Imperial Beach: Setting for HBO’s 10-episode series, John from Cincinnati.
Located on the grounds of the US Naval Radio Station, this oft-featured “classic bullseye listening array” is part of the DOD Worldwide High Frequency Direction Finding System for strategic intelligence collection and emitter location.
When Butchie Yost takes John’s platinum card for a test drive at a local liquor store (ordering a whole shelf of “Chival Regas”), the two men and three bikini-clad cardboard cutouts make their way back to the Snug Harbor Motel down this road.
Exterior shots of the Snug Harbor were shot at the El Camino Motel
on Hwy 75. Currently for sale.
Butchie’s cabin and the ones adjoining it were built in what had been a grassy area near the pool. Here, months after filming, one also finds Shaun’s abandoned half pipe.
Palaka is cleaning the “4” when Steady Freddy orders him to the hospital with Dr. Smith. “Who better than the source of my fracture to force me to give up enjoying myself?”
The lounge where Gilbert Rollins would order a Roy Rogers for his young friend.
The lounge’s rear exit, where Dr. Smith finds Barry concerned about another young friend.
Additional pictures of the motel were prohibited by a local “Steady Freddy” type who may have been alerted to our presence by the motel’s squatters. Art imitates life.
The IB pier where much JFC action takes place.
According to Butchie, if you can get the dealer’s ass out of bed, the pier is a nice place to cop a fix.
John takes a look through this pier scope to the listening array beyond.
Linc and his Stinkweed buddy, Jake, use taped conversations to negotiate at this spot.
Later, Stinkweed will “lay down cover” for John’s father in front of Surfhenge. Incidentally, the Pier Plaza Cow-a-Bunga ice cream shop (on the left) serves a mint flavored John from Cincinnati ice cream with mocha chips.
Mitch and Cissy’s surf shop, Yost Boards, where Kai works.
After Kai tells Butchie that Shaun’s competing in Huntington, Butchie steps outside to call Mitch.
Butchie and Dwayne find Shaun behind the locked shop after Cissy takes an ailing Palaka for help.
Vietnam Joe accuses bartender Ernie of being the “warped rear-echelon asshole” who thought “something I confided about events in-country was worth abuse for the sake of a fucking chuckle” after John’s recovery at his hand.
Jerri’s Beach & Beans coffee shop, where Dwayne manages his YostClan
website. Evidently his “hairlip” is no indication of his online prowess.
When Shaun “Miracle Boy” Yost recovers, the media swarms outside the family home where John later asks Cissy, “Are you sitting in your kitchen on 7th
street, thinking of blowing off your head with your gun you got back from Kai’s trailer?”
Mitch’s zen clubhouse, which looks out toward the listening array, hides behind the house to the right of the garage and can be seen from the highway.