By Ben Lee –
If you happen to live or drive through Cheviot Hills, you’ll likely witness filming or movie making in action. While some residents find it a hassle to navigate through the jungle of oversized trailers, lights, actors and crew-members, filming here in Cheviot Hills has been going on since the origins of Cheviot Hills itself. When this neighborhood was formed in the early 1920’s, it was really a merging of three separate tracts: Country Club Highlands, Cheviot Hills and Monte-Mar Vista in 1924. In 1938, a fourth tract was added (Cheviot Knolls) and in 1952 the California Country Club Estates opened. Due to its close proximity to the various movie studios, location shooting has always been part of the region’s history. Some say one of the first shoots in the area occurred in 1928 and featured Cheviot Hills resident Stan Laurel (he lived on Glenbarr Avenue) and his comedy partner Oliver Hardy. They made their movie, ‘The Finishing Touch’ here and actually used developer W.R. McConnell’s home (located at 2728 McConnell Drive). His massive estate doubled as the ‘hospital’ next to which the stars built and then destroyed a house all to great comedic effect. One year later Laurel and Hardy made ‘Bacon Grabbers,’ in which the two funnymen play debt collectors. Again, they shot in Cheviot Hills, however this time used the house located at 10340 Bannockburn Drive.
Today, hit television shows such as Modern Family and The Goldbergs as well as countless commercials and movies are following in the esteemed tradition of Hollywood’s golden era by using Cheviot Hills in location shoots. So, the next time you get a knock on the door, it just may be a scout interested in using your home in the next big blockbuster.