Anaheim's ARTIC station, the big, ugly Lite-Brite across the street from the Honda Center, looks better on television than the real life eye-sore it is. The transportation center scored another TV series season finale cameo when it appeared on Showtime's Ray Donovan last month. The film crew transformed ARTIC into an airport lobby for a day, probably because actual airports are too busy with real travelers!
The Ray Donovan scene turned out to be much less dramatic than ARTIC's other prime-time appearance on HBO's True Detective season finale last year. Ray's daughter, Bridget, ascends up on an airport escalator on her way to NYU—and away from her loser brother, Connor, for good? There was definitely less bang-bang than True Detective's train station shoot-out scene—hell, even when filming in Anaheim, an officer-involved shooting manages to make its way in!
But did Anaheim get more bang for its buck with Showtime? The True Detective folks signed a $50,000 license agreement with a two-day shoot accounting for half of that. Documents obtained by the Weekly this time around show Blind Decker Productions, the studio behind Ray Donovan, shelled out just $10,000 in license fee to use ARTIC. The film crew set up for a one-day shoot on July 14 to tape the scene, placing extras at the base of ARTIC's escalators (Insert joke about empty ARTIC here).
When it comes to having OC on TV, something like the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana making a cameo on American Horror Story: Asylum as the outside of its spooky “Briarcliff Manor” some years back made sense. But ARTIC is new, and is supposed to serve a purpose beyond packing the pockets of former Anaheim mayor Curt Pringle (Or not!).
The $188 million boondoggle is running in the red, and is notoriously underused, with Anaheim's taxpayers picking up the tab. Nevertheless, the Anaheim Transportation Network (ATN) board of directors boasted ARTIC's appearance on Showtime as a highlight alongside the construction of its first restaurant (now open) called The Oyster Bar.
But whether on HBO or Showtime, one thing's for sure: ARTIC is Anaheim's most expensive stage prop!