Jurassic Park (1993)

Steven Spielberg’s classic 1993 film “Jurassic Park” takes place on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, supposedly near Costa Rica.  The real locations were filmed mostly in Hawaii, on the islands of Kauaʻi, O’ahu and Maui, with some additional scenes filmed on studio lots near Hollywood, California.

Early in the film, Nedry, played by Wayne Knight, meets Dodgson at an outdoor dining area, supposedly located in San Jose, Costa Rica.  The real location is just off the Kuhio Highway in Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi.  There are numerous food trucks there where motorists can stop and enjoy local food.  This is the spot where Dodgson first arrives by the side of the road.

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LOCATION: 4-1620 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, HI 96746

This is the general area where Nedry and Dodgson sit and discuss plans to steal dinosaur DNA from InGen and sell it to a rival company.  As you can see, the area has changed a little bit.  While there are tables you can sit and eat, they are closer to the road at the food trucks.  In the film, the two sit further back near the palm trees.

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One of the most memorable scenes in the film is of course the first dinosaur sighting.  For years, it also remained one of the most elusive locations to fans.  The brachiosaurus encounter was filmed at Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi.  The land is a private ranch for horse, sheep and cattle.  For decades, it did not offer tours of any kind and only a select few ever made it onto the property.  That changed in 2019, when the ranch began offering public tours for the first time, including a tour dedicated to filming locations around the ranch.  Besides the original film, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Jurassic Park III” and “Jurassic World” also filmed at the ranch.

Here is where Hammond (Richard Attenborough) rides with Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie (Laura Dern) and Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in the Jeeps, as they first approach a hill towards the brachiosaurus.

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LOCATION: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, 5-1771D, Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, HI 96754

The vehicles continue driving past this row of trees.

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Here is the exact spot where they first see the brachiosaurus.  It is eating from the tree on the right.  As iconic as this scene is, the ranch itself is so vast, it would be quite easy to miss if you didn’t know the general vicinity.  However, once you’re there, if you know the film, it’s very identifiable.

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As Grant sits on the ground bewildered by what he’s just seen, he looks the opposite direction and sees a herd of dinosaurs at a lake.  This is made to appear as if it’s right near the trees where the first brachiosaurus is seen, but in reality is a completely different part of the ranch.  Visual effects were used to composite the actors into the shot, to appear to be overlooking the lake.

This was filmed at the Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir, located on the ranch.  After a breach of the nearby Ka Loko Reservoir in 2006, located about 2 miles east of the ranch, the owners decided to decommission the Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir in 2009 and downsize it into a lake.  This is how it appears now.

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If you get a chance to visit Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi, we certainly encourage you to do so if you’re a fan of the film.  There are other, very recognizable locations from the other “Jurassic Park” films to be seen there as well.  The staff is very friendly and welcoming to photography and video and eager for fan input on how to improve the experience.  With the ranch now open to tours, it will likely grow as a tourist hot spot in the years to come.

Later in the film, a storm arrives on the island, which was filmed at Nawiliwili Harbor in Kauaʻi.  The very real Hurricane Iniki hit Kauaʻi during filming in 1992.  Spielberg and the cast were safely holed up at the Marriott Resort in Lihue when the hurricane struck.  The hurricane resulted in many scenes initially planned for filming in Kauaʻi to be shifted to O’ahu, as well as the studio lots in California.  However, they managed to use footage of the actual hurricane in the film, taken at the hotel looking out over the harbor.  If you don’t want to visit the hotel, there is a nearby park, from which the harbor can also be seen pretty well.

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LOCATION: Nawiliwili Harbor, Lihue, HI 96766 (seen near 3610 Rice St, Lihue, HI 96766)

The T-rex attack was filmed at Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, California, on their tallest sound stage.  The T-rex chasing Malcolm and Ellie was originally intended to be shot in Kauaʻi, however.  Due to the hurricane, this scene was also shifted to the Warner lot and can sometimes be seen on their studio tours, depending on the production schedules around the lot.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Perhaps the most widely known location for this film is Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.  The Gallimimus stampede, with Grant and the two children, was not initially intended to be filmed at Kualoa Ranch.  Instead it was meant to be another location in Kauaʻi.  Kualoa was a replacement location, due to the hurricane.  Here is the main valley at the ranch, where the stampede takes place.

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LOCATION: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Another view where Grant and the children are running.

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The ranch still has a small piece of the original fallen tree they hide behind as the T-rex hunts and eats the Gallimimus.  They added a sign for the film and it has since become the most popular photo location on the ranch.  It’s right next to the main tour trail, so it’s very easy to access.

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These mountains were seen in the background as Grant and the kids hide and watch the T-rex.

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While “Jurassic Park” was not the first movie to film at Kualoa, it certainly became the most famous.  After this film, countless other films, TV shows, commercials and music videos began filming on the ranch, bringing with it quite a lot of tourism.  The ranch has so many filming locations, it’s almost like a studio tour.  There are a wide variety of tours available at the ranch, many of which are not film related.  While the locations from this film can be seen on quite a few of the tours, we recommend the Premier Movie Site Tour, as it takes you to many locations from other films that are only seen on that particular tour.

If you get a chance to visit Hawaii, there are quite a few “Jurassic Park” locations to be seen.  Some are quite a challenge to visit, however, involving hiking or private helicopter rides as the only way to reach them.  For the casual fan, we recommend Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi and Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.  Both offer spectacular views and very recognizable locations from multiple different “Jurassic Park” films.  As a reminder, these are private ranches closed to the general public for unauthorized experiences.  Please do not trespass.  The only way to see them is by booking a tour.

Related articles: Jurassic World (2015)

21 Jump Street (2012)

In the surprisingly entertaining 2012 film adaptation of the 1980s TV series “21 Jump Street,” the police headquarters, supposedly located at the titular address, is actually the St. James AME Church in New Orleans.  The church pops up again briefly in the sequel “22 Jump Street.”

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LOCATION: 222 N Roman St, New Orleans, LA 70112

This building directly to the left is part of the same church property and also seen in the film several times.

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Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Dan Gilroy’s 2019 thriller “Velvet Buzzsaw” is set in the Los Angeles art scene.  The offices of Rhodora Haze, played by Rene Russo, can be found in Downtown Los Angeles, near the Staples Center.

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LOCATION: 1200 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Morf, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, meets Josephina, played by Zawe Ashton at the Colburn Cafe.  While the address is on S Grand Ave, it’s not visible from that street.  It’s actually located directly behind another location in the film; the “LAMA” museum, covered later in this article.  There are walkways on either side of the building from S Grand Ave to access this area.

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LOCATION: 201 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The art studio of Piers, played by John Malkovich is the H.D. Buttercup building in Downtown Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 2118 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021

This is the view seen whenever Dondon pays Piers a visit at the same location.

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Gretchen, played by Toni Collette, visits the LAMA museum, which is actually the Colburn School.  Directly behind this building is the Colburn Cafe previously mentioned.

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LOCATION: 200 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Across the street is The Broad museum, with the Walt Disney Concert Hall in the distance.  Both of these are seen as Gretchen visits LAMA.

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LOCATION: 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Late in the film, Josephina can be seen at a bar.  This exterior is located just a few buildings away from the art studio of Piers.

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LOCATION: 2053 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

The Partridge Family

The house from the 1970s sitcom “The Partridge Family” can be found on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank. This studio lot is separate from the main Warner backlot and unfortunately not open to public tours at this time.  The house has since changed a bit in appearance, due to being used for an explosion during the filming of “Lethal Weapon.”  The same house can be seen in “The Monster Squad.”

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Baby Driver (2017)

Edgar Wright’s 2017 film “Baby Driver” was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding areas.  The opening shot of the bank was filmed at the Candler Building on Peachtree St in Atlanta.  However, the entrance seen in the film faces John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE.

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LOCATION: 127 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, parks the getaway car across the street.

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LOCATION: 140 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303

For the opening titles, Baby exits the Healey Building, which is where his boss Doc, played by Kevin Spacey, sets up the heists.  The camera looks up to the sky, with some visual effects added to make the building look even taller than it actually is.

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LOCATION: 57 Forsyth St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303

The camera pans down to Baby exiting the building.

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He then starts dancing as he walks down the sidewalk listening to his music.

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After making his way down Forsyth St, he crosses here and nearly gets hit by a car.

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LOCATION: 63 Forsyth St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303

His arrives at a coffee shop, where he first sees Debora, played by Lily James, passing by outside.  His entire walk during the opening credits is an unbroken shot, meaning you can follow Baby’s exact path if you’re so inclined.

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LOCATION: 85 Poplar St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Debora works at the former Uncle Chucky’s Diner in Forest Park, which has since closed.  The building currently sits vacant.  It can be tricky to access, as the address is on GA-85, but the restaurant actually sits bit further back from the road, with no direct entrance from GA-85.  Instead, you need to take a couple side roads to access it.

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LOCATION: 5116 GA-85, Forest Park, GA 30297

The next bank robbery, which goes awry, is a bit north of Downtown Atlanta.  This building also currently sits vacant.

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LOCATION: 84 Perimeter Center E, Atlanta, GA 30346

Baby and Doc case the post office for their next potential heist.  The exterior was filmed at Dahlberg Hall in Atlanta.

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LOCATION: 30 Courtland St SE, Atlanta, GA 30303

The climax of the film was shot at the Jerry Wadley Memorial Bridge in Juliette, about 70 miles south of Atlanta.  It’s located very close to another famous filming location in Juliette; the Whistle Stop Cafe from “Fried Green Tomatoes.”

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LOCATION: Jerry Wadley Memorial Bridge, Juliette, GA 31046

Duel (1971)

Steven Speilberg’s dazzling debut, the 1971 thriller “Duel,” was mostly filmed around the Santa Clarita and Acton areas of California.  David, played by Dennis Weaver, lives at this house in Toluca Lake, which has unfortunately since been heavily remodeled from how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 10414 Bloomfield St, Toluca Lake, CA 91602

As the film unravels, David unwillingly embarks on a terrifying cat and mouse game with a sadistic truck driver.  The film does a great job of making most of the locations look quite desolate, but in reality the majority are located pretty close to civilization.

David stops off at this distinct looking restaurant with a stone facade in Santa Clarita after an encounter with the mysterious truck driver.

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LOCATION: 12625 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

The tunnel where the kids on the school bus are stranded can be found on Soledad Canyon Rd in Santa Clarita, just past Capra Rd.  From there you would pass through to the shoulder on the other side of the tunnel, as the view seen in the film is looking back westbound.

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LOCATION: 34°25’55.1″N, 118°20’59.9″W (nearest address is 11540 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390)

David hides and tries to get some sleep further down Soledad Canoyn Rd, near the entrance of Middleton Ranch.

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LOCATION: 6201 Soledad Canyon Rd, Acton, CA 93510

The truck follows David up this mesa next to Vasquez Canyon Rd in Santa Clarita.  In fact, the name of the road is Mesa Dr, though it is now fenced off.

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LOCATION: Mesa Dr / Vasquez Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

If you’ve never seen the film, we encourage you to seek it out.  While the plot is pretty minimal, the execution stands the test of time and is so well done, it’s easy to see why Spielberg quickly made a name for himself.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

The house from the TV series adaptation of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, can be found in Torrance, California.

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LOCATION: 1313 Cota Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

Located just a few blocks away is Torrance High School, which served as Sunnydale High School.  The same high school was used in the TV series “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

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LOCATION: 2200 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501