Set in a dimly remembered past, before cable (and before Steve Carell was famous), San Diego newscaster Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) finds his position threatened by the novel concept of diversity, in the form of a woman. announcer, veronica corningstone (christina applegate).
although it’s set in san diego, and there’s a scattering of wide shots everywhere, there’s very little of the actual city. Most of the film was shot in Los Angeles, mainly in the south of the city, around the Long Beach area. Channel 4’s news station, however, was a set built in the valley, inside the Seeley Furniture Store, 1800 South Brand Avenue, in Glendale.
the opening shot of the ‘burgundy helicopter’ landing in front of the (fictional) ‘esquire hotel’ shows the international cylindrical tower, long beach (which you’ll probably recognize from lethal weapon and both versions of gone in 60 seconds).
c4’s news crew takes on their hated channel 9 rivals, led by wes mantooth (vince vaughn) at the water park on the shoreline, in the way of the shoreline in the way of the aquarium at long beach. To be fair, the Seaside Village resort in the background looks a bit like San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado (the hotel you see in some like it hot). On their way to cheer themselves up in new outfits, the team makes the mistake of taking a shortcut through a bad part of town. Assaulted by four rival news crews, they wage a bloody battle on Mateo Street in East 4th Place, under the west end of the 4th Street Bridge, east of downtown Los Angeles.
ron misses a transmission after an enraged biker (jack black) kicks his beloved baxter dog into the sea. The bridge from which the unlucky dog is thrown is supposed to be the 1.2-mile San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge, which links San Diego to Coronado Island. this is seen in a wide shot, but the scene is actually set south of long beach, on queens way bridge, at the end of magnolia avenue.
ron is fired after veronica tampers with his teleprompter and for a moment we really are in san diego as he walks disconsolately in balboa park, 1549 el prado.
The park’s ornate buildings can be seen in Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane (as part of Kane’s Xanadu Estate) and in the opening scenes of Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous in San Diego. Going off the rails, Ron hits the milk and is snubbed by his old friends on West 6th Street, between South Mesa and South Center streets, in San Pedro.
by the way, this is the street that became the hub of ‘honolulu’ for the pearling port of michael bay.
the “san diego zoo,” where panda ling wong gives birth and ron is finally redeemed, is the old los angeles zoo on crystal springs drive in griffith park, about a mile south of the zoo current.
When the current Los Angeles Zoo opened in the 1960s, about a mile to the north, the old zoo was abandoned and later turned into a picnic area. It’s located in a canyon just north of the carousel, on the east side of Griffith Park.