The 2004 drama “Mysterious Skin,” while set in the town of Hutchinson, Kansas, like most films by Gregg Araki, it was actually filmed in Southern California, primarily around the San Fernando Valley.
Early in the film, a young boy, Neil, is taken by his mother, played by Elizabeth Shue, to a little league baseball field back in the early 1980s. These scenes were filmed at Balboa Park in Encino. Its a fairly large park and it shows up in numerous scenes throughout the film, so we’ll attempt to identify where inside the park different scenes take place. Young Neil first sees the coach at the baseball fields. The field used in the scene is nearest to the basketball courts, with GPS coordinates around 34.174865, -118.504439.
LOCATION: Balboa Park, Encino, CA 91316 (nearest address is 17015 Burbank Blvd, Encino, CA 91316)
A teenage Neil, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, hustles at the playground of the same park. It has since been remodeled some. The GPS coordinates are around 34.173486, -118.505016.
Later in the film, as Neil walks away from this building to catch a ride, he shouts that he is sick of his town. This too was shot at Balboa Park, at the parking lot near the soccer fields. The GPS coordinates are around 34.176277, -118.504659.
LOCATION: 5500 Atlas St, Los Angeles, CA 90032
Neil’s house can be found in Reseda.
LOCATION: 19220 Ingomar St, Reseda, CA 91335
Neil stands outside of his former coach’s house in the middle of the night, which can be found in Northridge.
LOCATION: 8417 Shirley Ave, Northridge, CA 91324
Late in the film, things take a violent turn at this apartment building, supposedly location in Brighton Beach in New York. The building can actually be found in Los Angeles.
LOCATION: 2910 Leeward Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005