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City Hall on Location

The Los Angeles City Hall has probably starred in more movies and television series than most Hollywood actors. It was the tallest building in the city for years, so it was a natural when a skyscraper was needed!

Recent list of City Hall appearences in TV and movies.


  • Los Angeles City Hall was used in films almost from its dedication in 1928 when Lon Chaney and director Jack Conway brought their film crews to the Civic Center to shoot While the City Sleeps. The final touches were made to the new City Hall and the "talkies" were introduced.
  • City Hall appeared in many early movies including, among others, Straight from the Shoulder (1936), Mildred Pierce (1945), Get Outta Town (1959) and D.O.A. (1963).
  • Other appearances include Protocol, It Seems Like Old Times, Dragnet, 48 Hours, Another 48 Hours, and a number of Disney films.
  • City Hall's most illustrious appearance in films has to be the War of the Worlds (1953). It was directed by George Pal and starred Gene Barry, Ann Robinson and Lewis Martin. It was loosely based on H.G. Wells' novel -- with action transferred from Victorian London to modern Southern California. An 8-inch model of City Hall was created which was then blown up with explosives. The film won the Oscar for "Special Effects" that year.

TV Series, Movies and Mini-Series:

  • For ten seasons City Hall was Police Headquarters for "Dragnet".
  • It was also The Daily Planet in the "Superman" series.
  • "Kojak" and "Cagney and Lacey" used Los Angeles City Hall to represent parts of New York City.
  • It has also been seen in "The Rockford Files," "Matlock," "Hill Street Blues," "LA Law" and "Equal Justice."
  • It was the Vatican in the TV mini-series The Thornbirds.
  • It played the U.S. Capitol in The Jimmy Hoffa Story.
  • It portrayed the Texas office of an aspiring Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years
  • It appeared in MADD and Blood Feud

This information was obtained from a Project Restore Newsletter article authored by Steven Phillips.



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