Zodiac (2007)

The 2007 David Fincher film “Zodiac” is primarily set in the San Fransisco Bay area. However, production was split between Northern and Southern California, with quite a few scenes shot in the Greater Los Angeles area. The opening scenes show a young Mike Mageau, played by Lee Norris, being picked up for a date by Darlene Ferrine, played by Ciara Moriarty on July 4, 1969. While set in Vallejo, California, the scene was actually filmed in Long Beach. The camera rolls past a series of houses on Gundry Ave, beginning around 3938 Gundry Ave and stopping five houses down at Mike’s place.

LOCATION: 3964 Gundry Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

The couple drives to this diner, also located in Long Beach, where Darlene says it’s too crowded and decides to go some place quiet. The same diner has also appeared in the films “Corrina, Corrina,” “The Real McCoy” and “A Cinderella Story.”

LOCATION: 4390 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

Robert Graysmith, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, lives in a house that is only seen from interior views in the film. However, a couple shots help pinpoint the neighborhood to Angelino Heights in Los Angeles. For example, the street outside of his home can be seen here when he takes his son to school early in the film.

LOCATION: Near the intersection of Douglas St / Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (approximately in front of 1406 Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026)

Robert drops his son off at for school at Roosevelt Middle School in San Fransisco (460 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118).

Robert works as a cartoonist at the San Fransisco Chronicle. For exterior shots, the real newspaper building was used.

LOCATION: 901 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The Zodiac kills a taxi driver at the corner of Washington and Cherry in San Fransisco. This film shot at the real location where the murder took place. The location is revisited several times in the film, as the characters hope the killer might return to the site on the anniversary of his crimes.

LOCATION: 3893 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Robert stops his son from getting on the school bus at this location. This is again in the Angelino Heights neighborhood, just around the corner from the spot where he drives his son to school early in the film.

LOCATION: Near the intersection of Douglas St / Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (approximately in front of 908 Douglas St, Los Angeles, CA 90026)

Detectives visit the house of Melvin Belli, played by Brian Cox, after the Zodiac writes him a letter. Later in the film, Robert also visits the home. Belli’s house is located in Hancock Park at Fremont Place, which is one of the few gated communities in Los Angeles and therefore inaccessible to the public. A popular filming location, many productions have shot inside Fremont Place, such as “Taken,” “The War Of The Roses” and “Rocky III.” Fincher himself returned to the same neighborhood for “Gone Girl,” where the house of Desi Collings can also be found.

LOCATION: 72 Fremont Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Paul Avery, played by Robert Downey Jr., has an argument with Inspector David Toschi, played by Mark Ruffalo, outside of the Riverside Police Department. The building used in the scene is actually located in Culver City. The same location was also featured in the film “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

LOCATION: 4130 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

Toschi shares a sandwhich with his partner William Armstrong, played by Anthony Edwards, at the former Callahan’s Diner in Santa Monica. The location actually appears in three separate scenes in the film, with the latter two featuring Toschi meeting with Robert. According to information online, some shots were done on a set. Callahan’s Diner, formerly located at 1213 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403, has long since closed and a different restaurant now operates there.

A time lapse is shown of the construction of the Transamerica Pyramid building. This was of course a CGI creation.

LOCATION: 600 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Toschi catches a screening of “Dirty Harry,” where he is unimpressed with the depiction of the Zodiac inspired villain “Scorpio.” While the enterior of the building still exists (295 Bay St, San Francisco, CA 94133), the interior scenes were filmed at the former National Westwood Theatre in Los Angeles (10925 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024), which was demolished in 2008.

The Golden Gate Bridge is briefly seen in a transition shot when Robert makes his way to the Vallejo Police Department. The bridge is one of the most often seen locations in film, having appeared in “Vertigo,” “The Rock,” “Pacific Rim,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Terminator: Genisys,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Superman: The Movie,” “San Andreas,” “A View To A Kill,” “Dirty Harry,” “Hulk,” “The Bridge” and many more.

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LOCATION: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

The Vallejo Police Department, where Robert obtains more information on the case, could be found in Hawthorne. It was a real police building, also featured in the TV series “True Blood” and the second season of “True Detective.” The building has since been demolished. It formerly stood at 4440 W 126th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250.

Robert meets up with Toschi at the Wilshire Collonade to tell him about the progress of his own personal investigation. Toschi encourages Robert to keep investigating and directs him to seek out Melvin Belli. The same location was featured in numerous films, such as “Wrath Of Man,” “Stealing Harvard” and “Earthquake,” as well as such TV series as “Californication,” “American Crime Story: Impeachment” and more.

LOCATION: 3701 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Robert calls Toschi from a payphone in front of San Fransisco City Hall, following a lead on Zodiac’s birthday.

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LOCATION: 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl., San Francisco, CA 94102

Robert approaches Inspector Toschi again at the Earl Warren Building in San Fransisco, seeking more information on the case. Toschi lets Robert know the case is unlikely to ever be solved at that point and tells him to not disturb him anymore.

LOCATION: 350 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102

The building is located next to City Hall, which can once again be seen in the background of some shots.

Robert is picked up by Bob Vaughn in front of the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro. The same theater also appeared in many other films, including “Pearl Harbor,” “What’s Love Got To Do With It?,” “Seabiscut,” “Remote Control,” “Win A Date With Tad Hamilton,” “Ghosts Of Mississippi,” “Boys And Girls,” “Live By Night,” “Worth Winning,” “Mark Of Love,” “Invasion Earth: The Aliens Are Here” and “From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks.” It has also appeared in such television series as “The O.C.,” “Party Of Five,” “Melrose Place,” “T.J.Hooker,” “7th Heaven” and “Cousin Skeeter.”

LOCATION: 478 W 6th St, San Pedro, CA 90731

Near the end of the film, Robert tracks down a suspect he believes may be the Zodiac working inside this hardware store in South Gate. The building is only seen from interior views in the film.

LOCATION: 3948 Tweedy Blvd, South Gate, CA 90280

In the closing scenes of the film, an older Mike Mageau is brought in at the Ontario Airport to look at photos of potential suspects. The airport has appeared in many other films, including “Catch Me If You Can,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Blow,” “Argo” and more.

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LOCATION: 1940 Moore Way, Ontario, CA 91761

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Related articles: Seven (1995), The Game (1997), Fight Club (1999), Panic Room (2002), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010), Mindhunter, Mank (2020)

Pet Sematary II (1992)

The 1992 sequel “Pet Sematary II,” starring Edward Furlong and Anthony Edwards, was filmed in the small towns of Georgia.  The Matthews house can be found in the town of Senoia.

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LOCATION: 163 Seavy St, Senoia, GA 30276

The animal hospital and water tower were filmed along Main Street in Senoia, which has a few more buildings since filming took place.  This same area also served as Woodbury in the TV series “The Walking Dead,” which also famously films in Senoia.

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LOCATION: 9 Main St, Senoia, GA 30276

Top Gun (1986)

In the town of Oceanside, California, about 40 miles north of San Diego, you’ll find the iconic house from the 1986 hit “Top Gun.”  Charlie, played by Kelly McGillis, lives at this beachfront cottage, where she is visited by Maverick, played by Tom Cruise.  The two make love while Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” plays, in one of the most famous love scenes of the 1980s.

The house sat vacant and boarded up for years, having fallen into a state of disrepair, with fencing erected around it in an effort to minimize vandalism.  At the time of filming, several other houses existed along the block, but all were demolished except for this one.  Hotel development has since taken place in 2020 on this block, but the “Top Gun” house drives tourism to Oceanside, so rather than demolition, the house was relocated about a block away and restored (much like what happened with the Michael Myers house from the original “Halloween“).  While the restoration is much needed, we were able to capture it at it’s original site while it still remained there. The house now sits in it’s permanent location across from the Oceanside Fishing Pier, on N Pacific St, between Pier View Way and Mission Ave.

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LOCATION: Originally located at 102 N Pacific St, Oceanside, CA 92054, permanently relocated to N Pacific St, between Pier View Way and Mission Ave

Here is a front facing view of the house before the 2020 restoration, where you can see a poster for the film over one of the boarded up windows.

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For scenes set at the back of the house, a completely different location stood in, behind the medical building of Paramount Studios.

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LOCATION: 5555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

In San Diego, you’ll find the bar where Maverick and Goose sing “Great Balls of Fire.”  Kansas City Barbeque, located not far from the city’s convention center where their famous Comic Con takes place, makes no secret of their connection to the film.  In fact, it’s one of the main themes of the restaurant.  Here is the room where Goose played the piano, which was on the wall to the left.

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LOCATION: 600 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

The piano itself has been relocated to a different room in the restaurant.

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The walls are adorned with tons of imagery and promotional items from the film.

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In a later scene, Maverick sits at this bar.

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They even have a neon sign for the film in the front windows.

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It’s always nice to see places embrace their film history so much.  Be sure to check it out if you’re in the San Diego area.

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