Fans flock to ‘Bird Box’ house as craze over film soars

The Idaho Statesman (Sunday) - - OBITUARIES - BY HAN­NAH FRY Los An­ge­les Times MON­ROVIA, CALIF.

Miles away from the glitz and glam­our of Hol­ly­wood is a house that has quickly ce­mented its place in movie his­tory.

Nes­tled be­neath a large ev­er­green tree, the Crafts­man-style home with a dis­tin­guished stone stair­case on the cor­ner of North Canyon Boule­vard and East Grey­stone Av­enue pro­vided a refuge from an evil force in Net­flix’s re­cent hit thriller “Bird Box.”

Now, the Mon­rovia home has be­come the lat­est tourist at­trac­tion in Los An­ge­les County. Fans of the movie, in which char­ac­ters must avoid com­ing face-to-face with the omi­nous en­tity, have flocked to the house to take pic­tures of them­selves cov­er­ing their eyes or wear­ing blind­folds on the steps lead­ing up to the prop­erty.

The pil­grim­age fol­lows a long tra­di­tion of movie buffs’ vis­it­ing homes across L.A. that have had star­ring roles on the sil­ver screen. Mon­rovia homes and com­mer­cial ar­eas have been used for years in films such as “Legally Blonde,” “Amer­i­can Pie” and “Never Been Kissed.”

The owner of the sev­enbed­room house, which was built in 1908 by ar­chi­tect Frank O. Ea­ger, couldn’t be reached for com­ment. How­ever, she re­port­edly re­ceived $12,000 for ex­te­rior shots of the house that were fea­tured in the movie.

When Di­ana Her­nan­dez of Chino told her two teenage daugh­ters they were go­ing on an ad­ven­ture one Fri­day morn­ing, she re­ceived groans. But that quickly changed as the fam­ily made their way down Canyon Boule­vard.

Her­nan­dez’s daugh­ter, Abby Olague, 15, said she “to­tally freaked out” when she spot­ted the house.

Abby tried mul­ti­ple poses in front of the house with one hand over her eyes and an­other reach­ing out as if to feel her way up the stairs. Even­tu­ally, she used a thick white head­band she found in her mother’s car as a makeshift blind­fold, cap­tur­ing the ideal shot and repli­cat­ing the premise of the movie.

“Just see­ing the house, it al­most makes you want to go in – even though you know the char­ac­ters aren’t go­ing to be there,” she said. “This was a good sur­prise.”

Abby was the first in her fam­ily to see the film star­ring San­dra Bul­lock, which has amassed a sig­nif­i­cant global fol­low­ing since its Dec. 21 re­lease.

Net­flix an­nounced this week that 45 mil­lion sub­scriber ac­counts across the world watched the thriller dur­ing its first seven days on the stream­ing ser­vice, a record de­but for the com­pany.

The film has gained such pop­u­lar­ity that Net­flix had to warn fans not to hurt them­selves par­tic­i­pat­ing in the newly cre­ated “Bird Box Chal­lenge.” The premise takes the core con­cept of the film – wear­ing a blind­fold at all times – and ap­plies it to daily ac­tiv­i­ties.

Some fans ar­rived at the home in search of an ex­pertly cul­ti­vated photo for their so­cial me­dia feeds. Oth­ers brought jokes along with their cam­eras.

Northridge res­i­dent Jonathan Bug­nosen used a trip to the house to take pho­tos with his daugh­ters as an op­por­tu­nity to cul­ti­vate a cringe-wor­thy pun.

He chuck­led as he pulled a green Celtics bas­ket­ball jersey out of a black Nike shoe box. He slipped the jersey over his long-sleeved shirt and turned around to re­veal the player’s last name on the back: Bird.

He held up the shoe box and grinned.

“Bird Box,” he said. “It’s the ul­ti­mate dad joke.”

His daugh­ters rolled their eyes.

A man driv­ing past the house paused at a stop sign in front of the home and rolled down his win­dow, clearly baf­fled at the spec­ta­cle.

“What’s go­ing on?” he shouted.

“He hasn’t seen it?” some­one in the crowd re­torted with a mix­ture of dis­be­lief and amuse­ment. An­other fan quickly ex­plained the house was fea­tured in a film.

“This is more than a house from a movie,” Her­nan­dez said. “It’s the ‘Bird Box’ house.”


Martha Mun­guia, cen­ter, and her chil­dren Rudy Mun­guia, 23, left, and Alina Mun­guia, 24, do their best movie im­i­ta­tion on Jan. 4 at the “Bird Box” house in Mon­rovia, Calif.


Abby Olague, 15, left, and her sis­ter Bella Olague, 14, of Chino im­pro­vise their "Bird Box" pose on Jan. 4 at the house fea­tured in the movie. They didn't bring blind­folds be­cause their mother didn't tell them where they were go­ing.

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