Problem Child 2 (1991)

While the original “Problem Child” filmed in mostly around Dallas, Texas, the sequel, “Problem Child 2,” was filmed primarily around Orlando, Florida.

Ben Healy, played by John Ritter, moves with Junior into this lakefront home.

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LOCATION: 1216 Lancaster Dr, Orlando, FL 32806

The school Junior attends is Kaley Elementary School.

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LOCATION: 1600 E Kaley St, Orlando, FL 32806

This is the curb where Ben wrestles to get Junior out of the car and rips the entire seat out.

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This entrance is where the bully tries to push the satellite onto Junior from the roof above.

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Several scenes were also filmed at the Harry P. Leu Gardens.  You have to pay to enter the grounds and the property is bigger than you might expect.  Grabbing a map from the reception area might help you find your way, but if you’re seeking out the “Problem Child 2” locations, you might end up doing a bit more walking than you anticipated.

The Leu House Museum is where Ben prepares for his wedding to Lawanda.

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LOCATION: 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

The wedding itself is set in another section of the same property.

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The love rock Junior and Trixie visit is also at the Harry P. Leu Gardens.  This is where the rock was placed, but the prop is long since gone.

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Jack Kerouac

There are so many sites related to author Jack Kerouac scattered across the United States, one could probably dedicate an entire website to it.  Here we pay a homage to a man who not only influenced a generation, but helped shape American counterculture.

This residence in the town of Lowell, Massachusetts is where Kerouac was born on March 12, 1922.  His family lived on the second floor.

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LOCATION: 9 Lupine Rd, Lowell, MA 01850

A plaque can be found on the front porch of the house.

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Kerouac’s family frequently relocated around Lowell.  By age four, they moved to this house, said to be Kerouac’s third home, which the author referred to as “sad Beaulieu.” Beaulieu was the name of the street and Jack’s older brother Gerard died of rheumatic fever while they lived there.

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LOCATION: 34 Beaulieu St, Lowell, MA 01850

The Kerouac family relocated to Jamaica, New York (near Queens), where they lived in the upstairs unit above what was then a drugstore.  It was here that Kerouac wrote the “The Town and the City” and began crafting the initial pieces of his most famous novel, “On the Road.”

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LOCATION: 133-01 Cross Bay Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11417

Kerouac would finish “On the Road” in New York City at 454 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011.  Nearby, at the corner of 7th Ave and W 20th St is where Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty say their goodbyes at the end of the novel.

As is well documented, “On the Road” was not published for many years after it’s completion.  By the time it was first published in 1957, Kerouac had moved to Orlando, Florida.  It was in this home where he lived when “On the Road” became a bestseller and skyrocketed the author to instant fame.  Kerouac also began the manuscript for “The Dharma Bums” at this home.  The historic nature of the house was not known to Kerouac historians until 1996, when research for an article about the author led to the discovery.

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LOCATION: 1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, FL 32804

Kerouac’s final home, where the author resided in 1969, can be found in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The house, reportedly still owned by the Kerouac family, is said to still contain the desk of the author, as well as other personal belongings.  Mostly sitting empty since the 1970s, the house is in need of renovation.  If upkeep can be successfully funded, the home has been considered to be opened up for public visitation in the future.

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LOCATION: 5169 10th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710

After Kerouac’s passing, he was relocated back to his birth town of Lowell, Massachusetts for his funeral and burial.  His grave can be found at the Edson Cemetery.  The trails around the cemetery are laid out like streets.  The author’s grave site can be found near the corner of Lincoln and 7th, six graves up and three graves in.  It is rumored that singer Bob Dylan still visits Kerouac’s grave twice a year.

Two grave stones can be found there for the iconic writer.  Here is the original.

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LOCATION: Edson Cemetery, 1375 Gorham St, Lowell, MA 01852 (Lot 76, Range 96, Grave 1)

Just past it is a larger headstone, which was added in 2014.  It features an engraving of the author’s signature, along with the words “The road is life.”

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These locations only scratch the surface of all the Kerouac sites to be discovered all across the United States, but it is of course the man’s writing which stands the greatest test of time.

M*A*S*H*

Malibu Creek State Park today is primarily used for hikers and horse riders, but you’ll find quite a bit of movie and TV history there, as the area was once home to the Fox Ranch, formerly owned by 20th Century Fox.

For decades the land was used as an exterior backlot, hosting many productions, including the original “Planet of the Apes,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and several “Tarzan” films.  One of the most famous locations was the area that stood in as South Korea for exterior scenes for the TV series “M*A*S*H*,” based on the 1970 Robert Altman film.

The area has long since closed as a backlot and is now owned and operated as state property.  The state has made an admirable effort to maintain the old “M*A*S*H*” filming site.  From the main parking lot on Crags Road, the set can be found by hiking about 2.4 miles (4.75 round trip).  It takes a couple hours, but the trail is mostly flat, so it’s not a physically demanding journey and should be suitable for most visitors.

Unfortunately in late 2018, same fire that destroyed much of the Paramount Ranch also tore through Malibu Creek State Park, damaging parts of the “M*A*S*H*” set.  However, unlike Paramount Ranch, the remnants around the M*A*S*H* set actually survived the fire and remain in tact for the most part, albeit with some heat damage.  It’s actually not the first wildfire to come through the area.  During the filming of the show’s famous final episode in the 1980s, wildfires were approaching, which were written into the show.  Some of the original vehicles from the show were severely burned in those fires.  In spite of that, they remain on display to this day.  So the M*A*S*H* set will, in all likelihood, live on for future visitors, as the area slowly recovers.

We had the fortunate opportunity to visit the old set grounds long before the 2018 fires.  Here we’ll take a look at a bit of what could be seen there.

LOCATION: Malibu Creek State Park, Agoura Hills, CA 91301 (currently fire damaged)

The first thing approaching hikers would see is this jeep, which was added as a prop and was not original to the the show.

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This vehicle, on the other hand, was original to the show.  You can see it suffered heavy damages from the 1980s wildfire.

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Here is another burned car frame at the site, also original to the show.

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This sign was a recreation.  It suffered heat damage in the 2018 fire, but will hopefully be repaired or replaced in the future.

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A lot of the surrounding rock formations and geography will also be familiar to fans of the show.  While Malibu Creek State Park slowly finds sings of life again, the “M*A*S*H*” site too will hopefully be restored to it’s former glory.

Zabriskie Point (1970)

Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 film “Zabriskie Point” shot at the actual, titular location in Death Valley, California.  Found near Furnace Creek, the film staged an orgy scene at the site.  The location is also seen on the album cover to U2’s “The Joshua Tree” and 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)

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The Hitcher (1986)

In the 1986 Rutger Hauer film “The Hitcher,” a dust storm sweeps through the town.  This was filmed at Death Valley Junction, a remote, desert town located near the California / Nevada border.  The same building and town would actually show up once again on screens just over a decade later, in David Lynch’s “Lost Highway.”

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LOCATION: Near the intersection of State Line Rd / CA-127, Death Valley Junction, CA 92328 (nearest address is 608 CA-127, Death Valley Junction, CA 92328)

Falling Down (1993)

In Joel Schumacher’s 1993 film “Falling Down,” Michael Douglas plays the central character, referred to only as “D-Fens,” which is his license plate number.  The film follows D-Fens as he makes his was from Los Angeles to Venice Beach.  For the most part, the locations actually do follow this path, with a few exceptions.

The opening traffic jam is set at the 101 interchange of the 110 freeway.  The traffic pileup is in the southbound lane to the left, while D-Fens abandons his car and takes the northbound lane to the right on foot.

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LOCATION: Interchange of I-110 / I-101, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Beth, the estranged wife of D-Fens, played by Barbara Hershey, lives just off the Venice boardwalk.  This view next to her house, facing towards the beach, is seen multiple times in the film.

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LOCATION: 201 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

Beth’s house was unfortunately completely remodeled and looks nothing like it did in the film.

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LOCATION: 18 Ozone Ave, Venice, CA 90291

The police station where Detective Prendergast, played by Robert Duvall, works was a set built at Warner Bros. Studios (4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91522).

D-Fens makes his was to the market of Mr. Lee, where the first outburst of violence occurs over an overpriced can of soda.  This location is right next to the 101 freeway, making it a logical stop along the path of D-Fens.  The market has since been demolished and a park (Madison West Park) now exists in it’s place.

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LOCATION: 458 N Madison Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Later in the film, Prendergast makes his way to the market and climbs this embankment.  After spotting a billboard, he correctly places the proximity to the abandoned car and identifies D-Fens as his suspect.  A note to those interested in visiting, this dead end next to the park is not a very safe area, serving as a makeshift homeless community.

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As D-Fens makes his way through East L.A., he sits to rest and is approached by two gang members demanding his briefcase.  D-Fens refuses and things quickly turn violent.  The hilltop where the scene was shot has been converted in to a park, Vista Hermosa Natural Park, but the skyline of downtown Los Angeles still matches up.

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LOCATION: 100 N Toluca St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Looking for retribution, the gang members spot D-Fens in front of a theater, where they attempt to ambush him with a drive-by shooting.  The theater has since been demolished, but the surrounding buildings where the car rolls up still match.

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LOCATION: 2524 East Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033 (looking down from N Fickett St)

After hitting everyone in sight except D-Fens, their car turns off East Ceasar E Chavez Ave onto N Ficket St and crashes in front of this building.  D-Fens walks up and takes their bag of weapons.

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LOCATION: 2600 East Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033 (at N Fickett St)

D-Fens is standing next to a children’s playground in MacArthur Park, when a beggar starts asking him for a handout.  The playground has since been moved to another section of the park, but the structure to the left, seen in the film, still stands at the original spot.

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LOCATION: 2230 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

The beggar follows D-Fens through this tunnel, making up a sob story, which is quickly exposed as a lie.  MacArthur Park is not the safest of areas in general.  We wouldn’t recommend tourism here.

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On the other side of the tunnel, the D-Fens gives the beggar his briefcase.  The lake in the background is also seen in the movie “Drive,” where Ryan Gosling’s character makes a deal with some criminals.

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After discovering the briefcase only contains some lunch food, the disappointed beggar throws the apple at D-Fens, who kicks the apple and continues up the stairs to the left.

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The “Whammyburger” in the film is the biggest departure from the true path of Los Angeles to Venice Beach.  The restaurant, Angelo’s Burgers, is located much further south in Lynwood, California.  It still bears a strong resemblance to how it appeared in the film, aside from the fictitious Whammyburger set dressing.  Angelo’s was in fact the same restaurant at the time of filming.  It has not changed ownership.  The burgers there are quite good as well.

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LOCATION: 10990 Atlantic Ave, Lynwood, CA 90262

A view inside the Whammyburger.

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A poster for the film can be found inside, noting that filming took place on May 12, 1992.

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Celebrating his last day, Prendergast eats lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

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LOCATION: 4067 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

In one of the more poignant scenes in the film, D-Fens sees a man protesting, because he has been denied a loan and was determined to be “not economically viable.”  The building is now a post office.

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LOCATION: 5350 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The scene where D-Fens shoots up a phone booth was shot over on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, right along the iconic Sunset Strip.  The El Pollo Loco restaurant to the left was seen in the film, although most of the other businesses in the plaza have since changed.

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LOCATION: 8148 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

The army surplus store where D-Fens meets a Nazi store owner can be found back towards East L.A.  The building really is a surplus store and still operates today.  The real owners are nothing like the eccentric man in the film and are very welcoming to visitors.

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LOCATION: 3828 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

A view of the front counter, which is brimming with quite a bit more merchandise than seen in the film.

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Some of the rocket mortar props seen in the film are still found in the store, albeit a bit tucked away.

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The back of the surplus store, where more violence occurs, was actually a set construced at Warner Bros. Studios (4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91522).

The construction scene, where D-Fens fires a bazooka, faces towards the 110 and 105 freeway interchange.  The same interchange can be seen in the films “Speed” and “La La Land,” the latter of which also opens with a traffic jam, albeit to much different results.

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LOCATION: Intersection of S Broadway / W 112th St, Los Angeles, CA 90061

This church can be seen in the background of a few shots during the construction scene.

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Near the end of the film, D-Fens finally finds his family at the Venice Fishing Pier.  The pier had long been closed at the time of filming and was once set for demolition, but after community backlash, was ultimately saved and restored.  The building at the end of the pier is no longer there, but otherwise the area looks the same for the most part.

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LOCATION: Venice Fishing Pier, Los Angeles, CA 90292

Prendergast approaches and finally meets D-Fens.

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Prendergast and D-Fens have a standoff in the film’s climactic scene.

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There are quite a few locations to this film, some demolished or remodeled, others still standing.  Other than a few slightly unsafe areas, if you’re a fan of visiting filming locations, most of them are worth a visit.  “Falling Down” has grown in stature in the years since the film’s release and it has rightly taken it’s place among the the most iconic Los Angeles-based films.

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.  The same fires damaged some of the “M*A*S*H*” set at Malibu Creek State Park.  This has actually happened to several sets around Southern California over the years, with many often being rebuilt.  Paramount Ranch is no exception.  Plans have been announced to rebuild the sets, with a target to re-open around late 2020.

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.