The Today Show

The daytime news and talk staple “The Today Show,” famous for it’s crowds gathered outside, can be found at NBC Studio 1A in midtown Manhattan, at the corner of W 49th St and Rockefellar Plaza.

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LOCATION: 2 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

A glimpse inside part of the studio.

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Jeepers Creepers (2001)

Opper’s Diner from the 2001 horror film “Jeepers Creepers” can be found in the town of Lake Panasoffkee, Florida.  At the time of filming, the building sat on a two lane road.  The road has since been expanded into a four lane highway.  The building now sits vacant.

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LOCATION: 4629 FL-44, Lake Panasoffkee, FL 33538

Jackie Brown (1997)

Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 Elmore Leonard adaptation was shot primarily in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County, where the director also lived for much of his youth.  In the 20 years since the film was released, many of the locations have long since been remodeled or demolished, but many still stand as well.

In the opening scenes, Jackie Brown, played by Pam Grier, is seen hurrying through LAX Airport.  The opening titles play over the wall tiles of Terminal 3.  These tiles can be found along the pedestrian tunnel in the lower level and are only accessible to airline passengers and staff, as they make their way to baggage claim or the exits.

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LOCATION: Terminal 3, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (lower level, arrivals area)

Jackie is seen passing this area, which is at Terminal 5 in the departure level.  This area too is only accessible to airline passengers and staff.  It’s since been remodeled a bit from how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: Terminal 5, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (departures level)

Another section of Terminal 5 Jackie is seen walking through.

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As we’re introduced to the rest of the cast, we meet a beach bunny named Melanie, played by Bridget Fonda.  Several scenes were filmed at Melanie’s apartment, which was actually a composite of two different locations.  The interior, where most of the scenes take place, can be found at this beachfront property in Hermosa Beach.  The second level balcony can also been seen in the film, when Jackie has an argument with Ordell, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

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LOCATION: 6403 Ocean Front Walk, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

Aside from the patio, the outside of Melanie’s apartment, where Jackie and Ordell walk down a long corridor talking, was actually filmed at the building right across the street, which was much larger.  Together the two buildings create what you see in the film.

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LOCATION: 6309 Ocean Front Walk, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

Ordell finds himself in need of a bail bondsman and meets Max Cherry, played by Robert Forster.  Cherry Bail Bonds was filmed at Carson Bail Bonds in Carson, California.  Unfortunately it was demolished around 2009 and replaced by some apartment buildings.

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LOCATION: 724 E Carson St, Carson, CA 90745 (now demolished)

Ordell makes his way to the apartment of Beaumont, who he has just bailed out of jail.  In the film, the apartment is said to be located in “Hollywood, two blocks up from Hollywood Blvd and Western.”  In reality, it’s nowhere near there.  The real apartment can be found in Wilmington, California.  Beaumont’s apartment was unit #16, which is the same unit number seen in the film.  Today, the building is no longer accessible to the public.

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LOCATION: 1030 Lakme Ave, Wilmington, CA 90744

After Ordell convinces Beaumont to tag along as backup while he sells some guns, the two make their way down the stairs.

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Ordell explains the situation as they talk at the front entrance of the building.

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After Ordell convinces Beaumont to hide in his trunk and slams it shut, he drives a very short distance into a vacant lot and kills Beaumont.  The vacant lot was located exactly across the street from Beaumont’s apartment location in Wilmington.  This scene was done as a single take with a crane shot.  This vacant area has since been filled with numerous homes.  This is what the area looks like today from the street.

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In the shot, you can see a church with a long steeple in the distance.  That church is still there, known as the Calvary Light Christian Center.  Here’s a closer view of the church, seen as Ordell turns left down Denni Street.

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LOCATION: Lakme Ave and Denni St, Wilmington, CA 90744

Right across the street from the church is this small parking lot, which is about the closest remnant to what the area looked like in the film.

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Max Cherry picks up Jackie from jail at the Sybil Brand Institute, which at the time of filming, was a real, operational women’s prison in Los Angeles.  It was here that Manson Family member Susan Atkins confessed to a cell mate named Virginia Graham about the Tate Murders.  Graham in turn shared what Atkins had told her, which eventually helped lead to the capture of Charles Manson.  The prison shut down in 1997, but today the grounds are still owned by the Los Angeles sherrif’s office, where it’s used by warehouse companies and for filming purposes.  Walking the grounds in person, however, it still very much feels like you’re at a prison.

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LOCATION: 4500 City Terrace Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90063

Here’s a wider view of the premises, though it’s never seen from this angle in the film.

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Max and Jackie grab a drink at the Cockatoo Inn in Hawthorne.  Sadly the location closed down in 1996 and the building has since been so heavily remodeled, it no longer appears anything like it did in the film.  The property, now a Comfort Inn, can be found at 11500 Acacia Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250.

Max drops Jackie off at her apartment, where Ordell soon pays her a visit.  The apartment can be found in Torrence.

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LOCATION: 17575 Yukon Ave, Torrance, CA 90504

Much of the film takes place at the Del Amo Mall in Torrence, which is correctly stated as such in the film.

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LOCATION: 3525 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90503

A couple scenes take place in the food court, including when Max runs into Jackie and when Jackie does the trial run for the money exchange.  The mall has since been heavily remodeled and the food court not only looks nothing like how it appeared in the film, it’s actually now located in a completely different section of the mall.  However, we photographed the original food court years ago, back when it still appeared similar to how it did in the film.

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At the start of the second, “for real this time,” money exchange, Jackie is seen entering the mall in front of these distinctive blue bricks of what was formerly a Marshall’s store.  Marshall’s relocated to a new location at the mall in 2018 and while these blue bricks do still exist at the moment, these too will likely soon be removed, due to remodeling.

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Melanie and Louis, played by Robert De Niro, meet up with Jackie for the money exchange at the fictional Billingsley Department Store in the mall, which was actually a Macy’s store.  While Macy’s is still there, the store has changed quite a bit over the two decades since filming, so things don’t appear as they did back then.  This is the approximate area where Jackie goes into the dressing room, which is located on the third floor of Macy’s.

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Here is the approximate area where Louis and Melanie observe what’s happening and argue.

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Max Cherry arrives outside of the store on the upper level.  A prop Billingsley sign was mounted over the Macy’s sign.

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While the exchange goes down, Ordell keeps himself far away from the eyes of the A.T.F. by going to a strip club.  The same bar, Sam’s Hofbrau, a real topless bar, would appear again in Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” where Budd works as a bouncer.

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LOCATION: 1751 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Late in the film, Max meets up with the very angry and suspicious Ordell, over at Raynelle’s house.  This is right around the corner from Beaumont’s apartment location.

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LOCATION: 348 E Opp St, Wilmington, CA 90744

Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Kill Bill (2003)

Drag Me To Hell (2009)

In the 2009 Sam Raimi film, “Drag Me To Hell,” Christine, played by Alison Lohman, lives at this house at the top of a hill.  The house can be found in the Everett Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, near Dodger Stadium.  The same home can be seen in the 2001 film “Training Day,” where Ethan Hawke’s character gets set up inside a drug dealer’s house.

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LOCATION: 1031 Everett St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

While set in the state of Alabama, the 1991 film “Fried Green Tomatoes,” starring Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy, was filmed almost entirely in Georgia.

Early in the film, the Threadgoode house, where a young Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) and her brother Buddy (Chris O’Donnell) live, can be found in the town of Senoia.   Decades after “Fried Green Tomatoes” completed filming, Senoia filming locations would become synonymous with a much different kind of production; “The Walking Dead.”  This house is known as the Travis-McDaniel house.  The home sits at the corner of Travis St and Bride St.

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LOCATION: 204 Bridge St, Senoia, GA 30276

The bridge and train tracks where Buddy gets into an accident is literally right across the street from the Travis-McDaniel house, at the same corner of Travis St and Bridge St.  There is even an early shot in the film showing Buddy cross the street from the bridge to the house.  For those looking to get to these tracks beneath the bridge, there’s no need to attempt to climb down the steep embankment.  It levels off with the tracks for easy access about one block down, at the corner of Travis St and Clark St, where you can walk your way back up the tracks.  The train tracks more or less reach a dead end there as well, running off into a reclaimed horizon of trees and woods.

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LOCATION: Intersection of Travis St and Bridge St, Senoia, GA 30276 (across from 204 Bridge St, Senoia, GA 30276)

The most famous location from the film is of course the Whistle Stop Cafe, found in the town of Juliette, Georgia.  It is a real, operational cafe and they do indeed serve fried green tomatoes.  Visitors should note, however, the cafe is open daily during only lunch hours.  The entire town embraces it’s connection to the film and really, the businesses there survive because of it, attracting tourists from around the country seeking out the locations.  Mostly, you’ll find food and antiques there, but there are a few other novelties, which we’ll try to cover.  First, we’ll look at the cafe itself.

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LOCATION: 443 McCrackin St, Juliette, GA 31046

The window advertises fried green tomatoes, just like in the film.

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A view of the porch of the Whistle Stop Cafe.

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And a look inside.

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A poster for the film can be found on the wall, with a chair in front for photos.

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Behind the cafe is the barbecue pit where Big George cooks.

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A look at the train tracks next to the cafe.  As you can see, the train depot building is no longer there.

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However, another building was erected next to the Whistle Stop Cafe, calling itself the Whistle Stop Train Depot.  It is not the same building from the film.

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This building across the street refers to itself as “Ruth and Idgie’s Place.”

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A few other surrounding buildings, briefly seen in the film.

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There are several “grave sites” for characters from the film found around the buildings.  Here is one for Buddy and Ruth.

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And one for Frank Bennett.

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Last, but not least, one for Buddy Jr’s arm.

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Disturbia (2007)

The 2007 film “Disturbia” was loosely inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”  In the film, Kale, played by Shia LaBeouf, lives at this house in Whittier, California, where he comes to believe his neighbor is a killer.

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LOCATION: 6222 Painter Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Big Fish (2003)

In Tim Burton’s 2003 film, “Big Fish,” an older Ed Bloom, played by Albert Finney, recounts tales of his life to his estranged son, Will, as he is sick and dying.  The Bloom house, from which most of the tales are told, can be found in the town of Wetumpka, Alabama.  The house sits perched in close proximity to a street full of local businesses and it’s almost easy to confuse it as another business space, but it is a private residence.

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LOCATION: 401 E Bridge St, Wetumpka, AL 36092

One of the most underappreciated film locations we’ve ever visited is the fictional town of “Spectre,” which is actually Jackson Lake Island in  Millbrook, Alabama.  We can only conclude the location isn’t more widely appreciated due to it’s lack of proximity to any destination cities.  It’s a real gem if you can make it there, however.

The island is privately owned, but the owners are quite accommodating to visitors, charging a very modest fee and offering anything from short term visits to overnight camping.  The island is fully accessible by car.  Upon arrival, you’ll reach a gate where you must pay the small entrance fee.  There are signs posted for a number to call after paying the fee.  After calling the number, you are given an access code to open the gate.  The island in general is beautiful and quiet.  It’s a great place to camp, even if you’re not a film lover.  More often than not, when locations such as these are used for a film, they usually get destroyed at the completion of production and the owners do their best to discourage visitation.  Jackson Lake Island is a refreshingly opposite case.  The property owners fully embrace the island’s connection to the film and preserved much of the look of Spectre.  It really does feel like you walked straight into the film when you arrive.

Here are the trees where a young Ed Bloom, played by Ewan McGregor, first arrives at Spectre.  As you can see, the trees were artificial props, but still remain standing.

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LOCATION: Jackson Lake Island, Millbrook, AL 36054

A sign stating “Welcome to Spectre,” just like the one seen in the film.

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One of our favorite touches is the fact that there is still a line strung, with shoes hanging from it, just like the little girl does to all visitors of Spectre, so that they might never leave.  Clearly the number of shoes has multiplied since filming ended.  If you’ve got an old pair you’re willing to part with, you too can add your shoes.

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Not all of the buildings seen in the film are still standing.  The town is shown a few different times in the film, first as a vibrant community, then in a nearly abandoned state of disrepair and finally as a restored town, thanks to Ed Bloom.  The buildings left now do not exactly look vibrant, but it’s still a great experience walking through the fictional town.  Here we’ll run through the remaining buildings, one by one.

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Last, but not least, is of course the town church.  Yes, those are goats standing in front of (and underneath) the church.  They are quite friendly.

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As far as filming locations go, we’d rank Jackson Lake Island among the best we’ve ever visited.  From the friendly owners, to the modest prices, to the beautiful scenery and of course the extraordinary preservation to how the town appeared in the film, there really isn’t much more you could ask from a filming location.  It may be out of the way from your usual tourist destinations, but it’s well worth making a detour.

Hard Eight (1996)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s underappreciated 1996 debut film, “Hard Eight” (a.k.a. “Sydney”) filmed primarily in Reno, Nevada.

The restaurant seen at the beginning and end of the film, where Sydney, played by Philip Baker Hall, meets John, played John C. Reilly, who is sitting outside the doorway, was filmed at Jack’s Cafe in Sparks, Nevada, located just outside of Reno.

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LOCATION: 2200 Victorian Ave, Sparks, NV 89431

The entrance where John C. Reilly is sitting is not the main entrance to the restaurant.  In fact, it’s a side door with an emergency exit sign.  There were several homeless people around this area.

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Things take a turn for the worse when John and Clementine, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, find themselves involved in a hostage situation at a motel.  The motel is the Ace Motor Lodge in Reno.  The motel has changed quite a bit from how it appeared in the film and is now more dilapidated.

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LOCATION: 222 N Sierra St, Reno, NV 89501

John can be seen exiting through the front entrance.  The surrounding area has also changed quite a bit from what was seen in the film, as the casinos are no longer beside the motel.

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Near the end of the film, Sydney awaits Jimmy, played by Samuel L. Jackson, at his house.

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LOCATION: 756 W 6th St, Reno, NV 89503

Related articles: Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)There Will Be Blood (2007)The Master (2012)Inherent Vice (2014)

My Girl (1991)

For those seeking out the filming locations of the 1991 film “My Girl,” prepare yourself for a lengthy journey.  While the film was set in Madison, Pennsylvania, it was shot mostly around Central Florida, with many of the locations scattered far apart from one another, tucked away in small towns.  To see the “My Girl” locations for yourself requires a lot of time and travel.

The Saltenfuss house, where Vada, played by Anna Chlumsky, lives with her father Harry, played by Dan Aykroyd, can be found in the town of Bartow, Florida.  For quite some time after the film, the property operated as a bed and breakfast.  Due to the property’s distance from major tourist destinations, however, it was unfortunately forced to shut down due to a lack of guest bookings.  It has since returned to being a private residence.  The house is very impressive and recognizable to how it appeared on screen, so if you have the time to venture to Bartow and are a fan of the film, it’s worth the journey.

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LOCATION: 555 E Stanford St, Bartow, FL 33830

Shelly, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, pulls her RV up from around this corner in front of the house.

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The main street where Veda and Thomas J., played by Macaulay Culkin, ride their bikes can be found in Sanford, Florida.  They can be seen crossing this road with the clock tower to the right, then riding down the sidewalk.

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LOCATION: Intersection of E 1st St and Magnolia Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

They then ride their bikes up a ramp that specifically says “no bicycles,” taking a short cut through a mechanic’s garage.  That building and ramp have since been demolished.  The alley they exit onto can still be found, however, where the garage owner yells at them as they ride away.

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LOCATION: Alley directly behind 228 E 1st St, Sanford, FL 32771

As they approach Dr. Welty’s office, they continue riding their bikes down another alley, which features a “Nixon / Agnew ’72” poster on the brick wall.  This alley really is just around the corner from the Dr. Welty’s office filming location.

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LOCATION: Alley between 107 and 111 Magnolia Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

Vada visits Dr, Welty’s office, where, in spite of her claims that she’s sick, the doctor insists she’s in perfect health.

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LOCATION: 113 Magnolia Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

The kids then come across their school teacher, Mr. Bixler, played by Griffin Dunne, who is painting his house.

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LOCATION: 605 Magnolia Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

The tree where Vada and Thomas J. become “blood brothers” and later kiss in the film was a bit of movie magic.  It was, in fact, an artificial tree, built in part using pieces of a real tree.  After extensive location hunting for a willow tree beside a lake, the filmmakers failed to find what they were looking for and instead opted to make their own tree.  A team was hired to cut down a large oak tree, tagging each branch for reassembly, then uprooting it and moving it to the lake location.  The lake in question is Mirror Lake in Clermont, Florida, which is located somewhat far away from the other filming locations.  The base of the tree was held in place by five tons of cement, with metal coupling sleeves to reinforce the branches.  They then covered the entire thing with $15,000 worth of silk willow leaves to give you the tree you saw in the film, which appeared quite authentic.  Today all that remains in the metallic base of the tree.  The dock was there until a few years ago, when it was removed due to deterioration.

This portion of the lake is not open to the public and is not visible from the road.  However, the much of the surrounding land is currently up for sale, in an effort to develop more housing around the area.  So while an eventual sale of the property could open it up for easier visibility, there is always the possibility that developing the land could in turn lead to the removal of the tree base.  The reason it hasn’t already been removed is most likely due to the five tons of concrete beneath.

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LOCATION: Mirror Lake, Old Hwy 50 W, Clermont, FL 34711 (closest known address is 15647 Old Hwy 50 W, Clermont, FL 34711, the GPS coordinates of the tree base itself are 28.565015, -81.700218)

A bit closer look at the tree base.

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Vada sneaks over to Thomas J.’s house and asks him to go to the church with her to spy on her father’s date with Shelly.

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LOCATION: 603 Myrtle Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

They church they head to is Ocoee Christian Church in Ocoee, Florida.  The kids can be seen walking down the sidewalk on the left and passing the front steps as they make their way over to the bingo tent.  Once again, Ocoee is not a short drive to get to and it’s somewhat puzzling why the filmmakers chose such a far-removed location, as surely there must have been other churches available that were closer to the other filming locations.

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LOCATION: 15 S Bluford Ave, Ocoee, FL 34761

Here is the yard to the church, where the bingo tent was set up.

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The school where Mr. Bixler teaches his creative writing class can be found at the 1914 Plant City High School Community Building, not to be confused with the present day Plant City High School.  The 1914 building is an old landmark and serves as a community center.

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LOCATION: 605 N Collins St, Plant City, FL 33563

Back in Sanford, near the end of the film, Thomas J.’s mother runs into Harry at The Breezeway Restaurant & Bar, which is located right by the clock tower on main street, where the kids are seen riding their bikes early in the film.  Harry is eating inside, when he comes out and speaks to her on this sidewalk at the corner.

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LOCATION: 112 E 1st St, Sanford, FL 32771

If you’re a fan of the film, the good news is most of the filming locations are still preserved.  The biggest challenge, aside from the handful of locations found around the town of Sanford, is simply traveling around to all of these distant towns from one another, which composite the small Pennsylvania town depicted in the film.

Kenneth Anger House

Perched across the corner from Alamo Square Park is the infamous Kenneth Anger house, also known as the Westerfeld House.  First built in 1889, the house managed to survive a 1905 earthquake.  In 1928, a group of Czarist Russians purchased the home and turned part of it into a brothel.  The house became nicknamed by locals as the “Russian Embassy,” or simply, “The Embassy.”  In the 1950s, with the rise of the beatniks, the house became occupied by many jazz musicians.  It is said that everyone from Allen Ginsberg to the Grateful Dead all visited the house.

By the mid-1960s, the area had fallen into decline and in 1966, the house was rented to filmmaker Kenneth Anger.  Although his stay was brief, lasting only until 1967, the house took on a new level of infamy during this period.  Anger filmed portions of his short film, “Invocation of My Demon Brother” at the house, which featured Anton LaVey and Bobby Beausoleil, with music by Mick Jagger.  Anger also claims to have sighted UFOs from the tower of the house.

A documentary about the history of the home is even in the works, known as “Westerfeld House of Legends.”

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LOCATION: 1198 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Beausoleil, who not long after would become involved in one of the Manson Family murders, posed for a famous photo on the front stairs of the building.  On decidedly less of a counter-culture note, the house sits adjacent to San Francisco’s famous “Painted Ladies,” which readers might recognize from the TV series “Full House.”  The creator of “Full House,” Jeff Franklin, later moved onto the property where the Manson Family murders took place.

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In 2014, Kenneth Anger himself made a rare public appearance at the Ace Theater in downtown Los Angeles, which was hosting a collection of his films.  It was scheduled to feature the first ever public screening of Jimmy Page’s unused film score to Anger’s “Lucifier Rising” (Page’s score was rejected in favor of one by Bobby Beausoleil, who composed the music from prison while serving out his murder sentence).  The screening featuring Page’s score was cancelled, however, reportedly due to legal threats.

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Here is a photo of Anger, who briefly spoke at the event.

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Lastly, we leave you with Kenneth Anger’s signature and hand prints, which can be found in front of the Vista Theater, one of L.A.’s best vintage theaters.

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LOCATION: Vista Theater, 4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027