This fabulous 1927 map shows some of the key reasons why the movie industry flourished in Los Angeles–California’s physical geography is incredibly diverse. As the industry was emerging in the first half of the 20th century, they didn’t have massive budgets to travel the world to give their locations a great degree of geographic accuracy it their set locations. Southern California was the ideal home base for a wide range of locations that could physically approximate so many environments and ecosystems. This cost saving strategy had more than economic ramifications; this strategy reinforced many spatial (and cultural) stereotypes in the movies that powerfully influenced how people conceptualized what these places were like. These geographies of cinematic imagination, created for economic purposes, shape our regional perceptions.

Tags: place, California, landscape, popular cultureindustry.