Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987)

The 1980s film “Some Kind of Wonderful,” written by John Hughes, was filmed entirely around Southern California.  Amanda, played by Lea Thompson, lives at this house located in Wilmington.

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LOCATION: 1319 W E St, Wilmington, CA 90744

Here is another view of the home.

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Keith, played by Eric Stoltz, lives at this home, also located in Wilmington.

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LOCATION: 1441 W I St, Wilmington, CA 90744

The high school scenes were filmed at the San Pedro High School.

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LOCATION: 1001 W 15th St, San Pedro, CA 90731

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I, Robot (2004)

In the 2004 sci-fi action film “I, Robot,” Detective Del Spooner, played by Will Smith, is attacked by robots while he is driving this Audi RSQ.  Specifically developed for the film, the vehicle could be seen at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, which ran an exhibit entitled “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles Of Science Fiction and Fantasy” from May 2019 through May 2020.

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LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Simpsons

While it’s obvious that an animated show such as “The Simpsons” does not have any actual filming locations, there are a few real world replicas that do a good job of recreating the town of Springfield.

A full scale recreation of The Simpsons house was built in Henderson, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas.  The house was designed to be an exact replica, with the builders studying over 100 episodes for the series in an attempt to match every detail.  When the house was first unveiled, it was painted in the same colors as the show.  The home was built as part of a promotional contest in 1997 from the TV network, where the winner could choose between having the house or the cash value of the property at the time, $75,000.  The winner ended up choosing the latter and the home unfortunately went up for sale and became just another private home.  There is even an image of Homer by series creator Matt Groening drawn into the cement of the sidewalk leading to the front door.  If only a fan with more enthusiasm for the show had won, the home could have been turned into a tourist attraction for fans to come and visit.  Nevertheless, looking at the outer facade of the home, you can still see the resemblance to the cartoon.

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LOCATION: 712 Red Bark Ln, Henderson, NV 89011

Something much better suited for fans of the show is the Springfield area of Universal Studios Hollywood.  Many recreations of the show exist there, in the form of restaurants, rides and stores.  Here is a sign welcoming guests to Springfield.

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LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Here is Moe’s Tavern, with the Springfield sign and power plant in the background.

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Here is Barney inside Moe’s Tavern, looking for a refill.

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Here is the Kwik-E-Mart.

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Millhouse is outside enjoying a beverage.

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Krusty Buger.

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Lard Lad Donuts, the mascot for which is something of a hybrid between Bob’s Big Boy and Randy’s Donuts.

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Here is the Springfield Police Station, where Eddie and Lou keep an eye on things.

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Meanwhile, Snake is escaping the jail directly above them.

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Nearby, Chief Wiggum has crashed his police car into a pole.

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Here is the Springfield Department of Motor Vehicles, where Patty and Selma work.

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Here is the office of Dr. Nick Riviera.

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Disco Stu has closed up shop due to an injury.

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Krustyland, where The Simpsons Ride is located.

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Cletus is running a chicken restaurant.

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Here’s a Duff’s hot dog shop, with the brewery in the background.

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Last, but not least, we leave you with the Bumblebee Man’s taco truck.

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Starman (1984)

The 1984 sci-fi film “Starman,” directed by John Carpenter, was filmed in numerous locations, including Tennessee, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Iowa.  Jenny, played by Karen Allen, tries to get Starman, played by Jeff Bridges, back home by taking him to the Meteor Crater Natural Landmark in Winslow, Arizona.  The crater site is privately owned.  However, it is open to public visitation and is a popular tourist destination.

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LOCATION: Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, Interstate 40, Winslow, AZ 86047

The photos do not do justice to how large and impressive the site is in person, but here is a panoramic view.

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Mr. Deeds (2002)

The 2002 Adam Sandler comedy “Mr. Deeds” was largely filmed in New York City, with a few scenes filmed in California.  Longfellow Deeds, played by Adam Sandler, takes Babe Bennett, played by Winona Ryder, to Bethesda Terrace and Fountain in Central Park.  This area has been seen in countless films, such as “Home Alone 2: Lost In New York,” “The Avengers,” “John Wick,” “Elf” and dozens more.

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LOCATION: 72 Terrace Dr, New York, NY 10021 (inside Central Park)

Babe tells Longfellow she grew up in this home, which can be found in Pasadena, California.

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LOCATION: 989 S Madison Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106

Independence Day (1996)

The 1996 sci-fi action film “Independence Day” was a large scale production, filming in California, New York,  Utah, Washington D.C., New Mexico and more.  Capt. Steven Hiller, played by Will Smith, lives at this Los Angeles home, where he first spots the giant spaceship in the sky.

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LOCATION: 6033 W 74th St, Los Angeles, CA 90045

The First Lady, played by Mary McDonnell, receives a phone call at the famed Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown L.A.  The hotel is a staple of film, having appeared in such movies as “Ghostbusters,” “Beverly Hills Ninja,” “Fight Club” and many more.

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LOCATION: 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The famous sequence with the fires engulfing the tunnel full of cars was filmed at the Second Street Tunnel in Downtown L.A.  This is another popular filming location, appearing in such films as “Kill Bill,” “Demolition Man,” “Blade Runner” and many more.

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LOCATION: 620 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Hiller drags a defeated alien across the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  The salt flats have been seen in many films, such as “Pirates Of The Carribean: At World’s End,” “The Tree Of Life” and this film’s 2016 sequel, “Independence Day: Resurgence.”  The I-80 freeway traverses straight through the Bonneville Salt Flats, with viewing points on the side of the road.  There’s also an exit to drive in for a closer look.

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LOCATION: Bonneville Salt Flats, UT 84083

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Wendover Airfield, located near the border of Nevada and Utah, served as the airfield where President Thomas J. Whitmore, played by Bill Pullman, gives his speech to rally the troops before taking their final stand against the aliens.  This scene was filmed in front of Hangar 2.  This area is private property, but they do allow tours.  Wendover Airfield has appeared in many films, such as “Con Air,” 1982’s “The Philadelphia Experiment” “Mullholland Falls,” The Core” and Ang Lee’s 2003 version of “The Hulk”

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LOCATION: 345 Airport Way, Wendover, UT 84083

Hiller’s military uniform can be found on display at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino is Las Vegas.

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LOCATION: 3667 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

The Muppets (2011)

The 2011 film version of “The Muppets” was shot primarily in the Los Angeles area.  The opening dance number, set it “Smalltown USA,” was filmed on the Warner Bros. Studios Lot.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Gary, played by Jason Segel, runs into this school, where he meets up with Mary, played by Amy Adams.  This is also a set on the Warner lot.

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The Muppets Theater is the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 6838 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Kermit’s mansion was filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.  While the outside of the Greystone grounds is open daily and free to the public, opportunities to tour inside are somewhat rare.  The property is owned by the City of Beverly Hills and regularly accommodates productions and private events.  Therefore, only a few times a year is access to the inside of the estate possible.  Planning ahead is required if you’d like to see inside.

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LOCATION: 905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The same mansion has been featured in countless films, such as “The Big Lebowski,” “There Will Be Blood,” “The Social Network” and dozens more.

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Kermit begins trying to round up the Muppets and makes his way to Reno, Nevada to find Fozzie Bear.  The famous Reno Arch is seen during this scene.

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LOCATION: 155 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501

The office of Tex Richman, played by Chris Cooper, can be found in Downtown Los Angeles.  The same building was seen in “Pretty Woman.”

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LOCATION: 333 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Demolition Man (1993)

The 1993 action film “Demolition Man,” starring Sylvester Stallone as John Spartan and Wesley Snipes as Simon Phoenix, is set in the futuristic “San Angeles,” where San Diego and Los Angeles have become one giant metropolis.  The production likewise filmed scenes in both cities.

The opening shot depicts a burning Hollywood sign from behind.  There is a public hiking trail that goes up to and behind the sign.  The sign itself is heavily monitored by security.

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LOCATION: Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, CA 90068 (GPS coordinates: 34.134118, -118.321540)

The SAPD police headquarters can be found in Westlake Village, near Thousand Oaks.

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LOCATION: 1 Baxter Way, Westlake Village, CA 91362

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The Los Angeles Convention Center was composited into a futuristic view of Cocteau’s office.  This particular view is at the corner of S Figueroa St and Pico Blvd.

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LOCATION: 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (seen from intersection of S Figueroa St and Pico Blvd)

As John Spartan and Lenina Huxley, played by Sandra Bullock, drive to an upscale Taco Bell restaurant, they drive past this building, which is actually the San Diego Convention Center.  The Convention Center famously hosts the annual San Diego Comic-Con.  In 2018, as part of the Comic-Con there was a pop-up Taco Bell celebrating the film by recreating the set, as well as featuring props from the film.

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LOCATION: 111 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

After a brief encounter with Egdar Friendly, played by Dennis Leary, Spartan and Huxley drive down the The America Plaza Trolley Station, located at the intersection of Kettner Blvd and W Broadway in San Diego.  Spartan apologizes to Huxley as they drive.

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LOCATION: America Plaza Trolley Station, San Diego, CA 92101

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The Pacific Design Center served as the apartment of Huxley.  Many films have shot here, including “Bowfinger” and “Her.”  The interiors were also featured in the TV series “Westworld.”

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LOCATION: 8687 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Spartan, Huxley and Garcia, played by Benjamin Bratt, go looking for Phoenix in the underground by entering through a manhole at this business park.  Despite being a common business area with many pedestrians, located on one of the busiest roads in Los Angeles, security has very alarmist reactions to even casual photography.  There are no “private property” or “no trespassing” signs anywhere to be seen, but they are confrontational if you attempt to take a photo.

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LOCATION: 5750 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Simon Phoenix later emerges from the underground in the same area.

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John Spartan and Huxley emerge from the San Diego Innovation Center, driving past the pyramid in front.

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LOCATION: 7310 Miramar Rd, San Diego, CA 92126

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Spartan and Huxley pursue Phoenix in a car chase into the Second Street Tunnel in Downtown L.A.  This is a popular filming location, appearing in such films as “Kill Bill,” “The Terminator,” “Blade Runner,” “Con Air,” “Independence Day” and many more.

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LOCATION: 620 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (facing S Figueroa St)

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The car chase continues down Grand Lower in Downtown L.A.  This is another popular area for both filming and photography.  It has been featured in countless films, including “The Terminator,” “Cobra,” “Batman Forever,” “Repo Man” and many more.  It was also featured in the TV series “Westworld.”

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LOCATION: Grand Lower, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The Cryo-Penitentiary where the final confrontation takes place was filmed at a real jail in Downtown Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Detention Center.  This courtyard area seen in the film sits between several buildings on the block and is open to the public.

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LOCATION: 535 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Here is another angle seen in the film of the same building, this time facing Alameda St.

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The fully automated police cruiser driven by Spartan and Huxley in the film was featured on display at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, as part of an exhibit entitled “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles Of Science Fiction and Fantasy” from May 2019 through May 2020.  The vehicle was a 1992 General Motors Ultralite.

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LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

U2 – The Joshua Tree

The cover to the classic U2 album “The Joshua Tree” was taken by photographer turned acclaimed director Anton Corbijn at the famous Zabriskie Point in Death Valley.  In December of 1986, Corbijn and the band set out on a trip lasting several days across the Mojave Desert, where they visited multiple locations for their photo shoots.  Ultimately, a shot of the band standing in front of Zabriske Point was chosen as the cover image.

“The Joshua Tree” of course is not the only project connected to the location.  The 1970 Michelangelo Antonioni film of the same name, “Zabriskie Point,” staged an orgy scene at the site.  Scenes from the TV series “The Mandalorean” also shot there.  Philosopher Michel Foucault notably called his 1975 acid trip at Zabriskie Point the greatest experience of his life.

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LOCATION: Zabriskie Point, CA-190, Furnace Creek, CA 92328 (GPS coordinates: 36°25′12″N 116°48′40″W)

U Turn (1997)

The 1997 Oliver Stone film “U Turn” is set in the small town of Superior, Arizona and that’s exactly where production mostly took place as well.  In the film, Superior is depicted as a strange, sometimes hostile town.  In reality, the town is quite welcoming to tourists, offering a variety of shops and antique stores.  “U Turn” is not the only production to film scenes in Superior.  “The Prophecy” and “Eight Legged Freaks” have as well.

Early in the film, Bobby, played by Sean Penn, is driving a desert road when his car breaks down.  He takes his car to Harlin’s Garage, where he meets Darrell, played by Billy Bob Thorton.  These scenes were filmed on E Magma Heights Dr, however the house and garage seen in the film are long gone.  In fact, a copper company now owns the land and it is completely inaccessible to the public.

When Bobby first reached the Main St of Superior, he looks over and sees the sheriff’s station, quickly turning the other direction.  The building seen in the film is the Superior Kearny Justice Court.

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LOCATION: 60 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby encounters blind man, played by Jon Voight, at the train station.  Bobby tries to pet the man’s dog, only to be told it’s dead.

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LOCATION: 100 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby first sees Grace, played by Jennifer Lopez, walking by the building.

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Later in the film, Bobby purchases a bus ticket at the same building.

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Grace takes Bobby to her home, where she lives with Jake McKenna, played by Nick Nolte.  Jake’s house is known as the Castle On The Rock.  The house is located on N Picket Post Rd, Superior, AZ 85173.  There are tours of the building on occasion, but most of the time the property and even the road are completely closed to the public.

Jake drops Bobby off back in town at this grocery store, where Bobby immediately finds himself in a robbery.

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LOCATION: 50 N Pinal Ave, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby uses a payphone to try to get money at the corner of this building.

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LOCATION: 222 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby calls the gangsters he owes money at the corner of this building.

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LOCATION: 160 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby visits this diner, where he is approached by Jenny, played by Claire Danes.  Misreading the situation, Toby N. Tucker (“T.N.T.”), played by Joaquin Phoenix, has a confrontation with Bobby.

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LOCATION: 149 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

This building served as the realty office of Jake McKenna.

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LOCATION: 271 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

Bobby encounters the old, blind man once again in front of this building.  Later in the film, this is also where he fights T.N.T.

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LOCATION: 71 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173

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Bobby passes Jenny’s house and the two walk past this church talking.

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LOCATION: 94 N San Pedro St, Superior, AZ 85173

If you do make it to Superior, Arizona, most of these locations are quite a short distance from one another.  Most of them, you can walk on foot from one location to the next.

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