Small Soldiers (1998)

In the 1998 Joe Dante film “Small Soldiers,” Alan’s house was not actually a real house, rather a set constructed on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The set was built specifically for the film, but remains standing to this day and has since been used for other productions, including “Pleasantville” and the TV series “Pushing Daisies.”

This Warner Bros. Ranch is separate from the main Warner backlot and unfortunately not open to public tours at this time.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Another set from the film, The Inner Child toy store, is located over on the main studio lot of Warner Bros. and can in fact be seen on their studio tour.  The building was famously later used as the coffee shop where Emma Stone works in “La La Land.”

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Related articles: Matinee (1993), The ‘Burbs (1989)

Goodfellas (1990)

One of the most memorable scenes in Martin Scorsese’s classic 1990 film “Goodfellas” is when Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, takes Karen, played by Lorraine Bracco, on a date to the Copacabana in Manhattan.  The camera follows them as they take a side entrance, skipping the line and walking through the kitchen out onto the restaurant floor, where a table is immediately brought for them.

The Copacabana was a legendary restaurant located in the actual location seen in the film.  Acts such as Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and The Supremes all performed there.  However, after fifty years, it was relocated in 1992, not long after the film was released.

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LOCATION: 10 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022

Related articles: The Departed (2006), Casino (1995)

Jurassic World (2015)

In 2015’s “Jurassic World,” the story takes us back to Isla Nublar, the same fictional island from the original “Jurassic Park,” supposedly located off the coast of Costa Rica.  The locations are a composite of multiple places, including Louisiana and Hawaii.  Filming largely took place at Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu, where as the original film also shot, albeit to a lesser extent.

As the ferry takes the boys to the island, the establishing shot shows the majestic Nā Pali Coast on the North Shore of Kauaʻi.  There are a variety of ways to see the coast, including boat and helicopter tours.  Some areas can also be hiked.

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LOCATION: Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kapaʻa, HI 96746

The escalators where the boys head to their room is on the island of O’ahu at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.  The same escalators were featured in the TV series “Lost.”

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LOCATION: 1801 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

The helicopter pad where Claire, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is picked up is at Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, where the original “Jurassic Park” also filmed scenes.  The pad set was initially kept after filming was completed, but eventually the ranch decided to remove it, as many helicopters travel the nearby air space and they had concerns one of them might confuse it for an actual landing pad.  Many of the locations around Kualoa Ranch have signs such as this posted, identifying which films shot where.

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

The helicopter pad is featured in a number of scenes throughout the film.  Quite a bit of CGI was added, to include the buildings and train rail featured in the park.  In the distance is the Moli’i Fishpond, also part of the Kualoa Ranch property, which is featured in several other scenes in the film.

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The Indominus rex paddock set was also built on Kualoa Ranch, which does still stand.  There are a wide variety of tours available at the ranch, more than one of which are film related. We recommend the Premier Movie Site Tour, as it takes you to many locations from this and other films that are only seen on that particular tour.  The Hollywood tour, while cheaper, skips many locations on the ranch.

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Here is the interior of the deck overlooking the Indominus Rex paddock.

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A view of the deck from the exterior.

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In a later scene, Claire brings Owen, played by Chris Pratt, to the paddock, where they initially believe the Indominus rex may have escaped.  The claw marks Owen points out are still there.

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The Moli’i Fishpond is where the giant mosasaurus emerges from the water and eats the shark.  Quite a bit of CGI was added to the scene.  The Moli’i Fishpond area has been featured in many movies, such as “50 First Dates,” “Tears of the Sun,” “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” “Snatched,” “You, Me and Dupree,” as well as the TV show “Lost.”  Here is a sign identifying the mosasaurus scene.

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It’s also on the banks of the Moli’i Fishpond where Owen’s bungalow and trailer set was built, though it has since been removed.  It’s worth mentioning that parts of this area can also by seen by visiting the local shops near the pond, which rent their buildings from Kualoa Ranch.  They offer tours of their own near the water for a small fee, but the Premier Movie Site Tour offered by the ranch is still our recommended way to see it.

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As the boys ride a train out to the Gyrosphere area, they pass a valley where gallimimus are running alongside a vehicle.  This is a nod to the original film, where Dr. Grant and the two children run from a gallimimus stampede, which was filmed in the exact same location at Kualoa Ranch.

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The mountains seen here have a railway added via CGI.

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In the Jungle area of Kualoa Ranch, there is a stream that runs through, which is where the scenes of the Indominus rex attacking park security took place.  Unfortunately, their tours quickly drive past this location, so you have to be quick trying to get photos.

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The set where the boys wait in line for the Gyrosphere ride also still stands at Kualoa Ranch, with a stunning backdrop looking out over the ocean.

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The scenes of the boys wandering the park in the Gyroscope were filmed at Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi.  This is the same ranch where the brachiosaurus is first seen in the original “Jurassic Park.”  For years, the ranch remained closed to the public, proving to be one of the most elusive and sought-after locations for fans of the franchise.  That changed in 2019, when the ranch began offering public tours for the first time.

The scene of the boys riding around with the dinosaurs was actually a composite of a couple different areas.  This is the field they initially traverse.

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

The filmmakers also wanted these mountains in the distance of several shots, which are in fact located in the same general area, but not from all of the specific angles seen in the film.  Visual effects were employed to place the mountains into the desired areas of the shots.

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The boys then notice an area of the perimeter fence that has a gate open.  This set piece was left standing at the completion of the film, at the request of the ranch.  The gate really does open and it’s heavier than you might expect.

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Here is a wider view of the full set piece.

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This is the view of the other side of the gate, where the boys look down.  There is also a reverse shot looking back up towards the open fence at the Gyrosphere.  This trail was made specifically for the film, to allow in equipment and crew and achieve the desired shots.  The tour itself does not go down this trail, but guests are allowed to walk up on foot and take a closer look, if they’re so inclined.

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As Claire and Owen go searching for the boys, they encounter a dying apatosaurus, which had the misfortune of encountering the Indominus rex.  This was also filmed at Jurassic Kahili Ranch.

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They then discover more dead dinosaurs lying scattered across this hill, realizing the Indominus is killing for sport.

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In the closing shot of the film, the T-rex emerges from this area onto the helicopter pad, back at Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.

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Here is one of the vehicles seen in the film.  It was actually owned by Kualoa Ranch prior to production. When the filmmakers saw it, they asked to use it in the film.

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If you get a chance to visit Hawaii, we highly recommend Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi and Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu. Both offer spectacular views and very recognizable locations from not only this film, but the original “Jurassic Park” as well. 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 Park (1993)

The Smashing Pumpkins – Today

The classic 1990s music video for “Today” by The Smashing Pumpkins was filmed in the small town of Taft, California.  In the early scenes of the music video, singer Billy Corgan parks his ice cream truck next to the former Schmidt’s Fotoshop and sits on the sidewalk.  Although the building has long since been abandoned, it hasn’t changed much and is still recognizable.

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LOCATION: 112 4th St, Taft, CA 93268

It’s actually not the only music video to film there.  The Weeknd’s video for “Call Out My Name” filmed on the same street and the same building can be seen in many shots.

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Deadwood

The David Milch TV series “Deadwood,” despite garnering critical acclaim and a loyal fan base, prematurely ended after three seasons back in 2006.  Since then, various attempts to tie the story up have been made, with many doubts it would ever happen.  In 2019, however, it finally did and the show was given the opportunity to reach a satisfying conclusion with “Deadwood: The Movie.”  Please note if you’ve not watched the film, this article contains spoilers.

While set in the town of Deadwood, South Dakota, both the original TV series, as well as the movie, were primarily shot in Newhall, California at Melody Ranch.  Another renowned HBO series, “Westworld,” shot at the same ranch, where it served as the town of Sweetwater.  The production designers did a great job of giving each show a much different look from one another.

Melody Ranch is private property, inaccessible to the general public most of the time.  However, the ranch does in fact offer tours (something of a rarity for movie ranches), with the caveat being that no tours occur whenever active production is taking place on the ranch.  The challenge is the fact that production is almost always taking place there.  So opportunities for the general public to see it are rare and not something you can plan much in advance.  You simply need good timing or a lot of persistence.  In years past, the ranch also hosted the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, which also allowed the public inside, but due to the heavy demand of productions over recent years, the festival has relocated elsewhere.

Given that the “Deadwood” show and movie are tied together as one narrative, this article is intended to cover both, but once it was clear the original show would not return after the third season, many of the sets were remodeled, dismantled or shifted around, as often happens on studio lots.  When filming for the movie finally got up and running in 2018, much of the sets had to be recreated.  Since the story in the film picks up 10 years later, as South Dakota is entering into statehood, many of the sets also had to be updated to reflect the passage of time.  The photographs in this article showcase the movie’s sets.

Much like the original show, most of these sets have since been repurposed or dismantled after filming completed, in order to make way for new productions coming in.  Here we offer a glimpse into that brief moment in time where Deadwood stood in full glory once again.

LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321

The most famous location is of course the Gem Saloon, owned by Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), who would often stand on the balcony overlooking the activities of the town.

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The Grand Central Hotel is where the villainous Senator George Hearst, played by Gerald McRaney, takes residence.  He too often stood out on the balcony, engaging in verbal jousts with the residents of Deadwood.

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Seth Bullock, played by Timothy Olyphant, lives in this house at the end of the main street of Deadwood.  This location had long been demolished since the original show, with the original blueprints lost.  The production designer had to study the original show footage in detail in order to rebuild the set for the film.

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Here is a look inside Seth’s house, where he is seen walking down these stairs.

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Here are the train tracks and station platform where visitors arrive.

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After running a hardware store with Seth, Sol Star, played by John Hawkes now lives with Trixie at the Bullock & Star Hotel.  In the film, as Hearst rides through the streets in a parade, Trixie stands on the hotel balcony and berates him.

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The Bella Union, owned by Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) in the series, is now owned by Joanie Stubbs (Kim Dickens) in the film.  The same building was famously used as the brothel in Westworld where Thandie Newton’s character works.  It’s also seen in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” when Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters are interviewed on a western set.

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Here is the interior of the Bella Union, which viewers of “Westworld” would immediately recognize when seen from reverse angles.

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Here is a view of the upstairs.

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This is the bar where Wild Bill Hickok, played by Keith Carrodine, is killed in the show.

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In the film, Calamity Jane, played by Robin Weigert, returns to the bar to pay her respects.

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The outside of the jail of Marshall Seth Bullock.

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The interior of the jail.

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This is the area where Seth tracks down Charlie’s killers and has a brief standoff with them.

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Mr. Wu is relieved when his son escapes unharmed.

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We leave you with a view down the main street of Deadwood, where the sets stood tall one last time.

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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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