Bad Santa (2003)

As snow falls on “O’Hara’s Pub” in the opening scenes of Terry Zwigoff’s “Bad Santa,” the sunny streets of Venice, California are probably the last thought in the minds of the viewers.  However, that’s exactly where the scenes were shot, at a store front along the famous Abbot Kinney Boulevard.  A wooden facade was partially built over the store front, along with a neon sign, with only the outer brick lining still visible.  It’s located just a couple doors down from the record label where Paul Rudd works in “This Is 40.”

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LOCATION: 1100 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Willie, played by Billy Bob Thorton, lives at this apartment, located in Long Beach.

LOCATION: 1161 Magnolia Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813

Willie finds someone searching through his motel room. This scene was also filmed in Long Beach.

LOCATION: 446 W Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90806

Willie hides out at Thurman Merman’s house, which can be found in West Hills, California.

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LOCATION: 7211 Whitehall Ln, West Hills, CA 91307

The Wizard (1989)

In the 1989 Nintendo classic, “The Wizard,” Corey, played by Fred Savage, along with his brother Jimmy, played by Luke Edwards, make their way to Reno, which is home to Haley, played by Jenny Lewis.  The famous Reno Arch is featured prominently during this scene.

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LOCATION: 155 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501

Near the end of the film, Jimmy makes his way to the Cabazon Dinosaurs to relive some family memories.  The dinosaurs are a roadside attraction in Cabazon, California and can be seen from the 10 freeway.  Originally built by a sculptor and theme park artist as a way to attract customers to his nearby restaurant, the dinosaurs now operate as a small museum and gift shop.  The dinosaurs were also seen in the 1984 film “Paris, Texas” and the 1985 film “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.”

LOCATION: 50700 Seminole Dr., Cabazon, CA 92230

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The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Unlike the first two installments of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy, which used Chicago to double as Gotham City, the third and final installment, “The Dark Knight Rises” used an amalgam of cities, which included Pittsburgh, New York City and Los Angeles.  Here we take a look at some of these locations.

Bane robs the Gotham City Stock Exchange, which was filmed in the heart of New York’s financial district on Wall Street.  However, the production used the JP Morgan building, located directly across the street from the New York Stock Exchange.

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LOCATION: 23 Wall St, New York, NY 10005

As Bane unleashes an explosion at the Gotham football stadium, as well as all across Gotham, Blake, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is rocked by one of the explosives and his car flips over as he drives down this alley.  While many of these shots were filmed in Pittsburgh, this particular alley can be found in downtown Los Angeles.  It’s located on Terminal Street, which intersects with 7th Street, just past Alameda Street.

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LOCATION: Terminal St, Los Angeles, CA 90021 (a nearby address to arrive around the alley would be 1371 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021)

The police get trapped in this tunnel under the 6th Street Bridge, also in downtown L.A.  Sadly, the bridge, which has been seen in countless films over the years, including “Grease,” “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” “Gone in Sixty Seconds,” “Drive” and many more, was closed and demolished in 2016.  This tunnel underneath the bridge led directly to the L.A. river, where countless more films were shot.

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LOCATION: Under the 6th St Bridge, at the intersection of lower E 6th St and Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (now demolished)

The scenes of Scarecrow sentencing people to punishment was filmed at Union Station, a train station in downtown Los Angeles.  It has been featured in many films, such as “Blade Runner,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Species,” “Bugsy,” “Pearl Harbor” and more.

LOCATION: 800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Over at the 3rd Street Tunnel in downtown Los Angeles is where Catwoman, played by Anne Hathaway, uses the Batpod to blow up some cars, which have been piled up to obstruct the entrance.  The view seen in the film is on the side of the tunnel that faces Flower Street.  The same tunnel was also seen in “Darkman.”

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LOCATION: W 3rd St., at the entrance facing S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90810

The Batpod Catwoman rides can be seen on display at the Peterson Automotive Museum, also in Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Moving over to Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Mellon University was used for a couple key sequences, near the film’s climax.  Bane released the prisoners from Blackgate Prison, which was shot at Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute.  The building’s address is on Fifth Ave., but you’ll actually have to turn the corner to the side of the building facing Dirthridge St. to see the spot used in the film.

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LOCATION: Software Engineering Institute, 4500 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (facing Dirthridge St)

The Mellon Institute, which is located right beside the Software Engineering Institute, served as Gotham City Hall, where Bane and Batman do battle on the steps of the building.

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LOCATION: Mellon Institute, 4400 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Lastly, we leave you with a shot of the Batmobile Tumbler from the film, which is on display at Warner Bros. Studios, as part of their tour.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Related articles:

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Bad News Bears (1979)

The original version of “The Bad News Bears” shot at Mason Park in Chatsworth, California.  The field was mostly unchanged for the production, with the biggest addition being a fence.  The field still exists today, though it has been heavily remodeled.  Curiously, there isn’t even so much as a sign denoting the field’s connection with the film.  You would think the parks and recreation would better embrace their history.

Los Angeles appears to better acknowledge their film history.  There is a field in the city actually named The Bad News Bears Field (1411 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025).  While no filming took place at the L.A. field, it also has a connection with the film.  Screenwriter Bill Lancaster enrolled his son in little league at the field.  He drew upon the experiences as the basis for the film’s screenplay.

Below is a photo of the Chatsworth field, where the film was shot.  Note that there are two baseball fields at the park.  The one used in the film is the one nearest to Mason Ave, not the one near Fullbright Ave. The field also appeared in parts of the sequel “Bad News Bears in Breaking Training.”

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LOCATION: 10500 Mason Ave, Chatsworth, CA 91311

There Will Be Blood (2007)

While the majority of Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 film “There Will Be Blood” was shot on location at McGuire Ranch in Marfa, Texas, the film’s third act was shot mostly in Beverly Hills, California.  However, the brief establishing shot of Daniel Plainview’s mansion was shot at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington. Completed in 1911, the property is located within a private, gated community. However, the estate currently serves as an event space and bed and breakfast. The Stephen King miniseries “Rose Red” also filmed at Thornwood, as well as the prequel film “The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer” and the 1927 silent film “The Eyes of the Totem.”

LOCATION: 8601 N Thorne Ln SW, Lakewood, WA 98498

All of the interiors of the Plainview mansion were shot at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. While the outside of the Greystone grounds is open daily and free to the public, getting inside is a bit more challenging.  The property is owned by the City of Beverly Hills and regularly accommodates productions and private events.  Therefore, only a few times a year is access to the inside of the estate possible.  Planning ahead is required if you’d like to see inside.

Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day Lewis, can be seen firing his gun in his house from this hallway.

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LOCATION: 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The objects he is shooting at, which his son later steps over when arriving to visit, is seen from the reverse perspective.

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Daniel Plainview can be seen writing checks at this kitchen counter.

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Plainview’s son comes to visit Daniel in his office, which is lit much darker in the film.  This same room can also be seen in “The Big Lebowski,” when The Dude visits The Big Lebowski, as well as in the films “Air Force One” and “Flowers In The Attic.”  This room can actually be seen without gaining entry inside the building.  Just left of the main windows at the front of the mansion, you can usually look through the windows and see this room, unless curtains are blocking it.

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Daniel sits at his desk in front of this window, which again is much darker in the film.

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A drunken Daniel Plainview is seen stumbling down these stairs, as the film approaches it’s final scenes.

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Eli Sunday, played by Paul Dano, pays Daniel a visit and fixes himself a drink at this bar.

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In this corner of the bowling alley is where Eli Sunday and Daniel Plainview sit and talk, with Plainview seated on the bowling ball rack.  Daniel demands Eli declare himself a false profit and delivers the famous “I drink your milkshake” speech. The bowling alley was completely restored by the production and the room remains identical to how it appeared in the film.

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The film’s violent ending takes place on these bowling lanes. “I’m finished.”

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Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)The Master (2012)Inherent Vice (2014)

Halloween (2007)

For Rob Zombie’s 2007 remake of “Halloween,” the fictional town of Haddonfield is actually South Pasadena, where the original film likewise shot.  In fact, just a few blocks down from the Myers house from the John Carpenter original, you’ll find the Michael Myers home from Rob Zombie’s remake.  The house was also notably used in the TV series “My So-Called Life.”

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LOCATION: 1110 Glendon Way, South Pasadena, CA 91030

The interior of young Michael Meyers’ bedroom and bathroom was a completely different location, found in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles.  Known as The Beckett Mansion, the property actually operates as an event space and filming location year round.  The same house has been featured in “True Romance,” “Neighbors,” “No Strings Attached” and many more.  It’s also located directly across the street from the house from “The People Under The Stairs.”

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LOCATION: 2218 S Harvard Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018

Here is the house of Laurie Strode.  The same home was featured in the films “Space Jam” and “Sky High.”

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LOCATION: 1002 Highland St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Here is the Wallace house.  The same house was featured in the film “The Battle Of Shaker Heights.”

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LOCATION: 1937 La France Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

The Doyle house can be found on the same street as the Wallace house.  The same house can also be seen in several other films, including “She’s Out Of Control,” “Flowers In The Attic,” “Little Fockers,” “Bruce Almighty” and “Star Kid.”

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LOCATION: 1960 La France Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Young Michael Myers attends school at this building, which is actually an administration building for the South Pasadena Unified School District.

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LOCATION: 1020 El Centro St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Directly across the street is Laurie’s school, which is actually the entrance of the Community Room of the South Pasadena Public Library.  The same library was featured in a deleted scene in the film “Say Anything…

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LOCATION: 1115 El Centro St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, where Michael Meyers is housed later in the film, is actually a Veteran’s Hospital in North Hills.  There are quite a number of buildings and roads on the premises,  so it can be tricky finding the exact spot used in the film.  To locate it, you must first turn onto Puller Rd.  Each building has a large number on it.  A bit down Puller Rd, you’ll see the building from the film, which is building 4.  It can be easily identified by the long wall surrounding the yard in front of it. The same building was also featured in the films “Step Brothers,” “Argo,” and “Accepted.”

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LOCATION: 16111 Plummer St, North Hills, CA 91343

Related articles: Halloween II (2009), House Of 1000 Corpses (2003), The Devil’s Rejects (2005), 3 From Hell (2019)

The Rock (1996)

The majority of Micheal Bay’s 1996 action film “The Rock” was shot on location at Alcatraz Island. You can read our separate article on Alcatraz here, which has many more photos.

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LOCATION: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA 94133

Near the end of the film, Sean Connery’s character is apprehended at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

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LOCATION: 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco, CA 94123

Alcatraz

Sometimes a location itself overshadows any of the films that shot there, as is the case with Alcatraz Island.  Located just over a mile offshore from San Fransisco, the island is most well known for it’s decommissioned federal prison, which operated from 1934 until 1963. During it’s 29 years of activity, the prison was known for housing “the worst of the worst” criminals.  The list included Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the “Birdman of Alcatraz”), “Machine Gun” Kelly, James “Whitey” Bulger and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, amongst others. The penitentiary famously claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. Due to the high operational costs, as well as salt water erosion to the buildings, the prison was shut down in 1963. Today, the island is operated by the National Parks Services and public tours are available.

The prison island has been seen in many films, such as “The Rock,” “Murder in the First,” “Escape from Alcatraz,” “Birdman of Alcatraz” and many more.  Here we’ll take a closer look at the notorious island.

LOCATION: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA 94133

The island view from San Francisco.

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Island view from the opposite side, where visitors dock.

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Utility house and power plant chimney.

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A guard tower.

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The water tower, which still has a message from a Native American occupation of the island, which lasted from 1969 to 1971.

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The lighthouse tower.

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Some of the prison cell blocks.

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One of the typical prison cells.

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A solitary confinement cell.

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A cell where the most famous escape attempt was made, by widening a vent at the bottom of the cell.

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The prison yard.

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The gun gallery, where guards watched down over the prisoners. During one daring escape attempt, prisoners climbed up into this area and attacked the guards.

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A view of San Francisco from Alcatraz.

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Step Brothers (2008)

In the 2008 comedy “Step Brothers,” Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly famously waged war on the front lawn to this house in Altadena, where their characters find themselves suddenly living together.

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LOCATION: 1987 Midwick Dr, Altadena, CA 91001

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The spot where Brennan and Dale, played by Ferrell and Reilly respectively, get beat up by child bullies was filmed at Veteran’s Hospital in North Hills.  There are quite a number of buildings and roads on the premises,  so it can be tricky finding the exact spot used in the film.  To locate it, you must first turn onto Puller Rd.  Each building has a large number on it.  A bit down Puller Rd, you’ll see the building from the film, which is building 4.  It can be easily identified by the long wall surrounding the yard in front of it. The same building was also featured in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween,” as well as such films as “Argo” and “Accepted.”

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LOCATION: 16111 Plummer St, North Hills, CA 91343

The Rules Of Attraction (2002)

Roger Avary’s excellent 2002 adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel “The Rules of Attraction” may have been set in the fictional Camden College in New Hampshire, but it was actually filmed at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California.  In order to achieve this, the filmmakers had to be very careful in blocking their shots, as to avoid the mountains and palm trees that surround the area.  Below, we’ll cover many shots seen in the film from around the campus.

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LOCATION: 1200 E Colton Ave, Redlands, CA 92374

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James Van Der Beek’s character sits on these seats towards the end of the film.

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The “End of the World” party takes place at this building.

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One of the final shots of the movie, where the character of Sean rides away on his bike, was filmed here.

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