The Occult Store from “The Craft”Oct 26th, 2015 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
I often receive emails from fellow stalkers who are planning trips to Los Angeles and want some help in tracking down a favorite film or television location. The emails always give me a pang of recognition. I was that stalker once upon a time. During one of my first trips to L.A., I was absolutely desperate to see the Walsh house from Beverly Hills, 90210. I had forgotten my trusty tour book at home, though. This was long before the days of filming location blogs and websites, so without the book I was pretty much out of luck. I knew the house was somewhere in Altadena, so my mom and I headed that way and I asked literally everyone I encountered if they could point me in the right direction. No one could, but I did finally make it to Casa Walsh that day and finally seeing it in person was worth all the work it took to get me there. Assisting fellow stalkers in similar quests is one of the reasons I started this site. So when I received an email back in May from a reader named Nathan who was desperate to track down the occult store from the 1996 horror/fantasy flick The Craft before an upcoming trip to L.A., I promised him I would help. I was having a little trouble finding the place, though, so I called upon expert stalker Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and he wound up tracking it down within minutes. Thank you, Mike! Nathan was floored over Mike’s find and ventured over there while in town this past July. I loved hearing about his visit and how meaningful it was for him to be there. Figuring the place would be perfect for my Haunted Hollywood posts, I, too, ran out to stalk it recently.
The occult shop from The Craft is located in Hollywood’s El Adobe Studio Building. The small Spanish-style strip mall was originally built in 1928 and, according to the You Are Here website, was designed by architects Arthur Kelly and Joe Estep.
In the book The Story of Hollywood, author Gregory Paul Williams contends that the site was the “world’s first mini-mall,” constructed on farmland owned by D.P. Baldwin. Of the evolution of the property, Williams says, “The original farmer’s stalls later became a grocery store. Baldwin created the L-shaped building around it as rental spaces for artists who worked in the movies.” That grocery store, El Adobe Market, still operates on the premises today. You can check out a 1935 image of the El Adobe Studio Building here and one from 1970 here. As you can see, not much of the complex has changed over the years.
Along with the El Adobe Market, today the center houses a pharmacy, a furniture store, and several live-work studio office spaces. You can check out some interior photos of an El Adobe office that is currently for rent here. What an incredibly cool place to work!
The occult store makes a few appearances in The Craft. It first pops up in the beginning of the movie, in the scene in which Nancy Downs (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell), and Rochelle (Rachel True) take Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney), the new girl in school, shopping. The women return to the store several times throughout the flick.
Though the whole El Adobe Studio Building is featured in the movie, the actual storefront that served as the occult shop is located in the northwest corner of the complex.
I originally thought that the storefront was a part of the Adobe Pharmacy, which stands at the southwest corner of the El Adobe Studio Building, but Nathan ventured inside the drugstore while he was there and that does not appear to be the case. The Craft occult store seems to be a separate space. (Big THANK YOU to Nathan for the photos below!)
I am unsure if the interior of that space was used in the filming of The Craft or if the inside of the occult shop was just a set.
From the way things were shot, though, I would guess interiors were lensed in the actual space.
Unfortunately, that particular unit sits behind a locked fence which bars the interior from view, so I was unable to catch a glimpse of it. I am also unsure of what the space currently houses, but I believe it is some sort of office.
I am fairly certain, though, that if the actual interior was used that it was dressed considerably for the filming and looks quite a bit different in person. I would also guess that the stained glass window shown at the top of the stairs in the movie was a fake.
I am also fairly certain that the occult store from The Craft was based upon Panpipes Magical Marketplace located at 1641 North Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood. The site, which was originally founded in 1961, has the distinction of being the oldest occult shop in the U.S. And it is also a filming location! Panpipes has appeared in such productions as Unsolved Mysteries, Witchboard 2, Dream On, The Rockford Files, Hardball and North Mission Road. The owners also regularly serve as consultants for television shows and movies that deal with metaphysical themes. Interestingly, Fairuza Balk spent quite a bit of time at Panpipes while researching her role for The Craft and wound up buying the place in 1995. The actress owned it through 2001, before selling it to its current owners.
The mural that Sarah and the girls walk by on their way to the occult shop in The Craft is real, though it has been changed since the movie was shot in 1996.
The mural actually appears to change regularly. As you can see below, it looked completely different when Nathan stalked the El Adobe Studio Building in July . . .
. . . than it did when I was there earlier this month.
The cast of The Craft also posed for a promotional still in front of the mural during the filming, which I was pretty floored to come across while researching this post.
Big THANK YOU to fellow stalker Nathan for challenging me to find this location and to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for tracking it down!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: El Adobe Studio Building, aka the occult shop from The Craft, is located at 5201-5209 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Feliz.