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. Tarantino returned to this area for a scene in “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood.”
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.
LOCATION: Terminal 5, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (departures level)
Another section of Terminal 5 Jackie is seen walking through.
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.
LOCATION: 6403 Ocean Front Walk, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
The outside of Melanie’s apartment, where Jackie and Ordell, played by Samuel L. Jackson, 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.
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.
LOCATION: 724 E Carson St, Carson, CA 90745 (now demolished)
Carson City Hall, which can be seen in the background across the street, still matches up. It is seen in several shots through the front window, such as when Ordell and Louis, played by Robert De Niro, park in front of Cherry Bail Bonds.
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.
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.
Ordell explains the situation as they talk at the front entrance of the building.
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.
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.
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.
After Jackie is arrested by LAPD Detective Mark Dargus (Michael Bowen) and ATF agent Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton), she is taken to a police station and asked to give up Ordell in exchange for her freedom. The police station scenes were filmed at what was, at the time of filming, part of the production offices. The building is only seen from interior views in the film, but here is what it looks like outside. The interior of the building was used for another scene, when Jackie is exchanging the money inside a department store dressing room. Both the police interrogation room and dressing room were sets built inside the building.
LOCATION: 6025 W Slauson Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
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.
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.
Max and Jackie grab a drink at the former Cockatoo Inn in Hawthorne, exactly as stated in the film. It appears in another scene whenever Jackie meets Ordell, then a third time whenever Ordell and Louis have a discussion. Sadly the location closed down in 1996 shortly before filming took place. While the property was not razed altogether, it has since been so heavily remodeled, it no longer appears anything like it did in the film. The signs are long gone and the interior is completely different, but it is still the original building. You can find old images online of how it used to appear.
LOCATION: 11500 Acacia Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250 (heavily remodeled)
Max drops Jackie off at her apartment, where Ordell soon pays her a visit. The apartment can be found in Torrence.
LOCATION: 17575 Yukon Ave, Torrance, CA 90504
Much of the film takes place at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrence, which is correctly stated as such in the film.
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.
At the start of the “trial run” money exchange, Jackie is seen exiting an elevator after her flight and being met by Ray and Mark. The scene supposedly takes place at LAX, but it’s actually another part of Del Amo Mall. This is the East Parking Garage, but unfortunately the scene was filmed on the second level and all upper levels of this structure have since been closed off for an indeterminate amount of time.
LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 33.828457, -118.348661
Just before the actual money exchange, Jackie is seen driving down Sepulveda Blvd. The vehicle she’s driving is the same car Butch drives in “Pulp Fiction,” as she listens to Randy Crawford’s “Street Life.”
LOCATION: 2407 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501
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 on Del Amo Cir Blvd. Marshall’s relocated to a new location at the mall in 2018 and these blue bricks were sadly removed in 2019, due to remodeling.
LOCATION: 365 Del Amo Cir Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503 (heavily remodeled)
Back at Del Amo Mall, Melanie and Louis meet up with Jackie for the money exchange at the fictional Billingsley Department Store in the mall, which is currently a Macy’s store. 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 heads for the dressing room, which is located on the third floor of Macy’s. The actual dressing room, as mentioned earlier, was a set built at the film’s production offices.
Here is the approximate area where Louis and Melanie observe what’s happening and argue.
Max Cherry arrives outside of the store on the upper level. A prop Billingsley sign was mounted on the wall.
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.
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.
LOCATION: 348 E Opp St, Wilmington, CA 90744