Lake View Medical Center from “Beverly Hills, 90210”Sep 25th, 2015 | By Lindsay | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations
In researching today’s post, I put in several hours scanning through countless Season 1 and Season 2 episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210. Time well spent as far as I’m concerned! This was all due to a comment left on my blog last October by a reader named Vanessa Laine who said that the now defunct Lake View Medical Center in Lakeview Terrace was the hospital that appeared in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. I immediately got to perusing the internet for more information on the site and came across this 1991 Los Angeles Times article which mentioned that 90210 was doing some filming on the premises at the time. A location that had been used in both fave show 90210 AND fave movie Don’t Tell Mom? It was like a dream come true! So I ran right out to stalk the place. It wasn’t until yesterday, though, that I was able to figure out (with some help from my buddy Mike, from MovieShotsLA) which 90210 episode the former hospital had appeared in.
Lake View Medical Center was originally built in 1960 and served as a working hospital until it went bankrupt in 1986. Shortly thereafter, the Phoenix House organization made plans to purchase the 14.5-acre property and turn it into a drug rehabilitation facility for teens, but opposition from local residents thwarted those plans. The location remained vacant for the next several years while lengthy negotiations took place between Phoenix House and the city. During that time, it was used regularly for filming. Negotiations over the site finally ended in December 1992 and the Phoenix House Academy in Los Angeles opened its doors in 1994.
Virtually none of the property can currently be seen from the street, which is not surprising considering its function as a drug rehabilitation center.
According to the Los Angeles Times article, Beverly Hills, 90210 had filmed on the premises in late November 1991. Because he is such an expert on the show, I sent Mike a text asking if he could recall any episodes from around that time period that involved a hospital. He responded seconds later saying, “Yeah, there are two hospital scenes in ‘A Walsh Family Christmas.’” As it turns out, he was right on the money! What can I say? When it comes to 90210, he is the man! In the episode, Lake View Medical Center first stood in for the Albuquerque, New Mexico hospital where Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering) went to retrieve his birth certificate.
Only the interior of Lake View appeared in the scene. The establishing shot of the hospital is of a different location (one that looks so familiar to me, but that I just cannot place). UPDATE – The Grim Cheaper just read this post and said, “Isn’t that building at Warner Bros. Studio?” He was right! He has only been on the tour twice, while I have been a good 25 times, yet he was the one to recognize it! As it turns out, the exterior of the Steve’s hospital is Warner Bros. Building 136.
The same building was also used as John Connor’s (Thomas Dekker) high school in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Later in “A Walsh Family Christmas,” Lake View masked as the mental hospital where Emily Valentine (Christine Elise) had been placed a few episodes prior after trying to light the gang’s homecoming parade float on fire. In the spirit of Christmas (and completing ignoring the fact that she spiked his drink with U4EA), Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestley) visits Emily in the episode and gifts her with his Minnesota Twins jersey.
As you can see below, the tall wooden doors that appeared in each scene are a match to each other.
West Hills Hospital and Medical Center, located at 7300 Medical Center Drive in West Hills, was used for the exterior of Emily’s hospital in the episode.
Once I had pinpointed Lake View’s appearance in “A Walsh Family Christmas,” I searched through numerous other early episodes that involved hospitals thinking it might have been featured in those, as well, but no such luck. As far as I can tell, Lake View only appeared on 90210 once.
In Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, Lake View stood in for River Ridge Hospital, where Kenny Crandell (Keith Coogan) took his little brother, Walter (Robert Hy Gorman), after he fell off the roof. I had quite a bit of trouble pinpointing the area of Lake View that was used as the exterior of the hospital in the scene – so much so that I started to doubt Vanessa’s tip. As it turns out, the building featured in the movie is not part of the Phoenix House complex, but is the neighboring Community Charter Middle School. From what I have been able to gather, the structure did originally belong to Lake View Medical Center, but was sold off at some point after the site was shuttered.
Though the front overhang has since been removed, the building is still very recognizable from its Don’t Tell Mom appearance.
The interior of Lake View was also featured in the movie.
As you can see below, once again the tall wooden doors seen in Don’t Tell Mom are a match to what was shown on 90210.
Lake View also popped up in Beverly Hills Cop III as the spot where Det. Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) took Uncle Dave Thornton (Alan Young) after he had been shot.
As you can see below, Don’t Tell Mom and Beverly Hills Cop III utilized the exact same area of the hospital.
Lake View Medical Center was featured extensively in the 1993 drama Mr. Jones as the place where Mr. Jones (Richard Gere) was institutionalized after having several manic episodes.
There are those tall wooden doors again!
Lake View was also where Abby Quinn’s (Demi Moore) doctor worked in the 1988 thriller The Seventh Sign.
You can see the Don’t Tell Mom building through the window in the screen capture below.
The complex was perhaps most famously used in 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, in which it masked as the Pescadero State Hospital of California where Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) was institutionalized.
At the time, it looked a bit different than it does today due to the fact that the parking lot was then located in the area just south of the hospital.
Today, the parking lot is situated just west of the hospital building and there is currently grass covering the former parking area.
On a Beverly Hills, 90210 side-note – I just came across this amazing blog that recaps the show and its fashion, and it had me in absolute hysterics! You’ve gotta check it out. Best part? The author is 100% Team Brenda. A woman after my own heart!
Big THANK YOU to fellow stalker Vanessa for finding this location and to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for helping me to identify its appearance in Beverly Hills, 90210.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Phoenix House Academy in Los Angeles, aka the former Lake View Medical Center from Beverly Hills, 90210, is located at 11600 Eldridge Avenue in Lakeview Terrace. Please keep in mind that the complex is a working drug rehabilitation facility. The building used as the exterior of River Ridge Hospital in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead is the Community Charter Middle School located next door at 11500 Eldridge Avenue.