Friday, January 03, 2014

L.A. CAMEO: The Early Los Angeles of TNT's "Mob City"

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."

Mob City
This is 1947 Los Angeles, so here's a Red Car from the Sunset line.

Mob City
Alexa Davalos (as Jasmine Fontaine) steps off the Red Car.

Mob City
The Hollywood outpost of Miceli's (where interiors were also filmed for a scene).

Mob City
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.)

Mob City
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.

Mob City
You can't do a period Los Angeles drama without a Union Station scene! And it looks great here.

Mob City
Davalos, as Jasmine, strolls inside. Luckily, there's still plenty of Union Station that looks authentically straight out of the 1940s.

Mob City
A flashback in the episode takes us back to a re-creation of how 1920s downtown L.A. must have felt like.

Mob City
My other favorite shot from this episode: In the 1927 flashback, you catch a glimpse of City Hall (completed in 1928) under construction.

2 comments:

Will Campbell said...

As a fan of old Los Angeles I was disappointed that the show opted to install a fictional (and rather distastefully named) Central Avenue jazz club, but what I couldn't forgive was during a pivotal early scene, the show's ridiculous failure in relocating Baldwin Hills about five miles to the east.

http://tinyurl.com/k2xq9p2

Scott Trimble said...

These were some of the filming locations that I recognized in the first few episodes: L.A. City Hall, Petroleum Building (possibly), Baldwin Hills Oilfields, Universal Studios (New York Streets), Bob's Market in Angelino Heights, Union Station, Miceli's Hollywood, Red Studios, Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, and Disney's Golden Oak Ranch.

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