How Much Did Anaheim Make By Renting Out its ARTIC Station to HBO’s True Detective?

One of the rare times Anaheim’s ARTIC bus and train station actually had people in it came last year courtesy of HBO’s terrible second season of True Detective. Caleb Duffy, location manager for the show, scoped out the spot for its season finale. He told KPCC that nobody had ever filmed at ARTIC before and that his crew “broke the seal.” 

The overwrought finale was bad, but nothing was worse than ARTIC’s cameo, which defied reality even more than Colin Farrell’s mustache. It was an appropriate metaphor for the $188 million transportation center, long mired in controversy, long bereft of users, and running millions of dollars in the red, dollars being covered by Anaheim taxpayers. So let’s hope that at least Anaheim got some good HBO money out of renting ARTIC to True Detective, right? Not exactly.

According to documents obtained by the Weekly, the production company signed a license agreement with Anaheim back in April 2015 before setting up shop at OC’s biggest Lite Brite for three days later that month. To throw off True Detective devotees, the agreement said the fictional “Outlaws” was the TV series interested in filming. The synopsis of the scene described the station as “safe, public, populated.” The first two seem right enough, but that third one called for some extras! 

Anaheim got $50,000 for renting out ARTIC, with a two-day shoot comprising half of that. It’s unclear from the agreement if the transportation center closed down completely to the public for that time, but with the show’s floor plans using all of the interior and parts of the parking lot, one can assume so. A request for traffic control services by Duffy noted that he expected 80 crew members and 100 extras on April 20-21. The last day of filming called for 300 extras. ARTIC all-time attendance records? 

Once again, to remember how laughable the scene was, roll the tape!

All seemed to go swimmingly well. The show got its spot to film and ARTIC looked crowded for once in its life. But the crew did more than just “break the seal.” The city billed HBO in November for more than $35,000 in damages to the transportation center’s floors, according to documents. 

Since ARTIC’s cameo, all has seemingly returned back to quiet. But don’t worry: public art installations are going to put the “art” in ARTIC soon and that will draw the masses, right? 

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