Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California

Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California

Pacific Palisades is a district within the U.S. city of Los Angeles, California, located between Brentwood to the east, Malibu to the west, Santa Monica to the southeast, the Santa Monica Bay to the southwest, and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north. The area currently has about 27,000 residents. It is a very affluent and primarily residential area, with a mixture of large private homes, small (usually older) houses, condominiums, and apartments. It has a small central business district on Sunset Boulevard--consisting of restaurants, stores, banks, and offices--known as "the village." It also includes some large parklands and many hiking trails.
Palisades Charter High School serves the neighborhood. It is known as "Where The Mountains Meet the Sea." Notable shops in the village include Norris Hardware (which originally was the Bay Theater), Cathay Palisades (formerly Fein's Deli), PaliSkate, Benton's Sporting Goods, and Village Books.


In 1911, film director Thomas Ince created his Western film factory Inceville, which at its peak employed nearly 600 people. A decade later, the Rev. Charles H. Scott and the Southern California Methodist Episcopal Church bought the land; in 1922, Scott founded Pacific Palisades, envisioning an elaborate religious-intellectual commune. Believers snapped up choice lots and lived in tents during construction. By 1925, the Palisades had 100 homes. In one subdivision, streets were named for Methodist missionaries. The tents eventually were replaced by cabins, then by bungalows, and ultimately by multimillion-dollar homes with priceless views.

For many decades there was a virtual ban on drinking in the district, a Chinese restaurant called House of Lee's conspicuously holding the only liquor license. The Presbyterian Church originally owned a conference center in Temescal Canyon before it was sold to become Temescal Gateway Park. Will Rogers owned a large ranch adjoining the Palisades in Rustic Canyon, now also a state park, and helped to attract movie stars to the area. It has been home to a number of intellectuals and actors, including Aldous Huxley, Thomas Mann, Emil Ludwig, Oskar Homolka, Grete Mosheim and Vicki Baum. Others such as Bertolt Brecht lived in the area's outskirts. Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester were known for their hospitality. Steven Spielberg currently has a home there, Tom Hanks is a famous resident, as is Anthony Hopkins and two California governors, Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, lived in the district for many years, although at different times. Music producer and song writer Jerry Goldstein also lives in Pacific Palisades. Author Henry Miller and poet Maya Angelou also lived in Pacific Palisades.

Every 4th of July, the Chamber of Commerce sponsors day-long events which include a 5K and 10 K Run, a parade down Sunset Boulevard, and a fireworks display at Pali High football field.

The most well-known landmark in the Palisades is J. Paul Getty's Getty Villa. The museum erroneously claims that it is the Getty Villa of Malibu; however, it is a part of the Palisades, which is in the city of Los Angeles.

The only newspaper directly serving the Palisades is the Palisadian-Post. The community was served by two papers until they merged in the 1970s. The papers, The Palisades Post and the Palisadian, became the Palisadian-Post. Unlike most weeklies on the westside of Los Angeles, the Post is subscription-based. The paper's Web site is The paper is owned by the Small Newspaper Group, a midwestern media chain. The Small family purchased the Post from longtime owner/operators the Browns in the early 1980s. Roberta Donahue is the publisher and Bill Bruns is the paper's managing editor.

The most important civic group within the Palisades is the [ Pacific Palisades Community Council] . That council was the model upon which the city of Los Angeles modeled its Neighborhood Council system. The council usually meets twice each month to discuss a wide range of issues that affect its residents. The council has rejected city offers to become an official part of the city, preferring its independent, non-aligned status. Among the main reasons that Council members cite is the fear that it will lose the power to sue the city.


*The Riviera features The Riviera Country Club, a high-end country club, and streets named after various locations in the French and Italian Riviera. The neighborhood is divided into north and south sections by Sunset Boulevard. It borders Santa Monica and Brentwood.
*Rustic Canyon features post-war homes located on the former polo field of The Uplifters, the original site of The Uplifters clubhouse (now a city park) and the "cabins" developed as second homes and weekend retreats. This area is also known as Uplifter's Ranch. Located off Sunset Blvd. between The Riveria and Huntington Palisades. Above the canyon lies Will Rogers State Park.
*Huntington Palisades is close to the 'village' proper, and is more of a typical suburb. It is located south of Sunset Blvd.
*The Alphabet Streets also known as "North Village", are north of Sunset Blvd. and are characterized by narrow streets. The street names are consecutively named beginning with A, B, C, D, etc - hence the name Alphabet Streets. The streets are named for Methodist Bishops of the late 19th and early 20th century. It is a popular destination for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
*The Bluffs are located further out-of-town west along Sunset Boulevard and start past Palisades Charter High School and Via De La Paz. they extend for a long distance between Sunset Blvd. and the Palisades Bluffs.
*Marquez Knolls is a large area of homes, known for spectacular ocean views, and is located farther west on Sunset Blvd on a mountain upslope. The lower upslope was first developed in the early 1950s and mid 1960s by the Earl Lachman family. Marquez Elementary services the neighborhood along with a small shopping center on Marquez Street and Sunset Blvd.
*Palisades Highlands is a community near the end of Sunset Blvd., bordering Malibu. About five minutes away from the center of the Pacific Palisades, the Palisades Village, The Highlands could almost be considered its own separate community.

Filming location

* The 2005 Anne Hathaway, Bijou Phillips film "Havoc" was set in the Palisades and filmed at Palisades Charter High School.
* The 2003 Disney film: "Freaky Friday" with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan was filmed at Palisades Charter High School.
* The 2001 film Crazy/Beautiful starring Kirsten Dunst was filmed at Palisades Charter High School.
* The 1977 NBC television program "James at 16", starring Lance Kerwin was filmed at the same school, which was then called Pacific Palisades High School, or more commonly as "Pali" High.
* The 1976 film "Carrie" was also filmed at Palisades High School.
* Food Network's "Everyday Italian" is filmed on El Medio.
* The TV series "Baywatch" was filmed at Lifeguard Headquarters by tower 15 of Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades.
* The TV series "Rockford Files" was often filmed in and around the Palisades in the 1970s.
* The TV series "Popular" filmed at Palisades High School
* The TV series "The Golden Girls" features a house facade that is based on a house in Pacific Palisades. The facade is used as the opening shot in each episode.

Cultural references

* The Beach Boys 1963 hit Surfin' USA (song) mentions Pacific Palisades in its list of Southern California surf spots.
* The Northern Ireland rock group Ash featured a song named "Pacific Palisades" on their 2001 album "Free All Angels."
* Title of a 1997 TV series produced by Aaron Spelling.
* Title of a 1990 film starring Sophie Marceau.
* The NBC television series Saved by the Bell was set in Pacific Palisades.
* Pacific Palisades entered the national lexicon with the publication of the 1976 bestseller, "What Really Happened To The Class of '65". The book was about members of one of Palisades High School's early graduating classes and how their once-privileged lives turned out years later, often disastrously. The book, by the son of novelist Irving Wallace, namely author David Wallechinsky, and his "Pali" classmate, film critic Michael Medved, was replete with "no-holds barred" profiles of many of the favorite long-time teachers of the school, including English teachers Miss Jean O'Brien and Mrs. Gilbert (aka "Mama G"), and history teacher Mr. Johnson. More timely was the detailed look the book described Pacific Palisades as a microcosm of America during the tumultuous Summer of Love-era. The success of the book later inspired a short-lived television docudrama-style series.
* Pacific Palisades is the setting of Hailey Abbott's book "Forbidden Boy".

Emergency services

Fire service

Los Angeles Fire Department [ Station 69] is in Pacific Palisades and serves Pacific Palisades and the Pacific Coast.
Los Angeles Fire Department [ Station 23] is also in Pacific Palisades and serves the Palisades Highlands, Castellammare, and the Pacific Coast.

Police service

Los Angeles Police Department operates the West Los Angeles Community Police Station at 1663 Butler Avenue, 90025, serving the neighborhood [] .


Residents are zoned to Los Angeles Unified School District schools:
* Pacific Palisades Elementary School (some residents)
* Marquez Elementary School (some residents)
* Revere Charter Middle School
* Palisades Charter High School [" [ Palisades Charter High School Attendance Zone] ." "Los Angeles Unified School District".] There are four private schools in the area including Calvary Christian (K-8) [] , [Village School] [] (pre K-6), Corpus Christi (K-8), and St. Matthew’s Parish School (K-8)

Public Library

Los Angeles Public Library operates the [ Palisades Branch] .


"Los Angeles Times" is the citywide newspaper.

[ Palisadian-Post] is a local community newspaper.

Postal service

The United States Postal Service operates the Pacific Palisades Post Office at 15209 West Sunset Boulevard.

Public Tennis Facilities

The [ Pacific Palisades Tennis Center] operates the Pacific Palisades only public tennis facilities.

Notable residents (past and present)

* J. J. Abrams - Screenwriter and creator of TV's Lost (Abrams is a graduate of Palisades Charter High School, aka Pali High)
* Judd Apatow and his wife Leslie Mann - Film Producer/Director and Actress
* Emilio Arechaederra - Architect
* Ryan Ashley - Actor and dancer
* Lionel Atwill - Actor
* James Robert Baker - Writer (committed suicide in his Pacific Palisades home in 1997)
* Steve Bellamy - Founder of the Ski Channel and The Tennis Channel
* Mel Blanc - Actor and voice talent
* Richard Boone - Actor
* Kobe Bryant - NBA athlete
* Francis X. Bushman - Silent Film star
* Chris Carter - Writer, Director, Producer (Notably The X-Files.)
* Ted Cassidy - Actor
* Chevy Chase - Actor/Comedian
* Tommy Chong - Actor/Comedian (one half of the comedy duo 'Cheech and Chong')
* Stephen Collins - Actor known from (7th Heaven)
* Bert Convy - Actor and Game Show Host
* Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband Christopher Guest - Actress & Director
* Larry David - Seinfeld co-creator and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm
* Patti Davis describes growing up in the Palisades in her memoirs, including "The Long Goodbye".
* Vlade Divac - Retired NBA athlete
* Inga Drozdova - Playboy's Miss November 1997
* Lion Feuchtwanger - German writer (who settled in Pacific Palisades in 1941 and spent there the rest of his life)
* Michael G. Fisher - Musician (Percussionist)
* Richard Buckminster Fuller - Inventor (lived in Pacific Palisades until his death in 1983 at age 87)
* Marc Graboff - NBC Vice President
* Brad Grey - Producer and President of Paramount Pictures
* Steve Guttenberg - Actor
* Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson - Actors
* Goldie Hawn and long-time partner Kurt Russell - Actors (they also own a house in neighboring Malibu)
* Joseph Morgan Henninger - Artist and Illustrator
* Emile Hirsch- Actor
* Anthony Hopkins - Actor
* Kate Hudson - Actress (also owns a house in neighboring Malibu)
* Nicole Kidman - Actress
* Ted Knight - Actor
* Thomas Mann - Novelist
* John Mayer - Singer
* Ted McKinley - Actor
* Nancy Meyers - Director/Writer/Producer
* Ray Liotta - Actor
* Carole Landis - Actress (committed suicide there in 1948 at age 29)
* Lindsay Lohan - Actress
* Mike Love and Dennis Wilson - Beach Boys band members
* Walter Matthau - Actor
* Rita Moreno - singer, dancer and multiple award-winning actress. Also past Honorary Mayor.
* Gavin McLeod - Actor and current Honorary Mayor
* Poppy Montgomery - Actress
* Carrie-Anne Moss - Actress
* Michael Newman - Actor, Former Lifeguard, and Former Firefighter
* Randy Newman - Musician, Singer/Song Writer, and Film Composer
* Stevie Nicks - Singer
* Chris O' Donnell - Actor
* Ozzy Osbourne - Musician
* Jack Owens (singer-songwriter) - Singer and songwriter of the 1940s and Honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades in 1955
* Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly Williams - Country Singer & Actress
* Stuart Pankin- Actor
* Alexandra Paul - Actress and Activist
* Brad Pitt - Actor (still owns a home in the Palisades)
* Sydney Pollack - Film director, producer and actor
* Anthony Quinn - Actor
* Guy Raymond - Noted Character Actor
* Ronald Reagan - 40th President of the United States, Politician, and Actor
* Michael Richards - Actor
* Joan Rivers - Comedian (Owns a home in Pacific Palisades as well as in New York City)
* Keri Russell - Actress
* Bob Saget - Actor/Comedian
* Ken Sansom - Actor and Voice-Over Artist
* Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver - Actor/Politician and Journalist, respectively
* Jason Segel - Actor
* Martin Short and Canadian comic actress-wife Nancy Dolman ("Soap") have lived in Pacific Palisades since 1987.
* Rex Sinquefield - Investment banker
* Britney Spears purchased a Pacific Palisades home in the Pacific Palisades Highlands in July 2007 for an estimated $6.9 million.
* Steven Spielberg - Director/Producer (keeps his main residence in the Palisades)
* Matt Stone - South Park co-creator
* Hilary Swank - Actress
* Jonathan Taylor Thomas - Actor
* Thelma Todd died back in the 1930s in Pacific Palisades under suspicious circumstances near her Roadside Cafe, a local landmark, on Pacific Coast Highway.
* William Tuttle - Hollywood make-up artist
* James Tyler - Architect, best known for the trademark "bridge building" dramatically spanning an arroyo and roadway at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
* Vivian Vance - Actress
* Naomi Watts - Actress
* Adam West - Actor

See also

* Eames House
* The Getty Villa
* Villa Aurora


* [ Exiled German-Speaking Intellectuals in Los Angeles]
* Young, Betty Lou, "Pacific Palisades, Where the Mountains Meet the Sea", Pacific Palisades Historical Society Press (1983)

External links

* [ Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce]
* [ Pacific Palisades Tennis Center]
* [ The Palisadian-Post] (the weekly newspaper serving the community)
* [ Pacific Palisades Community Council]
* [ Pacific Palisades Grenola/Las Casas Neighborhood Group]
* [ Villa Aurora] (former residence of writer Lion Feuchtwanger and now artis residence)
* [ Pacific Palisades Historical Society]
* [ Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee]
* [,1,.story?coll=la-headlines-west LA Times' West Magazine]

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