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 is now underway for the block, but the “Top Gun” house drives tourism to Oceanside, so rather than demolition, the house was relocated about a block away and a restoration is now planned (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.

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LOCATION: 102 N Pacific St, Oceanside, CA 92054

Here is a front facing view of the house, 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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True Detective (Season 1)

The challenge in capturing the filming locations for a TV series such as “True Detective” is that the list become so voluminous, the pursuit can become staggering.  We did our best to capture as many of the most well-known spots as we could, but it remains an ongoing progress.  This only covers the first season.  We’ve split the locations up by episode as well, but some of course appear over numerous episodes.

Season one, starring Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle and Woody Harrelson as Marty Hart, is set against the green, empty landscapes and the industrial detritus of the Southern Louisiana bayou.  The story immerses us in the lives of two detectives over a span of seventeen years, as they try to solve a murder investigation.

The series shot all over Southern Louisiana, mostly in the small towns surrounding New Orleans.  Many of the locations chosen are impressive, as some are so far off the beaten path, they’re certainly not your run of the mill places for a big budget production to film.  Some spots are actually quite a challenge to access and others aren’t the safest of places.  We’ll attempt to break it all down.

Episode One – “The Long Bright Dark”

The detectives are introduced to the case in 1995, when they discover the body of Dora Lang under a tree.  The tree in question is found at the Oak Alley Plantation.  Many productions have shot there, including “Interview With The Vampire,” “Primary Colors” and more.  While the plantation is open to tours, this tree is not included on their tours.  Most plantations in Louisiana run several miles deep, full of sugarcane or other crops.  This tree is located back in the farming area of the property.  You can in fact drive on a bit of the plantation’s dirt roads, but you’ll not likely access the tree from the main entrance of Oak Alley along LA-18, as the roads to most of the crops are usually gated off.  The tree is much closer to LA-3127 on the back side of the plantation.

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LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 29°58’16.71″N, 90°46’9.32″W.  The front end of the plantation is at 3645 LA-18, Vacherie, LA 70090, but the tree is located deep in the property, near the intersection of LA-3127 and Oak Alley Dr (the latter being an unmarked dirt road).

Marty and Rust work at the Criminal Investigative Unit, which can be found in New Orleans.  This building is actually tucked back a bit from the road, past a couple other parking lots, so you may not immediately spot it upon first approach.

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LOCATION: 155 Brookhollow Esplanade, New Orleans, LA 70123

Later in the series, Marty and Rust get into altercation in the parking lot out front.

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Episode Two – “Seeing Things”

In the second episode, the detectives discover a second body at a burned out church.  That church was a set constructed by the production, but the location it was built at can still be visited.  Locating it is not the easiest of tasks, however.  It can be found near the Bonnet Carre Spillway in LaPlace.  From CC Rd, you must take a slight left up an unmarked embankment, just before you reach the railroad tracks.  If you pass the tracks, you’ve gone too far.  If you follow the dirt road a short distance to the GPS coordinates listed below, you’ll arrive at the correct spot.  While it is not private property, depending on the weather conditions, you might not want attempt it.  The dirt roads flood very easily and depending on the time of year, the place can be swarming with insects as well.

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LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 30° 1’8.83″N, 90°26’19.35″W, down an unmarked dirt road, just off of CC Rd, LaPlace, LA 70068

Episode Three – “The Locked Room”

Marty lives at this house in the town of Marrero.  The home is seen several times in the series, such as when Rust comes and mows Marty’s lawn, much to his anger.

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LOCATION: 2541 Fawnwood Rd, Marrero, LA 70072

Rust visits the Light of the Way Christian Academy where (*spoilers*) he unknowingly speaks to the killer, Errol Childress, who is mowing the lawn.  Marty calls Rust away none the wiser as they follow a lead on Reggie LeDoux.  The building itself is the Old Kenner High School in Kenner, which was subject to a fire by arson in 2018.  This is what’s left of the building in the wake of the fire, the remnants of which, in all likelihood, will eventually be demolished.

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LOCATION: 1601 Reverend Richard Wilson Dr, Kenner, LA 70062

Episode Four – “Who Goes There”

Rust meets Marty’s wife Maggie, played by Michelle Monaghan, at this diner and donut shop, where he informs her that Marty wants to see the kids while they are separated.

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LOCATION: 7271 Jefferson Hwy, Harahan, LA 70123

Things take a darker turn when Rust goes undercover as “Crash” to reconnect with a biker gang known as the Iron Crusaders, in an attempt to find Reggie LeDoux.   Rust heads to this biker bar, where he meets up with Ginger, a member of the gang.  Marty arrives soon after looking for Rust, but he is quickly kicked out by the bikers.  The building can be slightly tricky to find, as it sits behind a truck stop.

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LOCATION: 65583 Pump Slough Rd, Pearl River, LA 70452

A view of the back of the property, where Rust makes a deal to help Ginger with a robbery, in exchange for a drug connection.  Marty spots them boarding a boat just before he’s thrown out.

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One of the most memorable sequences of the series is the six minute long, single take of Cohle and the Iron Crusaders robbing a drug house.  Recreating the shot is no easy task.  While set in Beaumont, Texas, the scene was actually filmed in Woodland Acres, a low-income housing unit located in Westwego, Louisiana.  While nowhere near as extreme as what’s depicted on the show, it is nevertheless a tough neighborhood where tourism is certainly not common.  There are only a few streets and all of them loop back together, meaning there is one way in and one way out (bad spot for a robbery, as the characters in the show quickly discover).  Many of the residents like to sit outside and, due to the very self-contained layout, you will undoubtedly attract attention if you visit.  Walking around photographing their properties, the reaction can be unpredictable.  Sound judgment should be used as to how much you choose to impose.  Another challenge is simply figuring out where all the shots take place.  Even with plenty of research and preparation, it still takes a bit of time to figure out your bearings once you’re there.  Other than one or two minor shots, which we voluntarily refrained from as not to be too disruptive to the tenants, we were more or less able to capture what we wanted unimpeded.  However, prospective visitors should be aware your experiences may differ from ours, so use caution.

The Iron Crusaders pose as police officers with a shotgun held on one of the drug dealers, as they force their way into this drug house.

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LOCATION: 212 Jackson St, Westwego, LA 70094

As the robbery proceeds, an angry crowd gathers outside and their control of the situation unravels after one of the robbers opens fire.  Bullets flying, Cohle, no longer concerned with his cover, immediately turns on the Crusaders and takes Ginger hostage, as he still needs the information on LeDoux.  Cohle and Ginger spill out the back door of the same apartment.

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The camera pans up to see a police helicopter arriving above.  Rust kicks in the back door of this adjacent unit with Ginger in tow, as he makes a call to Marty to pick them up at a nearby street.

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LOCATION: 205 Lake St, Westwego, LA 70094

They make their way out the front door of the same building when Cohle is struck in the back with a baseball bat by one of the gang members.  He fights off the assailants and pistol whips them in this front yard.

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Rust and Ginger hide behind a bush as gang members and cops both head down Alaska Street to the scene of the robbery.

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LOCATION: Alaska St, next to 202 Lake St, Westwego, LA 70094

Rust and Ginger run over to this unit, where they hide right behind the divider wall, as armed gang members spill out from the unit right behind them, looking to defend their turf.

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LOCATION: 710 Texas St, Westwego, LA 70094

They then hurry over to this fence on the same property and climb it.

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They cross through the grassy area on the right, where Marty picks them up to narrowly escape the chaotic scene.

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LOCATION: Emile Ave, Westwego, LA 70094, GPS coordinates: 29°54’29.23″N, 90° 9’4.49″W

Episode Five – “The Secret Fate of All Life”

Rust takes Ginger to Sportsman’s bar, where Ginger reluctantly introduces him to Dewall LeDoux, Reggie’s cousin and cook partner.  In reality, this is a composite of two locations.  The exterior is actually a sporting goods and bait shop, while the interior is the Spillway Bar (15641 US-61, Norco, LA 70079), located just a short distance away.

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LOCATION: 15611 US-61, Norco, LA 70079

The compound of Reggie LeDoux, where more violence occurs and LeDoux gives his “time is a flat circle” speech, was in fact a set built by the production.  The set was built off of Florissant Hwy in the town of St Bernard.

Episode Six – “Haunted Houses”

Marty stops for a drink at what was formerly Fox & Hound.  There he meets Beth by chance, a former teenage prostitute who he once helped out, and the two have a conversation over drinks.  The building has since been remodeled a bit and is currently a discount shop.  It can be found in the Elmwood Shopping Center in New Orleans.

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LOCATION: 1200 S Clearview Pkwy, New Orleans, LA 70123

Marty and Beth meet up for more drinks, before heading back to Beth’s place.  In the show, the bar is depicted as “The Keg,” but it’s actually the Rickshaw Lounge in Harahan.

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LOCATION: 378A Hickory Ave, Harahan, LA 70123

Episode Seven – “After You’ve Gone”

Rust follows a lead and meets a transvestite prostitute at the Dragon’s Den in New Orleans, located not far from the famous French Quarter.

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LOCATION: 435 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116

Rust breaks into the home of Billy Lee Tuttle, where he obtains incriminating photos and videos.

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LOCATION: 4717 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115

Seventeen years after the murder of Dora Lang, Hart and Cohle resume their investigation at Marty’s private investigation business, Hart Investigative Solutions.

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LOCATION: 5703 Read Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127

In 2012, an older, alcoholic Cohle now works as a bartender at this bar, known as Fisherman’s Wharf.

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LOCATION: 4381 Bayou Gauche Rd, Des Allemands, LA 70030

Rust lives in this small house, which is located directly behind the Fisherman’s Wharf bar location.

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LOCATION: 4381 Bayou Gauche Rd, Des Allemands, LA 70030 (behind the Fisherman’s Wharf building)

Gilbough and Papania, the two detectives interviewing Rust and Marty throughout the series, encounter the killer, Errol Childress and much like Cohle, are unaware of his true identity.  Errol is mowing the Fleming Cemetery in Jean Lafitte.  It is located very close to the filming location for Errol’s house.

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LOCATION: Fleming Cemetery, Jean Lafitte, LA 70067 (GPS coordinates: 29°44’39.12″N, 90° 8’4.91″ W)

Episode Eight – “Form And Void”

In the final episode, Errol is seen on a ladder painting a school where children are playing.  The building can be found at the Buddy Lawson Playground in the town of Kenner.

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LOCATION: 1800 Short St, Kenner, LA 70062

Another view of the building.

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As the series reaches it’s climax, Marty and Rust finally make it to the home of the killer, Errol Childress.  The house has been renovated a bit from how it appeared in the show, with a staircase notably being added.  Otherwise, it appears more or less the same.  This portion of the house is unfortunately not visible from the road and sits on private property.

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LOCATION: 2258 Jean Lafitte Blvd, Jean Lafitte, LA 70067

Errol flees into the tunnels of Carcosa, which is actually the ruins of Fort Macomb State Historic Site in New Orleans.  Unlike the layout depicted in the show, the ruins are quite a distance away from Errol’s house.  Built in 1822 by the United States, the fort was intended to defend the port of New Orleans from potential invading forces.  The fort was decommissioned in 1871.  Since then, there have been some attempts to open it up for public tourism, but due to the condition of the ruins, it has unfortunately been deemed unsafe for tourism at this time.  Today, the area is surrounded by barbed wire fencing and is not open to the public.  In spite of that, people seem to regularly manage their way onto the grounds, as it has been well documented by urban explorers and locals.  The ruins have appeared in a few other productions as well, including “NCIS: New Orleans” and Beyonce’s music video “Lemonade.”

You can actually see the perimeter of the ruins along the water on public property, but not the inner tunnels seen in the show.  A tip for anyone considering visiting this general area, since the grounds are not currently maintained, they can become overgrown and the presence of insects is significant, especially in the summer months.  Winter is a bit more suitable.

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LOCATION: Fort Macomb State Historic Site, New Orleans, LA 70129 (GPS coordinates: 30° 3’53.30″N, 89°48’15.16″W)

In the final scenes, Marty visits Rust at the “Lafayette General Hospital.”  This is actually the St. Bernard Parish Hospital in Chalmette, located nowhere near Lafayette.  The pair discuss light versus dark and each offers their perspective on which is winning.

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LOCATION: 8000 W Judge Perez Dr, Chalmette, LA 70043

For as many places from the show as we captured, there remain just as many we didn’t. Visiting these spots can be both enjoyable and very challenging.  Some places, we recommend only for the most avid of fans.  Other spots, we suggest plenty of research and preparation before visiting.  It is a unique way to explore the Southern Louisiana bayou and you can take the odyssey as far as you want to go with it.  For us, it served as one of the most extensive location searches we’ve ever done.

Cheers

The exterior of the bar seen in the hit TV series “Cheers” can be found in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, just across from the Boston Public Garden.  Originally known as the Bull & Finch Pub, the bar/restaurant has since changed it’s name to Cheers Beacon Hill.  The interiors of the show were of course filmed on a sound stage, not the actual restaurant, but the exterior still closely resembles how it appeared in the show.

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LOCATION: 84 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108

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The Departed (2006)

Martin Scorsese’s classic Boston crime saga “The Departed,” a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs,” used a mixture of Boston and New York to comprise the locations of the film.  After Warner Bros. purchased the rights to the film, director Martin Scorsese deliberately avoided viewing it until after he completed “The Departed.”  Here we’ll take a look at some of the Boston locations from the film.

The Massachusetts State House plays a recurring role in the film, as Matt Damon’s character Colin Sullivan stares in awe at it and rents an upscale penthouse apartment with a view of it’s iconic golden dome at the center of the Boston skyline.

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LOCATION: 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

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Matt Damon’s penthouse “apartment” isn’t really an apartment at all.  It’s the library on the top floor of the Suffolk University Law School.  For this obvious reason, the building is never seen from an exterior view in the film, but this is what it looks like from the street.  Unfortunately, you must have a university ID to enter the building, so recreating the apartment view from the library is not possible for the public.

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LOCATION: 120 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson, lives at this apartment overlooking the east waterfront of the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston.  The building is known as Flagship Wharf.  Much like Matt Damon’s apartment, the exteriors of this building are scarcely seen in the film.  However, some shots of the windows and a view out over the water can be seen as Costello talks on the phone to Sullivan.

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LOCATION: 197 8th St, Boston, MA 02129

Outside of Costello’s bar, two of Costello’s crew, Fitzy and Delahunt, stand and observe pedestrians walking by, claiming anyone who avoids looking at the pair are cops.  As Billy, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, exits the building without looking at them, Fitzy jokingly says to him “You’re a cop.”  Two buildings were actually used for this location; this exterior can be found in Boston, while the interior was an entirely different building in New York (Raul’s, 180 Prince St, New York, NY 10012).

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LOCATION: 17 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114

Late in the film, Billy meets Queenan, played by Martin Sheen on a rooftop of what is supposedly 344 Washington Street.  There is a hand-drawn sign in front with the numbers 344.  Costello’s crew is informed of the meeting and Delahunt mistakenly tells Billy to meet them at “314 Washington.”  Despite his error, Billy meets Costello’s crew at the correct address, cluing in Delahunt to Billy’s real identity.

The entrance to real building seen in the film is not on Washington Street, but rather along an alley running between Farnsworth Street and Thompson Place, just north of Congress Street in Boston’s Fort Point.

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LOCATION: 11 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210 (this entrance is along a side alley of the building, running between Farnsworth Street and Thompson Place)

Billy narrowly escapes from the rooftop to avoid exposure as an undercover cop.  He races down a fire escape into this alley, just beside the entrance seen above.  The real building does not have a fire escape, but some skillful editing makes it appear as if this is where the fire escape reaches the streets.

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LOCATION: Alley between 11 Farnsworth St and 12 Thompson Pl, Boston, MA 02210

Just as Billy reaches the front of the building, he is shocked as Queenan is thrown from the rooftop.  His body falls in front of these windows.  Director Martin Scorsese had X marks taped over all the windows, as an homage to the 1932 film “Scarface.”

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Billy looks in horror back in front of the building entrance, as Costello’s crew pours out and meet up with him, unaware he was the undercover cop they were just seeking.  The police observe the scene and, against Sullivan’s orders, engage in a shootout with Costello’s crew.  Billy and Sullivan’s fateful meeting also takes place in this building and on the rooftop.

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Related articles: Casino (1995), Goodfellas (1990)

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Despite being famously set in Boston, Massachusetts, much of the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting” actually filmed in Toronto, Canada.  The film brought home Oscar gold for screenwriters Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, as well as Robin Williams.  Despite heavily filming in Toronto, some scenes were indeed filmed in Boston, including several of the film’s most well-known locations.

Will, played by Matt Damon, and Chuckie, played by Ben Affleck, hang out at the L Street Tavern in South Boston.

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LOCATION: 658 E 8th St, Boston, MA 02127

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They even keep a sign on the side of the building, calling it the “Home of Good Will Hunting.”

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Over at Harvard Square in Cambridge, north of Boston, you’ll find a couple memorable locations from the film, located right across the street from Harvard University.  The Bow and Arrow Pub is where Will meets Skylar.  It’s also where he has the confrontation with an arrogant, pony-tailed grad student.  The bar is now known as the Grafton Street Pub & Grill.

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LOCATION: 1230 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Literally directly to the left of the Grafton Street Pub, you’ll find what used to be a Dunkin’ Donuts.  The building currently serves as a ramen restaurant.  After obtaining Skyler’s phone number and spotting the pony-tailed grad student once again, this is the window front Will walks up to and delivers his famous “How do you like them apples?” line.

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LOCATION: 1 Bow St, Cambridge, MA 02138

The famous bench where Will sits with Sean, played by Robin Williams, can be found at the Boston Public Garden.  Surprisingly, the bench is not marked in any way as being the spot from the film.  If you’re unfamiliar with the garden park, it may take you a bit to find it, but it’s a popular spot and sometimes you can spot it simply by watching for others taking photos there.  To get to the bench, follow the lakeside path north from the west end of the bridge.  If you’re at the bridge, you would go down the small set of stairs to reach it.  Behind the bench, you’ll see an intersection of paths and a tree with a branch forming a “v” shape.  In front of the bench, you’ll see the below view, with the curving edge along the water and the tree in the distance.  Referring to this map of the park, the bench is number 5.

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LOCATION: Boston Public Garden, Boston, MA 02116

La La Land (2016)

Perhaps no movie has inspired more interest in it’s filming locations over the past several years than the love letter to the City of Los Angeles, “La La Land.”  The 2016 musical, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, filmed at a wide variety of locations all over the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas.  There are so many locations, in fact, one would be challenged to see them all in a single day.

The opening dance scene in traffic was filmed on the Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange, which connects the 110 and 105 freeways in Los Angeles.  The scenes were shot on the express ramp, which requires a non-cash toll.  The bus jump from “Speed” was also filmed on the same interchange when it was still under construction.

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LOCATION: I-110 / I-105, Los Angeles, CA 90061

Mia, played by Emma Stone, works in a coffee shop on the Warner Bros. Studio lot.  The real building is indeed located on the Warner lot, however, it is not actually a coffee shop.  Rather it is just a building facade, used for any number of settings for productions, such as the toy store in “Small Soldiers.”  After the success of the film, however, Warner Bros. did decorate the building again to make it appear as it did in the film, for a few select weeks.  The building can be seen as part of their studio tour.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Mia lives at this pink apartment building in Long Beach, known as El Cordova.

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LOCATION: 1728 E 3rd St, Long Beach, CA 90802

The production filmed inside of unit 16.

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Mia exits through the courtyard to join her roommates for a dance number.

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She and her roommates then dance on E 3rd Street in front of her apartment.

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Later in the film, Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, visits the apartment and picks up Mia at this back entrance to the building.

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They then drive down this back alley.

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Mia is walking alone past this famous mural in Hollywood, known as the “You Are A Star” mural, when she hears music inside.  She enters to find Sebastian playing piano.  The mural can be found at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Wilcox Ave.  It can also be seen in the 1999 film “8MM.”

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LOCATION: 1648 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

After reconnecting at a party, Sebastian walks with Mia along Mt Hollywood Drive towards the viewpoint where the film’s most famous scene takes place; the dance sequence over the night skyline.

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A lot of creative license was used by the filmmakers here, as to get to the dance spot, the characters would’ve had to hike nearly an hour.  The spot is known as “Cathy’s Corner” in Griffith Park and it requires a bit of commitment if you wish to see it in person.

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LOCATION: Cathy’s Corner, Mt Hollywood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

There’s surprisingly little information online about how to accurately reach Cathy’s Corner.  Here we’ll attempt to detail that.  First and foremost, the spot is completely inaccessible by vehicle.  It is found along a fully paved road, but the road is gated off in all directions from motor vehicles.  Aside from park rangers, the road is primarily used by hikers and bicyclists.  Many GPS systems will offer different routes to drive to Cathy’s Corner, but rest assured, you’ll only get so far before you’ll encounter signs or gates preventing you from proceeding any further by car.

The viewpoint is accessible a couple different ways on foot, but the best way to do it is by parking at the Griffith Observatory.  The lot at the Observatory itself is almost always full.  You’re unlikely to find a spot in the actual lot.  However, you can park along East or West Observatory Road.  Unfortunately, these are now paid parking spaces.  There are a few free auxiliary lots, but those fill up quickly as well, plus they get you pretty far away from where you need to be to get to Cathy’s Corner.  You shouldn’t have a difficult time finding a paid parking space on Observatory Road, unless you’re arriving at peak evening hours.  Your best bet is to arrive early.

The easiest way to spot the trail head to reach Cathy’s Corner is to look for the tunnel when approaching Griffith Observatory.  Most traffic to reach the Observatory passes through it.  The tunnel was famously seen in Back To The Future Part 2, when Biff and Marty McFly (riding a hoverboard) fight over a sports almanac.  The very first road on your right, once you pass through the tunnel, is where you will need to hike.  It will either be gated off, or if the gates are open, a guard will be parked there, making sure no motorists attempt to drive up it.  The road is freely accessible to pedestrians on foot or bike, however, and you’ll likely see a lot of both.  You simply take that road for 2.2 miles to reach Cathy’s Corner.

It is a moderate hike.  Much of it is uphill, but considering you can walk a paved road the entire way, as well as the fact that there are resting spots and a water fountain along the way, it’s certainly manageable for most.  A couple bottles of water should suffice, unless it’s an extremely hot day.

If you use GPS for walking, it should be accurate from Griffith Observatory to Cathy’s Corner.  The hike takes anywhere from 90 minutes to a couple hours round trip, depending on your foot speed.  Cathy’s Corner can be found along a winding corner of Mt Hollywood Drive and should be distinct from all other corners for it’s skyline view.  Contrary to some information online, you do not likely need to worry about traffic, snakes or mountain lions.  It’s a heavily used trail on a paved road.  Your biggest challenge will be to simply bring adequate hydration and know where you are headed.  You can visit there at sunset or night, but you’ll likely have a difficult time finding a parking space.

Taking a closer look at the viewpoint, Sebastian hangs from a lamppost here, which was added by the production.

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Sebastian and Mia then sit at a bench, which was located here.  The bench was likewise added by the production.

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After their famous dance routine, Sebastian walks Mia to her car, which is also located at Cathy’s Corner, simply looking the opposite direction as the scenic view.  The production added cars and lampposts all along the road.

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Excited about their budding romance, Sebastian sneaks onto the Warner Bros lot to visit Mai at her workplace and the two take a stroll together down the studio backlot.  This area was famously also seen on Pink Floyd’s album cover for “Wish You Were Here.”

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

The pair then go see a jazz show at the Lighthouse Cafe, near the Hermosa Pier in Hermosa Beach.  The Lighthouse Cafe really is a jazz bar.

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LOCATION: 30 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Right next to The Lighthouse Cafe is the Hermosa Beach Pier, where Sebastian does a dance at sunset.  Lampposts were added along the pier by the production.  After the success of the film, the City of Hermosa Beach began hosting occasional special events at the pier celebrating the film, where they add temporary lampposts.

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LOCATION: 1 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

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The two watch “Rebel Without A Cause” at the Rialto Theater in South Pasadena.  The theater has appeared in numerous other films, including “Scream 2” and “The Player.”

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LOCATION: 1023 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

After watching the movie, the couple makes an impromptu trip to the Griffith Observatory to check out the filming locations.

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LOCATION: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Sebastian drives his convertible, with Mia in tow, down the sidewalk on the right.

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They then dance around this pendulum inside the Observatory.

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The two gaze up at this mural inside.

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They also pause to take a look at this Tesla Coil.

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During a romantic “summer” montage, the two can be seen walking along the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena.

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LOCATION: 504 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105

The pair can also be seen visiting the Watts Towers.

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LOCATION: 1727 E 107th St, Los Angeles, CA 90002

Sebastian and Mia can also be seen riding up Angels Flight in downtown Los Angeles.  They dance together briefly at the top.

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LOCATION: 50 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Directly across the street from Angels Flight is the Grand Central Market, where another scene in the montage takes place.  A popular eating spot, Grand Central Market has appeared in many films, including “Color Of Night,” “City Of Angels,” “I Am Sam” and many more.

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LOCATION: 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Later in the film, Mia, now a successful actress, can be seen staying at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 8221 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Near the end of the film, Mia accidentally stumbles upon Sebastian, who has opened his own jazz bar, called Seb’s.  In reality, Seb’s was a combination of two film locations.  The exterior is a Los Angeles bar known simply as Black.

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LOCATION: 6202 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Here is the angle from the sidewalk seen in the film.

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The interior is a bar far from Los Angeles, located in Long Beach, known as The Blind Donkey.  After the success of the film, The Blind Donkey hosted an evening based around the film, where they once again dressed the space to appear as it did in the film.

Here is the stairway Mia walks down to enter the bar.

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Here is the stage where Sebastian played his piano.  In the actual bar, it’s just an enclosed seating area.

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LOCATION: 149 Linden Ave Ste. B100, Long Beach, CA 90802

As many locations as we’ve covered here, there are still countless more seen in the film.  We hope we have covered most of the highlights.

Groundhog Day (1993)

While set in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the 1993 film “Groundhog Day” was actually shot in Woodstock, Illinois.  Visiting the town is a unique experience.  Most films shoot in many, scattered locations around a city, or sometimes multiple different cities, then edit it together to make their proximity seem much closer than they actually are in the real world.  With “Groundhog Day,” however, most of the locations from the film really are in as close of proximity as they appear on film.  The filmmakers chose a town square to film in, giving a greater a sense of enclosure within a singular place, just as Bill Murray’s character of Phil Conners is experiencing in the film.  It makes for an interesting feeling, as if you’ve really walked into the film’s universe when you visit.

The “Cherry Street Inn” bed and breakfast in the film actually is a real bed and breakfast where you can stay.  However, Phil’s room seen in the film was built in a warehouse by the production.

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LOCATION: 344 Fremont St, Woodstock, IL 60098

“Gobler’s Knob,” where the groundhog is shown, is the Woodstock Square Park, located right in the center of the town square.

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LOCATION: Woodstock Square Park, Main St, Woodstock, IL 60098

“The Tip Top Cafe,” where Phil gorges himself on excessive amounts of food, has changed ownership many times since the film was shot, with many restaurants coming and going.  It’s the sidewalk out front where Bill Murray keeps stepping in the watery, ice-filled hole in the street while talking to Ned Ryerson.

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LOCATION: 108 Cass St, Woodstock, IL 60098

There are many plaques like this, located at nearly every location from the film in Woodstock, IL.  It’s refreshing to see when a town embraces their film history, as Woodstock does.

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The “Alpine Theater” where Phil arrives dressed as Clint Eastwood is the Woodstock Theatre.  It is also seen briefly at the beginning of the film, when the crew first arrives in Punxsutawney.

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LOCATION: 209 Main St, Woodstock, IL 60098

The bar where Phil drinks is the Old Courthouse Arts Center.

 

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LOCATION: 101 N Johnson St, Woodstock, IL 90068

“The Pennsylvanian Hotel,” where Andie MacDowell’s character stays, and where Phil later hurls himself from the tower, is actually the Woodstock Opera House.

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LOCATION: 121 W Van Buren St, Woodstock, IL 60098

If you find yourself in the greater Chicago area and are a fan of the film, we highly recommend a visit to Woodstock, IL, for a unique experience of entering the film’s universe, while being hosted by locals who warmly embrace the film and it’s fans.