BEVERLY HILLS, Cal. (WHNT) — As Auburn and Florida State prepare to take the biggest stage in college football Monday night, the setting for the game couldn’t be more perfect.
Pasadena is just miles away from Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world. While most of the studio sound stages are closed off to the public, there are some other filming locations that are open and free to the public.
“It was amazing to me, and it still is, that 10 minutes from the big city, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Studio City, is this wonderful wildlife preserve,” said LA transplant Irving Bonios.
He’s referring to an area called Franklin Canyon. It’s a state park, but has also been used by dozens of television shows as a filming site.
The most famous is The Andy Griffith Show. The 1960s show about Sheriff Andy Taylor, his family and friends, was set in Mayberry, North Carolina. However, the show was shot entirely in the LA area. The interior scenes of the Mayberry Courthouse and Andy Taylor’s home were shot at the Desilu studios (now Paramount studios) in Hollywood. The town of Mayberry was built in an area called Forty Acres. It was bulldozed in the mid-1970s.
Franklin Canyon is the only filming location for the show that remains. The iconic opening title sequence with Andy and Opie heading to the fishing hole was shot in Franklin Canyon. The reservoir here served as Myer’s Lake, where many of the shows outdoor “woodsy” scenes were shot.
“And so many of the old westerns that were filmed were done right around here. And you always thought you were out at the Ponderosa ranch,” said Bonios.
Franklin Canyon is still being used today for TV shows like How I Met Your Mother and NCIS. It’s located on Franklin Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills, about three miles from the old Desilu Studios.