The Arts District occupies the eastern side of Downtown Los Angeles, USA. Its borders are Alameda Street on the west, the 101 freeway on the north, the LA River to the east, and 10 freeway to the south. The Arts District is filled with older industrial and former railroad buildings. In 1981, the City of Los Angeles passed its “Artist in Residence” or “AIR” ordinance, which allowed residential use of formerly industrial buildings.

The Arts District remains the home of artists, arts enterprises and many employed in L.A.s film and television industry (“Turn left on Traction” a character shouts at a climactic moment in the animated Pixar film, The Incredibles). The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), resides in the 110 year old, quarter mile-long former Santa Fe freight depot that stretches along Santa Fe between Third and 4th Streets. The Arts District is one of the most filmed locations in the world, hosting as many as 800 filming days a year. Projects shot there include Meet Me in St Louis, Ed Wood, Terminator 2, Monster in Law, the TV series NCIS LA, Flash Forward, Castle, Numbers, The Office, and House. One notable film location, Lot 613 (located on 613 Imperial Street), has been the backdrop of music videos and TV Shows, such as Jason’s Derulo’s “Ridin’ Solo” music video and the promo for Justin Timberlake’s “Take Back the Night” single.

So much filming activity has created challenges, particularly as a more upmarket population began to take root. Location productions make donations to community non-profits which are used to support local arts activities and to create a community arts center, a practice that has done much to preserve the peace between residents and production companies.

 

 

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