Visit True Blood Filming Locations
April 7, 2010 by Janie Logan
Ever wanted to see the places of Bon Temps in real life? Many sites from the filming of True Blood are spread out over Southern California and Louisiana. A website called Seeing Stars has compiled a list of all the locations, in case fans want to visit.
Fangtasia has been the sight of several important scenes. We first saw it in Season one, episode four “Escape from Dragon House” when Bill takes Sookie and she meets Eric for the first time. Jason went there later in Season one looking for some V and finds Amy Burley. Sookie and Bill return to help Eric figure out who is stealing from the club, leading to Longshadow being staked. In Season two, Bill brings Sookie to Fangtasia for medical help after she is scratched by the maenad in the woods.
These scenes are filmed at Alex’s Bar at 2913 E. Anaheim St., in Long Beach, CA. Decorated in blood red, it attracts a punk rock crowd with lots of piercings and tattoos, so it won’t be difficult to imagine Fangtasia!
Merlotte’s Bar and Grill is the main site of the show, where all the characters interact, whether they’re working or drinking. If you take the Warner Bros studio tour, you will pass by the bar’s exterior. It’s a rugged cabin set on the studio back lot called “The Jungle.” It is located at 4000 Warner Blvd, in Burbank, CA. The interior of the bar was created by set designer Suzuki Ingerslev. It is in a studio called “The Lot” at 1041 N. Formosa Ave, in Hollywood, CA.
The exterior of the Compton house where Bill lives was originally shot at a place called Roseneath Plantation in Louisiana. It was built in 1845 and served as a hospital for injured soldiers during the Civil War. The plantation is about 20 miles south of Shreveport, on both sides of Highway 5 between Gloster & Kingston, LA.
Establishing shots in early Season one were filmed there, notably for episodes two and three when Sookie and Bill take a walk and then when she comes back later to find Malcolm and the other vampires have unexpectedly dropped by. The plantation is not open to the public, but the producers had a replica built in the Santa Monica Mountains south of the Malibu Creek Ranch. This is also where the Bon Temps graveyard and Sookie’s house are. This allows them to do extended outdoor filming, but since it’s easier to shoot indoors at the studio, there are also replicas of Bill’s and Sookie’s front porches. They are on “The Lot” along with the interior of Merlotte’s.
When Bill, Sookie, and Jason returned home from Dallas in Season two, episode ten, “New World in My View,” they find Bon Temps trashed by the riots and orgies of the townspeople under Maryann’s influence. These scenes were filmed around the main square of Clinton, LA.
In Season one, episode eight, “The Fourth Man in the Fire,” Andy and Terry Bellefleur are fishing on a lake, when they catch sight of Sam running naked through a field. This swampy area can be found in Lake Bistineau State Park in Dowline, LA. In a very interesting coincidence, Sam Trammell has mentioned in interviews before that he learned after they filmed there that one of his ancestors owned that land!
In the Season two finale, Bill and Sookie get dressed up for dinner at a French restaurant, where they dance and then he proposes. This was shot at The Stockade Bed & Breakfast at 8860 Highland Road in Baton Rouge, LA. This is another historic Civil War-era site, built by the Union troops as a fortified camp after they captured Baton Rouge from the Confederacy.
The Fellowship of the Sun church that became the location of Sookie’s imprisonment, Godric’s reappearance, and the showdown between the Dallas vampires and the Newlins‘ soldiers, took place at the SkyRose Chapel in Rose Hills Memorial Park. It can be found in Whittier, CA, about 15 miles from Los Angeles, at 3888 Workman Mill Road.
The Hotel Carmilla for vampires, which was set in Dallas, TX, in the story, is actually the Sofitel Hotel at 8555 Beverly Blvd, in West Hollywood. It was used for several episodes in Season two, when Bill, Sookie, Jessica, Eric, and Lorena come to stay. The rooftop scene were Godric meets the sun in “I Will Rise Up” was filmed at a different place, the 1000 Wilshire Building in downtown LA.
These are some of the most notable sites used for the show, but the Seeing Stars website has an extensive record of locations, even if they were only seen once in an episode or in the main title sequence. There are maps and pictures included with each.
Now we can add one more way to deal with True Blood withdrawal until Season three premieres in June–visit some of these filming locations and imagine yourself there with the characters!
(Photo credits: Seeing Stars)