Prop houses in Los Angeles

When film and TV productions need to decorate, they visit one of L.A.’s top prop houses—and so can you
Faux Library
Photograph: Courtesy Faux Library
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Prop houses are living silver-screen museums. Chances are any time an actor dials a rotary phone or digs up a piece of forensic evidence, the thing in their hand originated from a warehouse in North Hollywood or a vintage store in Hollywood. But you don’t need to be a film buff or set designer to appreciate a trip to a prop house; the overwhelming accumulation of stuff, from the historical to the terrifying, makes these holdings of collectibles and cultural curios worth a visit—for everyone.

Prop houses for every type of film fan

Nick Metropolis
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Sharon VanderKaay
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For Americana addicts

icon-location-pin La Brea

Like the wild love child of a Las Vegas casino and a Los Angeles strip mall, Nick Metropolis Collectible Furniture is filled to the brim with pop-culture relics. Owner Nick Metropolis—indeed his real name—refers to himself as the king of collectibles, and it’s difficult to dispute that title as you navigate a tent filled with a jumble of illuminated letters and a teetering tangle of Hollywood Sign knockoffs in this tight corner lot.

Oceanic Arts
Photograph: Courtesy KP/Yelp
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For tiki enthusiasts

icon-location-pin San Gabriel Valley

Oceanic Arts’ collection is less focused on the silver screen and more on tiki establishments. For six decades, it’s outfitted popular locales, from pioneering spots such as Trader Vic’s and Don the Beachcomber to Disneyland, with nautical accessories, tropical bird replicas and all things bamboo. Walk into the Whittier shop and it feels as though every tiki-bar enthusiast in SoCal has picked up decor from its distressed wooden shelves.

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Dapper Cadaver
Photograph: Courtesy Dapper Cadaver
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For the morbidly curious

icon-location-pin San Fernando Valley

Ghoulish and grisly decorations aren’t just for Halloween. At Dapper Cadaver, you’ll find shelves stocked with a mix of human dummies and fantastical creatures—everything from mermaid skeletons to facsimile skins straight from the “butcher shop.” When a forensic scene shows up on a crime procedural or body parts are shown on Stranger Things, chances are they’ve come from this shop.

Faux Library
Photograph: Courtesy Faux Library
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For bookworms

icon-location-pin North Hollywood

Anyone who’s ever moved to a new apartment can tell you books are heavy. That’s why you’ll find hollowed-out editions alongside stacks of overstocked paperbacks at Faux Library Studio Props. Curio-cluttered shelves coexist with mod desk sets in the North Hollywood warehouse; an assortment of library sets across time and continents creates a wonderland of literary trimmings.

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History For Hire
Photograph: Courtesy History For Hire
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For history buffs

icon-location-pin North Hollywood

When productions need spot-on period-piece props, they turn to History for Hire. As its name implies, the North Hollywood warehouse strives for accuracy in films with everything from 1920s movie cameras to midcentury cereal boxes. The prop house even runs its own research library where clients can flip through old issues of Life or a classic Sears catalog for inspiration.

Looking for more behind-the-scenes peeks at moviemaking magic?

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