Where Were The Little Rascals Filmed?

I'm looking for more information on the Little Rascals. The little stars were so cute, I used to like the show so much. Where was the little rascals filmed?

asked by Moria in Movies | 9269 views | 09-26-2009 at 08:46 PM

The original theatrical film shorts released from 1922 - 1944
were titled "Hal Roach's Rascals"; another name Roach tried
during the silent years from 1922 - 1928 was "The Terrible Ten";

But since the first short was titled "Our Gang", the public
began to refer to them as "'Our Gang' Comedies"; so Roach
finally adopted that name for this series of shorts; and by
the sound era (circa 1928) "Our Gang" was the official name;
The first Little Rascals "talkie" was "Schools Out" (1928);

Quite a few child actors were used for years until they
began to get too old, at which time they were unceremoniously
replaced by a fresh face; Several TV actors got their start
working in this series including Jackie Cooper (1929-1931),
Robert Blake known as "Mickie" (1939-1944) and West-coast
local TV children's show host Johnny Downs (1925 - 1927);

But perhaps the best-known was Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, who
was only involved in the series for five years (1935-1940.)
Another memorable character was "Buckwheat", played by
young Billie Thomas who was there for the final ten years
of production (from 1934-1944.) And the series also featured
the little boy known as "Spanky" played by George McFarland
(from 1932-1942.) A rock vocal group during the hippie 1960's
used the name "Spanky & Our Gang", although there was no
connection to the Hal Roach films.

It is said that Hal Roach got the idea for the comedies that
revealed the world as seen from a child's point of view when
he heard through his office window a conversation between some
children in a lot next door arguing over discarded scraps of
wood they were trying to split up for salvage;

The shorts were filmed at the Hal Roach Studios in Culver
City, a Los Angeles suburb; and exteriors at the Arnaz Ranch
near what is now Robertson Blvd. in Hollywood;

MGM bought Hal Roach in 1938, and some "Our Gang" fans say
the quality of stories and production started to decline
at that point, when they became more "slickly produced."

The final three episodes were released in 1944. They were
"Radio Bugs", "Dancing Romero" and "Tale of a Dog."

answered by Noko | 09-26-2009 at 08:46 PM

Old Movie Fan
Giving a little more specific information on the excellent post above, the Hal Roach Studios were located on the east side of Washington Blvd in Culver City. Landmark Street runs through what used to be the heart of the old studio lot.

The "Roach Ranch" where many of the exterior scenes were filmed (i.e. the schoolhouse seen in the Our Gang films Teacher's Pet, Readin and Writin, etc), was located about a mile northwest of the studio. Today, the Roach Ranch is part of the Beverlywood housing development. The ranch was roughly within the boundaries of these contemporary streets: David Avenue on the north, Canfield Avenue on the east, South Beverly Drive on the west and Beverly Street on the south.

answered by Chris Bungo | 10-26-2009 at 11:39 PM

A Correction
Sometimes years of searching yields no results and then, out of the blue, one finds a treasure trove of information.

The Hal Roach Studios ranch site can now be definitively placed at these boundaries:

Robertson Blvd on the East

Canfield Avenue on the West

The northern property line of the houses on the north side of David Avenue

The southern property line of the houses on the south side of David Avenue

Thanks to Marc at Bison Archives for providing me with the photographs that allowed me to pinpoint the location with 100% accuracy.

answered by Chris Bungo | 11-07-2009 at 03:01 PM

David Avenue?
David Avenue was both the northern and southern boundary? Are you saying the Roach ranch was only the width of that one block? I thought the southern boundary was what's now called Beverlywood Street.

answered by Guest | 11-30-2009 at 07:22 PM

Roach Studio location
I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but Landmark Ave. ran along the edge of the main stido, no through it. I have a map (produced for insurance purposes) that shows across Landmark Ave. was the Pacific Military School. Prior to that it was another studio (Lehrman Studio home of L-Kho comedies in the late teens).

I have many pictures of the lot, and everyone shows the studio as long and narrow with stages flanking a narrow street running through it. Landmark ran to the outside of these rows of stages.

answered by Guest | 12-13-2009 at 01:12 AM

Slight Correction
I should have proofed what I wrote:

This line:

The northern property line of the houses on the north side of David Avenue

should read:

An imaginary extension of Cadillac Avenue on the west side of Robertson up to Canfield.

Sorry about that!

answered by Chris Bungo | 01-30-2010 at 01:21 AM

Landmark as Southern Boundary
Yes, up until the studio expanded (in the late 1930s), Landmark (today) marks the southern boundary. However, the studio did a major expansion to the south late in the 1930s and so, at that time, right up until its demolition in 1963, the area both to the north and south of Landmark were a part of the studio.

It's actually very easy to see exactly where the studio was by looking at any contemporary aerial shot (google / bing / etc) as you can see the large industrial buildings north and south of Landmark, making the footprint of the studio lot easy to see.

answered by Chris Bungo | 01-30-2010 at 01:28 AM

Looks like the schoolhouse and the grocery store were about where Hillsboro Drive meanders through...thank you for finding this!

answered by Guest | 10-27-2011 at 04:07 PM

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