Friday, January 3, 2014
L.A. CAMEO: The Early Los Angeles of TNT's "Mob City"
You may remember last summer I posted some pics from the set of Frank Darabont's new Los Angeles noir-themed TNT drama "Mob City" (back then it was still being called "Lost Angels"), including the meticulously constructed re-creation of 1940s-era City Hall. At the time, I chatted with location manager Scott Poole (who also works on "Mad Men"), who lamented all of the renovation and gentrification taking place downtown. It's great for the city, but alas, not good for productions looking to re-create old L.A.
"The surge of money being put in downtown (is a problem for us)," he told me. "The places we've filmed over the part 20 years that had still been intact, they're all being renovated."
Still, Poole and his team did a good job utilizing the spots that can still double for 1940s L.A. And the show also managed to balance a mix of real and faux locations. See below for images from the second episode of "Mob City."
This is 1947 Los Angeles, so here's a Red Car from the Sunset line.
Alexa Davalos (as Jasmine Fontaine) steps off the Red Car.
The Hollywood outpost of Miceli's (where interiors were also filmed for a scene).
This may be my favorite detail of the whole episode: A newspaper stand with the "Los Angeles Examiner" logo on it. (The Examiner, of course, was famous for emphasizing its Black Dahlia coverage during the year that "Mob City" is set.)
Here's some creative license. Obviously the seedy Bunker Hill of that era is long gone, so it's all up to the producers to create something. "Bunker Hill Bill's" never existed, but for the purpose of "Mob City" it did.
You can't do a period Los Angeles drama without a Union Station scene! And it looks great here.
Davalos, as Jasmine, strolls inside. Luckily, there's still plenty of Union Station that looks authentically straight out of the 1940s.
A flashback in the episode takes us back to a re-creation of how 1920s downtown L.A. must have felt like.
My other favorite shot from this episode: In the 1927 flashback, you catch a glimpse of City Hall (completed in 1928) under construction.