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Lacy Park from “Say Anything . . . “

Sep 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Movie Locations

Lacy Park from Say Anything-7024

Despite having lived in the San Gabriel Valley for 15 years, I somehow never visited Lacy Park in San Marino.  I had heard of it, sure (the kids I used to babysit would watch fireworks there every Fourth of July), and knew it was a popular recreation spot, but was never exactly certain of its location.  Lacy Park is often called one of San Marino’s “hidden gems” and now that I have been there, I can see why.  Those unaware of its presence could easily drive right by without noticing it at all.  Largely unmarked by signs and its parking lot hidden from view, the site isn’t exactly easy to find.  And, for whatever reason, I never sought it out.  But when Greg Mariotti, from The Uncool website, informed me that a scene from Say Anything . . . had been lensed on the premises (while the two of us were working on our guide to the 1989 movie’s Los Angeles locations), I knew I had to get over there ASAP to see it for myself.

The spot where Lacy Park is now situated was originally home to a lake.  Yes, a lake!  Lake Avenue in Pasadena is named after it, in fact.  Created by streams that poured down from the nearby mountains, the reservoir served as a water supply for the Gabrielino-Tongva Indian tribe in its early days.

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  In the 1770s, Spanish missionaries descended upon the area and dammed up the lake in order to use it for power.

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The mere got further use – and slowly began to dry up – in 1854 when a vintner named Benjamin D. Wilson purchased it, as well as a significant amount of surrounding acreage, and started employing the water to irrigate his vineyards.  He eventually allowed owners of neighboring land to also utilize the spring, which he dubbed “Wilson Lake,” depleting it significantly.

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In 1900, the site, which had been renamed “Kewen Lake,” was still large enough for swimming and George S. Patton, who grew up in the area, would take regular dips there.  (There’s even a memorial to the General on the property – it’s pictured below.)

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In the ensuing years, the reservoir continued to reduce in size, becoming little more than a pond.  The city of San Marino decided the grounds would be better utilized as a public park and began re-imagining it as such in 1924.

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City councilman William Hertrich and landscape designer Armin Thurnher helped devise the bucolic space, which opened to the public as Lacy Park, named in honor of San Marino’s then mayor Richard H. Lacy, in 1925.

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The 30-acre idyll is easily one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.

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Lacy Park from Say Anything-7008

Situated in the center of the peaceful glen is a huge, open expanse of rolling lawn, surrounded by two walking loops (one measuring 3/4 mile and the other measuring 1 mile) framed by a mass of trees on all sides.  Much of the foliage, which includes oak, sycamore, and palm trees, was donated by railroad mogul Henry E. Huntington, whose estate – now the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens – is located just blocks away.  Lacy Park also boasts a rose arbor, six tennis courts, a baseball field, and a children’s jungle gym.

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Lacy Park from Say Anything-7019

In Say Anything . . . , Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack), Diane Court (Ione Sky) and the rest of Lakewood High’s Class of ‘88 gather with friends and family at Lacy Park immediately following their graduation.



While there, Lloyd surreptitiously poses next to Diane while his BFF Corey Flood (Lili Taylor) snaps a photo.



Lacy Park also pops up in the 2002 thriller One Hour Photo as the spot where Seymour Parrish (Robin Williams) watches Jakob Yorkin (Dylan Smith) play soccer.



Supposedly Bill Cosby shot a movie at Lacy Park, as well, though I am unsure of which movie.  Fellow stalker Chas, of the It’s Filmed There website, recently asked me how I identify all of the productions that have been lensed at a particular location.  My answer?  “I Google the sh*t out of places.”  Winking smile  Well, today’s locale definitely provided the most unusual tip I’ve ever unearthed  regarding filming information.  While up to my usual Google tricks researching Lacy Park, I came across a deposition from the Cosby case (which you can see here and here) in which a plaintiff asserts that she met the actor while he was filming a movie at Lacy Park “in or about 1974.”  Despite the rather unusual nature of the lead, I, of course, felt compelled to figure out which movie she was referring to, but, unfortunately, as of yet, I have not been able to.  The only two that fit the bill as far as timing goes are Let’s Do It Again and Uptown Saturday Night.  While the former is not available for streaming anywhere, I was able to scan through the latter.  Though it does feature a park scene (pictured below), because of the mountains visible in the background and the arid nature of the foliage, I am 99.9% certain that it was shot at Griffith Park, not Lacy.



And while this Outlook Newspapers article says that Monster-in-Law also did some filming at Lacy Park, I scanned through the 2005 movie and did not see it pop up anywhere.

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Lacy Park from Say Anything-7016

For more stalking fun, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Los Angeles magazine and Discover Los Angeles.

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Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: Lacy Park, from Say Anything . . . , is located at 1485 Virginia Road in San Marino.  Be advised – non-area residents have to pay a $4 fee to enter the grounds on weekends.



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  1. Adele says:

    Hi Lindsay, I enjoyed this post. Lacy Park is one of my favorites! I didn’t realize that William Hertrich was involved with the park. But it make sense since he did so much work for Huntington’s Gardens. Such an interesting history!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. […] reason, never had much interest.  But while researching Lacy Park recently in preparation for this post, I came across a 2016 Outlook Newspapers article that chronicled filming in San Marino.  One of […]

  2. […] the ultra-modern pad after coming across this The Straight Dope message board while researching Lacy Park, another of the 2002 thriller’s locations.  In the thread, user Ins&Outs&What-have-yous […]

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