Venice California History Site -
Movie Making in
Venice and Ocean Park
Revised August 18, 2013
Venice's unique architecture, canal network and amusement piers provided Hollywood's newly established motion picture industry with colorful settings for early silent pictures. Thomas Ince was one of the first to bring a motion picture camera crew to Venice. Rivals studios like Bison, Biograph, Vitagraph and Liberty were quick to follow. Movie companies became so numerous and disruptive to business, that for a time in 1915, there was talk of banning them from Venice's streets. However, no action was taken, and in later years movies like Buster Keaton's "The Camera Man" and several "Our Gang" comedies were filmed along the beach and on the pier. Harold Lloyd leaped from a canal bridge, Mary Pickford was rowed down the Grand Canal and Mabel Norman emerged from the ocean beside the pier with a fish on her head. Some Keystone and Max Sennett Comedies were also filmed in Venice.
Venice was also a favorite of Hollywood's stars. Many purchased homes and summer cottages to enjoy the beach life. Charlie Chaplin in the 20's rented a penthouse apartment at the Waldorf Hotel on Ocean Front Walk. Night life at cabarets like the Ship Cafe and King George Hotel's roof garden attracted many screen celebrities. Private parties, like the one in 1937 given by Carole Lombard at the Venice Pier's Fun House, were attended by stars like Cary Grant, Virginia Field, Dennis O'Keefe and others.
Even after World War II, when Venice lost its amusement piers and acquired a seedy, run down look, movie producers took advantage of its locale. Orson Wells in 1958 converted downtown Venice into a Mexican border town and installed a border crossing on Ocean Front Walk. Roger Corman used Venice as a locale for his horror movies.
Currently there are several independent studios in Venice. Producer/director Tony Bill's studio is on Market Street and Roger Corman's studio is located on Main Street. Arnold Schwarzeneggar's offices are on Main Street above his restaurant Schatzi. There are also several digital production houses like Digital Domain in Venice. Many actors, producers, directors, screen writers, cinema photographers, and movie stars live in Venice. Those living in the Venice canals include Matt Groening (Simpson's creator), Ed O'Neil (Married with Children), Eric von Denton (Disney movies), Orson Bean (Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman) and his wife Alley Mills (Wonder Years). Those living along the beach south of Venice Boulevard to the Marina Channel include Wesley Snipes, and Nicholas Cage (recently moved). Others living in other sections of the community are Julia Roberts, Oliver Stone, and Dennis Hopper.
CONSIDER THIS LIST A WORK IN PROGRESS. It is definitely incomplete, often inaccurate and sometimes plain wrong. While I've personally viewed many of these movies, others and especially television shows were input by others. Marc Wanamaker, a noted film archivist and historian, supplied many of the more obscure films, especially the silents. If you wish to add or correct, even submit names of particular TV show episodes, SEND E-MAIL or if it isn't available contact: Jeffrey Stanton 12525 Allin St. Los Angeles, California 90066
Please send E-Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Never Again! (Biograph) starring Mary Pickford & Billy Quirk (short)- 1910
|Charlie Chaplin in Venice on the set of "Kid at the Auto Races."|
Number, Please (Hal Roach) starring Harold Lloyd & Mildred Davis (short) - 1920
Story concerns the fate of two men who are jilted and how they decide to end it all. Lloyd decides to ride himself to death at an amusement pier. Filmed on the Ocean Park's Pickering Pier and on the Blarney Racer coaster.
High Sign ( ) starring Buster Keaton (short)- 1921
Buster is thrown off a train near an amusement park. He gets a job running a shooting gallery on the Venice Pier run by the Blinking Buzzards mob. In his quest to earn more money he obtains a job as a body guard at the same time as he gets a job to assassinate the same man he is assigned to protect. Scenes on the Venice Pier.
Sheik of Hollywood ( ) starring Fred Caldwell and Gale Henry (short) - 1922
The story concerns the owner of a shooting gallery. Much of the action takes place on the Race Thru the Clouds roller coaster on the Venice Lagoon (along Grand near the present day traffic circle).
Balloonatic ( ) starring Buster Keaton (short) - 1923
The short is supposed to be at Coney Island but shot in Venice and on the Ocean Park Pier in the early part of the film. Keaton then climbs up to put a flag on a passenger balloon, but the balloon escapes with him on top.
Abysmal Brute (Universal) starring Reginal Denny & Mable Scott - 1923
Story of a boxer who rescues a man from drowning. He then meets a society woman who he falls in love with despite their different social status. A Jack London story that used the interior of the Venice Plunge for filming.
Tire Trouble (Hal Roach - Our Gang Comedy) - 1923
Wealthy gentleman is coerced by wife and doctors into believing he is sick with gout. When he sees the gang of kids heading to the beach, he tags along and treats them at the Venice amusement pier.
Century Comedy Kids - Speedboys - 1924
Two 13 year olds, one white and one black are hired to operate the Venice Miniature Railroad, one as an enginner and the other as the conductor. Each has girls flirting with them, and the engineer lets a girl ride with him on the locomotive, but tosses her friend off. The rebuked boy decides to get even and dressed as a girl is picked up by the enginner who finds him/her prettier. During his break near at Windward, they ride on the pier's Caterpillar circular ride which has a canopy that closes over the riders to encourage kissing unseen. Afterwards the boy/girl removes his dress to the negineer's suprise. Scenes shot at the Venice Miniature Roundhouse, along Washington Blvd. across the Riveria canal bridge, and at its trunaround at Windward and Trolleyway.
No Father to Guide Him (Hal Roach) starring Charlie Chase (short) - 1925
Charlie's battle-axe mother-in-law breaks up his marriage and tries to separate him from his son, Charlie abducts the boy for a father-son outing on the beach, while his mother-in-law pursues. Shot on Venice boardwalk and beach.
It (Paramount) starring Clara Bow and Antonio Moreno - 1927
Clara Bow and her employer visit the Venice Pier near the end of the film. The scene of the spinning saucer is in Venice's Fun House.
Sugar Daddies (MGM / Hal Roach) starring Laurel & Hardy (short) - 1927
Scenes of the movie, where Stan Laurel disguises himself as Hardy's, wife, were shot on the Venice Amusement Pier. They and a rich man, who had married a woman while drunk the previous night, are chased by her family down the pier and into the Venice Fun House. A four to five minute segment shows the entrance stage with air jets, the slides, rotating barrels, moving sidewalks, etc.
|Laurel & Hardy at the Venice Fun House in the movie Sugar Daddies.|
Dark City (Paramount) starring Don Defore, Charleton Heston, Jack Webb - 1950
Heston plays a cynical gambler who cheats a business of his investment money in a poker game. When the man commits suicide his psychotic brother is out to kill the players of the poker game. Heston travels to Los Angeles to meet with the widow and find out what the brother looks like. He takes her and her son to a seaside amusement park in Ocean Park. During a one to two minute sequence, there is some stock ride footage of the Venice and Ocean Park Piers and a scene along the Ocean Park Pier with some rides in the background. The brief scenes aren't worth watching considering the length of the movie.
Hollywood Story (Universal) starring Richard Conti, Julie Adams - 1950
A murder mystery where a producer makes a picture in an attempt to uncover the culprit. One scene shows the exterior of Jack's at the Beach on the Ocean Park Pier.
Quicksand (United Artists) starring Mickey Rooney, Jeanne Cagney, Peter Loore - 1950
An auto mechanic "borrows" $20 from his boss' cash register. Loore plays the part of a sleazy penny arcade owner. Filmed on the Ocean Park Pier.
Big Night (United Artists) starring John Barrymore, Jr. & Joseph Losey - 1951
This movie is the brooding account of a rebellious teenager. Scenes were shot along Venice's Grand Canal.
Man in the Dark (Columbia) starring Edmond O'Brien & Audrey Totter - 1953
First 3-D movie from a major studio. A thug is convicted and experimental surgery is performed on him to remove the criminal element in his brain. He loses his memory, but after he is released is kidnapped by his old cronies who want to find out where he stashed the loot. He eventually, through a series of vivid dreams recovers his memory. The climax is at an eerily-lit amusement park. The gangsters chase O'Brien onto the Ocean Park Pier's Hi-Boy roller coaster. The Toonerville Fun House, Whip ride, and various concession booths along the midway can be seen in black and white 3-D.
A Slight Case of Larceny (MGM) starring Mickey Rooney - 1953
Story of two army buddies who open a gas station, but when an oil company opens a rival station across the street, they survive by tapping into their pipeline. There are scenes shot at Venice's beach.
Touch of Evil (Universal) starring Charlton Heston - 1958
Although director Orson Wells disguised Venice's downtown business district as a Mexican border town, it shows Venice before much of its historic buildings were torn down in the early 60's. The opening few minutes features a two block long moving dolly shot along Windward Avenue and Ocean Front Walk. The border crossing is on Ocean Front Walk and several chase scenes are through the oil fields along the beach south of Washington Street.
Bucket of Blood (Alta Vista Films) starring Dick Miller, Barbara Morris - 1959
This is a Roger Corman beatnik horror spoof. Part of it was filmed at the Gas House coffee house on Ocean Front Walk and Market.
Crime and Punishment, U.S.A. ( ) starring George Hamilton, Mary Murphy - 1959
A law student becomes involved in robbery and murder. Thornton Tower at Speedway and Thornton was the home of Hamilton, who plays a paranoid Venice beatnik.
Night Tide (Virgo Films) starring Dennis Hopper & Linda Lawson - 1961
A sailor searches for a mysterious woman posing as a mermaid at a seaside carnival. Scenes are on the Santa Monica and Ocean Park piers and in the Venice area.
Inside Daisy Clover (Warner) starring Robert Redford & Natalie Wood - 1964
Wood playing a teenager, marries matinee idol Redford to get her name in the gossip columns. There is a scene in the Venice Canals on a canal bridge.
Two on a Guillotine (Warner) starring Connie Stevens, Dean Jones, Caesar Romero - 1965
Two people receive an inheritance and must spend a night in a haunted house. There are scenes of them riding on Pacific Ocean Park's sky ride and on the Sea Serpent roller coaster.
Hold On! - Herman Hermits (Peter Noone, Karl Green & Keith Hapwood) - 1966
The British singing group is on a tour of Los Angeles and visit Pacific Ocean Park where they ride the roller coaster and several other rides. Reviewers rate this musical as awful.
Wild Angels (AIP) starring Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra - 1966
Roger Corman's movie is about a destructive motorcycle gang. Its opening scene along Venice's decaying canals shows Peter Fonda blasting his motorcycle up a sidewalk where a woman is wheeling a baby carriage.
I Love You Alice B. Toklas (Warner) starring Peter Sellers & Jo Van Fleet - 1968
Comedy of a freaked-out mild mannered lawyer who meets a girl who is a Venice 60's hippie. Numerous boardwalk scenes populated by hippies and Sellers buys something from an outdoor stand on Windward Avenue.
They Shoot Horses Don't They (Palomar) starring Jane Fonda & Gig Young - 1969
This movie, which depicts the grueling dance marathons of the late 1920's and 30's, was filmed in the old Aragon Ballroom on Venice's Lick Pier. The novel that was filmed was inspired by a real murder of a dance marathon contestant under the Ocean Park Pier in either the late 1920's or early 1930's. Have been unable to find the news articles, but reported to be in the Santa Monica Evening Outlook. Contact me if anyone knows!
(Reported to have Venice / Ocean Park scenes by various sources, including those silent films that I have publicity photos).
IF YOU HAVE SEEN ANY OF THESE MOVIES RECENTLY - SEND E-MAIL.
Never Again (Biograph) starring Mary Pickford & Mack Senett- 1910
Definitely in Venice but where shot ???
Calamity Anne movie (American Film Mfg.) starring Louise Lester, Jack Richardson & Jack Kerrigan - 1912
An article in Moving Picture World reported that they brought the stars, a number of cowboys, and their famous burro from Santa Barbara to Venice to film a number of scenes in Venice. Where shot???
The Italian (Paramount) starring George Beban, Clara Williams - 1915
Story of a Venetian gondolier who falls in love with an American girl. He follows her to New York City. Although most of the slums of New York scenes were shot on a set in Santa Ynez Canyon (Pacific Palisades), the canals scenes (Venice, Italy) were shot in Venice California.
Ambrose's Fury (Keystone) starring Keystone Cops - 1915
Keystone Cops short. Reported to be filmed in Venice near or on various roller coasters. Where shot exactly ???
Love, Loot and Crash (Keystone) starring Keystone Cops - 1915
Keystone cops short. Reported to be filmed in Ocean Park. Where?
They Were on Their Honeymoon starring Eddie Lyons, Victoria Forde - 1915
Reported to be shot on one of the amusement piers but haven't seen it.
Jimmy Aubrey Comedy Series (Vitagraph) - 1916
Shot in Venice and Santa Monica but where ??
Poppy (Selznick) - starring Norma Talmadge, Eugene O'brien & Max Swan - 1917
An orphan girl in Africa is rescued by a man. He marries the girl and takes her to London. Scenes on Venice Beach with a donkey???
Maggie Pepper (Paramount) starring Elliott Dexter, Ethel Clayton - 1919
Scenes shot at the Ocean Park Pier.
Perils of the Beach (E & R Jungle Film) starring Napoleon & Sally - 1919
These stars are chimps. There is a production still of two monkeys rolling girls in barrels on beach. Where shot???
Dad's Knockout ( ) staring "Smiling" Billy Parsons - 1919
A Lady's Tailor (Mack Sennett/Paramount) starring Ford Sterling - 1919
Where shot besides beach near Ocean Park Pier ???
Smiling Billy Parsons in Dad's Knockout( ) starring Billy Parsons - 1919
Comedy plot in pursuit of girls unknown, but on the beach next to Ocean Park Pier.
Her Face Value (Paramount) starring Wanda Hawley & T. Roy Barnes - 1921
A movie still shows Wanda on the Pickering Pier with the Blarney Racer in the background.
Nize Baby (Goldwyn) - 1922
Scenes shot at the Ocean Park Pier. Note: The short may not have been released.
Ain't We Got Fun (Warner) - 1924
Might be shot at the Ocean Park and/or Venice Piers.
Don't (MGM) starring Sally O'Neil & John Patrick - 1926
Shows scenes on the Venice Pier.
Beauty and the Bump (Skylark Comedy) starring Nita Cavalier, Perry Murdock & Robert Page - 1927
A young couple on a Circle Swing is harassed by a bully. To make matters worse, the young man is asked by the girl to have the bumps on his head read by a fortune teller to make her happy. His lack of bumps is part of the comedy. Which pier is it shot at ???
Lonesome ( ) starring Barbara Kent, Glenn Tryon - 1928
Two lonely people in the big city meet and enjoy the thrills of an amusement park. They lose each other in the crowd after spending a great day together. One reader E-mailed me that he was sure it was shot on the Venice Amusement Pier because he recognized a publicity shot that I used in my Venice history book. Trouble is that I can't find a video of the movie to view.
First Aid ( ) starring Margerie Beebe, Grant Withers - 1931
An alcoholic doctor works with an ambulance team. His brother gets involved with jewel thieves and gangsters. Shot in Venice & Ocean Park. Where???
Sky Devils (United Artists) starring Spencer Tracey, William Boyd - 1932
Two dumbbells try to avoid WW1 military service as they try to go AWOL in Europe. Tracey was a former life guard, and the beginning of the picture is supposed to have scenes of the Venice Plunge and boardwalk.
Racing Strain (Maxim) starring Wallace Reid, Jr. , Dickie Moore - 1932
A drunken race car driver falls for a girl. Where shot in Venice???
The Gay Divorce (RKO) starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers - 1936
Scenes shot on an amusement pier. Where???
All Over Town ( ) starring Chic Johnson, Mary Howard, Harry Stockwell - 1937
Two zanies try to stage a show in a theater that has a reputation for being jinxed. Reported by Bill Fegie that there is a scene shot on Ocean Park Pier's Hi-Boy coaster where two people ride with a seal.
Maid's Night Out ( ) starring Joan Fontaine, Allan Lane, Billy Gilbert - 1938
A rich man's father won't finance his scientfic expedition to the south seas unless he work's in his father's dairy delivering milk. (He can't miss a delivery). Naturally he falls in love with a girl who is a maid, and after he gets arrested, she covers for him on his route while he is in jail. Bill Figie reports scenes shot on the Ocean Park amusement pier where they ride a coaster to avoid others. Where shot???
Good Old Corn ( ) - 1943
This appears to be a comedy documentary using archive footage of actors like Laurel and Hardy, etc. A reader with an 8 mm print says the film has scenes of Venice Beach which is obvious from this list of individual comedy shorts ??
Bunco Squad (RKO) starring Robert Sterling, Joan Dixon - 1948
The police look for fraud throughout Los Angeles. One case takes them to Venice. Where shot???
Sideshow (Monogram) starring Don McGuire & Tracy Roberts - 1950
Gem thieves use a carnival side show as their front. A production still shows a shot of the interior of a roller coaster station, and while it could be Ocean Park, Long Beach or some place else might be its location.
Dementia( ) starring Adrienne Barrett, Ben Roseman & Lucille Houlian- 1955
This film with no dialogue, but narrated by Ed McMahon, explores the horrors of a woman's insane mind. After see wakes up in a cheap hotel room, the film follows her through a skid row night. Venice was a perfect locale, expecially the Windward area with its dark alleys for a seedy part of town, particularily at night. She encounters an abusive husband, a wino, a pimp, and a rich man who she panders for as she is pursued through the streets. There are flashbacks to her traumatic childhood.
The Beat Generation - starring Mamie van Doren, Steve Cochran - 1959
A detective is assigned to track down and capture a crazed serial rapist of a married woman. Shows wild, weird world of beatniks. Where shot in Venice???
Once Upon a Knight (Olympic) starring Virginia Gordon, Frank James - 1961
An insurance investigator, who is allergic to nude women, must recover a stolen painting of a nude. His search leads to Venice where he is led on a wild chase by nude beatniks called Nudeniks. Is this a comedy? Where shot in Venice??
The Chapman Report (Warner) starring Efrem Zimbalist, Shelley Winters, - 1962
Sexual researchers come to a suburban community to do a statistical survey. The Coaster Movie Directory by Andy Bolin mentions that a man and woman ride on the Ocean Skyway at Pacific Ocean Park and the Sea Serpent Coaster appears in the background.
Girls on the Beach (aka Summer of 1964) (Paramount) starring Noreen Corcoran and Martin West - 1965
Girls of Alpha Beta need to raise $10,000 to save their sorority stage a beauty contest and a baking contest. When three guys hit the beach with love on their minds, bragging that they known the Beatles, the girls plan a concert with them as headliners. The Beach Boys sing two songs in this comedy. Where shot on the Ocean Park beach???
The Money Trap (MGM) starring Glenn Ford, Rita Hayworth - 1966
This is a detective yarn. The Coaster Movie Directory by Andy Bolin says that there is ride footage of Pacific Ocean Park's Sea Serpent coaster. Also shows the Banana Train ride.
Invaders - 1968
An alien space ship lands on earth and Pacific Ocean Park becomes the escape route. Scenes of the abandoned decaying amusement pier. Sorry, I haven't seen it.
The Big Fix ( ) starring Richard Dyeyfuss, Susan Anspach - 1978
Dreyfuss is a private detective, who joins with a radical ex-girlfriend. She is working for a man running for governor, but his campaign is in jeopardy because of flyer with a doctored photo. They go underground to find out who is behind it. One night he goes to her house and finds her murdered. Reported scenes along the boardwalk and at Israel Levin Senior Center. Where shot?
Skatetown USA - starring Patrick Swayze, Flip Wilson, Scott Baio, Ron Palillo - 1979
A disco musical set in a typical roller disco palace (none located in Venice) where a race is scheduled. The clean-cut good guy is pitted against a black leather-clad heavy. Reported to be some outdoor roller skating stunts in Venice. Where shot in Venice??
Slumber Party Massacre ( ) starring Michelle Michaels, Robin Stille - 1982
A mass murderer has escaped from prison. The girls basketball team at Venice High holds an overnight party. But as the boys clown around, the killer kills them one at a time. Where shot in Venice??
Fletch ( ) starring Chevy Chase - 1985
Plays a smart ass undercover reporter (often in disguise) who goes after a major drug ring at Venice Beach. Where shot?
Hot Moves ( ) starring Michael Zorek, Adam Solbar - 1985
Four boys who are virgins make it a project to get laid that summer. A perverted fat kid, who lives in a house facing the beach, uses a telescope to spy on the girls. Where shot??
Seventh Sign (Columbia) starring Demi Moore, Mike Biehn, Jurgen Prochnow - 1988
Horror movie where pregnant Moore character is convinced the apocalypse is near, and her boarder wants her baby for his end-of-world scenario. Where shot in Venice???
Dad (Amblin) starring Jack Lemmon, Ted Danson and Olympia Dukakis - 1989
Businessman attempts to make an emotional bond with his aging father. Where shot in Venice ??
Ted and Venus (aka Love in Venice)( ) starring Bud Cort, James Brolin & Kim Adams - 1991
Tale of an obnoxious California misfit who relentlessly pursues his dream woman. He began stalking the woman after he met her at a community resource center when he was seeking low cost housing. He believes love and acceptance means everything, enough to risk one's fate and freedom. Where shot in Venice??
Switch (Columbia) starring Ellen Barkin, Jimmy Smits - 1991
Guy who dies and reaches heaven gets a second chance to return to Earth as a woman. Where shot in Venice???
Venice Bound ( ) starring Carl Wilson Grant, Jackson Price - 1995
Dark comic crime drama where three young strangers meet on Venice Beach and decide to rob an empty house. One is a small time NY gangster on run from his crime boss. Where shot in Venice??
The Truth About Cats and Dogs (20th Century Fox) starring Michael Lehmann, Uma Thurman and Janeane Garofalo - 1996
Guy falls in love with a radio talk show host (Garafalo). Before he meets her, she has her knockout friend (Thurman) substitute for her. Many people think the movie was shot in Venice because there is a ten second scene showing a guy and his dog on a Venice canal bridge, and they have lunch at Abbot's Habit on Abbot Kinney Blvd. However, those are the only scenes in Venice. Most of the movie was shot in Santa Monica, particularly along Palisades Park and on Santa Monica's beach just north of the pier.
Lawrence Welk Show - Series 1951-???
The band leader and his musical variety show played at the Lick Pier's Aragon Ballroom beginning in 1951. One show in the summer of 1958 showed the newly opened Pacific Ocean Park on the adjacent pier.
77 Sunset Strip - episode " Eyewitness; - 1959
About a boy (Jay North) who is in danger. Final scene at Pacific Ocean Park.
Twilight Zone - "Per Chance to Dream" - 1959
Man has a heart condition who lives in fear of his dreams. In his dreams, he goes to an amusement park where a woman lures him on a roller coaster. Rather than ride it again and possibly die, he jumps out the window of an office building. It was filmed on the Hi-Boy (aka Sea Serpent) at Pacific Ocean Park, but the scenes are at night and last only five to ten seconds. Don't watch it hoping to see the park or to experience the ride.
New Steve Allen Show - Season 1 Epsoide 12 - P.O.P.-1961
The variety show was reportably shot at Pacific Ocean Park
Route 66 - episode " Between Hello and Goodbye; - 1962
Tod and Buzz visit Pacific Ocean Park where they encounter two sisters, one bizarre. The suicide of one sister takes place on Bubble Car ride over the ocean.
Twilight Zone - episode "In Praise of Pip" - 1963
Man learns son is wounded in Vietnam. Gangster's boss wounds father and he wanders into closed Pacific Ocean Park where he finds his 10-year-old son. They go on rides; Mirror Maze, etc.
Mod Squad - episode "Bad Man on Campus" - 1967?
Pete, Linc and Julie work undercover to break up an auto theft ring. In the episode, they visit Pacific Ocean Park.
I Spy - episode "Little Boy Lost" - 1966?
Little boy (Ron Howard) borrows a guidance system to attract his father's attention. An adverse party is interested, and he runs away to an amusement park where the I Spy team attempts to protect him from the bad guys. Filmed at Pacific Ocean Park and shows Ron riding several rides including the Octopus and Mahi-Mahi, then leaping over the fence on the south side to the Lick Pier where the Aragon Ballroom was located...
Get Smart - Series 1965-1969; episode "The Wax Max" - 1966
Bumbling agent Maxwell Smart, showing off for 99 at Pacific Ocean Park's shooting gallery, wins a kewpie doll. KAOS, trying to retrieve the plutonium kewpie doll, empties park and captures Max and 99 in Chamber of Horrors filled with terrifying wax images. Unfortunately, except for the exterior shoot-out scenes along the main midway, little is seen in the park. The wax museum is a studio set and the carousel shoot-out is an outdoor portable ride, not the Looff carousel that was inside a building.
Fugitive - Series 1963-1967; Final episode - 1968??
The showdown between Dr. Kidell and the mysterious one-armed man takes place at Venice & Ocean Park's amusement park (Pacific Ocean Park.) The park was bankrupt and closed at the time. The two protagonists sneak around and chase each other past various attractions, then climb the tower.
Man From U.N.C.L.E. - Series 1964-1968; episode 1967
An episode, The Concrete Overcoat Affair, was filmed at Pacific Ocean Park. The bad guys were hiding out at an abandoned amusement park. Scenes on the roller coaster and a chase scene to the end of the pier. The two agent heroes became trapped on the seaside park's aerial bubble cars which traveled over the ocean.
Simon & Simon - Series 1981-1987
The two detectives owned a house in the canals and worked out of a second floor office near the Venice Fishing Pier.
Starsky and Hutch - Series 1975-1979
This series was filmed throughout Venice. Hutch (the blond guy) lived in a small yellow bungalow in the Venice canals during the first season. Since they were always solving crimes committed in Venice, they filmed on many streets.
T.J. Hooker - Series 1982-1985
Several episodes were shot near the Venice Fishing Pier.
Todays FBI - Series 1981-1882
An episode in 1982, involving a bank robbery and car stunts, was shot behind the old Bank of America building at the corner of Main & Windward.
Chips - Series 1977-1983
The officers were often filmed at a hamburger stand on Washington Street near the Venice fishing pier. One reader says that in one episode they chase a gang of thieves on roller skates that steal jewelry on the boardwalk and rob a bank on Windward. One of the characters that the policeman dates, lives in a house on Thornton.
Rockford Files - Series 1974-1980
Several episodes were filmed in the canals.
Burke's Law - Series 1963-1965
Several episodes were filmed in the canals.
Adam 12 - Series 1968
Police from the Pacific Division worked the day shift at Venice Beach. They catch a stolen dune buggy, ticket a nude sunbather, find a drunk at a beach diner. Likely scenes of the beach and boardwalk.
Three's Company - Series 1974-1984
During the opening credits, the bicycle scene is at Venice Beach.
Heart of the City - Series 1986-1987
The police detective and his family lived in a house facing the Venice lagoon in between Marina del Rey and the Peninsula beach (Silver Strand). Exterior scenes were often filmed on the nearby beach & Ocean Front Walk near the Marina entrance channel.
A-Team - Series 1983-1986
Two episodes were filmed on Washington Street and its adjacent Venice fishing pier. It was a popular show then and hundreds of locals watched the day day-long filming. Even I shot photos and managed to obtain autographs.
Real World (MTV) - 1994?
This three month series involved a group of teenagers living in a huge oceanfront cottage at Sunset and O.F. Walk in Venice. It was filmed throughout the Venice area.
Baywatch - Series 1989 - 1995
This series about lifeguards in Southern California used Venice as a setting in approximately 25% of their shows. The action was usually on the beach or along Ocean Front Walk. One episode "Living on the Fault" was filmed in the Venice canals, and another, where they feature those musical video montages (Toby is being followed by a dozen teen girls) was filmed on the Lighthouse Bridge and on an abandoned concrete oil platform on the canal along the Venice (Marina) Peninsula.
Baywatch Nights - 1995
Episodes of this TV detective spinoff, were filmed at various locales throughout Venice and Santa Monica.
Pacific Blue - 1996 - 1997
This new series about Venice's L.A.P.D. Beach Detail. Scenes filmed along the boardwalk and beach in Venice.
Gilmore Girls - 2003
There is an episode near the end of the Rory's graduation year when her wild boy friend Jess runs away from Stars Hollow and his uncle to live with his real father in Venice California. It was intended as a spinoff to a new series, but the producers decided it would be too expensive to film on location. There is a scene of Windward Avenue where Jess arrives by bus. He walks along Ocean Front Walk, then down to the beach. There are also scenes at the carousel on the Santa Monica Pier and inside Small World Books on the Boardwalk.
Just Legal - 2005
Series about a burned-out grizzled Venice Beach attorney (Don Johnson), who is reluctantly teamed with a teenage genius lawyer (Jay Baruchel), who believes in justice, and renews the faith of the older lawyer. Johnson has his law office in a building on the corner of Windward and Pacific, and the young attorney lives in Venice. There were several scenes along the Venice Boardwalk, and in the sidewalk cafes. The trials were at the Santa Monica Courthouse. The series was cancelled after four episodes.
Freak Show - 2013 AMC Cable
Reality (8 episodes) show about Todd Ray's Freak Show along Venice Beach. Located along the Boardwalk between Brooks Avenue and Breeze Walk, it showcases over 60 alive two-headed animals and a 10 act freak show starring his sword swallowing daughter Asia and freaks of all kinds from a bearded lady to the smallest man in the world.