Step By Step

The 90s sitcom “Step By Step,” starring Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers, was a staple of the “TGIF” line-up, which also included “Full House,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Family Matters” and more.  While set in the town from Port Washington, Wisconsin, the house from the show can be found in South Pasadena, California.  It was of course only used as an exterior shot, with all interiors filmed on a studio stage.  Also, in case you’re wondering, the theme park from the opening credits is likewise in California, at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.

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LOCATION: 2011 Fletcher Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Psycho (1960)

The house from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror classic, “Psycho,” can be found on the Universal Studios lot, as part of their studio tour.  It is indeed the actual house from the film, although the back part of the house, not seen on camera in the film, was added later on by the studio, after the film had been released.  There is also a Bates Motel set on the tour, but that set is actually from the sequel film, not the original.

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LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Another view of the side of the house.

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This was Alfred Hitchcock’s office on the Universal lot, which is commemorated with a drawing of the director’s famous silhouette.

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Inherent Vice (2014)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2014 adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel, “Inherent Vice,” shot all over Southern California.  Much of it is set in the fictional town of Gordita Beach.  These scenes were actually shot in Manhattan Beach, which is worth checking out if you’re interested in beautiful ocean views, without the crowds of such places as Santa Monica or Venice Beach.

This shot, seen at both the beginning, as well the end of the film, is overlooking Manhattan Beach and a scenic walkway called The Strand.  However, the shot is actually taken from Ocean Drive, one block up, at the intersection of Seaview Street.

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LOCATION: 4210 The Strand, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (this exact shot is from behind the house, on Ocean Drive at Seaview Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, looking out towards the water)

Doc, played by Joaquin Phoenix, lives in this house,  which is close to the above shot.  The house was mostly used for interiors in the film, but the exterior can also briefly be seen.

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LOCATION: 214 El Porto St, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Doc follows leads on the mysterious Golden Fang boat, which is believed to bring in drugs, as well as having carried Shasta, played by Katherine Waterston, on board the last time it sailed.  The schooner is seen in darkness, off in the distance in the film.  The actual boat is the Tallship American Pride, which can be found at the Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California.  The boat is located at Dock 3, though it does sometimes set sail into the waters.  If you’re unfamiliar with this area of Long Beach, just search for Gladstone’s Restaurant (330 S Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802) or Toyko Wako (310 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802) at the Long Beach Pike.  The pier and the boat are located directly behind them.

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LOCATION: Rainbow Harbor, Dock 3, Long Beach, CA 90802

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Later in the film, Doc pays a visit to Bigfoot, played by Josh Brolin, at the old Los Angeles Police Department in downtown Los Angeles.  As he’s approaching the building, an officer bumps into him, knocking him to the ground.

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LOCATION: 150 N Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is a flashback sequence, when Doc and Shasta get caught in the rain, while Neil Young’s “Journey Through the Past” plays.  This song was a major inspiration for the film and Doc’s look was even modeled after a 1970s photograph of Neil Young.  The scene was shot in Pomona, Californa, about an hour east of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 406 W 2nd St, Pomona, CA 91766

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Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)There Will Be Blood (2007)The Master (2012)

Somewhere (2010)

Sophia Coppola’s slow-paced, 2010 film “Somewhere” takes place almost entirely at Hollywood’s famed Chateau Marmont.  The hotel has been a beacon for celebrities over the years, at times hosting everyone from Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski, to Jim Morrison, to Hunter S. Thompson, to Keanu Reeves.  Comedian John Belushi passed away at the hotel in 1982.  The hotel is known for it’s privacy and discretion.  It made for a perfect location for Coppola’s story about an aimless actor reexamining his life.

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LOCATION: 8221 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Few filmmakers have ever captured adolescence as well as John Hughes did with a string of hit films in the 1980s.  Most of his films were set in the fictitous town of Shermer, Illinois and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is no exception.

While much of the film did indeed film in the Greater Chicago area, Ferris’ house is actually located far from the neighborhoods of Chicago, in Long Beach, California.

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LOCATION: 4160 Country Club Dr, Long Beach, CA 90807

Ferris’ high school scenes were filmed at Glenbrook North High School, in Northbrook Illinois.  Hughes had previously used the hallways of the school in another of his 80s hits, “The Breakfast Club.”  Later in the film, Ferris poses as his girlfriend Sloane’s father, coming up with a scheme to get her out of school.  This scene was actually filmed at the Center for Performing Arts, a separate building on the grounds of the high school.  The stairs still look exactly the same as they did in the film.

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LOCATION: 2300 Shermer Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062

A reverse view at the parking lot from the stairs, where Ferris posed as Sloane’s father.

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Ferris’ best friend Cameron lives at this house in Highland Park, Illinois.

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LOCATION: 370 Beech St, Highland Park, IL 60035

Late in the film, disaster strikes when Ferris and Cameron accidentally reverse Cameron’s father’s car through the glass wall of this building, down a steep canyon.  The building really does exist behind the above house and there really is a steep canyon beneath it, exactly as depicted in the film.

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Randy’s Donuts

Arguably the most famous donut shop in movies, Randy’s Donuts has been featured in countless television shows and films.  Robert Downey Jr. famously sat inside the building’s giant donut hole in “Iron Man 2.”  Even “The Simpsons” famously depicted a donut shop in their fictional town of Springfield, which strongly resembled Randy’s Donuts.

There are actually several donut shops which use the giant donut atop a drive-thru, however Randy’s is by far the most well-known of the bunch.  The building was built in 1953 and has been going strong since.  It’s been seen in such films as “Get Shorty,” “2012,” Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles,” “Dope” and “The Golden Child,” as well as television shows such as “Californication,” “Arrested Development,” “Entourage” and many more.  It’s worth mentioning as well that their donuts are quite good!

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LOCATION: 805 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

Like most of Rob Zombie’s films, “The Devil’s Rejects,” which is arguably his finest, shot around Southern California.  The opening standoff at the Firefly house was shot at Sable Ranch in Santa Clarita, California.  Unfortunately, the ranch is not open to the public.  Quite a number of buildings at Sable Ranch were lost, due to a wildfire in 2016.  The Firefly house, however, was one of the buildings which survived the fires.  In case you’re wondering, the Firefly house is not very visible from the road, if you were to drive up to the ranch entrance.

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LOCATION: 25933 Sand Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91387

On the run, Baby, played by Rob Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, makes a phone call to Captain Spaulding from this gas station.  It’s never seen in a wide shot in the film, which is why it may not look immediately recognizable.  The gas station is located right beside the motel location seen later in the film.

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LOCATION: 42848 150th St, Lancaster, CA 93535

Otis and Baby make their way to the “Kahiki Palms Motel,” where some unsuspecting guests have the unfortunate luck of crossing their paths.  The real location is the Club Ed movie set, out in Lancaster, California, in an area of mostly desert terrain.  The building is not an actual running business and is used strictly for filming purposes today.  This too is private property and closed to the public.  However, unlike Sable Ranch, these locations can be seen quite easily from the road.

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LOCATION: 42848 150th St, Lancaster, CA 93535

Another angle of the motel, including the rooms to the left, where many scenes with the hotel guests were shot.

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Wayne’s World (1992)

Based on the classic “Saturday Night Live” skit, “Wayne’s World” is set in the town of Aurora, Illinois.  However, while a small bit of the film did shoot in Illinois, the majority was filmed in California.  Wayne’s house can be found in a neighborhood of Van Nuys, in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles.

Also of note is that Garth’s house in the film was located directly across the street.  However, in the time that has passed, that house underwent such heavy remodeling, it no longer bears much of any resemblance to how it appeared in the film.  Given that fact, we’ve opted not to feature it here.  For those interested, however, Garth’s house can be found at 7102 Texhoma Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406.  Thankfully Wayne’s house has had far less remodeling and still largely appears as it did in the film.

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LOCATION: 7105 Texhoma Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

Film locations are of course not limited only to the United States and neither are we!  Several sequences in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” were shot in Seoul, South Korea.

Ultron tries to force Dr. Helen Cho to make him a new body at U-Gin Genetics Research Lab, where Captain America later shows up.  The research lab is in fact a cultural building used for restaurants, exhibitions, conferences and performances on the Some Sevit Floating Islands.  The islands were man-made on the banks of the Han River, in an effort to bring more cultural activity to the area.  There are three islands there, which are all interconnected.  The research lab building is on the largest of the three islands; Some Gavit.  The building was designed to resemble a flower in full bloom.  All three islands can be easily accessed by foot, don’t be mislead by the “island” distinction.

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LOCATION: 683 Olympic-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul, 06500, South Korea

Later in the film, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow are in pursuit of Ultron in an action piece that takes place all over the streets of Seoul.  It would be exhaustive trying to cover every street piece, so instead we’ll highlight one key area.  Hawkeye and Black Widow soar in a jet over this sculpture in front of the MBC building.  MBC is one of the major broadcast stations of South Korea.  Several other broadcast stations’ headquarters can also be found in this area.

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LOCATION: 267 Seongram-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, 121-904, South Korea

They even commemorated the shooting of the film by placing a Captain America shield and Avengers plaque in the ground at the base of the sculpture.

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There is also a video monitor at the location, which plays the Seoul action sequences from the film on repeated rotation.  Below the video screen is information (in Korean) about the shooting of the film at this location.  It’s always a pleasure to see locations embrace and commemorate films in this manor.

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Related articles: The Avengers (2012)

Almost Famous (2000)

The house of Patrick Fugit’s character, where he lives with Francis McDormand and Zooey Deschanel in Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical film “Almost Famous,” is set in San Diego, California.  However, the real home used in the film is actually located in Santa Monica, California.

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LOCATION: 1047 Maple St, Santa Monica, CA 90405