They call it “CSI: Miami,” but they film it here. So you’re probably no longer surprised when local people and places pop up on the screen—but it’s still fun to have some advance warning. In last week’s episode, it was Huntington docent Carol Black, clearly visible as a “shopper in line” in a convenience store. And this Sunday, you should tune in to spot a special appearance by none other than the Huntington Art Gallery.
The Gallery stands in as a Miami mansion turned upscale hotel when “the CSIs expose the seedy underbelly of children’s beauty pageants.” The pageant itself was filmed on the south terrace, complete with runway and a confetti cannon (loaded with dried flower petals); the loggia was the hotel lobby. If you watch the show, see if you can spot a set of doors built by the film company and installed in front of our actual loggia doors so that extras could appear to be going in and out of the hotel without interfering with normal activities inside the Gallery.
The episode filmed in early November, and it marked the third time “CSI: Miami” has filmed here. In 2008, they staged an elaborate wedding on the North Vista—adding their own statuary, columns, and lots of flowers. (Unfortunately, the villain bungled his murder plan, and a misdirected bullet shot the bride at the altar.) Later that same season, they returned to film a scene featuring an orange juice heiress breakfasting on the lawn of her mansion (above).
The south terrace makes for a wonderfully varied film location. Parties and weddings are popular (“The Country Bears,” “Master of Disguise,” “Miss Match”); possibly the most spectacular set was for “Town and Country,” which featured an entire Ferris wheel set up on the Rose Garden lawn, along with other midway attractions. “Captain America” draped the building in red, white, and blue bunting to stage a 1940s awards ceremony. Perhaps the most unusual usage was for Peter Bogdanovich’s “At Long Last Love,” in 1974 (right). In a perfect example of “things we probably wouldn’t do today,” an antique roadster was placed on the terrace to give the appearance of a “morning after” a riotously cheery night out. The south door was their front door, and Cybill Shepherd and Burt Reynolds wandered in and out of the building and down into the Rose Garden.
Our episode of “CSI: Miami” airs Sun., Dec. 11, at 10 p.m. on CBS. You can also view episodes on the show’s website.
Captions: Location shots of an episode of “CSI: Miami” in 2008 and the movie “At Long Last Love” from 1974.
Dinah LeHoven is liaison to filming, commercial photography, and weddings.