I’m a fan of what most people now consider “old” movies. Growing up, when I was supposed to be cooking dinner for our family of six, you could usually find me in front of the TV watching “The 4:30 Movie” instead. (Now my mother will know why I burned so many dinners before she got home from work!) I adored watching The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, A Summer Place, and From Here to Eternity, to name a few.
Well, I got to relive snippets of some of those old movies when my husband Mike and I were in Monterey, CA recently. Doug Lumsden, owner of Monterey Movie Tours, knew that many (now) classic Hollywood movies were filmed on location in and around Monterey over the years. He melds film snippets, local color and visits to the actual filming sights into a few hour tour that is both fun and fascinating to movie buffs.
We climbed onto the cushy tour bus and chose our seats; each seat is named after a star who filmed in the area. I slid right into Clint Eastwood’s lap, and Mike sat next to me on Billy Bob Thornton. The bus is a theater on wheels. We pulled on a set of headphones and glued our eyes to the TV screen in front of us. The theme from A Summer Place filled our ears as Doug pulled out of the Convention Center lot.
On the day we took the tour (it varies, according to what Doug said) we saw locations where scenes from A Summer Place (Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee), Turner & Hooch (Tom Hanks), Play Misty for Me (Clint Eastwood), and Clash By Night (Marilyn Monroe), among many others, were filmed.
Doug set the scene for each movie as he drove to the location, then he played the movie snippet. By that time the actual site where the scene was filmed was directly in front of us. It was so much fun, especially when Doug pointed out “modern day” background bloopers in the midst of an historical film — for example, a golf course green in the background of a pirate movie!
The tour also includes the scenic (and very famous) 17-Mile Drive. The views of the Pacific Coastline are breathtaking. We stopped at The Lone Cypress, the iconic symbol of the Pebble Beach Company, drove by Spyglass Hill Golf Course, which pays tribute to the book Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, and on to the famous Lodge at Pebble Beach (scenes from Julie with Doris Day were filmed here). Mike and I had a drink overlooking the famous 18th hole. The private homes along the drive, many owned by the globally known rich and famous, are stunning to see.
Practicalities: If you take the tour, it leaves from the Monterey Conference Center. You could (for $17) park in the conference center lot, but two short blocks away is East Public Parking ($7).
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