A piece of Hermosa Beach was transformed into the fictional town of Paradise, California on Monday as the television show Bunheads shot scenes for an upcoming episode at storefronts along Pier Avenue.
The show follows a Las Vegas showgirl as she "marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law's dance school," according to Bunheads' official website.
Production crews spent most of Sunday transforming the on Pier Avenue into the Sparkles clothing boutique. The fictitious store is a recurring location on the show owned by a character named Truly, according to Bunheads location manager Tano Tropia.
Production trucks, studio lighting, and large white light diffusers known as scrims were prominent features in front of Maximus and neighboring storefronts for most of the day Monday.
According to Tropia, multiple cities were considered for filming but Bunheads creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who also created the hit series Gilmore Girls, felt Hermosa best aligned with her vision for the town of Paradise.
"This was the look that she really liked of the nine cities... It is just a real place," said Tropia, who added that Manhattan Beach was also considered but looked too "fru fru" for the show.
John Brown, the assistant location manager for Bunheads said that filming parts of the show on location in Hermosa offered a realism that could not be achieved on a Hollywood soundstage.
"It doesn't look like a stage show like Two and a Half Men," he said. "You see the people walking by, you see the cars going back and forth... It adds realism to the show."
For Hermosa Beach, large productions such as Bunheads create an economic boost for the city as the show pays for permit fees, police and fire protection, parking, and compensation for affected local business owners, Tropia said.
John Brown, the assistant location manager for Bunheads, said that more than 100 people were working on the set during the show's stint in Hermosa this week. "It keeps a lot of people employed," Brown said. "We bring a lot of money to the local economy."
According to the city, revenues from film permits alone have totaled more than $25,000 in the the first half of 2012 and in 2011, the city collected approximately $85,000 from film permits.
More importantly, says Brown, is ensuring everyone is happy once the show wraps production in town.
"If we can walk away and all the merchants are satisfied, the residents are happy, and we can be welcomed back to the city again, that is my ultimate goal for a location,” he said.
As it turns out, Bunheads was welcomed back.
The show already paid an initial visit to Hermosa last November to film scenes for its pilot episode at the . According to Brown, the hotel was transformed to look like the lead character's apartment in Las Vegas.
The show's pilot episode, which includes the scenes shot at the Sea Sprite Motel, will air June 11 on ABC Family. Check your local listings for show times.