Earlier this year, I was in the Beverly Hills area when I came across the Greystone Mansion which I instantly recognized as something I had seen before which didn’t make sense, because I had never been in the area I was exploring before. After walking around the grounds of the mansion and marveling at its architectural style, it’s almost completely made of stone, I decided to do some research on the mansion and it’s history which turned out to be very interesting. First off, I found out that the Greystone Mansion has been used in tons of movies, so that explains why I thought I had seen it before. I’ll just list a few to give you an idea of its popular use in movies. It was used as the front gate to Xavier’s school in X-Men, it was used as Robert Angier’s mansion in The Prestige, and was surprisingly renovated to be a bowling alley down stairs for the movie There Will Be Blood.
I found it so interesting that a mansion in Beverly Hills could be reinvented and re-imagined to be so many things in film and television and even in real life. In 1928 the estate was completed and given as a gift from Edward L. Doheny, an oil tycoon, to his son Ned. Now the mansion is a public park, used for special events, and of course still used in movies. After watching parts of the documentary, Los Angeles Plays Itself, I became so intrigued with how different buildings and places have been depicted in movies and other forms of media. It really makes you question what a space is, because places, especially in Los Angeles, can be reinvented so easily to convincingly be something completely else and the Greystone Mansion is a perfect example of the transformation and manipulation of spaces that the film industry uses to create unique spaces for a films alternate world.