Chinatown (1974)

The 1974 Roman Polanski film “Chinatown,” starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, is about a private investigator uncovering corruption in the Los Angeles water system.  The production naturally took place around Los Angeles.

The dry river bed where Jake Gittes, played by Nicholson, follows Hollis can be found on Foothill Blvd in Sunland-Tujunga, near the intersection of Foothill Blvd / W Conover St.  The Foothill Blvd Bridge overlooks the Tujunga Wash, where the scene was filmed.  This area falls in a strange intersection of city jurisdictions, where maps call it anything from Sunland-Tujunga to Sylmar, or Lave View Terrace to Los Angeles.  We’ve provided the exact GPS coordinates below for clarity.

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LOCATION: Foothill Blvd, Sunland-Tujunga, CA 91342 (GPS coordinates: 34.272220, -118.338135, nearest address 9666 Foothill Blvd, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342)

Jake pretends to photograph his associate on Echo Park Lake in Echo Park, while he actually photographs Hollis and Katherine.  The park had become run down for years, but has since been revitalized and you can even take paddle boats out on the lake.

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LOCATION: Echo Park Lake, Los Angeles, CA 90026

The mansion of Evelyn Mulwray, played by Faye Dunaway, can be found in Pasadena.  Trees in front of the property unfortunately obscure most of the view.

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LOCATION: 1315 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106

The alleyway where Evelyn is parked can be found in Downtown Los Angeles.  It’s an alley for private guests to enter the famous Millennium Biltmore Hotel.  This side is facing S Olive St.  The lower portion to the left can be seen in the 2018 remake of “A Star Is Born” and the reverse view from S Grand Ave can be seen in the film “Seven.”  There is a gate here blocking entrance into the alley, so it’s a bit tricky getting a photo.

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LOCATION: Alley between 523 / 525 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA, 90013

Jake visits Noah Cross in Catalina Island.  Catalina Island is most synonymous with the film “Step Brothers” and the “Catalina Wine Mixer,” but no actual filming took place on the island for that film.  Unlike “Step Brothers,” “Chinatown” really did shoot scenes on the island, located just under 30 miles off the coast of Long Beach, California.  The Casino Ballroom building can be seen in the background.  For eager visitors, no actual gambling is offered at the Casino Ballrom, in spite of the name.

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LOCATION: 1 Casino Way, Avalon, CA 90704

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The Mar Vista Rest Home Jake and Evelyn visit is actually the Archer School For Girls, located on Sunset Blvd.

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LOCATION: 11725 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

Evelyn’s sister Katherine lives at this home, which was later used in the film “Blast From The Past.”

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LOCATION: 1972 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Jake visits the home of Ida Sessions, only to discover a body.

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LOCATION: 848 E Kensington Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Jake’s client Curly lives in this East Hollywood home.

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LOCATION: 5030 Lemon Grove Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

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