Hollywood’s History at CI!

Hollywood’s History at CI!

By Hilda Lopez

It is not a secret that CI was previously the Camarillo State Hospital. It was the largest mental hospital in the world when completed. The hospital was open from 1936 through 1997.  But did you know that the Camarillo State Hospital and CI have been the backdrop for movies, TV shows and music videos?  

Dating back as far as 1948 the movie “The Snake Pit” was filmed during what was known as the Camarillo State Hospital. The movie depicts the chronicles of a young woman who has a mental breakdown and stays in a mental hospital.  Another movie that was filmed at here was “Larry”, filmed in 1974. The movie is based on a true story about a man who is wrongly placed in the Camarillo State Hospital for 26 years. It is later revealed that this man was of average intelligence and was released and had to learn how to function in the real world with the help of a social worker. In 1987 the movie “Three Kings” was released. This was a made-for-TV film that depicts three patients in a Los Angeles-area mental institution. The three patients dress up as the Three Wise Men for a Christmas pageant, and the three men become delusional thinking that they are the “Three Wise Men” on a quest to find Baby Jesus.  

From 1993 to 2007 there were 18 movies filmed on campus. The most notable films have been “Pearl Harbor” and “The Ring”, both filmed in 2002. TV shows such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “X-Files,” “The Biggest Loser” and “Ray Donovan” have also been filmed on-site. Music videos were also filmed on campus, including “Thinking of You (I Drive Myself Crazy)” by the well-known group NSYNC!   

The Camarillo State Hospital and CI have a rich and unique history that has served as a backdrop to many movies, TV shows and music videos. From horror films to contemporary dramas, these productions help keep the memory of Camarillo State Hospital now CI alive. It is refreshing to see that CI is not only known for being Camarillo State Hospital or for being haunted but for being a part of pop culture.