Venice, California and Television
The small screen discovers the beaches, Boardwalk, bike path and Pacific Ocean of Venice Beach, California
Like love and marriage, ham n'eggs, salt and pepper, thunder and lightening and surf and sand, Venice and television just seem to have always gone together. Just like the movie business (See "Venice and the Movies"), the world of the "small screen" was hungry for Southern California locations that captured our imagination. Great venues were needed.
A view of things to come appeared for the first time on a 1958 Lawrence Welk Show. The show had already enjoyed a long run since 1951 and in 1955 was featuring the local Lennon Sisters who grew up in the Venice/Santa Monica area. That 1958 show unveiled for the first time, the newly opened Pacific Ocean Park, the "Venice adjacent" pier. That show is credited for reinvigorating visits to Venice from both locals and tourists.
With its beaches, Boardwalk, bike path, sidewalk cafes and the Pacific Ocean, Venice became the backdrop for so many television series, individual shows and TV excerpts we cannot list all of them here. But we can share some of the highlights as we walk together down memory lane:
77 Sunset Strip - "Eyewitness"
Twilight Zone - "Per Chance to Dream"
Route 66 - "Between Hello and Goodbye"
Twilight Zone - "In Praise of Pip"
Get Smart - "The Wax Man"
The Mod Squad - "Bad Men on Campus"
The Rockford Files
Three's Company (the bike scene in the series opening credits takes place on the Venice bike path).
Starsky and Hutch
Simon and Simon
Heart of the City
You can hear more about Venice and television on your Venice Beach Walking Tour.