Author Archives: Scout

How Not To Exit A Parking Garage

One more fun one from the Biltmore, where I’ve spent the past week prepping/filming… Swing around to the Grand Ave side… Look above the arched entrance… And you’ll notice a patched section of bricks about the size of a car: As it turns out, this isn’t a coincidence – on the other side is the hotel’s parking garage. I’m told ... Read More »

That Time The Ghostbusters Destroyed A Los Angeles Hotel

Way back in 2009, I did my very first Scouting NY then-and-now look at the movie Ghostbusters to see how the city had changed 25 years after its production. Except I ran into one minor problem: not all of the movie was shot in New York. Astute readers may have noticed I left out one of the film’s most iconic ... Read More »

Where The Dam Collapsed: Exploring The Ruins of the St. Francis Dam

Just before Christmas, I was driving up north of LA when I happened to notice something odd on the map I was following… A marker for the “St. Francis Dam disaster site.” Pictured below is the St. Francis Dam, located in the remote San Francisquito Canyon. On March 12, 1928, the dam catastrophically failed, flooding all the way to the Pacific 54 ... Read More »

This Gravestone Knows What Card You’ve Chosen

OK, let’s do a magic trick. Think of a card – any card. Got it? Now let’s take a a trip to Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. Head into the cemetery, then bear right in front of the Old North Church (an accurate recreation of the Boston landmark)… Turn left after the church and park, then walk north ... Read More »

A Japanese Palace Hidden in the Hollywood Hills

When I first turned off Franklin onto Sycamore in Hollywood… I honestly didn’t expect to find anything other than the usual tangle of homes clinging precariously to the hills. So as I drove up North Sycamore… …I was a bit surprised to find a steep set of stairs climbing up the hill to my left… …leading to what appeared to ... Read More »

Selfie With A Hand Model

OK, normally I would never ask for pictures with an actor, but I had to make an exception last week… I happened to meet a professional hand model, which is definitely a first. We talked for a bit about the unusual work a hand model runs into, and she was nice enough to pose with my meaty mitt (VERY cold ... Read More »

Scouting The Tower of Terror in Los Angeles

Last week, I was scouting the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles when I suddenly got the strangest feeling… As I was taking pictures of the lobby, with its gorgeous Moorish Revival vaulted ceiling, a thought hit me without warning: I’ve been here before. Except I hadn’t. This was my first visit to the Biltmore – and yet something ... Read More »

Philip Marlowe’s Los Angeles: Tracking Down The Real 1930s Locations of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep

Your name’s Marlowe. You’re a private detective. The year is 1939, the city is Los Angeles, and you’re about to embark on one of the most famous murder mysteries in history: The Big Sleep. The best part of your hard-boiled adventures? The Los Angeles locations you refer to are all real. Oh, sure, you use fake street names and addresses, ... Read More »