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Where Is Lucia Hospital Located? Is It Real?

September 19, 2020
3 min read

Like any other Ryan Murphy series, Netflix’s ‘Ratched’ is imbued with vivid camerawork, richly-saturated set designs, a ludicrous amount of pulp and melodrama, and a setting that perfectly complements the complex plot of the show. The story begins in 1947 and predominantly takes place in California. At the start of the show, Mildred Ratched arrives in town, seeking a nursing job at Lucia State Hospital. The 1962 Ken Kesey book, which has inspired both the 1975 Oscar-winning film ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and ‘Ratched’, is set in the Oregon State Hospital, which is a real-life facility. Miloš Forman would later use the same institution as a filming location for his magnum opus. If you are wondering whether Lucia State Hospital actually exists as well, here is what we have been able to find out.

Where Is Lucia State Hospital Located?

‘Ratched’ shows a small, picturesque, seaside town in which Lucia State Hospital is located. There is an unincorporated area named Lucia in Monterey County, California, with green hills, gorgeous beaches, and iridescent sunsets. In the show, Lucia’s population is 985 in 1947. In the real world and 73 years into the future, things are not much different. It is still sparsely populated, with a little over a thousand people currently residing there. Some of the most aesthetically pleasing shots in the series involve the strikingly beautiful cliffside Sealight Inn. This motel also exists in real life, though its name is Lucia Lodge.

Is Lucia State Hospital Real?

No, Lucia State Hospital is not real. In the series, the facility was established in a mansion belonging to an old-money family. The reality is closer to that part of the show’s lore. The scenes that depict the exterior of the facility were filmed in the King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, once owned by the businessman King Camp Gillette, known for inventing the safety razor. In 1926, he bought the 588 acres of sprawling property in the Santa Monica Mountains. Following his death, MGM filmmaker Clarence Brown purchased it from his widow. In the ensuing years, the estate changed hands multiple times before it was acquired jointly by the National Park Service, California State Parks, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. They subsequently opened it for the public. Some of the other projects that have been filmed there are ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’, ‘The Clearing’, and ‘The Biggest Loser’.

Read More: Is Ratched Based on American Horror Story?

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