Filming

>>Fill out an Online Permit Application<<


The City of Long Beach has over 50 square miles of film friendly areas. However, there may be areas in the City that are more popular than others and as a result may have filming limitations. Please call the office for any questions regarding these locations. The following process should be observed when pulling a film permit in Long Beach:

  • Check with the Special Events & Film Office for approval of all locations.
  • A determination will be made regarding the need for a walk through, signature surveys or notices to the film area depending on the scope and impact of the production.
  • File your application and please give us at least three (3) business days advance notice. More time may be needed depending upon the impact to an area. We would appreciate as much lead-time as possible.
  • When the permit is issued it will need to be picked up from the Special Events & Film Office and appropriate fees paid to the City of Long Beach.
  • At the conclusion of the shoot, the City shall issue a bill(s) for any services. Per City of Long Beach Municipal Code, all/any bill(s) are due within 30 days of the invoice date. For any questions regarding billing contact the Special Events & Film Office Phone: (562) 570-5333, Fax: (562) 570-5335


Insurance

The City of Long Beach requires all production companies to provide evidence of insurance accompanied by the City Endorsement form. Make sure your insurance is either on file with our office or fax evidence of your insurance to us so we may begin processing it with our Risk Management office and City Attorney's office.

- View the Insurance Guidelines
- View the City Endorsement Form on the Applications and Forms page >>


Surveys & Notification

The City of Long Beach requires surveys for residential and merchant areas. We do need to know when you begin this process and request that contact with residential areas be completed before 8:00 p.m. The Special Events and Filming Office MUST approve all surveys prior to distribution. Sixty-six percent (66%) approval is needed to film in residential areas between the hours of 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM and eighty percent (80%) approval is needed for times starting before 7:00 AM or ending after 10:00 PM. When filming in a merchant area, eighty percent (80%) approval will always be needed. We encourage film companies and their crews to patronize local businesses where possible.

- View the Signature Survey Form on the Applications and Forms page >> 
After obtaining the necessary signatures prior to filming, a notification shall be sent out to the residential or merchant area(s) through our office and billed to the production company.


City Staffing

The Special Events & Film Office works directly with Police, Fire, Public Works, and City contractors that may need to be notified of your shoot. City agencies will not provide any services until they have a confirmation from our office.


Student Filming

After filing a permit request, students must provide our office with the proper Insurance, City Endorsement Form and a letter from their school stating that they are a currently enrolled student using the production for student purposes only. Students are required to pick-up their permit at our office prior to filming. Students MUST bring cash or check and their current student ID.


Non-Profit Filming

Non-profit organizations may be exempt from permit fees if proof of non-profit status is submitted. A 501(c)3 letter must be submitted to the Special Events and Filming Office prior to filming.


Compliance with Laws

Production Companies must agree to comply with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulations and ordinances. Production Companies must also agree to obtain, and keep in effect, all permits and licenses required to conduct the permitted activities.


Authority to Stop/Cancel

If permit terms are violated, the City of Long Beach may revoke the permit. City reserves the right to summarily revoke the permit at any time upon written notice to Permittee from the City Manager, or his designee, for reasons of disaster, emergency, or other change of circumstances which in the sole discretion of the City Manager necessitates a revocation of the permit.


Pyrotechnics Permit

To obtain a pyrotechnics permit please contact Fire Prevention at (562) 570-2578.


Animal Control Permit

Any production company using animal(s) shall obtain a permit through Long Beach Animal Control. To obtain a permit please contact (562) 570-7387.

Film History of Long Beach, CA

In the early 1900’s Long Beach offered an ideal setting for the motion picture industry.  The city was already a theater town, enjoying a sunny seaside climate, with a steady pool of talented actors, directors and technicians.  Along the Pike in Long Beach, there were eight film houses and two stock company theaters.  As early as 1908, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle had been singing in Long Beach and even got married on stage that same year at the successful Byde A Whyle Theater.  

In 1913, Long Beach’s history was changed forever with the creation of the Balboa Amusement Producing Company, also known as Balboa Studios.  Balboa Studios was comprised of 20 buildings on 8 acres downtown, with 11 additional acres for outdoor shooting in Signal Hill, a separate township enclosed within the city of Long Beach.

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