Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

The 1989 film “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” supposedly takes place in San Dimas, Califorina.  However, due to tax incentives at the time, most of the production mostly took place near Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding towns.

Bill and Ted, played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves respectively, practice as their band “Wyld Stallyns” in Bill’s garage.  Bill’s house was actually a composite of two locations.  The first house, which was used for interiors and the back yard, can be found in Phoenix.

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LOCATION: 112 W Kaler Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85021

The second house, used for garage shots of both the interior and exterior, was located in Pacific Palisades, California, but has since been torn down with a new home built in it’s place.

LOCATION: 1460 Amalfi Dr, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 (demolished)

Exterior shots of Bill and Ted’s high school were filmed at Coronado High School in Scottsdale.  The school, also seen in the film “Just One of the Guys,” has been heavily remodeled since filming took place.  The interiors were filmed at the former East High School in Phoenix (515 N 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85008), which had already closed at the time of filming and has since been demolished.

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LOCATION: 7501 E Virginia Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

One location that does still look similar to how it appeared in the film is Ted’s house, located in Phoenix.

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LOCATION: 1841 E Berridge Ln, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Here is another angle of the home.

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The Circle K, where Bill and Ted first meet Rufus, played by George Carlin, can be found in Tempe.  After seeing the time traveling phone booth, Ted delivers the iconic line, “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.”  The store was a popular location for fans of the film, regularly attracting visitors who quote and reenact scenes. However, it permanently closed in 2022.

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LOCATION: 1010 W Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282

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Napoleon eats ice cream at the fictional Zyggies.  At the time, the restaurant was known as Showbiz Pizza Place, but it has since become a Chuck E Cheese.

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LOCATION: 8039 N 35th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051

The bowling alley Napoleon gets thrown out of after being unable to pay can be found in Tempe.

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LOCATION: 4407 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282

Bill and Ted take their crew of historical figures out to the San Dimas Mall.  This was actually filmed at the Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix.  The mall, which was only seen from interior views in the film, has since closed down.

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LOCATION: 9617 N Metro Pkwy W, Phoenix, AZ 85051

Waterloo, where Napoleon becomes enamored with the water slides, was filmed at Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa.

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LOCATION: 155 W Hampton Ave, Mesa, AZ 85210

This castle building is seen in some shots during the scene.

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Related articles: Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

Forrest Gump (1994)

Visiting the filming locations of the classic 1994 film “Forrest Gump” is a staggering feat, as the story unfolds all across the United States and the production likewise followed that path.

The famous opening scene of the feather falling was filmed at Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia.  It descends past the steeple of The Independent Presbyterian Church Administration Building.

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LOCATION: The Independent Presbyterian Church Administration Building, Savannah, GA 31401

Here is a wider view of the full building.

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As the feather falls closer to the ground, we see the First Baptist Church in the distance.

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LOCATION: First Baptist Church, 223 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401

The feather finally reaches the ground and settles on the shoe of Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks.  Forrest sits at a bus stop and recounts the story of his life to strangers sitting on a bench waiting for their bus rides.  The location where Forrest sits is at the intersection of Hull Street and Bull Street in Chippewa Square.  In reality, there is no bus stop or bench there.  They were added for the film.  Instead, there are just some plants.

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Here is a wider view of the area.

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LOCATION: Chippewa Square, Savannah, GA 31401 (at the intersection of Hull St / Bull St)

The actual bench from the film can be found at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California.  It can be seen on their studio tours.

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LOCATION: 5555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

The exterior of the lounge where Forrest finds Jenny, played by Robin Wright, performing nude, can also be found in Savannah.  The name of the restaurant is Love’s, just as depicted in the film, but it is a seafood and steak joint and you won’t find any nude performers there.

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LOCATION: 6817 Chief Of Love Rd, Savannah, GA 31419

The interior of the scene was actually filmed at the former Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, which has long since been demolished. The hotel was a staple of film and television, appearing in such films as “The Graduate,” “True Romance,” “Seven,” “Bobby,” “True Lies,” “L.A. Story,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “The Mask” and dozens more. Only this post and statue from the original building remain at the location.

LOCATION: 3400 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (now demolished)

Forrest celebrates New Year’s Eve with Lieutenant Dan, played by Gary Sinise, in what is supposed to be New York City.  This was actually filmed on 6th St in Downtown Los Angeles.  This area is right next to the locations used for the Nite Owl Coffee Shop from “L.A. Confidential” and Wild Bill’s Leather from “Seven,” both of which were fictional businesses.

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LOCATION: Near the intersection of E 6th St / S Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

On the same street, as Forrest exists a TV studio, Lieutenant Dan is waiting for him outside.  This was actually on a ramp built above this sandwich shop, which has since been removed. The same sandwich shop has appeared in the films “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Rumor Has It” and “A Lot Like Love.”

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LOCATION: 118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Lieutenant Dan then loses control of his wheelchair and slides down the ramp into this wall at the same location.

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Later in the film, Forrest begins running, from coast to coast.  He is seen reaching the famous Santa Monica Pier.

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LOCATION: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

He reaches the end of the pier and turns around to begin running back across the country.  There is a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant located on the pier itself as well, although of course it was not a filming location.

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As Forrest runs through Flagstaff, Arizona, he steps in a pile of manure and helps coin the phrase “Shit happens.”

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LOCATION: Near 106 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Also in Flagstaff, Forrest runs past the former Twin Arrows Trading Post.  The building featured two large, wooden arrows piercing the ground.  Some mud splashes on Forrest and he uses a t-shit to clean off his face, creating the famous smiley face t-shirt.  The building now unfortunately sits abandoned.

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LOCATION: Twin Arrows Trading Post Ruins – Historic Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Here’s a closer look at the arrows, which are slowly deteriorating.

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Forrest’s running attire from the film can be found on display at Planet Hollywood in Florida.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Late in the film, Jenny is working as a waitress and sees Forrest on television.  This was filmed at Debi’s Restaurant in Savannah, located just a few blocks away from the opening scene of the film.

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LOCATION: 225 E Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401

The restaurant is quite proud of their connection to the film and the front is decorated with quotes from the film and a shot of the scene.

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We’ve only covered a portion of the vast filming locations here.  The production also shot scenes in South Carolina, Utah, Arizona, North Carolina, Vermont, Maine, Montana and Washington D.C.

Related articles: Used Cars (1980), Back To The Future (1985), Back To The Future Part II (1989), Back To The Future Part III (1990), Death Becomes Her (1992), Cast Away (2000)

Psycho (1960)

The Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror classic “Psycho” filmed largely in California, but some of the early scenes shot in Phoenix, Arizona.  Marion Crane, played by Janet Leigh, takes her lunch break to meet a man she’s having an affair with at this hotel.

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LOCATION: 101 S Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

The car dealership where Marion changes her vehicle can be found in North Hollywood, California.

LOCATION: 4270 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602

The iconic house from the film can be found on the Universal Studios lot, as part of their studio tour.  It is indeed the actual house from the film, although the back part of the house, not seen on camera in the film, was added later on by the studio, after the film had been released.  There is also a Bates Motel set on the tour, but that set is actually from the sequel film, not the original.

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LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Another view of the side of the house.

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This was Alfred Hitchcock’s office on the Universal lot, which is commemorated with a drawing of the director’s famous silhouette.

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National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

The comedy classic “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is set all across the United States, but a good portion of the filming was based in Southern California.

Early in the film, Clark, played by Chevy Chase, visits a car dealership with his son Rusty, to trade in their vehicle. After the dealership fails to stock the vehicle they requested, Clark asks for his old car to be returned, only to find it has been destroyed. These scenes were filmed in Glendale, Califonia.

LOCATION: 900 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91204

The Griswold house, set in Chicago, Illinois, is actually located in near Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California. You’ll likely drive right past if it you visit the Griffith Observatory.

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LOCATION: 2310 N Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

The hotel where Clark goes skinny dipping with “The Girl in the Ferarri,” played by Christie Brinkley, is the Guesthouse Hotel in Norwalk, California.  Despite some remodeling and changes in ownership, the pool area is still fairly recognizable to how it appeared in the film.  The scene where Clark runs into The Girl in the Ferrari at thehotel lounge was also filmed here, but that section, while still a lounge, has unfortunately been remodeled beyond recognition.

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LOCATION: 12500 Firestone Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650

The gas station where Clark has trouble finding the gas tank can be found in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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LOCATION: 2515 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

When the Griswolds get lost in a bad neighborhood, the rough streets were actually filmed on the Warner Bros. Studio lot.  This is the spot where Clark is getting directions, while the guys on the street steal his hubcaps.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

When Aunt Edna dies, the family drops her off at Cousin Normie’s house, which can be found in Flagstaff.

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LOCATION: 3025 W Wilson Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

The production was clever when it came to filming the “Walley World” entrance at the end of the film.  While the amusement park used in the film was Six Flags Magic Mountain (26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy., Valencia, CA 91355), the memorable entrance was a totally different location; the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.  This overpass was used as the entrance, with a matte painting of the Walley World sign and the roller coasters in the background.  The overpass is actually on the outskirts of the park, right beside the Westfield Santa Anita mall.  In this case, the exact address is tricky, as the grounds are large and it only navigates you to the general vicinity.  A tip on how to find the exact spot is to drive down W Huntington Dr. towards S. Baldwin Ave.  As you near the mall’s parking lot, drive past the overpass entrance and proceed to the next entrance, into the mall parking lot.  As soon as you turn off of Huntington Dr. to the mall, you’ll immediately see this view of the Santa Anita Park parking lot on your right, with the Walley World overpass in the distance.

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LOCATION: 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007

Related articles: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)