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Tuesday April 16th 2024

Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy | 2004

Anchorman film location: Old LA Zoo, Griffith Park, Los Angeles
Anchorman film location: the panda Ling Wong gives birth at San Diego Zoo: Old LA Zoo, Griffith Park, Los Angeles | Photograph: wikimedia / Junkyardsparkle

Set in a dimly-remembered past, before cable (and before Steve Carell was famous), San Diego newsreader Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) finds his position threatened by the new-fangled concept of diversity, in the form of a woman newsreader, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate).

Although it’s set in San Diego – and there’s a scattering of establishing shots throughout – there’s very little of the actual city. Most of the film was shot in Los Angeles, mainly to the south of the city around the around the Long Beach area. The Channel 4 news station, though, was a set built up in the Valley, inside Seeley Furniture Warehouse, 1800 South Brand Avenue, in Glendale.

The opening shot of Burgundy’s ’copter touching down in front of the (fictitious) ‘Esquire Hotel’ shows the cylindrical International Tower, Long Beach (which you’ll probably recognise from Lethal Weapon and both versions of Gone In 60 Seconds).

The C4 news team confront their hated rivals from Channel 9, led by Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn) in Shoreline Aquatic Park, Shoreline Way at Aquarium Way in Long Beach. To be fair, the Shoreline Village complex in the background does look a little bit like San Diego’s Hotel Del Coronado (the hotel seen in Some Like It Hot).

On their way to cheer themselves up with new suits, the team makes the mistake of taking a short cut through a bad part of town. Waylaid by four rival news teams, they fight a bloody battle on Mateo Street at East 4th Place, beneath the western end of the 4th Street Bridge, east of downtown Los Angeles.

Ron misses a broadcast after an irate biker (Jack Black) kicks his beloved doggy Baxter into the sea. The bridge from which the unfortunate pooch gets launched is supposed to be the 1.2 mile San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge, linking San Diego to Coronado Island. This is seen in long shot, but the scene is actually staged south of Long Beach, on Queens Way Bridge, at the end of Magnolia Avenue.

Ron finds himself sacked after Veronica tampers with his teleprompter and, for a moment, we really are in San Diego as he walks disconsolately in Balboa Park, 1549 El Prado.

The park’s ornate buildings can be seen in Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane (as part of Kane’s Xanadu estate) and in the opening San Diego scenes of Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous.

Going off the rails, Ron hits the milk, and gets snubbed by his old chums on West 6th Street, between South Mesa and South Centre Streets, in San Pedro.

Incidentally, this this is the street that was turned into downtown ‘Honolulu’ for Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor.

‘San Diego Zoo’, where panda Ling Wong gives birth and Ron is finally redeemed, is the old Los Angeles zoo on Crystal Springs Drive in Griffith Park, about a mile south of the current zoological park.

When the current Los Angeles Zoo opened in the 1960s about a mile to the north, the former zoo was abandoned and later converted into a picnic area. It’s located in a canyon just north of the merry-go-round, on the east side of Griffith Park.