North Hollywood Medical Center
North Hollywood Medical Center (Medical Center of North Hollywood) was a hospital, operating from 1952 to 1998, in the community of North Hollywood, a district in the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles.
The hospital is famed as the filming location, from 2001 to 2008, of the multiple award winning hospital comedy television show Scrubs.
North Hollywood Medical Center was opened in 1952 as "Valley Doctors Hospital", a small private hospital with 160 beds and an emergency room.
The hospital was sold to Hyatt Medical and re-opened in 1973 as "Riverside Hospital", reflecting its location on Riverside Drive and beside the Los Angeles River.
In 1976, foreshadowing its future use as a permanent film set, Riverside Hospital was used to film scenes of the original TV movie of the "Having Babies" movie and series franchise.
The name was changed to "Medical Center of North Hollywood" following misplaced negative publicity caused in late 1981 when nurse Robert Diaz was charged with murdering 12 hospital patients in unrelated hospitals in Riverside County, California.
In 1997, North Hollywood Medical Center teamed with the USC University Hospital to operate a Family Practice Residency Program at North Hollywood. The relationship was facilitated by the fact that both hospitals were then owned by Tenet Healthcare.
Citing reduced revenue streams, Tenet Healthcare closed North Hollywood Medical Center in August 1998.
Filming location of Scrubs
The building required extensive reconstruction before it could be used as the Scrubs location. The reconstruction included production offices and dressing rooms on the third floor.
The series' lead actor, Zach Braff, commented on DVD audio commentary that the hospital still received patients in the lobby asking for medical advice, believing the hospital was still running due to the ambulances parked as props outside. On another DVD commentary, Sarah Chalke recalled having a man and his wife show up looking for medical help. She remembered that the man's arm was bloody and there was nothing anybody could do except direct the couple to a real hospital.
The pilot of the show was filmed elsewhere. Season 9 was set in a new medical school facility, for which a stage set at Culver Studios was used. In the show, Sacred Heart Hospital was said to have been torn down and re-built on the "Winston University" campus.
Other roles in film and television
Other than being used in Scrubs, the building was featured repeatedly as the hospital in the 2001 film The One, starring Jet Li. The center was used to film an advertisement for Communities In Schools. It also served as the filming location of the hospital-drama Diagnosis X, which featured doctors acting out their most unusual cases. The hospital can been seen from the outside in the Britney Spears movie Crossroads, where it played the hospital her friend Mimi ended up in after losing her baby.
The hospital has also been used in the following:
- Charmed, The WB Supernatural drama
- The Sopranos, HBO drama
- Childrens Hospital, Adult Swim comedy
- Chuck, NBC comedy-drama
- Crossroads, Britney Spears drama
- Eli Stone, ABC comedy-drama
- The Forgotten, ABC drama
- The Office (US version), NBC sitcom
- The One, Jet Li action
- Parenthood, NBC comedy-drama
- Three Rivers, CBS drama
- Worst Week, CBS sitcom
- United States of Tara, Showtime comedy-drama
- Death Valley (TV series), Black comedy, Comedy horror
- Six Feet Under, HBO drama
- Freaks and Geeks, NBC comedy-drama
- "Malcolm in the Middle", FOX comedy
The building was scheduled to be demolished in 2011. On July 19, 2011, a fire was reported during the demolition of the building and quickly extinguished by the Los Angeles fire department. Welders removing part of the roof inadvertently dropped hot steel scraps down an elevator shaft, where debris caught fire. According to fire officials, there were no injuries, and no monetary loss as the building was already under demolition.
- King, Anna. "Blaze at Old North Hollywood Medical Center" (video), North Hollywood-Tuluca Lake Patch. July 19, 2011. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- IMT Residential (2013-02-22). "IMT Residential adds to California Portfolio with the Opening of Luxury Apartment Community in Sherman Village" (PDF). IMTResidential.com. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- David Colker (1997-07-09). "USC, N. Hollywood Hospital to Train Family Physicians". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- "Nurse charged in hospital deaths", The Milwaukee Journal, November 24, 1981", p1
- "DIAZ, Robert Rubane", CrimeZZZ.net
- Tom Schultz and Sharon Bernstein (1998-06-26). "Valley Hospital to Close, Another May Cut Services". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-03-27.
- IMDB.com Trivia for The One
- Sandra Kofler (2010-07-12). "Rob Corddry Spoofs Hospital Dramas With ‘Childrens Hospital’". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2010.