The Grifters (1990)

The 1990 film “The Grifters,” directed by Stephen Frears, was shot primarily in Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona. Lilly, played by Anjelica Houston, visits her son Roy, played by John Cusack, at his apartment in Los Angeles. Roy’s apartment is actually a composite of two locations. For the wide shots and the scene where Roy is taken away in an ambulance, the Bryson Apartments were used. The same apartment can be seen in the film “Magnolia.” For closer shots, the Asbury Apartments, located at 2505 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90057, were used.

LOCATION: 2701 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

The apartment where Roy’s girlfriend Myra, played by Annette Bening, lives has since been demolished. It was formerly located at 692 S Mariposa Ave Los Angeles, CA 90005.

Lilly places bets on horses at a race track, supposedly located La Jolla. The real location can actually be found in Phoenix. As she’s leaving, her angry boss Bobo comes to visit her. The location appears again later in the film when Myra spies on Lilly.

LOCATION: 1501 W Bell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85023

A drunken man disturbs Lilly as she tries to eat at this cafe in Santa Clarita. The cafe is only seen from interior views in the film.

LOCATION: 25861 Railroad Ave, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

After Lilly discovers she is in danger, she gets a motel room, supposedly located in Phoenix. Myra follows her there, planning to kill her. Ironically, despite other scenes actually filming in Phoenix, the motel chosen by the production instead shot in Santa Clarita, California. The same motel was featured in the Britney Spears film “Crossroads,” as well as the TV shows “Too Old To Die Young” and “Westworld.”

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LOCATION: 12117 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

Roy is summoned to Phoenix to identify a body and is taken to the Phoenix City Hall. These scenes were filmed at the Maricopa County Courthouse in Phoenix. The entrance Roy is seen entering can be found on the west side of the building, facing what is now the courtyard area.

LOCATION: 125 W Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85003

Captain Marvel (2019)

The 2019 movie “Captain Marvel” was filmed in Louisiana, New York and Southern California.  Early in the film, Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson, crash lands on Earth in the mid-90s, busting through the roof of a Blockbuster Video.  This was filmed at a largely abandoned shopping plaza in North Hollywood sometimes referred to as the Valley Plaza.  The same plaza was featured heavily in the Nicolas Winding Refn TV series “Too Old To Die Young.”

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LOCATION: 6321 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (this is facing away from the street and the door number says 221)

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Here is the wreckage of the inside of the building, which is still painted in the Blockbuster colors.

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Carol makes her way over to “The Slow Club,” where she uses a payphone.  Nick Fury meets her here.  The same property also serves as “The Lone Drifter” in “Too Old To Die Young.”  Both establishments were fictional and the actual building has long been vacant.

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LOCATION: 2124 Sylvan St, North Hollywood, CA 91606

Here is a view of where the payphone was located, which was of course a prop for the film.  The wall was covered in 90s music posters.

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A Skrull suddenly opens fire on Carol from atop this roof.

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LOCATION: 6255 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606

Carol runs down the sidewalk in pursuit as the Skrull feels across the roof of the same building.

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Carol steals a man’s bike at this plaza.

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LOCATION: 1402 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

She turns out of the plaza and rides down Valencia Street on the bike.

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American Beauty (1999)

It is common practice in Hollywood to film exteriors of homes on location, while filming interiors on studio lots.  For the 1999 Sam Mendes film, “American Beauty,” an unusual approach was taken to film the exteriors on a studio lot and the interiors in real locations.

Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, lives at this house, the exterior of which is located on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is a small lot located apart from the main studio lot, and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  The house is also well known for having been used as the Griswold home in 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”  It has also appeared in “WandaVision,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Small Soldiers,” “Pleasantville” and more.  As is often the case with houses on studio lots, the outer facade has since changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The interiors of Lester’s home were filmed at this house, located in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. The exterior of the house was also featured in the TV series “Lizzie McGuire,” starring Hilary Duff.

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LOCATION: 11388 Homedale St, Los Angeles, CA 90049

To the right of the Bernham house at the Warner Bros. Ranch is the exterior of the Colonel’s house.  This house is most well known for being Danny Glover’s home in the “Lethal Weapon” films.  Known as the Lindsay house, it has also appeared in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “WandaVision,” The Three Stooges serials, “Pushing Daisies,” “The Middle” and many more.  Once again, the outer facade has changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The interior of the Colonel’s house was filmed at this home near Hancock Park. The same house appeared in the film “Lady Bird.”

LOCATION: 330 S Windsor Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90020

To the left of the Burnham house is the house of the two Jims, played by Scott Bakula and Sam Robards.  To stand on Blondie Street at the Warner Bros Ranch, where all three of the house exteriors are located, it really does feel like you’re standing in a real neighborhood.  It’s only when you approach up close that the facades begin to show.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Lester takes a job at a fast food restaurant, where his wife unknowingly visits him at the drive through.

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LOCATION: 20105 Saticoy St, Winnetka, CA 91306