riebmann (Paul Fremann), although very little of it could be seen in the episodes.
The Chandler estate was also where Matthew Winfield (a very young George Clooney) hid out in the Season 3 episode of Hunter titled “Double Exposure,” which aired in 1987. Both the exterior . . .
. . . and the interior of the property appeared in the episode.
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Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Chandler estate, from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, is located at 2411 Inverness Avenue in Los Feliz.