Scene It Before: The "Malcolm in the Middle" House - CityThink - Los Angeles magazine
 
 

Scene It Before: The "Malcolm in the Middle" House

The Studio City pad that Frankie Muniz (and Bryan Cranston, before he broke bad) called home is, sadly, no longer standing

I am not fond of change. Nostalgic by nature, I fight transformation tooth and nail—especially when it comes to filming locations. So I was devastated to learn that the bungalow that served as the home of the “Nolastname” family on Malcolm in the Middle had been torn down sometime in 2011 and a new, much larger residence built in its place. I had never actually seen an episode of the Fox series, which aired from 2000 to 2006, but was heartbroken over the demolition nonetheless.

Said to be located at 12334 Maple Boulevard in an unnamed city on Malcolm in the Middle, the abode is (or should I say was) actually located at 12334 Cantura Street in Studio City. According to a 2001 Entertainment Weekly article, the then-homeowner earned between $3,000 and $4,000 a day whenever filming took place on the premises and raked in close to $100,000 in the first two years of production alone. Despite that impressive revenue, he put the bungalow on the market for $479,000 in mid-2001 upon deciding he needed more space.

The original one-story home, which was built in 1936, was quite modest in size, featuring two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 1,429 square feet. Thankfully, I visited the place back in 2008 and was able to see it in its original state.

According to Zillow, the structure was sold once again in November 2010 for $300,000. It was apparently already undergoing a massive remodel at the time, as you can see in these photographs. Whoever purchased it continued the project, completely leveling the home and then constructing a new one in its place, more than doubling the size of the original. The two-story post-remodel residence, which Zillow estimates is worth $1.7 million, boasts four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and 3,200 square feet. You can check out some pictures of what it looks like in its current incarnation here.

The rebuild is all straight lines and sleek edges and, though stunning, lacks the charm of the original. Not to mention the mini-manse no longer fits in with its decidedly old-fashioned neighborhood, which is populated with quaint, white-picketed bungalows.

Personally, I think someone should purchase the pad, knock it down and build a replica of the original house on the grounds. (Where’s Nicole Curtis when you need her?) In the meantime, I’ll be looking into forming a Film Location Preservationist Society so that this sort of thing does not happen again.

Photos: A screen capture from the pilot episode of Malcolm in the Middle(top), which aired in 2000; a picture of the original residence (middle) taken in March 2008; and a photograph of the rebuild circa June 2012 (bottom), both courtesy of Lindsay Blake


Lindsay Blake is an actress, writer, celebrity admirer and Los Angeles enthusiast who contributes to CityThink each Thursday. Her true love is filming locations, and she founded the Web site IAMNOTASTALKER in 2007 to document her vast findings on the subject. For more “stalking” fun, you can follow Lindsay on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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  1. Tim from California posted on 06/05/2014 03:48 PM
    The Joni Mitchell theory plays here. (Picture #2, from 2008, is the more desirable-looking home.) When I lived on Laurel Terrace, in the 1970s, Studio City homes still had a certain panache that distinguished the neighborhood from, say, Canoga Park. In the '60s, when I was growing up over the hill (in reverse) on Crescent Heights, homes there had a Spanish style that set THAT area (Beverly-Fairfax) pleasantly apart from, say, Levittown. One day, when I was six or seven, I noticed a neighbor up the street-- between Clinton and Melrose-- had changed the look of his Spanish-style home to something best described as "boxy," with a front I learned that day from my mother was called a "facade." As she so wittily said to me, "Oh, that's just that crazy Howard Jarvis." Joni Mitchell was right.
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