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Old 12-26-2019, 07:31 PM   #1
GentlemanJim
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Default Courthouse interior set information

Does anybody know of a site that has done any kind of analysis on changes made to the interior set of the Courthouse over the years?

I understand that most of the exterior shots in Mayberry proper were filmed at the "40 Acres" studio backlot in Culver City CA, while most of the interior sets were located in nearby Desilu studios.

I recall that during season 1 inside the courthouse, immediately to the left from the perspective of entering from outside, was a walkway leading to a door, presumably to a closet. The closet being located between the front wall of the courthouse, and jail cell #1

In later years the closet was gone, and a free standing heater was located roughly in it's place.

During the "closet era", a bulletin board was mounted to the inside of the front wall of the courthouse between the entry doors and the closet, such that it would be blocking the window that is visible from the outside, backing many of the scenes depicting people sitting on the bench out front.
Further, during the closet era, steam radiators are located in a couple places along walls in the court house,

During the "free standing furnace" era, the steam radiators disappeared, as did the bulletin board that covered the above mentioned window.

As a related curio, the christmas episode where they have a family in the jail for christmas, it appears there are a few mistakes made while filming the family in cell #1 where people actually extend beyond the confines of the cell , and are partially in back of the closet door.....suggesting of course that an easy escape from that cell through the door would be possible.

Anybody know of a site where these peculiarities (and others) have been examined in detail? thanks in advance

Last edited by GentlemanJim; 12-26-2019 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 12-26-2019, 08:08 PM   #2
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Default

One additional question about the courthouse interior. Those boxes located at the bottoms of the window blinds (an inverted cornice of sorts).

Has anybody ever seen such a detail in real life, at the bottoms of the windows?
I never have.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:08 PM   #3
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Not many "rivet counters" here on this message board I guess?

One other unique aspect I just noticed in relation to the inverted cornices at the bottom of the courthouse windows. They are not in place during season two....so they were added later. Suggesting that something happened to create a need for them.

My best guess is that although the courthouse exterior was part of the Culver City backlot, used for the street scenes. The courthouse interior was completely a separate set in the studio. And transparencies of the Mayberry "skyline" were placed over the courthouse window exteriors, with backlighting to create a realistic view through the windows. My bet is that these oddball inverted cornices were in place to control excess backlighting from bleeding in around the bottom perimeter of the window blinds .

This studio set also had a rudimentary courthouse exterior built outside for "sitting on the bench" scenes, and it was only this artificial set that featured the alley/walkway between the courthouse and Floyd's barbershop (remember the scene with Ben Weaver standing on a box in this walkway so that he could peer into the jailcell window).

In the actual exterior set located on the backlot, the courthouse and the barbershop abut one another, with no walkway between them.
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