The 1994 action film “Terminal Velocity,” starring Charlie Sheen, was primarily filmed in Arizona. In the opening of the film, a woman is killed at this apartment building, where Chris, played by Nastassja Kinski, lives.
LOCATION: 2201 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Richard “Ditch” Brodie, played by Sheen, skydives past this building as he lands at the wrong party.
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.”
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.
The used car lot from the 1980 comedy “Used Cars,” starring Kurt Russell, was actually a set, built on a then empty space in Mesa, Arizona. Due to the fact it was constructed on a major road, the location presented numerous logistical issues during production. It has long since been removed and an apartment complex now stands in its place. Here is what the former space looks like now.
LOCATION: 944 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201 (demolished)
The 1971 road movie “Two-Lane Blacktop,” directed by Monte Hellman, was filmed across many states, including North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. In the film, The Driver, played by James Taylor and The Mechanic, played by Dennis Wilson, stop off at this cafe located in Flagstaff, Arizona for a meal. The classic ’55 Chevy from the film was parked out front in the scene.
The 1969 counterculture road trip film, “Easy Rider,” directed by Dennis Hopper, was filmed across the American Southwest and South, including many sites tucked away along back roads. If inclined, one could take a unique road trip cross-country revisiting the filming locations. Production took place across California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Louisiana.
At the beginning of the film, after completing a drug deal that scores them cash for a cross-country trip, Wyatt and Billy, played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper respectively, begin their trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. During the opening credits montage, they are seen driving past many locations on their bikes. They drive along the California-Arizona Bridge at the border of the two states, passing over the Colorado River. The Old Trails Bridge (15130 W Historic Rte 66, Topock, AZ 86436) can be seen behind them.
LOCATION: California-Arizona Bridge, AZ-95, Needles, AZ 92363
During the same montage, they pass this hotel as they drive down Route 66 through Flagstaff, Arizona. This building is located within walking distance of the “shit happens” jogging scene in “Forrest Gump.”
LOCATION: 2 W Historic Rte 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
At the end of the day, Wyatt and Billy stop off at this motel, where the owner shuns them and changes the vacancy light to “no vacancy.” Known as the Richfield building, it is located next to the Pine Breeze Inn RV Park. The building itself has no known address. The exact GPS coordinates are 35°13’27.1″N 111°48’02.3″W. The owners are clearly aware of their connection to the film. On the front door window, there is a small poster for the film.
LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 35°13’27.1″N 111°48’02.3″W (nearest address is 10520 W Rte 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86015)
Here is the side of the building, where Wyatt and Billy have their encounter with the rude motel clerk.
After picking up a hitchhiker, Wyatt and Billy stop at the Sacred Mountain service station in Flagstaff. Billy pulls Wyatt aside and questions the safety of allowing the hitchhiker to fill his gas tank, as that is where their money stash is hidden. The station has long since closed, but the building still remains. If you’re driving on US-89, there is a small intersection at 150 Rd, which is where the building is located.
LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 35°27’17.9″N 111°33’45.3″W (near intersection of US-89 / 150 Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004)
Billy, Wyatt and the hitchhiker end up camping overnight at Lomaki Pueblo in Cameron, Arizona. There are several ruins along the trail at Lomaki Pueblo. To find the exact spot used in the film, simply follow the trail to the furthest ruins and the location is just behind the wall. In the photo below, the walking trail is just to the right of the frame. It’s not a difficult task to reach the site, but there are many rocks protruding from the ground, so watch your steps as you traverse the uneven terrain.
LOCATION: Lomaki Pueblo, Cameron, AZ 86020 (GPS coordinates: 35°34’46.3″N 111°28’04.8″W)
Even if you’re not a fan of the film, the Lomaki Pueblo is a unique place to visit and one we recommend if you’re in the area.
The 1987 Coen Brothers film “Raising Arizona” was, as you might have guessed, filmed in Arizona. Early in the film, the recently paroled H.I. McDunnough, played by Nicolas Cage, robs a convenience store, winding up back in jail. The store has since been remodeled, but still remains standing in Phoenix.
LOCATION: 2311 W Deer Valley Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85027
The trailer where H.I. and his new wife Ed, played by Holly Hunter, first move after getting married can be found in Scottsdale. In reality, it’s just an empty plot of land, which can be found on the left side where N 136th St dead ends into E Del Timbre Dr.
LOCATION: N 136th St / E Del Timbre Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85259
After discovering they’re unable to have children, H.I. and Ed hear news of a family named Arizona having five children and decide to steal one of them to raise as their own. The home of the Arizonas is a slight challenge to locate and photograph. It is found on the grounds of a luxury resort called The Phoenician. If you travel just briefly up N Phoenician Blvd from E Camelback Rd, you’ll see it on your left. The building, known as the Jokake Inn, has no unique address separate from the large resort grounds, but the GPS coordinates are 33°30’14.1″N 111°57’04.5″W. As you can see in the photo, there is a spot there to u turn out of the property. If you proceed any further, there is a security checkpoint immediately ahead and no other place to turn around without passing through the checkpoint.
LOCATION: Jokake Inn at The Phoenician, N Phoenician Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85018 (GPS coordinates: 33°30’14.1″N 111°57’04.5″W)
After trying to rob a store for some diapers, H.I. is chased by the police. After he is ejected through the front window of a truck, he runs through this house, located in Scottsdate.
LOCATION: 8620 E Malcomb Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Near the end of the film, H.I. battles the bounty hunter Leonard Smalls near this water tower in Scottsdale. Directly across the street was the bank location that Gale and Evelle rob, but it has unfortunately since been demolished. The buildings and water tower on the opposite side of the road still remain standing, however.
LOCATION: 27400 N Alma School Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
The 1984 sci-fi film “Starman,” directed by John Carpenter, was filmed in numerous locations, including Tennessee, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Iowa. Jenny, played by Karen Allen, tries to get Starman, played by Jeff Bridges, back home by taking him to the Meteor Crater Natural Landmark in Winslow, Arizona. The crater site is privately owned. However, it is open to public visitation and is a popular tourist destination.
LOCATION: Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, Interstate 40, Winslow, AZ 86047
The photos do not do justice to how large and impressive the site is in person, but here is a panoramic view.
The 1997 Oliver Stone film “U Turn” is set in the small town of Superior, Arizona and that’s exactly where production mostly took place as well. In the film, Superior is depicted as a strange, sometimes hostile town. In reality, the town is quite welcoming to tourists, offering a variety of shops and antique stores. “U Turn” is not the only production to film scenes in Superior. “The Prophecy” and “Eight Legged Freaks” have as well.
Early in the film, Bobby, played by Sean Penn, is driving a desert road when his car breaks down. He takes his car to Harlin’s Garage, where he meets Darrell, played by Billy Bob Thorton. These scenes were filmed on E Magma Heights Dr, however the house and garage seen in the film are long gone. In fact, a copper company now owns the land and it is completely inaccessible to the public.
When Bobby first reached the Main St of Superior, he looks over and sees the sheriff’s station, quickly turning the other direction. The building seen in the film is the Superior Kearny Justice Court.
LOCATION: 60 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173
Bobby encounters blind man, played by Jon Voight, at the train station. Bobby tries to pet the man’s dog, only to be told it’s dead.
LOCATION: 100 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173
Bobby first sees Grace, played by Jennifer Lopez, walking by the building.
Later in the film, Bobby purchases a bus ticket at the same building.
Grace takes Bobby to her home, where she lives with Jake McKenna, played by Nick Nolte. Jake’s house is known as the Castle On The Rock. The house is located on N Picket Post Rd, Superior, AZ 85173. There are tours of the building on occasion, but most of the time the property and even the road are completely closed to the public.
Jake drops Bobby off back in town at this grocery store, where Bobby immediately finds himself in a robbery.
LOCATION: 50 N Pinal Ave, Superior, AZ 85173
Bobby uses a payphone to try to get money at the corner of this building.
LOCATION: 222 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173
Bobby calls the gangsters he owes money at the corner of this building. This same street was featured in the film “Eight Legged Freaks.”
LOCATION: 160 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173
Bobby visits this diner, where he is approached by Jenny, played by Claire Danes. Misreading the situation, Toby N. Tucker (“T.N.T.”), played by Joaquin Phoenix, has a confrontation with Bobby.
LOCATION: 149 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173
This building served as the realty office of Jake McKenna.
LOCATION: 271 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173
Bobby encounters the old, blind man once again in front of this building. Later in the film, this is also where he fights T.N.T.
LOCATION: 71 Main St, Superior, AZ 85173
Bobby passes Jenny’s house and the two walk past this church talking.
LOCATION: 94 N San Pedro St, Superior, AZ 85173
If you do make it to Superior, Arizona, most of these locations are quite a short distance from one another. Most of them, you can walk on foot from one location to the next.
The TV series “Alice,” based on the Martin Scorsese film “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” ran from 1976 until 1985. Linda Lavin plays the titular Alice, a woman working as a waitress at Mel’s Diner. The show was based in Phoenix, Arizona and there is indeed a Mel’s Diner in Phoenix. The diner’s sign with the coffee cup was in fact featured in the show. However, the diner itself was actually a set built in Los Angeles.
The real Mel’s Diner in Phoenix remains in business all these years later and inside they have many photos from the show. If you do plan to visit, the restaurant is only open during breakfast and lunch hours.
The 2010 film “Everything Must Go,” starring Will Ferrell, was filmed around several cities in Arizona. Ferrell plays Nick Hasley, a man who holds a yard sale on his front lawn as a means to begin his life anew. The house can be found in Scottsdale.
LOCATION: 6101 E Calle Rosa, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Nick rides his bike down the street on his way to the liquor store.
LOCATION: E Calle Del Paisano / N 56th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018
The liquor store itself can also be found in Scottsdale.