‘Star Trek’ Headed To Long Beach

It appears that JJ Abrams is certainly making good on his plan to do as much location shooting as possible for the new Star Trek movie. In their first 5 weeks of filming they have been to at least four different Southern California locations, with the latest being a hangar in Orange County. Now the Long Beach Press Telegram is reporting that Long Beach City Hall (pictured right) may the next stop on the Star Trek road trip.

From the Press Telegram article:

Filmers are busy building things and otherwise getting set to shoot scenes at the sort of retro-space-agey 1976-era building for what appears to be the latest entry in the crazily popular “Star Trek” feature-film franchise.

Trek to Caprica
The Press Telegram could not get city officials to confirm that preparations were for Star Trek, but TrekMovie.com has confirmed that Trek is indeed headed to Long Beach. This will not be the first stop in L.B for Star Trek. The first days of shooting (starting November 7th) were done in a warehouse in Long Beach. This is also not the first sci-fi shoot at the Long Beach City Hall. In 1978 it stood in for the location of the Caprica peace conference in the pilot of the original Battlestar Galactica . No word yet on what the Star Trek crew are planning on using it for.

Long Beach city hall (on the right) in BSG’s TOS

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Maybe I’m first, maybe I’m not, but …

This is interesting. A connection between Galactica and Star Trek.

Awesome…location shooting.

I’m glad this movie isn’t going to be stuck in soundstages. The Nemesis wedding with the tarp for the Alaskan background was really crappy.


I agree that location shooting for buildings and planets and stuff is often preferable to sets, but am I the only one who is a little WORRIED about all the location shooting we’ve been hearing about? Because I really hope this is still primarily a “space adventure.”

#4 – There’s still three months left of filming, and one of the earlier articles mentioned that it would be front-loaded with location shoots.

@4 These locations could be on different worlds.

The building looks like original Trek to me, in the long-distance shot, anyway. I like it.

i think better off show pictures because spoil information. keep private til dec 25th.

One of the coolest buildings in Orange County was the Fluor Corporation campus (yes, the spelling is correct). Big shiny modern steel and glass with corner “turrets” like an massively updated castle. We were thinking of using it for a Starfleet location in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but BSG beat us to it. :) – Rick

Original Star Trek spent more time on planet surface than any other Trek, and I’ll be glad to see this tradition renewed. Let’s hope for even more location shooting!

Starfleet Academy maybe? Though the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant always looks cool as SFA.

#9 Rick! I am not worthy to share the same message board with you. But I am honored to do so!!!!

Ditto for #12. Nice to hear from you, Mr. Sternbach. :-)

(waving frantically…)

I have an interesting building! I have an interesting building!
Shoot here, shoot here..

I’ve a friend in Long Beach, maybe I can bum a room.

Wow, Mr. Sternbach. Welcome! You never know who will drop in.

I’m also reminded of Century City being used in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Still, the problem I often see with location shots is that it can really pull you out of the film if you recognize the structure, no matter how dressed up it is for filming.

that building’s pretty retro-modernist

I am betting that the building will be dressed up via CGI not only around it, but possibly adding to the structure

Maybe that will be the Starfleet HQ building?


Welcome to the forum, Mr. Sternbach! Your amazing vision of the future is the kind of thing that makes science fiction such a passion for many of us.

Thanks for your contribution to the Star Trek universe!

So Six Degrees of Trek will now cross BSG for part of the game ?

Best thing about new actors is adding more dgrees of seperation to the game ;)

Not that we need to link to Heros useing Zach as we got that link with George & now Nikky as well ;)

– W –
* It’s all about, location, location, location *


I know what you mean. It was frustrating as hell seeing the big climaxes of Generations and Insurrection taking place in the desert or mountains instead of out in space where they belonged.

Hell, the TOS movies were almost ENTIRELY stagebound, and yet they still managed to be much better movies overall.

I’d still love to see a few epically huge alien vistas and planetscapes in this new movie though.

This is so great. Downtown Long Beach has all these crazycool 60s/mod buildings that will be so true to the “futuristic” look of TOS.

For years, I thought “Operation: Annihilate” was filmed on location at the Long Beach Convention Center, not TRW in Redondo Beach. The buildings look a lot alike.

#21 et al; thanks for the nice words. As for the shoot, I’ll be interested to see how it all comes together next Christmas, and how it compares to the various bits of architecture (real and otherwise) seen in other Trek films and series. Sure likes they’re still pouring cement for the next few centuries for some of it. :D


Star Trek and location shooting is good, as long as no dune buggies are involved.

Let the canon debate begin:

Will Trek stars face the original-series Cylons, or the new Cylons?

: )

Wonder if the scaffolding is for lighting and stuff or to veil what will be shot inside from those pesky paparazzi. It’s to “encircle” the entire base of the building?

Jimmy Kirk’s shag-pad on Earth?


Where One Man Has Come Many Times Before.

I’m glad they’re doing extensive location shooting, but I wish they could have used some Eero Saarinen or Saarinen-inspired (think Jetsons) buildings to stand in for Federation HQ or Starfleet Academy, etc. Many of the tables and chairs on the Enterprise in TOS were Saarinen’s classic “tulip” designs.

Scott B. out.

I figured the scaffolding was for privacy/security. Of course, they could also throw a green screen up too.


Long Beach has this cylindrical apartment building that’s like, 20 stories high. Looks just like the Jetson’s pad. They also have the “Spruce Goose” hangar that looks like half of a 10-story golf ball sitting inthe water.

Long Beach is a good location.

29 – That’s my thought.

#29 – Wow….just wow. :)

am i the only one who wouldn’t mind a return to the old TRW campus ala Deneva? the current company name eludes me at the moment. I just remember that when I first saw it, in early syndication, say, about 1973 or 74, it seemed like that the coolest, most futuristic location shoot i had ever seen.

#2, what are you talking about? it’s every woman’s dream to get married in front of a crappy alaskan-themed tarp!!!

Just kidding. I totally agree.

#30, Scott:

So TOTALLY agree! I grew up with Saarinen furniture and a love for all good things Mid-Century Modern that continues to this day. I even have the white 90″ round Formica Tulip dining table and two small round side tables that predate Trek by a good 10 years. My parents had the oval Saarinen conference table (walnut tabletop) featured in TOS and TNG as their dining table for years. They still have the Tulip chairs, dammit! Won’t give ’em up!

And let’s not even get into Warren Platner (Parents got some of that too!), whose designs made their way into TNG: http://tinyurl.com/258rel. When my family and I first saw TNG, we were all amazed that we had 24th century furniture in our living room!

Though designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, I’ve always thought the S.C. Johnson Admin building, in Racine, WI, would be a great ST location.
Here are some thumbnail images: http://tinyurl.com/2z6q2n

Can you tell I LOVE Mid-Century Mod, Mod, Mod? :-)

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

I hope they don’t mind the pee stench from the homeless folks there. I used to live right by there and it reeked ! There is definitely a retro vibe there. A large area in front as a sort of courtyard with this retro future sculpture.

#9 Hey Sternbach! Good to have you aboard. You worked on both TMP and STV, no? Doc was on here the other day and was talking about how there are no plans as yet for TMP-HD, or a sprucing up/editing of STV. Who do we need to “convince” over at Paramount? We’ve got your back!

And I mean “convince” in the Soprano style, if you get me, Oxmyx.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that the BSG set pictured up there, from 1978, was CGI.

Only, it looks too good to be CGI.

It has this strange, elusive quality, which, for lack of a better term, I’d call “realness.”

“at the sort of retro-space-agey 1976-era building”

Retro-futuristic. Love it.

Sternbach worked on Trek for a steady 15 years, he got fired along with Berman, Zimmerman et al. once Paramount got rid of them and made way for Abrams.

#41 Nice. Really Nice.

Anyhow, it’s a neat looking building. It’ll be interesting to see how it shows up.

Like some ppl already guessed the scaffolding could be to put up green screens (or blue screens) to change some aspects of the building in post production. That is if they plan to shoot people moving in and out of the (changed) building.
On the other hand, they could also be using the scaffolding to build something around the base for real :-)

Vulcanista– I agree about Johnson Wax!

It’s nice to see this production seems to have some architectural knowledge by having already filmed in the E. Fay Jones chapel earlier in the production and now with this building in Long Beach.

I hope it is Jimmy’s shag pad, jupiter. It is feels kinda like the building we saw out his window in Star Trek II

Location shooting kicks ass!

if zimmerman really got “fired” rather then quit after so many years in the business, then thats a shame. Becuase, Zimmerman is one of like four or five main reasons that Trek movies were good. I mean look at the Baku village, or the Stellercartography set, or…. the Klingon court room in VI, and you will see that he was great at what he did. A shame if it is true

@46 TJ Trek: The way I understand is that the “old” STAR TREK is over. All the creative people involved during the Berman era were let go after Nemesis / the cancellation of Enterprise.
Now we have a new regime with JJ Abrams. The new producers also assembled a new production team, art department and everything. So unless Mr. Zimmerman got hired by the new team, he’s out, unfortunately.

I don’t know if you can say he got “fired”. His TREK just ended.

#37 – Hey Vulcanista (fellow Atlantan, yes?) – I’ve always been knocked out by the Johnson Wax bldg. interiors. Good call.

The thing I think is so appropriate about that “Jetsonian” architecture is that it’s so “ad astra” — optimistic, going boldly, zipping skyward. Star Trek was, in the beginning anyway, about seeking out new life, seeing new vistas, going one step beyond. That’s the sort of future vibe I’d like to see in a fresh (but respectful) take on classic Trek.

#32 girl6 – Thanks for the vote of confidence in the location. Despite my sighing, I do think these folks are making some very right decisions about how to pull off this production.

Scott B. out.

#42; nah, wasn’t fired, just finished up Voyager and wasn’t invited to work on Enterprise because they already had their art dept. up and running. That’s the biz.

#39; It might be a little more difficult to do TNG in HD, but there was talk even when we were still doing the show that hi-res might be coming. I’m sure they’ll do a fine job if they get over the techy hurdles without having to recomposite everything.

Personally, for STXI I’d love to see people transport tubes like in Futurama.


I’d like to see a futuristic society with moving sidewalks, moving stairs and doors that automatically open… where everyone carries a personal communicator, and you can have a widescreen TV in your house.

Oh, wait….