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Do the "Mildred Pierce" Producers Know Los Angeles Is Still Here?

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Manhattan's United Palace Theater via New York Daily Photo; Philharmonic Auditorium via LAT

For its "Mildred Pierce" miniseries, HBO turned a bit of Manhattan's Flatiron District into pre-war Downtown LA and picked a Long Island housing development to stand in for SoCal's bungalows. In the miniseries' last episode, which aired this past weekend, Mildred goes to see her daughter Veda perform at Downtown's Philharmonic Auditorium, but of course, as the LA Times explains, she doesn't actually go to the Philharmonic Auditorium. For one thing, the building at Fifth and Olive was demolished in 1985. In the James M. Cain book on which the miniseries is based, and in the original miniseries script, Veda sings at the Hollywood Bowl, "but the filmmakers quickly realized that it would be difficult to replicate the outdoor venue on location in New York." Yeah, that would be tough, but what would be easier? Using "clever lighting and CGI embellishments" to turn a Moorish theater in Manhattan "into a convincing component of the downtown L.A. skyline" and "filming various buildings that they would later add digitally to outdoor scenes in post production," as it turns out. We would have said "shooting at the Hollywood Bowl," but what do we know.
· 'Mildred Pierce' remembers downtown L.A.'s Philharmonic Auditorium [LAT]
· Shooting New York For 1930s Los Angeles, and the Real Thing [Curbed LA]