The OC in Newport Beach -  The Real OC Will Not Be Forgotten


Pictured in photos above are scenes from the Real OC in Newport Beach California. The movie depicts the Newport Pier above as a combination of several piers (Manhattan, Redondo and Hermosa).  It shows a Newport Beach Ferris Wheel visitors can ride in the harbor as depicted by one rented and placed in a parking lot of Shoreline Village at the Long Beach Pike.  It call the Crab Cooker the Crab Shack, which in reality, was a location set created at The Strand in Hermosa Beach. Memories of the show will eventually fade but The OC in Newport Beach will remain as one of California's great beach attractions.


The OC in Newport Beach, The REAL OC


The OC was a popular prime time one-hour TV series on Fox Television with a run from August 2003 to February 2007. When ratings declined to half the original audience, Fox opted to broadcast less segments (16) in the final season ending February 22, 2007. So it is not unexpected that this hit series that attracted Americans, Brits, Europeans and Pacific Rim travelers to little Newport Beach (population 60,000) will fade like the souvenir logo T-shirts and tanks that have netted hundreds of thousands of dollars for merchants of seaside cities along the California coast.

The pop culture show that helped spin off another series, MTV's "Laguna Beach", will fade faster for Californians who hope to sell out the dwindling stock of OC tees, in favor of the next fad. But if history offers any insight into what will become of THE O.C., we predict it will enjoy many additional years of popularity that the soap opera, "Sunset Beach" show, now experiences around the globe.


When THE O.C. premiered in August 2003, it followed a group of friends and families whose lives were changed by the arrival of an outsider – Ryan Atwood – to their ocean-side community of Newport Beach. The friends and family were attractive people with designer clothes and lots of money, and the action was set to trendy music that helped move the series along.

THE O.C. revived the teen drama genre while including adult storylines. Shortly after its summer premiere, THE O.C. was a pop culture phenomenon – its actors are household names and its indie music (and subsequent six soundtracks) gave  Newport Beach an added boost as a popular tourist attraction. The Newport Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau even created a map the included actual, real-life scenes from the show that were filmed in Newport Beach.


"We're just average people with lives and jobs and friends," said one loyal customer to the Italian restaurant, Il Farrio, near the Newport Pier in Newport Beach. "People don't realize that this is a normal place with normal people." Owner of the authentic Italian restaurant, Domenico Maurici, said that people from around the globe drop by his restaurant and new Il Gelato sandwich and dessert shop, asking about the TV show.

"They want to know where the Real OC is," said the talented chef/owner, Domenico, who came to the U.S. and dropped by Newport Beach in 1994. Liking it so much, he jumped ship (was on a Pacific Coast cruise), and established a new dining business in Newport Beach. "While we restaurateurs and merchants cannot point tourists to a specific location for The OC, they are pleasantly surprised by our community and restaurants such as my Il Gelato, that's very European, making them feel right at home."


On a winter's day, a stream of Japanese, Germans, Australians and Brits flock into Il Gelato for sweets and pick-me-ups. But still on a search for The OC, they continue looking along West Oceanfront Blvd. in the shops. Finding T-shirts and decal stickers, they discover that some of the scenes in the opening credits from the show were filmed here, but others such as Pier Diner is actually at the Redondo Beach Pier in Los Angeles County. In real life, it's called the Redondo Coffee Shop, and is a modest cafe where fisherman like to grab a hot cup of coffee and some scrambled eggs. You'll find it at 141 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach, California.


The Crab Shack featured in The OC was inspired by the Crab Cooker on Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. It most likely was filmed as a facade, and then the seating on The Strand at Hermosa Beach was set up to mimic a beachside cafe. Even the Ferris Wheel that's supposed to have been the Newport Beach wheel, was filmed in Los Angeles. Working "in the zone" to keep production costs down, the Ferris wheel kissing scene was produced in the parking lot of Shoreline Village in Long Beach. Situated next to Parker's Lighthouse restaurant, a carnival ride was rented for this scene, located at 429 Shoreline Village Drive, in Long Beach, CA.


So if the search for The OC seems illusive, those captivated by Hollywood fantasy will continue to search for the film locations, stars and story lines that have captivated audiences around the globe. This make-believe world helps promote California beaches as tourist destinations more than any other advertising vehicle.

Real Orange County The OC Newport Beach locations:

1 Pelican Hill  gated community
The Cohen’s Residence
2 Crystal Cove
Aerial Shot in Opening Segment
3 Inspiration Point
Aerial Beauty Shot
4 Lookout Point
Aerial Beauty Shot
5 Fashion Island
The OC’s Shopping Hangout, and Home to the
Cohen’s Favorite Take-Out Restaurant
6 Harbor Entrance
Seth Sets Sail for Portland
7 Newport Back Bay
The OC’s “Balboa Bluffs”
8 Castaways Park
Shot in Opening Segment
9 Newport Harbor High School
The OC’s “Harbor High”
10 The Arches Restaurant
The OC’s Favorite Restaurant
11 Lido Marina Village
Harbor Shot
17 Balboa Fun Zone
The OC’s Hangout, Marissa & Ryan’s
First Kiss on the Ferris Wheel
18 The Wedge
The OC’s Hangout, Body Surfing


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