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Thursday, 01 July 2010 00:00

What is Fairplex and Why You Should Care?

Written by  Melissa DeMonaco-Tapia
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Sidebar_Fairplex_mel300Film production in California has been a major contributor to the state's economy since the beginning of motion pictures and television. While other states have recently used tax incentives to tempt producers, the Los Angeles area still remains the production hub.

California is also fortunate to have a diverse geographic range –– no matter what type of setting you're looking to achieve, you can find it in California. And Fairplex, based in the eastern end of Los Angeles County, offers the perfect diverse geography to fit many production backgrounds.

Home of the L.A. County Fair, Fairplex's 543 acres are virtually a city within a city that provides film crews with a private backlot atmosphere. There aren't many Southern California locations that offer not only a quarter-mile drag strip, but a 5/8-mile horse racetrack as well. Fairplex offers those unique elements and more:

· Home to NHRA's Auto Club Raceway complete with seating for 30,000

· Live Thoroughbred Horse Racing at Fairplex Park

· Tree-lined streets, park-like settings and an infield

· 250,000 square feet of sound stages with ceilings as high as 50 feet

· A variety of barns, stables and horse arenas as well as a working farm

· Full-size and miniature outdoor trains

· An art gallery, wine cellar and Wally Parks NHRA Automotive Museum

· A fire station, police station and gas station

· Board rooms, conference rooms and offices

· A sports bar and private restaurant available for filming

· Onsite Sheraton Hotel

Encompassing five million square feet, Fairplex's unobstructed parking lots are perfect for high-speed pursuits, stunts, set construction and long-term filming. This is where Herbie the Love Bug drove on two wheels during a street race scene for Herbie: Fully Loaded; Bruce Willis raced through the streets of Los Angeles along with helicopter for the final chase scene in Live Free or Die Hard; Fairplex Park doubled as Mexico's Aguas Caliente racetrack for Academy Award Best Picture nominee Seabiscuit; an interior tree-lined corridor served as Kentucky's second-largest farmers market, where Orlando Bloom searched for love in Elizabethtown; and the Millard Sheets Center for the Arts made the perfect setting for the UFO convention scene in Escape to Witch Mountain.

Fairplex tries to work with all budgets on everything from photo shoots to feature films, and the onsite Sheraton Hotel offers special filming rates. The Fairplex staff is sensitive to the needs and timelines of large and small-scale productions alike. Well known for being film-friendly, Fairplex strives to enhance its stellar reputation, offering simple film permitting through the L.A. County Fire Department.

Fairplex is proud to be a business member of the Location Managers Guild of America. They have sponsored the annual California On Location Awards since 2004, as well as the California Only Locations reception, and they exhibit in the AFCI Locations Trade Show annually. Fairplex also provides hospitality for film industry professionals including invitations to the L.A. County Fair.

California's expanding 30 Mile Studio Zone will soon include Fairplex, which is currently just eight miles outside. Enlarging the zone will provide more filming opportunities and increase employment throughout Southern California.

For a private tour of Fairplex or more information, contact Melissa DeMonaco-Tapia at 909-226-8813 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also visit its website at 

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