Friday (1995)

In the 1995 comedy “Friday,” Craig, played by Ice Cube, lives at this Los Angeles house.  He hangs out with Smokey, played by Chris Tucker, on the front porch.

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LOCATION: 1418 W 126th St, Los Angeles, CA 90047

Across the street is Miss Parker’s house.

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LOCATION: 1423 W 126th St, Los Angeles, CA 90047

Paramount Ranch

In 1927, Paramount Pictures purchased land in Agoura Hills, California in the Santa Monica Mountains, where they constructed the original movie sets of Paramount Ranch, which were known for representing everything from colonial Massachusetts to ancient China, becoming widely used in a number of classic films, such as “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Gunfight at the OK Corral.”  The legendary TV series “Gunsmoke” also filmed at the ranch.

In the 1950s, William Hertz purchased the ranch from Paramount (although their name stuck) and brought in sets from RKO Pictures’ former Encino Ranch, which would become the basis of the “Western Town” at Paramount Ranch.  This opened up the property to a new generation of Westerns and the ranch flourished.

With Hertz’s health in decline, he would sell the ranch to an auto racing company.  However, after two fatal crashed in 1957, the racing company folded.

In 1980, the ranch was adopted as Paramount Ranch Park, part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.  Due to this change, the ranch became open to the public and free of charge, which is a very unique quality for movie ranches in Southern California, as most those remaining are privately owned and closed to the public.

While many of the buildings did change over the years, the National Parks Service restored the “Western Town” to it’s former glory and resumed using it as a filming location, including notable appearances on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” “The X-Files,” “Carnivàle” and “Westworld.”  Countless films also shot at the ranch, including “Reds,” “The Flintsones in Viva Rock Vegas,” “Bone Tomahawk,” “The Great Outdoors,” “American Sniper” and many more.  Even when filming was taking place at the ranch, it still remained open for public visitation.

Unfortunately in November 2018, the ranch fell victim to wildfires and nearly every building was burnt to the ground.  This has actually happened to several sets around Southern California over the years, with many often being rebuilt.  It remains to be seen what the future holds for Paramount Ranch.

We had the good fortune of visiting the ranch on multiple occasions before the fire, so here we’ll take a look at pretty much everything that could be seen around the Western Town set.

LOCATION: 2903 Cornell Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301 (now demolished)

Here is entrance the entrance to the ranch.

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A map of the grounds.

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The “Chins” building, seen on the TV series “Carnivàle.”

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The church, seen on the TV series “Westworld.”  It was the sole building to survive the wildfire.

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A look inside the church.

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The general store.

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The Trapper.

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A house at the ranch, which was actually used as a residence by staff.

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The saloon and gazebo, where the climax of Season 1 of “Westworld” takes place, with Dr. Robert Ford, played by Anthony Hopkins and Dolores, played by Evan Rachel Wood, causing a dramatic scene.

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The hotel, seen on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”

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A glimpse inside.

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The barber shop.

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The bank.

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Another general store.

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The jail.

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The stable.

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The train depot, seen on “The X-Files.”

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A covered cafeteria area with picnic tables, where film crews could eat their meals.

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We are hopeful that the sets will be reconstructed in time, but until then, we hope this article serves as a document of what was.

Beethoven (1992)

The house from the 1992 comedy “Beethoven,” as well as the sequel, “Beethoven’s 2nd,” can be found in South Pasadena, California.  The house still largely resembles how it appeared in the films.

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LOCATION: 1405 Milan Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Bio-Dome (1996)

The 1996 film “Bio-Dome,” starring Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin, filmed at the Japanese Garden of the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys, California.  The location has been used in countless TV shows and films, notably serving as the “Starfleet Academy” in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Enterprise.”  Other TV shows to film there include the original “Knight Rider,” “Murder She Wrote” and the original “Charmed.”  Films such as “Rising Sun,” “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” and “Most Wanted” also filmed at the location.

The Japanese Garden is well worth a visit, even if you’re not a movie buff.  There’s lots of beautiful greens and a pond not shown in this article.  It’s a unique oasis tucked away in the San Fernando Valley that will make you feel like you’re strolling through Tokyo.

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LOCATION: 6100 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406

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