Feud: Bette and Joan (2017)

Ryan Murphy continues his streak of shows that are a hit with pop culture as well as attracting some of Hollywood’s greatest talent. Feud: Bette and Joan follows the “kind of true” story of the legendary rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The show takes many artistic licenses of people and places for the sake of the story, but for the most part, I think he captured the spirit of these women. During my last trip to LA, I hit up a few of the locations for the show. These are not in any particular episode order as the show revisits some of these spots multiple times. I also drastically lightened up many of the night screenshots for better visual reference.

First up is a visit to Bette Davis’ home in California, one of my favorite finds. With no street number or house number, it seemed like a formidable task, but I immediately recognize the house’s tudor style architecture and located it at 2720 Monte Mar Terrace.  (This is NOT the Donnie Darko house that is being incorrectly touted on other sites.)

My instinct told me Joan Crawford's house was in the Holmby Hills area as it look suspiciously like the home in Postcards From The Edge.  Although my instinct was correct, it was my friend Ian who spotted it at 333 South Beverly Glen Boulevard.  I didn't make it in time for my first trip, so some Google streetview shots for now.

The show was filmed at a few different studios but many of the studio exteriors were at Fox. Not open to the public, I have included some pictures from their site and thestudiotour.com for reference.

The exteriors of the studios where What Ever Happened To Baby Jane was not shot at the actual Producers Studios, which is still standing, but instead at the Lacy Street Studios at 2630 Lacy Street in Los Angeles. I have visited this location a few times and was fortunate enough to get a tour as well. The shots below are not exactly screen specific as I am using photos from previous visits.

In addition to being the studio for the entire series run for Cagney & Lacy, this is best known to horror fans as the youth shelter in A Nightmare on Elm Street 6: Freddy’s Dead.

This spot with the rusty door is quite famous for horror fans.  On the other side of this door is the location for the bathroom in the original Saw.

A few locations were identified by a great location site, onset-hollywood.com, including the house for Bob Aldrich, located at 356 Rimpau Boulevard, less than a block away from a location in the original What Ever Happened To Baby Jane, but more on that later! 

Also not far from that location is the house for Hedda Hopper, located at 554 South Plymouth Boulevard. Obviously not wanting to trespass, I’ve included some pictures from the gate, although most of the shots are in the reverse direction.

Another favorite find was the underground gay theater frequented by Victor Buono. As with Bette’s house, not too many clues to this location, but I was able to figure it out by recognizing the next location for the police department. This is located at the Culver City Library at 4130 Overland Avenue. This spot is actually in the alley next to the building.

I recognized the police department location immediately as I had been to the spot before as the Fresno Police Department for Zodiac.  Located at the library at 4130 Overland Avenue in Culver City, it is adjacent to another favorite location spot, the “Crave Inn” from A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master.

A quick stop to the Ebell at 741 South Lucerne Boulevard for the scene where Joan has one of her first tantrums. I did not revisit this location, but am using photos from a prior time, so they are not screen specific.

The beach scene was shot at the same location as the original Baby Jane movie, Point Dume beach. I did not travel to this location specifically for this movie, so not everything is screen-matching but more for reference.

Next up is the test screening location for What Ever Happened To Baby Jane at the Warner Grand Theatre, located at 478 West 6th Street in San Pedro. The manager was gracious enough to let me shoot throughout the entire theatre. You can learn more about the theatre and how to support them by visiting www.grandvision.org.  The theatre has been on my hit list for a while as Herb Ritts photographed some of Madonna’s most iconic pictures for the Blond Ambition tour there. Here is our first exterior view of the theatre…

The projection booth is nearly the same, but they obviously took out all of the modern equipment.

Joan and Mamacita arrive at the screening!

The interior of the theatre was very dark and difficult to take good pictures, hence the lack of quality here.

The lobby of the theatre is spectacular. Here is where Joan descends the stairs and is recognized by fans.

The concession stand is also mostly the same, just switching out some period-appropriate machines for the modern ones.

One of the show’s best moments was watching Joan finally getting the fan recognition she craved so much.

The exterior of the theatre shows up again highlighting the lines around the block for the film.

Switching to another theatre, the Palace Theatre at 630 South Broadway makes two appearances.  It shows up in the first episode as the theatre where Joan visits to watch Bette.   Later in episode 5, it shows up again but dramatically enhanced and expanded as a New York theatre.

Next up is the location for the 35th Academy Awards. Kudos to the Feud team for actually going to the same location where those Oscars were held at 1855 Main Street in Santa Monica. Not much has changed since the actual shoot nor the original awards ceremony.

In one of the newsreels for the Oscars, they visit Lee Remick's home.  The location used was at 301 S Beverly Glen Boulevard, just a couple houses down from Joan's house.  Like that spot, I haven't been there yet, so a quick Google shot as a placeholder for now.

Bette’s agent is located at LA Center Studios at 450 South Bixel Street. Like the Ebell, I did not revisit this location and it is not open to the public, but I included some of my previous photos for reference.

Joan visits her brother at the King Edward Hotel located at 121 East 5th Street. I did not venture into this location yet and not sure if I want to either!  I included one shot of the exterior that I took as well as some photos from the internet of the lobby or reference.

The plantation house location for the filming of Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte was also spotted by my friend Ian at 1006 N Crescent Drive.  I've not to been to this location yet, so just included some shots from when the property was for rental.

Joan next visits her brother at the hospital, another location I had visited for as it was the “CURE Hospital” for Scream Queens Season 2.  I am betting they likely just used the same footage from that Ryan Murphy show here.  It is located at 2632 East Washington Boulevard in Pasadena.

TROG! Jane flies to “New York” to film Trog.  Unsurprisingly they are not on the east coast but downtown LA at an immediately recognizable building at 635 Mateo Street. This building has been used for too many productions to count, but most people know it as Ojai Foods from Brothers & Sisters, the orphanage from Child’s Play 2, and the police station in every other tv show.

Bette visits her institutionalized daughter at our next location. Fans will immediately recognize this as Culver Studios located at 9336 Washington Boulevard in Culver City.

The final shot in the series flashes back to Bette and Joan’s first day on the set together. Based on the background, this was obviously shot at Warner Bros. in Burbank.  What’s puzzling is that their exact spot they are sitting doesn’t appear to be studio, but rather an alley between buildings.

There were a few promos for the show that aired in the weeks prior to the first episode.  Here is the drive where Joan is driving through Hollywood.  She is driving on north on the 500 block of South Windsor Boulevard and turns the corner at West 5th Street.

Last (and least) is the studio gate from the promo, located at 900 North Gower Street, the entrance to the Beth Olam Cemetery, part of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

I've been fortunate enough to meet a couple cast members of the years including Jackie Hoffman (Mamacita), Ken Lerner (Marrty) and John Waters (William Castle).