Why Visiting the ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Season 1 Set Is Nearly Impossible

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of the standout TV shows of the ‘90s. It’s only natural fans of the Buffyverse would want to visit the set of the series. But viewers may be disappointed to learn making a trip to the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 is nearly impossible. 

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ dominated programming on The WB

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seth Green, and Alyson Hannigan filming a scene from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seth Green, and Alyson Hannigan filming a scene from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ | John Fagerness / Contributor

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on The WB in March 1997. Sarah Michelle Gellar leads the series as Buffy Summers. She’s a teen living in the fictional California city of Sunnydale.

But it just so happens to be a hotspot for evil. When Buffy’s not in school, she’s fighting demons and as the title of the show says, slaying vampires. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer resonated with viewers, quickly building a dedicated fan base. Even today, fans of the show are as loyal as ever.

The series went on to establish itself as a powerhouse until finally becoming one of the most popular shows around. As a result, Gellar, and the rest of the cast, became major stars.

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ had a small budget early on 

Created by Joss Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer started and ended in different places as far as the budget’s concerned. When the show debuted, it didn’t have much of a budget to speak of.  

Whedon said as much in a book about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff series, Angel. “We were very much on a tight budget. It’s really kind of sad, actually,” Whedon said, according to The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Buffy and Angel by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman. 

As a result, the people responsible for bringing the series to life had to get creative and use the same area for different scenes. 

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‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ filmed in a warehouse, not a soundstage

The budget for the show was so small, filming on a soundstage wasn’t an option. Instead, Buffy the Vampire Slayer filmed inside and around a warehouse in California. 

A hallway became the set for the high school, seen many times in the show’s early episodes. 

“This hall you’ll see a lot of in the first 12 episodes,” Whedon said. “It is the entire school. We only had the one hall, so we use it over and over again. 

Cast of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
Cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer | Fotos International/Courtesy of Getty Images

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For the exterior shots of the high school, Buffy the Vampire Slayer filmed at Torrance High School in Torrance, California.

The warehouse where the show filmed also served as the entrance to The Bronze. 

“When we designed the club, we put the door to the club on the outside of the actual warehouse so that we could go in from the outside because that would give it real life and make it very realistic,” Whedon said. 

When they couldn’t film in a real cemetery, the production designers made a temporary one in the parking lot of the production offices.

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‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ warehouse is no longer in existence

This is where visiting the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1 gets tricky. Many of the sets were temporary so fans can’t visit them. Even the warehouse where the show filmed is no longer around. 

Raymond Stella, the director of photography on Buffy the Vampire Slayer said the warehouse, which was a converted lumber warehouse located at 28th and Olympic, is no more. 

“I think the metro is going through it now,” he said. 

While fans can’t visit all of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer filming locations today, they can visit some. Plus, fans can see the sets that are no more by streaming Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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