John Travolta plays FBI Agent Sean Archer in John Woo’s 1997 action film “Face/Off.” Archer lives with his family at this Pacific Palisades home, right near the ocean. Later in the film, Nicolas Cage’s villainous character, Castor Troy, bearing the face of Sean Archer, comes to his home and begins role-playing as husband and father.
LOCATION: 326 N Swarthmore Ave, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
The hospital where Eve Archer, played by Joan Allen, works can be found in Baldwin Park. This entrance sits closest to Dalewood Street. A different area of the same facility was seen in the movie “Starship Troopers.”
LOCATION: 1011 Baldwin Park Blvd, Baldwin Park, CA 91706 (near Dalewood St)
Caster Troy and his brother plant an explosive at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This particular section is near the intersection of S Figueroa St and W Pico Blvd. The same building was seen in the film “Demolition Man.”
LOCATION: 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (near the intersection of S Figueroa St / W Pico Blvd)
Near the climax of the film, Victor Lazarro’s funeral takes place at the Cabrillo Beach Bath House in San Pedro. The Adam Sandler comedy “50 First Dates” also notably shot at the same location.
LOCATION: 3800 Stephen M White Dr, San Pedro, CA 90731
Archer’s daughter is dropped off outside at the entrance to the building.
Inside, an epic John Woo gunfight takes place, featuring his signature use of doves and slow motion. Thankfully, the staff is quite friendly and welcoming and allows visitors inside. Here are some areas where the shootout takes place.
The gunfight spills out to this area, with Archer’s daughter trapped in the crossfire.
Archer’s daughter runs down these stairs to the lower level.
As the fight spills outside, Archer’s daughter is taken hostage in this area.
In 2002, MTV found themselves a hit television show when they decided to start following the personal lives of rock legend Ozzy Osbourne and his family. The show ran four seasons until 2005, filming inside the family’s Beverly Hills home. Fans of the show are likely to be disappointed if they attempt to visit the actual house, however. It is obscured by walls, gates and trees, making very little of the house visible to the public. Here we offer what little can be seen. The Osbournes have long since moved out. The house later belonged to singer Christina Aguilera as well, who likewise has long since moved.
LOCATION: 513 Doheny Rd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The front entrance. Visitors should avoid walking up the front steps, as it is a private, residence.
David O. Russell’s gritty boxing drama “The Fighter” shot mostly in the town of Lowell, Massachusetts, where the real life characters the film is based upon actually lived. The film opens with Micky Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg, working on the streets, accompanied by this brother, Dicky Eklund, played by Christian Bale.
LOCATION: In front of 318 Westford St, Lowell, MA 01851
The two are being filmed by an HBO film crew, which Dicky erroneously believes are documenting his boxing comeback. Micky and Dicky do a playful spar in front of the cameras at this intersection.
LOCATION: Intersection of Westford St / Hastings St, Lowell, MA 01851
The camera then speeds away down Hastings Street.
LOCATION: Hastings St, Lowell, MA 01851 (looking towards Westford St)
Dicky is seen many times throughout the film staying at this drug house, where he smokes crack. He repeatedly tries to escape when his family comes looking for him, jumping into a pile of trash in the back.
LOCATION: 38 Smith St, Lowell, MA 01851
Later in the film, Dicky realizes he’s late for a training session and steps outside of the front door. He then begins running down the street to the gym.
Micky meets Charlene, played by Amy Adams, at this bar. The bar is only shown from interior views in the film.
LOCATION: Buck’s Bar & Grill, 165 Chelmsford St, Lowell, MA 01851
Micky lives at this home, where Charlene confronts him for standing her up on a date.
LOCATION: 11 Marshall St, Lowell, MA 01851
Charlene lives at this house, where later in the film, Dicky comes to the porch. Charlene looks out the window on the right of the second floor and argues with Dicky from the porch, before eventually coming out to the front porch herself.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 film, “Magnolia,” named after a street that spans the San Fernando Valley, was shot mostly, as you might expect, around the Valley. However, some additional scenes were also filmed in Los Angeles, Big Bear Lake and Reno, Nevada.
In the opening “coincidences” sequence, a man is scuba diving and gets accidentally picked up out of the water by an aeriel firefighting plane. These scenes were filmed at Big Bear Lake in California. This photo of the general area was kindly provided to us courtesy of Christian Hernandez.
LOCATION: Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
There is another coincidence scene in which an attempted suicide becomes an accidental homicide. That scene was actually a composite of a couple different locations. The rooftop shot was done in Hollywood, with both the Griffith Observatory and the Hollywood sign visible in the distance. Also visible is the top of the North Kingsley Apartments, which puts the roof at Hollywood Blvd, facing north up N Kingley Dr. It still looks pretty much the same as it did in the film.
LOCATION: 5217 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
The view of the man falling was shot at the Bryson Apartments in Los Angeles. The same apartments were seen in the film “The Grifters.”
LOCATION: 2701 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Early in the film, Quiz Kid Donnie Smith, played by William H. Macy, crashes his car into this liquor store in Winnetka. The same liquor store also appeared in Kevin Smith’s “Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back” and The Smashing Pumpkins’ music video for “1979.”
LOCATION: 20001 Roscoe Blvd, Winnetka, CA 91306
Officer Jim Kurring, played by John C. Reilly, investigates a crime scene at this apartment complex in North Hills. As he walks back to his police car, he is approached by a young boy.
LOCATION: 15150 Parthenia St, North Hills, CA 91343
As the two stand on Burnet Ave, the boy performs a rap for him.
Frank T.J. Mackey, played by Tom Cruise, gives his memorable seminar inside this hotel in Valencia. The hotel is only featured from interior views in the film. The same hotel appears in the films “Twilight” and “Little Miss Sunshine,” as well as numerous TV shows, including “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “CSI: New York,” “NCIS,” “Big Love,” “Las Vegas,” The Unit,” “Make It or Break It” and more.
LOCATION: 24500 Town Center Dr, Valencia, CA 91355
Linda, played by Julianne Moore, gets upset with a pharmacist after he insinuates she may be abusing the medications. These scenes were filed at the A to Z Pharmacy in North Hollywood, although it is only seen from interior views in the film.
LOCATION: 12626 Riverside Dr # 100, North Hollywood, CA 91607
Donnie visits the Foxfire Room, located on the titular Magnolia Blvd in Valley Village. In a slight bit of movie trickery, Donnie parks in the lot at the rear of the building, but is seen entering through the door facing the street on opposite side.
LOCATION: 12516 W Magnolia Blvd, Valley Village, CA 91607
The Firefox Room is a staple of the San Fernando Valley and in the two decades since filming took place, it still looks nearly identical. The bar opens at 7AM daily and it’s dark and inconspicuous. Yet the staff is friendly and the vibe is welcoming. Donnie enters through the door on the right.
Donnie sits at this corner booth. The lighting in the bar is so dark, any brightness quickly overexposes a shot, so photography can be a challenge inside.
He sits and admires Brad the bartender.
Donnie then sits at the corner of the bar and talks to a mysterious older man, credited as Thurston Howell.
Officer Jim approaches the corner of this building, when shots are fired.
LOCATION: 4055 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604
He then slides down this embankment on the side of the building.
As Jim is disoriented in the rain, a kid approaches and steals his gun, running up the stairs to escape undetected. While there are still stairs up to the street at the location, they have been remodeled since filming.
The police arrive to assist in the search for the gun, with the L.A. river and overpass visible next to the building.
Late in the film, as a biblical storm hits, Officer Jim finds himself at the intersection of Reseda Blvd and Sherman Way in Reseda. This is located right beside the “Hot Traxx” night club from “Boogie Nights.”
LOCATION: Sherman Way / Reseda Blvd, Reseda, CA 91335
He makes an emergency stop at a gas station, only see Donnie climbing on a pole, where he has just attempted to rob his workplace. Donnie then falls to the ground. The pole and payphone are both still standing at the location.
In the 1993 Tony Scott directed, Quentin Tarantino penned film, “True Romance,” the outlaw couple of Clarence, played by Christian Slater and Alabama, played by Patricia Arquette, supposedly meet in Detroit. In reality, most of the film was shot in Southern California.
In the opening scene of the film, Clarence sits at a bar and talks about Elvis. These scenes were filmed in San Fernando. The bar is only seen from interior views in the film, but you’ll see the distinctive glass block windows match up to those visible behind Clarence in the film.
LOCATION: 1113 San Fernando Rd, San Fernando, CA 91340
Early in the film, Clarence and Alabama watch a Sonny Chiba “Street Fighter” triple feature together. This was filmed at the Vista Theater, one of L.A.’s best vintage theaters.
LOCATION: 4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
After the movies, the couple goes for coffee and pie at Rae’s Restaurant in Santa Monica. The restaurant has been used in countless films, such as “Lords Of Dogtown,” “Bowfinger” and “Starsky & Hutch.”
LOCATION: 2901 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
The comic book store, “Heroes For Sale,” where Clarence works, was actually “Fantastic Store,” a former comic book, music and vintage store located near the famous intersection of Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave in Hollywood. The store has unfortunately long since closed and bears little resemblance to how it appeared in the film.
LOCATION: 1718 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The billboard location where the two sit outside and talk could be found in downtown Los Angeles at the Dewey Hotel Apartments. Unfortunately, there is no longer an actual billboard on the side of the building.
LOCATION: 721 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
The building where Drexl, played by Gary Oldman, resides was a combination of two locations. The exterior was located in Downtown Detroit, Michigan. It was demolished in the 1990s, to make way for a football stadium. The interior living room, where Clarence confronts Drexl, was actually shot on the other side of the country, back in Los Angeles. Known as The Beckett Mansion, the property, located in the West Adams neighborhood, actually operates as an event space and filming location year round. The same house has been featured in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween,” “Neighbors,” “No Strings Attached” and many more. It’s also located directly across the street from the house from “The People Under The Stairs.”
LOCATION: 2218 S Harvard Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
The apartment of Floyd and Dick Ritchie, played by Brad Pitt and Michael Rapaport respectively, can be found in Hollywood. The scenes were filmed on the upper level unit of the Krotona Apartments. Tarantino himself lived at Krotona Apartments for a time, staying on the couch of writer-director Scott Spiegel, much like Floyd in the film. The apartment is seen only from interior views in the film. This area is on the side of the building.
LOCATION: 2122 Vista Del Mar Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Clarence calls Dick Ritchie from a payphone in the desert. The building in the shot has long since been demolished and now its just an empty plot of land. The mountains in the distance can be seen behind Clarence and Alabama in the payphone in multiple shots.
LOCATION: 17012 E Palmdale Blvd Palmdale, CA 93591 (now demolished)
The scene took place near the intersection of 170th St E and E Palmdale Blvd in Palmdale.
The foundation where the building stood still exists.
Dick Ritchie auditions for a role on “T.J. Hooker” at the majestic Castle Green Apartments in Pasadena. The scene was shot on the bridge of Castle Green facing S Raymond Ave. The location is only seen from interior views in the film.
LOCATION: 99 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105
Here’s a closer look at the hallway, which leads into what would have been the casting office in the film. Castle Green has been featured in countless films, such as “The Sting,” “Wild At Heart,” “The Little Rascals,” “Deja Vu,” “Sneakers,” “Bugsy,” “The Last Samurai,” “Puppet Master” and many more.
Later in the film, the couple stays at this motel, supposedly located on the Sunset Strip. The real motel, the Safari Inn, is actually located just north of L.A., in Burbank, California.
LOCATION: 1911 W Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91506
The same motel was featured in the films “Apollo 13” and “Coach Carter.”
The final drug deal takes place at the fictional Beverly Ambassador Hotel. The exterior used in the film is The Athenaeum, an event venue at Caltech in Pasadena. The same building was featured in the films “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Beverly Hills Cop II.”
If you’ve never seen the 2000 South Korean film “Joint Security Area,” from “Oldboy” director Chan-Wook Park, you certainly owe it to yourself to seek it out. Amongst it’s many accolades, the film was hailed by Quentin Tarantino as one of the 20 greatest films since 1992.
Part of the film is, of course, set in the Joint Security Area, inside the D.M.Z., where the North and South Korean borders meet and where the two governments meet to discuss matters on occasion. In reality, South Korean citizens are not permitted inside the D.M.Z. or J.S.A., so the production had to create a full-scale replica for the film. That replica was built at the Namyangju Film Studio in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, about an hour outside of Seoul. You can take a more in-depth look at the studio here.
The replica J.S.A. still stands today and looks identical to how it appeared in the film. The replica structure continues to be used by nearly any South Korean production looking to film scenes set within the J.S.A., but remains best known for being seen in the “Joint Security Area” film.
LOCATION: Namyangju Film Studio, 138, Bukhangang-ro 855beon-gil, Joan-myeon, Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Upon approaching the replica J.S.A, you’ll see this sign in front.
Here is the actual J.S.A. recreation, which strongly resembles the real buildings.
This sign is posted next to one of the buildings, depicting the film’s famous final shot.
A closer look at the “North Korean” side. Visitors are of course welcome to freely cross the fictitious border, but the resemblance is so strong, it makes for a strange feeling walking across, as if you really are crossing the border.
The view back of the J.S.A. from the “North Korean” side.
This pavilion overlooking the J.S.A. was also seen in the film in one scene. It still appears exactly as it did in the film.
We leave you with a poster for the film, seen in another section of Namyangji Film Studio. The film studio offers unguided, public tours for a fairly low price. We recommend you pay a visit if you’re an international film fan and find yourself in South Korea.
Several houses were used for the filming of the 1980s sitcom “Mama’s Family,” starring Vicki Lawrence. In the first two seasons, the house seen in the establishing shots was actually located in Kansas City, Missouri (18 W 59th St, Kansas City, MO 64113). However, for exterior shots where the cast was required to be on location, a second home was utilized in Pasadena, California, much closer to where the show taped.
LOCATION: 675 S Oakland Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106
However, the home most commonly associated with the series, used in seasons 3 through 6, as well as syndicated episodes, is this third house, located not far from the second, in South Pasadena, California. The home is actually located just two doors down from the shrubs Michael Meyers famously stood at in the original “Halloween.” The “Mama’s Family” house can even be seen in a couple shots in the film, if you look closely at the background.
LOCATION: 1027 Montrose Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030
The 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy “Coming to America” was primarily filmed in New York, with some additional filming in Los Angeles, California. The McDowell house can be found in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Unfortunately, quite a few trees and shrubs have since been planted and almost completely obscure all visibility of the home. The same home appears in the film “Jawbreaker.”
LOCATION: 555 S Muirfield Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90020
The fictional McDowell’s fast food restaurant, an obvious riff on McDonald’s, from the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy “Coming To America,” came to life for a short stint as a pop-up exhibition in Los Angeles in 2017. It’s not the first time this has been done. Previously another McDowell’s pop up surfaced in Chicago in 2015. The “Home of the Big Mick” could be found at Fat Sal’s Hollywood, which converted their establishment for just 48 hours. The pop-up has long since closed, but you can find pictures below of the event. For those wondering, Samuel L. Jackson did not make any surprise appearance to stage a robbery, as depicted in the film.
The 1989 Joe Dante film “The ‘Burbs” is set in the fictional town of Hinkley Hills, which, judging by the opening zoom, would place it somewhere in Iowa. The story unfolds on Mayfield Place, a cul-de-sac road in Hinkley Hills. In reality, the entire neighborhood was a facade, filmed on a studio backlot.
Known as Colonial Street at Universal Studios, the houses and streets have changed significantly over the years. Once used for television classics such as “The Munsters” and “Leave It To Beaver,” the neighborhood was significantly remodeled in 1988 for the production of “The ‘Burbs.”
In the years that followed, as new productions came along, the neighborhood and the homes began to resemble the film less and less. Some houses were relocated, others heavily redesigned, while others still were demolished altogether. Eventually the neighborhood became known as Wisteria Lane on the TV drama “Desperate Housewives.”
To complicate matters further, several of the houses in “The ‘Burbs” were deliberately shot in close-ups, rarely seen in wide shots. Combined with all of the changes over the years, it makes piecing the neighborhood back together a difficult endeavor.
The centerpiece of the film is of course the Klopek house, which is owned by a creepy family that rarely shows themselves, much to the intrigue of all of the surrounding neighbors. Sadly, the home no longer exists. Portions, however, were said to have been reused and incorporated in the design of this house, which later became Bree Van de Kamp’s house on “Desperate Housewives.”
LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
The Peterson house, where Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher live, was also unfortunately demolished and replaced with a different facade.
The house that most closely resembles how it appeared in the film is that of Walter, the old man with the small, white dog. Aside from a paint job and some stairs being added, the house looks pretty much the same.
Ricky Butler, played by Corey Feldman, lives at this house, which was once the home used for “The Munsters,” though it has since been heavily remodeled from how it appeared on the TV series. Likely looking to avoid comparisons to the show, this house was only ever seen in close-up shots of the porch in “The ‘Burbs.”
Colonial Street can be seen as part of the Universal Studios Hollywood Tour and even though the neighborhood has significantly changed and continues to change, movie and television lovers are still sure to appreciate a look around the historic, fictional neighborhood.
Ridley Scott’s 1991 film about two women on the run from the law, “Thelma & Louise,” is set all across the country. In reality, however, the film shot mostly in Southern California and Utah, with a few shots in Colorado. The film features one of the most famous endings of the 1990s.
The girls set off on their adventure when Louise, played by Susan Sarandon, picks up Thelma, played by Geena Davis, at her house, supposedly located in Arkansas. The actual house can be found in Tarzana, California.
LOCATION: 18633 Palomino Dr, Tarzana, CA 91356
The girls make their way to the the Silver Bullet Saloon for a night of drinking and dancing, before things take a dark turn, as a man tries to rape Thelma in the parking lot. Louise intervenes and things take a violent turn, as the women’s would-be getaway trip becomes a run from the law. The Silver Bullet Saloon really is a country-western themed night club, located in Long Beach, California. However, it is now known as the Cowboy Country Saloon.
LOCATION: 3321 E South St, Long Beach, CA 90805
Louise’s vintage Thunderbird convertible is another central character in the film, as it carries them through their outlaw road adventure, into the film’s famous ending. Several identical Thunderbirds were used throughout the production. Located at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, this particular one was featured extensively, primarily being used for close-up shots in the film.
LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036