Paradise Pier at Paradise Cove, Malibu, California

Pictured is the Paradise Cove Pier at Bob Morris'  Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, Malibu.  Once a haven for nude bathers, this private Malibu beach was the set for a number of movies and television shows, including "Gidget," "Beach Blanket Bingo" and "Malibu Run." Still a favorite for filming, don't be surprised to find locations shoots going on when you visit. The Cove's owner, Bob Morris, requires visitors pay $25 to park at his beach, though the ticket is validated when you eat at this restaurant.  You can also park on Pacific Coast Highway and walk down the mile-long driveway that leads to Paradise Cove. The parking fees at Paradise Cove keep the masses away. Stand on the old pier that flanks the south end of the beach and take in the idyllic ocean view. The spectacular sunsets are priceless.

What comes to mind at mention of Malibu and Paradise Cove?  On the tip of your tongue should be such names as Barbra Streisand, "Friends" star Courtney Cox and her hubby David Arquett who own  a beachfront retreat for a  $10 million. Another cast member, Jennifer Aniston and husband Brad Pitt are searching for a home in 90265.  Frasier's Kelsey Grammer lives here as does  Martin Sheen of  "West Wing".


And keeping Malibu in the limelight are the likes of a Malibu Locations company owner Diane Klein. Here's a feature article from Malibu Times about her business:


O.K., you've scrimped and saved and bought your dream house in Malibu, but one day you wake up and realize the next $5,000 house payment is going to be tough to meet. Solution? Rent your house as a location set to the film and television industry.


Depending on a production company's budget, and the time it'll need a home for, you could possibly make that mortgage payment for the next three months at least. To get on that favored list that production companies turn to in time of need, Malibu Locations Etc., Inc. is the place to go. Operated for more than 13 years by Malibuite Diane Klein, Malibu Locations has more than 1,000 of its 4,000 listings for shooting locations right here in Malibu. Other locations listed in the company's directory range from close to Agoura all the way down toward the Palisades. 


Some homes are rented for as short a time as one hour, others for weeks at a time. Rates vary from $1,000 on up to $35,000 a day. If a homeowner lucks out, a house could be rented out for a series that lasts years and years, and the production company will have to keep coming back to shoot new footage year after year.

Klein, true to Hollywood tradition, fell into her corner of show business by  accident. "I was a housewife living in Malibu when a location scout came to my door asking if we would like to rent our home for a TV show called 'Stingray,' " she explains.


Klein agreed, and the rest is history. She started a business to put Malibu's homes on the film market as locations and now has four employees at work at her Point Dume office on Pacific Coast Highway, across from Zuma Beach.  "Not every home is suited for filming," says Klein, "though we have a wide variety - from Wild West type log homes to ultra modern."


Similar to film commissions in many states, Malibu Locations offers a wide variety of look-alike settings so that Malibu can double for New England, with Cape Code houses; Arizona, with rocks and sagebrush; or even Italy or Greece, with hilltop marbled mansions overlooking the sea. 


The way the business works is simple: A location scout working for a photographer, movie director or producer calls Malibu Locations and describes what they are looking for. Klein then has her staffers pour through their 4,000 locations to see if they have anything that fits. Photos are then e-mailed or Fed-Exed to the potential clients and an offer made. If the homeowner accepts, the contracts are signed.

Inevitably, the contract includes a provision to "return the house back to its original state," which could include repainting, carpet cleaning, etc.  "Sometimes," says Klein, "the film company needs a wall to be a different color. They can repaint it, doing a professional job, and if the homeowner decides they like the new color, it is not repainted."


However, "rarely is that done," says Klein. "Though, we frequently have the vegetation altered, with plants added or subtracted." The owner does not have to worry about permits - the film company gets those from the city. All the homeowner does is sign the contract with the film company and the film company handles the paperwork. Liability insurance is also obtained, with policies over a million dollars covering all potential exigencies.


Since parking is a at a premium in Malibu, and movie companies require trucks to haul cameras, tracks and cranes, off-site parking locations are sometimes set up to transfer talent and workers to and from the actual shooting location. Besides parking, another problem peculiar to Malibu is bathrooms, or lack of them. Since a feature film crew could easily number 60 people and most homes in Malibu use septic tanks, the demand on bathrooms could easily exceed capabilities, so porta-potties are brought in.


Klein knows the location-rental business from both ends - her own two homes in Malibu are listed in her data base as well as the home of her daughter and all are and frequently rented. One of them, her home on Broad Beach Road, was used so much for the television show "Diagnosis Murder" that the film company went to the trouble to build a duplicate of the main room on the production lot set. Other TV shows that have used Malibu locations found by Klein are: "Baywatch," "V.I.P." "Columbo" specials, and a feature called, "Are You Talking to Me?" In most cases, she was able to re-occupy her home the same evening as filming, the rentals being jobs that could be shot in one day. 

Paradise Cove Pier at Bob Morris'  Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, Malibu  South of Kanan-Dume Road  Paradise Cove Exit from PCH  28128 West Pacific Coast Highway    Malibu (Paradise Cove), California 90265 R Call (310) 457-2503


Comments about Paradise Cove

My father was the original developer of Paradise Cove who built the pier and cove, said Gee Gee Swanson Hayes. 


When El Nino (1983 and 1985) took out 2/3 of Paradise Cove pier, according to one source, the sport fishing boat, Gentleman, was forced to retire from the cove. We miss the bait barge and the 87 sea lions that made it their basking place.  I. D. and Gayle Weiner 


When a Chumash bowl was found last year during remodeling of the restaurant at Paradise Cove and it could not immediately be determined who should take possession, Sheriff's deputies arrested the bowl. So, the Malibu City Council is authorizing the Native American Cultural Resources Advisory Committee to revise the city's Cultural Resources Ordinance.  Tina Fisher Forde

Celebrity photos


Paradise Pier at Paradise Cove, Malibu, California

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