Visit the film locations
For visitors from the UK: Visit California
State of California official website
Visit: the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, 200 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004 (tel: 760.767.5311)
Visit: the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino (tel: 626.405.2100). Established in 1919 by Henry E Huntington. a collector of rare books and manuscripts, art, and plants. 12 miles from Los Angeles, the library’s rare books and manuscripts constitute one of the largest collections in America outside of the Library of Congress. Among the treasures are the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a Gutenberg Bible on vellum, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works, and original letters of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Lincoln. The library, also home to Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy and Lawrence’s Pinkie, is set in 120 acres of botanical garden.
Serenity location: the dead ‘Miranda’ colony: Diamond Ranch High School, Pomona, California
Based on TV series Firefly, cancelled by the Fox Broadcasting Company in December 2002 after 11 of its 14 produced episodes had aired, Serenity was turned into a feature film by creator Joss Whedon.
River’s school class, at the opening of the film, is set in the extensive grounds of the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, east of Pasadena.
The estate is a popular filming location, seen in American Wedding, Indecent Proposal, the 1996 Eddie Murphy version of The Nutty Professor, Memoirs of a Geisha, Mystery Men, Starsky and Hutch (2004), Anger Management and Coming to America.
When the Reavers chase Mal (Nathan Fillion) after the bank robbery, it’s along the Templin Highway, connecting I-5 and the old Golden State Highway with the north end of Castaic Lake, north of Santa Clarita.
The dead colony of ‘Miranda’ (named after Prospero’s innocent daughter in Shakespeare’s The Tempest) is the extraordinary Diamond Ranch High School, 100 Diamond Ranch Road, in Pomona.
The school’s expressionist modern design, by Thom Mayne’s Morphosis company, has provided a backdrop for movies such as Tarsem Singh’s The Cell, Orange County and Live Free Or Die Hard.
The final funeral was filmed in the desert of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, 200 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs, on Route 78 about 75 miles northeast of San Diego, in Southern California’s Colorado Desert.