Lake Hollywood was the most used body of water in classic TV
Ever wanted to skip stones in the exact same spot as Opie and Andy?
In the same Hollywood hills that boast the iconic Hollywood sign and the often photographed Griffith Park Observatory sits a small body of water. It is the Hollywood Reservoir, also known as Lake Hollywood. Created by the Mulholland Dam, the small lake can reach a depth of 183 feet. The surrounding mountains block nearby traffic noise. Giant Deodar cedar trees dot the landscape, giving the area an old-world feel.
Most importantly, all the major film studios are nearby. Lake Hollywood has been used by the studios since the silent era, but in the 1960s it played host to some of our favorite television shows.
The Andy Griffith Show most famously used the lake for the series' opening sequence. The father and son head to the reservoir with their fishing poles and Opie skips a rock along the surface of the glassy water. Andy and Opie and would revisit the lake throughout the series.
The show's producer Sheldon Leonard would later direct the pilot of My Favorite Martian. The Martian crash-lands mere feet away from Mayberry's favorite fishing spot.
In the Star Trek episode "The Paradise Syndrome," an entire Indian village and monolith was built at the Lake Hollywood location. You can see the Enterprise crew beaming there in the image above.
The other side of the much-used lake was featured in the first season Brady Bunch episode "A-Camping We Will Go." (The oversized interior of the two tents were filmed back at the Paramount soundstage.)
The war series Combat even once built a entire French Village by the lake. The Beverly Hillbillies also used the lake on several occasions during the series run. Lake Hollywood has played host to more recent shows like Twin Peaks and movies such as The Great Outdoors, to name a few.
So, the next time you have the urge to skip stones Mayberry style, a visit to the lake is called for. But be on the watch for crashing Martians.