Where Were The Rockford Files Film Locations?


*Originally posted in DearOldHollywood.blogspot.com

The Rockford Files: Season 1, Episode 4, “Exit Prentiss Carr” (1974)
During the episode “Exit Prentiss Carr,” Jim Rockford (James Garner) takes a case in the fictional town of Bay City. One of the scenes that is supposed to take place in the small town of Bay City was actually filmed on Riverside Drive in Burbank. Rockford Files - Jim Rockford detective adIn the now and then comparisons below we see Garner turning right from Maple Street on to Riverside Drive heading east. He eventually pulls over a couple blocks down near the intersection of Riverside and Screenland Drive.
Click images to see larger.
Garner turns from Maple St. on to Riverside Drive.
Riverside at Maple, in Burbank, CA.
I recognized this spot immediately. I walk down this stretch of street regularly to pick up lunch. During the evenings this area is quiet, but with Warner Bros. only two blocks away, Disney, NBC, Universal, and other entertainment companies with offices nearby, this area gets pretty busy during the lunch hour. The Rockford Files FirebirdA lot is the same and a lot has changed. The chiropractor business building is still there but the practice is gone. The travel business is now a Subway. And the next building over is now a pizza restaurant and a Chipotle. I can’t make out what used to be where the Chipotle now stands.
The Tolucan Motel on Riverside Drive, Burbank
The Tolucan Motel site is now a Best Western.
As Garner drives down Riverside Drive we see a motel called “The Tolucan Motel,” which is now gone. On the site today is a Best Western motel.
Garner crosses Kenwood at Riverside.
Corner of Kenwood St. at Riverside Drive.
As Garner continues down Riverside he passes a laundry business at the corner of Kenwood Street. The building is still standing and until recently, was a restaurant called Salerno’s. Things have changed again since the “now” image. The green shrubs have all been torn out. The building is still standing but being completely remodeled.
Looking west down Riverside Drive from Kenwood.
Looking down Riverside Drive from Kenwood.
In the comparison above, Garner looks in his rearview mirror and he sees the police getting ready to pull him over. We get a view looking West down Riverside from Kenwood. One noticeable thing that hasn’t changed is the bright yellow liquor sign that is still standing tall.
Rockford Files Jim Rockford Burbank, California
Garner passes a motel on Riverside Dr. Burbank.
Garner passes another motel on Riverside Drive, this one across the street from the Tolucan Motel/Best Western. I can’t tell what this motel used to be called, but it was remodeled in the last couple years and turned into what today is the Tangerine Hotel
3820 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank as seen in The Rockford Files.
3820 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank
In the above clip Garner begins to pull over to the side of the street. The building seen on the corner is no longer standing. In the last few years an AFTRA-SAG Federal Credit Union building was erected on the site.
The “Bay City” police pull Garner over on Riverside Dr.
3808 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA
In the last comparison the “Bay City” police pull Garner over at 3808 Riverside Drive. This building has for a long time been the home to some medical offices. There has been some very recent changes to this building. In the last few weeks a Bank of the West has since moved in, at least on the ground floor, and painted the exterior a shade of white.

This is my first entry in my 1970s television flashback. I’ll be back with some more The Rockford Files locations as well as Quincy M.E. and Columbo.

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