While waiting for a long-promised rehab that, like many projects, hit a wall when the economy took a dump, Downtown's handsome and historic Herald-Examiner building has found a vibrant new life as a filming location. (The last Herald-Examiner newspaper was published in 1989.) LA Observed guides us to the building's location filming website, where its 15 standing sets and 30 "looks" are showcased for scouts along with some brags about its credits—Zoolander, The Usual Suspects, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (the first two seasons used the bar set). It turns out, the H-E building—designed by San Simeon architect Julia Morgan—isn't just any old film set, it's one of the most popular in the city, and it's only going to get busier as it waits for its new life.
Earlier this month, The Hollywood Reporter checked into the building's filming traffic and found that it was the third most popular filming site in the entire city in 2013. "We're on track now to have one of our best years ever," says a rep for Hollywood Locations, the real estate firm specializing in film shoots that manages the building's business. The high demand is attributed to the building's versatility—as seen in the photos, it can play a modern police station, an industrial basement made for horror flicks, a doctor's office waiting room, or an ornate vintage lobby.
The redevelopment at the H-E building was approved in the mid-2000s; the comprehensive makeover would renovate the building and add new retail and office space, plus a health club. The plans included residential towers on either side, but that land was recent purchased by developer Forest City, which plans to put two shorter mixed-users on either side of the building and rehab the H-E building, but there's been no solid news or timeline reveal to shed light on when that reno might begin. So in the meanwhile, enjoy a look around:
· Herald Examiner - Los Angeles Filming Location [Official Site]
· How a Shuttered L.A. Newspaper Found New Life on TV (and Escaped the Wrecking Ball) [THR]
· Downtown's Herald-Examiner Building Still Just a Film Set [Curbed LA]
· First Look at DTLA's Herald-Examiner-Flanking Mixed-Users [Curbed LA]