The Addams Family | 1991
Coen brothers’ cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld turned first-time director with the movie version of the sixties TV show of Charles Addams’ Fifties cartoons.
The film was shot at the Hollywood Center Studios, 1040 Las Palmas Avenue, mainly on Stage 3/8, which coincidentally happened to be the studio where the original TV series was filmed. This studio, built in 1919 as the Jasper Studio, survived under various names until, in 1980, it became the ill-fated Zoetrope Studios as part of Francis Ford Coppola’s scheme to run a large independent production facility. Rom-com When Harry Met Sally..., Robert Altman's The Player and actioner Con Air were all subsequently filmed here.
Sadly, there’s no Addams Mansion to see. The frontage of the house was built for the film on a mountain overlooking the Burbank Hills at Toluca Lake (The TV pilot did use a real house – coincidentally on Adams Boulevard – just south of Hollywood. You can still see it during the show’s opening credits, but a painting was substituted for the run of the series).
The film’s locations include the charity auction, where the Addamses buy back their own finger trap, which was filmed in Los Angeles’ 1927 club and theatre complex, the the Ebell Of Los Angeles, 743 South Lucerne Boulevard, off Wilshire Boulevard, midtown, seen in many films including Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can, Air Force One, Forrest Gump and The Artist (coincidentally, used for the auction of George Valentin’s possessions).
The school theatre, where Wednesday and Pugsley stage a Peckinpahesque version of Shakespeare, is the Brentwood Theatre on the grounds of the Sawtelle Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, 11301 Wilshire Boulevard in Westside.
The ‘Wampum Court Motel’, to which the family are exiled, was in Sylmar, northern Los Angeles, off the Golden State Freeway in the San Fernando Valley.