To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee won a Pulitzer Prize for her 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded in 2007 for her contribution to literature.

Mr. Gregory Peck on Southern Street, Universal Studios. – 1962

The original house was moved along with the entire street of homes, new location just above Jaws Lake. The back door and backside windows view Cabot Cove. Original location was by Mayfield, Leave it to Beaver area.

To Kill a Mockingbird was released Christmas Day 1962

This street has been used by Adam-12, Cheech and Chong, and by LAPD...for tactical training.

As it sits today, it remains a very busy set for NBC Television Shows.

This street angle no longer exists, original Southern Street location.

When kids stand still-something’s up.

Jean Louise “Scout” and Atticus Finch…

Front porch of this house a few years ago…

Interior of home as you enter front door. We leave it generic, set decorations give it that homey feel.

There is a stairway for upstairs window access. For night shots on street, set lighting may put fixtures in any and all windows.

The back porch of this home looks at Cabot Cove. Seagulls and foghorns constantly chime, then Jaws’ mesmerizing soundtrack builds up as Glamour Trams approach this tiny community. On a busy day, a hundred shark attacks can be witnessed here. A never-ending stream of trams pass below this area. “On my side of the tram is Bruce, named after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer” says one tour guide after another.

Another Lawyer in attack mode…”Bruce-The Shark”

A leaded glass view out a side window…

Another stained glass interior window…

The house was that yellow color completely, but most of this house was repainted blue. Behind this door is a view of Jaws…

From behind the house that sits on an embankment, Denver Street and the old west can be accessed from a back stairway.

Elm Street-this is today’s version of Southern Street. Shaved ice was sprayed all down the street for a commercial in this image.

Elm Street- The house blocking the end of the street was built for the movie Hancock, starring Will Smith. It has interior rooms to film in. Complete set with a backyard even.

Southern Street became a much more opulent neighborhood as Elm Street.

Yours truly, facing the To Kill a Mockingbird House.

Watch out Boys- LAPD trains here!”

Southern Street, Industrial Street, now Elm StreetCall it what you wish

This home has been located in two locations that are identified with three different street names. From its original location, this street had several houses moved here from Elysian Park. A few were moved again to what was Industrial Street, located just above Denver Street and Cabot Cove, and just below Colonial Street.

What is special with the homes moved from where Dodger Stadium now lies, is that families once lived inside. They have bathrooms, kitchens, etc. Real houses turned into sets. Nothing works, plumbing is not connected, when power is needed, we ran auxiliary power from shooting stations.

Trams can’t drive down this street directly due to a severe grade at the back end of the street. One of our few streets not tram-able. You can imagine its appeal to train police officers in tactics “clearing a house.” LAPD not only practices here, but they also did a TV Series that used this street at times…Adam -12.

Amazing Stories did the most extravagant of all sets on this street in the episode “You Gotta Believe Me.”…Convinced by a nightmare of a Boeing 747 crashing into his house is a horrific premonition, Earl Sweet desperately tries to alter his fate.

Well, it happened at Universal Studios on Industrial Street, back in 1986. Two houses down from The Mockingbird Home, parts of a 747 were brought in and airplane parts littered Earl’s House and yard. A tail fin, engines, wheels, wings, and seats created a ghoulish setting in this quiet little neighborhood where normally all you hear are tour guides.

Today, the studio identifies this as Elm Street. The old Elysian Park homes were removed and destroyed, once and for all for complete modern rebuilds. This is a popular street to film on, but one home still links to the past-it’s Boo Radley’s house on the corner.

On the front porch, Gregory Peck can still quietly read his law books. But on the back porch, trams are being attacked about every four minutes by a Great White Shark named after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer…”Bruce”

Written and lived by…Donnie Norden

Check out my YouTube Channel...Phantom of the Backlots. It’s quite the adventure.

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