The Wonder Years

Much like “The Simpsons,” the setting of “The Wonder Years” was intended to be nonspecific, as to represent any American town.  However, the Arnold house from the show can be found in a very specific city; Burbank, California.  The house still looks nearly identical to how it appeared on the show.

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LOCATION: 516 University Ave., Burbank, CA 91504

Just across the street is Winnie Cooper’s house, exactly as depicted on the show.  The house has changed a bit, but still mostly resembles how it appeared on the show.

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LOCATION: 525 University Ave, Burbank, CA 91504

After three seasons, the Coopers relocate to a new home, said to be miles away.  In reality, the house is in the same neighborhood.

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LOCATION: 501 Tufts Ave, Burbank, CA 91504

Paul Pfeiffer’s house wasn’t seen much in the series, but it did pop up a couple times.  It can be found on the same street as Winnie Cooper’s second house.

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LOCATION: 536 Tufts Ave, Burbank, CA 91504

An alternate home was also used for Paul Pfiefer’s house.  It can be found in the same vicinity as the other homes.  In fact, it’s located directly beside the first Pfeifer house.

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LOCATION: 537 University Ave, Burbank, CA 91504

While the Arnold house is of course the most well known, fans of the show should also check out the other houses when in the neighborhood.  All of them are within blocks of one another and can be seen in mere minutes.

Dogma (1999)

The climax to Kevin Smith’s biblical comedy “Dogma” takes place at a church in Pittsburgh, where the majority of the film was likewise shot.  Loki and Bartleby, played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, attempt to bring the apocalypse upon Earth, battling Jay and Silent Bob.  Even God makes an appearance.  It’s also the site of George Carlin’s character introducing “Catholicism Wow!” and the famous “Buddy Christ.”

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LOCATION: 130 Larimer Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Seinfeld

Despite being famously set in New York, the exterior shot of Jerry’s apartment is actually located in Los Angeles, which is where the majority of the series was taped as well.

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LOCATION:  757 S New Hampshire Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005

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What can be seen in New York is the famous “Monk’s Cafe,” where Jerry and the gang were regulars throughout the series.  The restaurant is actually known as Tom’s Restaurant and can be found in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.  The show only used the restaurant for exterior shots.  The interior of Tom’s bears no resemblance to the Monk’s restaurant set from the show, although it does feature some Seinfeld photos along the walls.

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LOCATION: 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

To celebrate the show’s arrival onto streaming services, Hulu did a pop-up exhibition in New York and Los Angeles in late 2015, recreating the interior of Jerry’s apartment.

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Jerry’s apartment, 5A.

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The inside door, where Kramer so frequently popped in.

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The kitchen.  Everything was recreated, from the Superman magnet to the cereal collection.

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The living room.

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The computer area.

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The kitchen table.

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The book shelf.

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The bathroom.

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The hallway.

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A recreation of Kramer’s photo studio, where he takes erotic photos of George.

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The stand-up comedy stage.

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The remainder of the photos are props from the show, starting with the famous restaurant booth.

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Puddy’s New Jersey Devils jersey.

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George’s sable hat, which Elaine buys on Peterman’s company account when she goes overboard with expensing personal items.

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The Bachman Pretzels container, from when Kramer gets cast in the Woody Allen film.  “These pretzels are making me thirsty.”

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The Superman figure.

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The script to the final episode, signed by the cast.

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The Frogger arcade machine.

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The pez dispenser.

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The Festivus pole.

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George’s pyramid, from when he visits the holistic healer.

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The Maestro’s wand.

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Bosco.

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The egg Kramer drops in Jerry’s kitchen, then blocks off with caution tape, rather than cleaning it up.

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The Tropic of Cancer book, which Jerry learns he is over 20 years overdue on returning to the library.

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The Junior Mints, as well as the photo of George’s boss, which gets botched when he attempts to erase himself out of the shot.

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The last supper painting.

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It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

For fans of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” it’s not much of a secret that the exterior location for the famed Paddy’s Pub is actually in Los Angeles, not Philadelphia.  The building is in a warehouse area of L.A., which is heavily used by film and television productions, as the area can easily stand in for a variety of different cities.  While the address of the building is on Mateo street, you’ll actually want to turn the corner onto Palmetto Street, in order to see the side of the building that is used as Paddy’s Pub.  Just look for the unmistakable high curb.

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LOCATION: 544 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The back exit of Paddy’s Pub, which is frequently seen on the show, is at an entirely separate building, located a couple miles away in downtown Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: Alley on 11th St, just east of S Broadway  (approximately 115 W 11th St., Los Angeles, CA 90015)

The gang visits Dennis and Dee’s mom’s house in numerous episodes, which is also located in Los Angeles.  The same house can be seen in “Pretty In Pink,” where James Spader’s character throws a party.

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LOCATION: 366 S June St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

Home Alone (1990)

If there’s one location that should someday be converted into a tourist attraction, it would probably be the house from Home Alone.  A truly iconic film spot, it seems an exercise in futility to try to manage a private life at the residence, yet to this day, it does indeed remain private.  The house can be found in the quiet neighborhood of Winnetka, IL, a bit north of Chicago.

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LOCATION: 671 Lincoln Ave, Winnetka, IL 60093

They left the garage door open, just like in the film.

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The church from the film can be found over in Wilmette, IL.  This is the Trinity United Methodist Church, which was used as the exterior location for the film.  The interior of the church was actually an entirely separate location; the Grace Episcopal Church (924 Lake St., Oak Park, IL 60301).

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LOCATION: 1024 Lake Ave, Wilmette, IL 60091

Some props from the film and it’s sequel can be found on display at Planet Hollywood in Florida.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Related articles: Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)

Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory

Tucked away in an industrial section of Los Angeles is the former Fantasy Factory of Rob Dyrdek.  It’s long since closed, with construction crews demolishing and removing all elements of the show, short of the building itself.  However, you can still see where the Dyrdek sign used to be at the top of the building.  The area is not one of the more flattering parts of L.A., so beware that visiting in person nowadays might blemish your memories of the show a little.

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LOCATION: 777 S Mission Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90023

Heat (1995)

As time has passed, appreciation for Michael Mann’s crime saga masterpiece “Heat” has continued to grow.  Few films have ever captured Los Angeles so magnificently as Mann did here.  Even after all of these years, a few locations remain secret, but most have surfaced.

The opening shots of the film show Neil McCauley, played by Robert DeNiro on the Metro Green Line, arriving at the Redondo Beach Station.  Director Michael Mann would return to this same station for the climactic scenes of “Collateral.”  If you plan to visit this station, the only way to access the platform is by purchasing a fare.

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LOCATION: 2406 Marine Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Neil steals an ambulance from the St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach.  The same hospital shows up again later in the film, when Vincent Hanna, played by Al Pacino, rushes his step-daughter Lauren, played by Natalie Portman, to the emergency room.

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LOCATION: 1050 Linden Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813

Chris, played by Val Kilmer, purchases explosives from a company in Whittier (10006 Rose Hills Rd, Whittier, CA 90601).  However, the building seen in the film was unfortunately demolished.

The Mexican food stand where Waingro gets picked up was likewise demolished.  It was formerly located at 1233 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006.

The opening robbery of the armored truck takes place on Venice Blvd, exactly as Hanna states in the film.  It’s near the Los Angeles Convention Center, just underneath the interchange of the 10 and 110 freeways.

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LOCATION:  Venice Blvd / Convention Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90015

The robbers emerge from underneath this split overpass for the collision.

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This is where Vincent arrives to investigate the aftermath.

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McCauley’s crew takes Waingro to the former Johnie’s Broiler in Downey, where they attempt to kill him in the parking lot, but he ultimately escapes.  The restaurant has a unique history, having appeared in many other films, such as “Short Cuts,” “License To Drive,” “The Game,” “One Hour Photo” and many more.  In 2007, the building was unfortunately demolished.  However, Bob’s Big Boy purchased the property years later and rebuilt it based on the original blueprints and even some of the same materials.  So what stands now closely resembles what was seen in the film.

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LOCATION: 7447 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241

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The bookstore (1254 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401) where Eady, played by Amy Brenneman works, as well as the cafe (1457 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401) where she gets to know Neil are part of the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.  The whole area, an outdoor pedestrian mall, was heavily renovated and both businesses are long since gone.

Vincent and his wife Justine live in what is known as the “Sixth Street House” in Santa Monica.  A famous architectural piece, the house has the designation of historical landmark.  Unfortunately, much of the front of the home is obscured by a wall and shrubs, making it a bit inconspicuous.  The side of the home offers better visibility.  In the film itself, only the interiors of the house are seen.

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LOCATION: 2634 6th St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

The location of Neil’s oceanfront home, where Chris sleeps off a domestic spat, has long been subject to debate.  The house most commonly believed to be the correct location can be found on Malibu Cove Colony Drive, a private road just off the Pacific Coast Highway.  Old real estate listings showing the interior of the home match closely with what was seen in the film, down to fixtures and appliances.  The same house was also featured in the film “Less Than Zero,” where Jami Gertz tells Andrew McCarthy she’s not going to college.  However, since then portions of the home have been remodeled, making it a difficult task to match up in person.

The entrance to Malibu Cove Colony Drive has a gate and guard on duty, preventing any public access (most beachfront roads in this area are likewise private).  On the opposite side, however, are the outskirts of Escondido Beach, which is open to the public, but also presents it’s own challenges.  First and foremost, the houses sit very close to the water.  All of them are perched on stilts, as the tides can reach all the way up to the base of the properties.  Visitors should use caution if they walk these narrow shores, as the high tides can leave you little room to cross.  It also makes photography a challenge, unless you plan to take a swim.  The next challenge is simply identifying the correct home.  Many of these beachfront homes have been heavily remodeled.  If you attempt to match them to satellite views, many details won’t align in person, due to remodeling.  Some of the homes also resemble one another, particularly their patios, making it even more confusing.  It’s easy to see why, after decades, the location has remained subject to debate.  To be certain we found the correct home we were seeking, we used a combination satellite imagery and GPS.  A drone (or jet ski) is likely a better method to view the house, but if you do attempt it on foot, use caution and do your research.

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LOCATION: 26940 Malibu Cove Colony Dr, Malibu, CA 90265

The restaurant where Donald, played by Dennis Haysbert, begins working under the abuse of a crooked manager is Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank (not to be confused with the Downey location covered earlier in this article).

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LOCATION: 4211 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505

Later in the film, Neil happens to be dining inside with his crew and spots Donald cooking and immediately recognizes him as a former prison buddy.

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Neil speaks to his driver, Trejo, from a phone at the restaurant, where his is informed Trejo is being tailed by cops and cannot join their heist.  In need of a last-minute, replacement driver, Neil offers Donald a job on the spot.

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Plans for the bank heist are first offered to Neil and Nate, played by Jon Voight, when they visit Kelso, played by Tom Noonan.  The house was filmed on Dodds Circle in Los Angeles, which is also where Trejo’s house is located in the film.  Neil and Nate first park here, overlooking the 10 freeway.

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LOCATION:  Dodds Cir, Los Angeles, CA 90063 (just off Dickson Ave)

McCauley then discusses the plan with Kelso at his house, which is fenced off around the entire perimeter.

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LOCATION:  1235 Dodds Cir, Los Angeles, CA 90063

Vincent and Drucker visit Albert’s chop shop in Wilmington.  At the time of filming, the area was rumored to host an actual chop shop, though now it’s just a train maintenance area.  The distinct, yellow sulpher pile still remains and there is a very strong smell in person.

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LOCATION: 1017 Foote Ave, Wilmington, CA 90744 (near the railroad tracks)

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The drive-in theater where a deal goes wrong was formerly located at 5700 W Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045.  It was demolished not long after filming took place.

The restaurant where Neil’s crew dines can be found in Santa Monica, near the pier.

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LOCATION: 1535 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Eady’s house sits perched on stilts in the hills of West Hollywood, offering a magnificent view over the city.  There’s not much to see from the front of the house itself on Blue Heights Dr.  Signs declare the cul-de-sac where it sits to be private property, but you can still see it well from the public section of the road.  The floor to ceiling windows and patio area are much better seen from lower streets, such as Viewmont Dr (near the 1600 block, just before it reaches a dead end).  The house found renewed interest in 2014 with the TV series “Bosch,” where it serves as the home of the titular detective.

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LOCATION: 1870 Blue Heights Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90069 (best seen from around the 1600 block of Viewmont Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90069, just before the road hits a dead end)

Here is a view of the city, as seen from Blue Heights Dr, just before you reach Eady’s house, closely resembling what you’d see from the home.

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One of the film’s classic scenes is of course the face to face meeting between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.  The conversation took place at the excellent Kate Mantilini, an institution of Beverly Hills which sadly closed in 2014 after the restaurant could not afford a rental increase by the building owners.  We managed to capture some photos from when the place was still open.

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LOCATION: 9101 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (now closed)

Above the entrance to the restaurant, this image from the iconic scene was hung.

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After meeting Neil, Vincent returns to a hotel where he’s staying, only to discover his step-daughter Lauren has attempted suicide in his bathroom.  This was filmed at the Hotel Angeleno, just off the 405 freeway.  The hotel was mostly seen from interior views in the film, aside from a shot of Vincent looking down at the freeway from his balcony.

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LOCATION: 170 N Church Ln, Los Angeles, CA 90049

The exterior of the famous bank robbery scene is set in downtown Los Angeles at the Citigroup Center.  This same location was also briefly seen in David Fincher’s “Fight Club.”

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LOCATION: 444 S Flower St. Los Angeles, CA 90071

The robbery then spills out onto the streets, in what many consider one of the greatest shootouts ever filmed.

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LOCATION: Intersection of W 5th St / S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Trejo’s house, much like Eady’s, sits on stilts over a hillside of L.A., where he is discovered by McCauley near the end of the film.  It sits on the same small road as Kelso’s house from earlier in the film, which was discovered as a result of finding this home for the film.

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LOCATION: 1219 Dodds Cir, Los Angeles, CA 90063

The Dark Knight (2008)

“The Dark Knight” famously used the streets of Chicago to double as Gotham City.  Here we’ll take a closer look at the locations of Christopher Nolan’s classic crime drama, as well as a few iconic props from the film.

This is the street corner where The Joker stands at the opening of the film, holding his mask in his hand.

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LOCATION: Southwest corner of S Franklin St. and W Van Buren St., Chicago, IL 60607

The bank from the opening bank robbery was shot at the Old Chicago Post Office.

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LOCATION: 433 W Van Buren St., Chicago, IL 60607 (NOTE: the film shot from the northern corner of W Van Buren St. and Canal St.)

The spot where The Joker’s crew ascend onto the bank’s rooftop.

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LOCATION: 420 W Van Buren St., Chicago, IL 60606

The station where Batman rides his Batpod in pursuit of The Joker is part of Chicago’s Metra rail.

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LOCATION: Mellennium Station, 151 E Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601 (Note: This cannot be seen from the street, you must head below into the station.)

Here is a look at the Batpod used in the film.  You can see it on display as part of the Warner Bros. Studio tour.

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One of the film’s most famous locations is where the Batman / Joker confrontation takes place on the streets, with the semi truck flip.  (Note: This same location was also used in Brian De Palma’s film, “The Untouchables.”)

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LOCATION: S La Salle St., facing the Chicago Board of Trade Building, 141 W Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604

Here’s a look at the Batmobile Tumbler, used in both “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight.”  It is also on display at Warner Bros. Studios, as part of their tour.

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You can also see Christian Bale’s Batman costume from “The Dark Knight” on display on the studio tour.

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Last but not least, the Bat Signal, also on display on the Warner Bros. Studio tour.

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Related articles:

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Killing Zoe (1993)

While Roger Avary’s underappreciated 1993 heist film “Killing Zoe” is set on the streets of Paris, the bank from the film is actually located in downtown Los Angeles.  In fact, the whole film came about precisely due to producer Samuel Hadida coming into access to the bank, which subsequently led to him reaching out to filmmaker Roger Avary to ask if he had any bank robbery scripts.  Without actually having one, Avary promptly said yes and set about penning the film.  Today, the bank is the Farmers & Merchants Bank.  It was also seen in the film “(500) Days Of Summer.”

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LOCATION: 401 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

A replica of Hannibal Lector’s cell, from Jonathan Demme’s classic 1991 film “The Silence of the Lambs,” was built in the basement of the Hollywood Museum in Hollywood, California.  While not an exact match to the film, it’s pretty close.

The guard desk.

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The entrance to the cell block.

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The hallway.  “Stay to the right.”

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Multiple Miggs’ cell.

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Hannibal Lector’s cell.

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LOCATION: Hollywood Museum, 1660 Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028

Moving on to real world locations, while the climax to the film is set in Ohio, the home of Buffalo Bill can actually be found in the rural town of Perryopolis, Pennsylvania.  You can follow the Youghiogheny River up to the railroad tracks (which are in active use), into a head-on view of the famous house where Clarice Starling faced off with Buffalo Bill.

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LOCATION: 8 Circle St., Perryopolis, PA 15473

Just across the tracks, you can still see the same RV that was seen in the establishing shot of the house.

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