Where Was 'Ratched' Filmed?

Netflix’s Ratched is one of the most visually stunning shows of 2020. The color schemes and the costumes are decadent, as is the extravagant set design of Lucia State Hospital. And to cap it all off, the characters trek through some gorgeous Californian landscapes. With the popularity of the show only building, fans of Ryan Murphy’s latest psychological thriller might want to know: where was Ratched filmed?

For starters, no, you cannot visit Lucia State Hospital. It doesn’t exist. But the town of Lucia certainly does. It’s a small town nestled on the Big Sur coast in California’s Monterey County, which should sound familiar to any Big Little Lies fans.

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Is Lucia, California a real place?

The same Monterey bridge made famous via the HBO hit’s opening credits—the Bixby Creek Bridge—is frequently featured in Ratched, seemingly while Mildred Ratched is driving to and from her motel. And before you think the Sealight Inn was a set created specifically for the show, think again.

That motel is, in fact, an actual place you can visit. It’s called the Lucia Lodge, and it’s just as picturesque in real life as it is in the show. You can book a room for $350 a night.

A quick Google Maps search reveals the bridge is about a one-hour drive away from the Bixby Creek Bridge, however. It’s hard to imagine Mildred would have the patience to drive an hour to work each way every day, so that bridge was probably thrown in there as a visual treat.

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Where is Lucia State Hospital?

According to Variety, California’s famous King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas served as the set for the fictional Lucia State Hospital. The ranch was also used as the campus for NBC’s The Biggest Loser.

The entrance to the three-story dormitory on the grounds of the ranch served as Lucia State Hospital’s main entrance, although all of the hospital’s interiors were constructed and filmed at the 20th Century Fox Studios in Century City.

Star Sarah Paulson told reporters at the CTAM Tour 2020 that the Big Sur cliffs played a big role in the show. “I know that that location was exceedingly important to Ryan [Murphy], probably for what it evokes,” she said. “The visuals and the cliff sides and how quickly you can fall off the edge of a cliff, all of that visual metaphor and things that can be evoked from that place.”

“I’m not sure beyond that visual component that Ryan really, really wanted,” she continued. “I know that it was important to him for the look of the show and all of the drama that sort of is inherently communicated through those images when you see it [set in] Big Sur.”

Related: The False Narrative Ryan Murphy Is Weaving Publicly, According to Sarah Paulson

Can you visit where ‘Ratched’ was filmed?

When it comes to the design of the hospital’s interior, Ratched production designer Judy Becker (who also did the production design for Feud: Bette and Joan) told Architectural Digest, “Ryan said he wanted it to look like a fancy hotel that had been repurposed into a hospital but still retained a lot of its glamour.”

“It’s supposed to look like you want to live there,” she added. “It’s supposed to hide all the horrors. Because it doesn’t have that creepiness we all expect, it’s an even better foil for the events that unfold.”

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