Garden Grove

Reaching out to Hollywood?

RONALD REAGAN and Ann Sheridan starred in the 1942 film “Juke Girl,” filmed partly in the town of Garden Grove.

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

Is Garden Grove ready for its close-up? Could the City of Youth and Ambition become a Town of Tinsel and Pre-Nups?

Probably not, but when the city council meets on Tuesday, one of the more intriguing topics is a discussion on the city’s existing filming regulations and a proposal “to explore opportunities for increasing filming opportunities.”

According to a staff report, attracting commercial filming to the city would be a way of “highlighting Garden Grove’s greatest attractions.”

The staff recommendation is for the city to develop a dedicated webpage on the city’s website with information on filming in the city, collaborate with state and county film commissions to develop relationships with those who choose filming locations as well as streamlining existing regulations.

Using Orange County sites for movie-making goes back to the Silent Film era when comic actors Fatty Arbuckle and Charlie Chaplain starred in productions shot in Seal Beach.

Probably the best-known OC location is in the 1996 “That Thing You Do,” produced by Tom Hanks, who also had a supporting role. It was shot in and around Old Town Orange.

“Legally Blonde” (2001) was filmed at the old county courthouse in Santa Ana, and “The Fast and the Furious” (2001) in the Little Saigon area of Westminster.

In addition to cinema, filming is done for television and industrial programming all across Southern California.

Making a movie in Garden Grove is not without precedent. In 1942, future President Ronald Reagan starred with Ann Sheridan in a forgettable film, “Juke Girl,” in which the town stands in for Cat Tail, Florida.

The effort to connect Garden Grove to Hollywood was initiated by Councilmember Kim Nguyen (District 6).

The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Meeting Center, 11300 Stanford Ave.

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