Death Becomes Her (1992)

In Robert Zemeckis’ underrated 1992 black comedy “Death Becomes Her,” Madeline, played by Meryl Streep and Ernest, played by Bruce Willis, live at this estate in San Marino, California.  Later in the film, Helen, played by Goldie Hawn, pays the couple a visit with sinister plans.  The same home can be seen in the film “The Last Boy Scout.”

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LOCATION: 1125 Oak Grove Ave, San Marino, CA 91108

Bruce Willis, who plays a mortician in the film, does reconstructive work on bodies in what is actually the kitchen of the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.  The mansion is owned by the City of Beverly Hills and frequently hosts productions.  The building has been used in countless films.  This room alone has also been seen in “Spider-Man 3,” “The Bodyguard” and “The Witches Of Eastwick.”  While the exterior grounds of the mansion are open the the public, the interior usually is not.  However, once or twice a year, the city does allow the public access inside.  It is one of our most highly recommended places if you’re a movie fan and can manage to get on one of these self-guided tours.  Short of a film studio, you’ll be hard pressed to find another place with so many film locations.

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LOCATION: 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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The Osbournes

In 2002, MTV found themselves a hit television show when they decided to start following the personal lives of rock legend Ozzy Osbourne and his family.  The show ran four seasons until 2005, filming inside the family’s Beverly Hills home.  Fans of the show are likely to be disappointed if they attempt to visit the actual house, however.  It is obscured by walls, gates and trees, making very little of the house visible to the public.  Here we offer what little can be seen.  The Osbournes have long since moved out.  The house later belonged to singer Christina Aguilera as well, who likewise has long since moved.

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LOCATION: 513 Doheny Rd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The front entrance.  Visitors should avoid walking up the front steps, as it is a private, residence.

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The Big Lebowski (1998)

“The Big Lebowski,” one of the great comedies of the Coen Brothers, shot all around the greater Los Angeles area.  Several of the movie locations are surprisingly difficult to gain access to however, so if you’re a fan of the film and want to check out the places where it was shot, just be aware it may be a more difficult process than you’d expect.

First, we start with the apartment of The Dude, played famously by Jeff Bridges.  The exterior apartment complex can be found in Venice, while the interiors were shot on a sound stage.  The complex has since been renovated, but still bears some resemblance to how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 606 Venezia Ave, Venice, CA 90291

The apartment complex across the street can also be seen in the film.  This complex is frequently mistaken as being The Dude’s.

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LOCATION: 609 Venezia Ave, Venice, CA 90291

Just outside of the apartments on Venezia Ave, looking down toward Zeno Pl, you’ll see where The Dude confronts Da Fino, the brother shamus.

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LOCATION: Venezia Ave, Venice, CA 90291 (in front of The Dude’s apartment)

The famous bowling alley in the film no longer exists.  It was the Hollywood Star Lanes, formerly located at 5227 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029.  The building was torn down in 2002 to make way for a children’s elementary school.

The Big Lebowski’s mansion consisted of two locations.  The exterior was shot at 10231 Charing Cross Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90024.  It is a private, gated property, closed to the public.  The interior of the mansion is the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.  The City of Beverly Hills actually owns the property, which is routinely used for filming.  The outside grounds are open to the public, but getting inside is more difficult.  Due to hosting productions and private events on a regular basis, only a few times a year does the city open the inside up for public viewing.  It can be done if you are patient and keep an eye out for these select dates, however.

Inside the Greystone Mansion, this wall is where The Dude talks with Brandt, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and looks at all of The Big Lebowski’s awards and achievements, including his “Little Lebowski Urban Achievers.”  It’s known as the “Breakfast Room” inside the mansion.

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LOCATION: Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Brandt is seen walking these hallways of Greystone Mansion several times in the film, as are The Dude and Walter, played by John Goodman.

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Another famous location inside of Greystone Mansion; The Dude talks to the distraught Big Lebowski in front of this fireplace, where The Dude is hired to find the kidnapped Bunny Lebowski.

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The very same room was used in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” as Daniel Plainview’s office, where his son visits him late in the film.  It was also seen in “Air Force One.” A little tip for Lebowski fans, this room can usually be seen without access inside the Greystone Mansion.  If you go to the front of the building and look through the windows, usually there are no curtains and this room, which is on the ground level, left of the main windows, can be seen.  The hallway Brandt walks down can also be seen through a doorway window, just around the corner to the left of this room, near the fish pond.  Only the Urban Achievers room truly requires access inside the mansion to be seen.

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The coffee shop where Walter tells dude he can “get you a toe by 3 o’clock… with nail polish” is Johnie’s Coffee Shop Restaurant in midtown Los Angeles.  The restaurant actually closed many years ago, but still operates as a filming location.  It has appeared in “Reservoir Dogs,” “American History X,” “Miracle Mile,” “Gone in Sixty Seconds” and many more.

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LOCATION: 6099 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

The Dude, Walter and Donny pay a visit to Larry Sellers’ house, “near the In-N-Out Burger.”  It’s in front of this home that Walter destroys the red corvette.  Today, the home is partially obscured by trees.

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LOCATION: 1824 Stearns Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90035

Late in the film, The Dude pays a visit to Jackie Treehorn’s house.  In the film, the property is shown as being right on the beach.  Those beach scenes were filmed at Point Dume in Malibu.  In reality, however, the house is located in the hills of Benedict Canyon, nowhere near the beach.  It’s the Sheats-Goldstein House, one of the most unique and famous houses in Los Angeles.  It’s actually located just above Cielo Dr, where the Manson Family’s infamous murder of Sharon Tate and four others took place.  The house regularly hosts photo shoots for models and at one time even allowed porn shoots.  In 2016, the property was donated to LACMA, which hosts occasional events there.  The house is tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac, down a long, private drive and is not visible from the street.  Unless you are a professional photographer or model, the only way to get onto the property is most likely, similar to Greystone Mansion, to keep your eyes peeled for a rare, public invitation.

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LOCATION: 10104 Angelo View Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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Beverly Hills, 90210

Despite the show’s name, very little of “Beverly Hills 90210” was ever shot in Beverly Hills.

The Walsh residence can actually be found in Altadena, California.

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LOCATION: 1675 E Altadena Dr, Altadena, CA 91001

The cast attends “West Beverly High,” which was also filmed far from Beverly Hills at Torrance High School, down in Torrance, California.  The same school was used on the TV series “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and the film “She’s All That.”

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LOCATION: 2200 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

Another shot of the school seen frequently on the show.

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A few different locations served as the famous “Peach Pit” on the show.  In the first season, several episodes depicted the restaurant at this West L.A. restaurant.

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LOCATION: 10801 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

However, production switched to this Venice location for the remainder of the season.

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LOCATION: 1027 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

The most well-known location for the “Peach Pit,” used from the second season onward, can be found in Pasadena.  The building has hosted a variety of restaurants since filming ended and no longer bears much resemblance to how it appeared on the show.

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LOCATION: 45 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

If that wasn’t enough Peach Pit for you, in 2019, a special pop-up version surfaced in Los Angeles, which has since closed.  The same location was previously used as a pop-up for “Twin Peaks.”

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Dylan, played by Luke Perry, lived at this house in Altadena.  It’s located just a few houses down from the Walsh residence.

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LOCATION: 1605 E Altadena Dr, Altadena, CA 91001

Steve’s house can be found in Encino.  The house was also seen in the films “Ghost In The Machine” and “The Dentist.”  Trees in the yard are making the front of the property increasingly difficult to see from the road.

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LOCATION: 16711 Bosque Dr, Encino, CA 91436

Andrea’s house was formerly located at 540 N Gramercy Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90004, but the houses on this block have since been demolished and replaced by an apartment complex.

Kelly and Donna’s beach house can be found right along the walkways of Hermosa Beach.  The same property was featured in the 1980s comedy “My Stepmother Is An Alien.” It’s quite a nice area to visit, even if you’re not a fan of the show.

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LOCATION: 3500 The Strand, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

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There Will Be Blood (2007)

While the majority of Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 masterpiece, “There Will Be Blood,” was shot on location at McGuire Ranch in Marfa, Texas, the film’s third act was shot mostly in Beverly Hills, California.  Aside from an exterior, establishing shot of Daniel Plainview’s mansion, which was shot at Thornewood Castle in Washington (8601 N Thorne Ln SW, Lakewood, WA 98498), all of the interiors were shot at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. While the outside of the Greystone grounds is open daily and free to the public, getting inside is a bit more challenging.  The property is owned by the City of Beverly Hills and regularly accommodates productions and private events.  Therefore, only a few times a year is access to the inside of the estate possible.  Planning ahead is required if you’d like to see inside.

LOCATION: 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day Lewis, can be seen firing his gun in his house from this hallway.

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The objects he is shooting at, which his son later steps over when arriving to visit, is seen from the reverse perspective.

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Daniel Plainview can be seen writing checks at this kitchen counter.

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Plainview’s son comes to visit Daniel in his office, which is lit much darker in the film.  This same room can also be seen in “The Big Lebowski,” when The Dude visits The Big Lebowski, as well as in the film “Air Force One.”  This room can actually be seen without gaining entry inside the building.  Just left of the main windows at the front of the mansion, you can usually look through the windows and see this room, unless curtains are blocking it.

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Daniel sits at his desk in front of this window, which again is much darker in the film.

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A drunken Daniel Plainview is seen stumbling down these stairs, as the film approaches it’s final scenes.

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Eli Sunday, played by Paul Dano, pays Daniel a visit and fixes himself a drink at this bar.

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In this corner of the bowling alley is where Eli Sunday and Daniel Plainview sit and talk, with Plainview seated on the bowling ball rack.  Daniel demands Eli declare himself a false profit and delivers the famous “I drink your milkshake” speech. The bowling alley was completely restored by the production and the room remains identical to how it appeared in the film.

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The film’s violent ending takes place on these bowling lanes. “I’m finished.”

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Heat (1995)

As time has passed, appreciation for Michael Mann’s crime saga masterpiece “Heat” has continued to grow.  Few films have ever captured Los Angeles so magnificently as Mann did here.  Even after all of these years, a few locations remain secret, but most have surfaced.

The opening shots of the film show Neil McCauley, played by Robert DeNiro on the Metro Green Line, arriving at the Redondo Beach Station.  Director Michael Mann would return to this same station for the climactic scenes of “Collateral.”  If you plan to visit this station, the only way to access the platform is by purchasing a fare.

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LOCATION: 2406 Marine Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Neil steals an ambulance from the St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach.  The same hospital shows up again later in the film, when Vincent Hanna, played by Al Pacino, rushes his step-daughter Lauren, played by Natalie Portman, to the emergency room.

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LOCATION: 1050 Linden Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813

Chris, played by Val Kilmer, purchases explosives from a company in Whittier (10006 Rose Hills Rd, Whittier, CA 90601).  However, the building seen in the film was unfortunately demolished.

The Mexican food stand where Waingro gets picked up was likewise demolished.  It was formerly located at 1233 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006.

The opening robbery of the armored truck takes place on Venice Blvd, exactly as Hanna states in the film.  It’s near the Los Angeles Convention Center, just underneath the interchange of the 10 and 110 freeways.

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LOCATION:  Venice Blvd / Convention Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90015

The robbers emerge from underneath this split overpass for the collision.

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This is where Vincent arrives to investigate the aftermath.

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McCauley’s crew torches the ambulance here.

LOCATION: W 22nd St / Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007

McCauley’s crew takes Waingro to the former Johnie’s Broiler in Downey, where they attempt to kill him in the parking lot, but he ultimately escapes.  The restaurant has a unique history, having appeared in many other films, such as “Short Cuts,” “License To Drive,” “The Game,” “My Stepmother Is An Alien,” “One Hour Photo” and many more.  In 2007, the building was unfortunately demolished.  However, Bob’s Big Boy purchased the property years later and rebuilt it based on the original blueprints and even some of the same materials.  So what stands now closely resembles what was seen in the film.

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LOCATION: 7447 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241

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The bookstore (1254 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401) where Eady, played by Amy Brenneman works, as well as the cafe (1457 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401) where she gets to know Neil are part of the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.  The whole area, an outdoor pedestrian mall, was heavily renovated and both businesses are long since gone.

Vincent and his wife Justine live in what is known as the “Sixth Street House” in Santa Monica.  A famous architectural piece, the house has the designation of historical landmark.  Unfortunately, much of the front of the home is obscured by a wall and shrubs, making it a bit inconspicuous.  The side of the home offers better visibility.  In the film itself, only the interiors of the house are seen.

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LOCATION: 2634 6th St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

The location of Neil’s oceanfront home, where Chris sleeps off a domestic spat, has long been subject to debate.  The house most commonly believed to be the correct location can be found on Malibu Cove Colony Drive, a private road just off the Pacific Coast Highway.  Old real estate listings showing the interior of the home match closely with what was seen in the film, down to fixtures and appliances.  The same house was also featured in the film “Less Than Zero,” where Jami Gertz tells Andrew McCarthy she’s not going to college.  However, since then portions of the home have been remodeled, making it a difficult task to match up in person.

The entrance to Malibu Cove Colony Drive has a gate and guard on duty, preventing any public access (most beachfront roads in this area are likewise private).  On the opposite side, however, are the outskirts of Escondido Beach, which is open to the public, but also presents its own challenges.  First and foremost, the houses sit very close to the water.  All of them are perched on stilts, as the tides can reach all the way up to the base of the properties.  Visitors should use caution if they walk these narrow shores, as the high tides can leave you little room to cross.  It also makes photography a challenge, unless you plan to take a swim.  The next challenge is simply identifying the correct home.  Many of these beachfront homes have been heavily remodeled.  If you attempt to match them to satellite views, many details won’t align in person, due to remodeling.  Some of the homes also resemble one another, particularly their patios, making it even more confusing.  It’s easy to see why, after decades, the location has remained subject to debate.  To be certain we found the correct home we were seeking, we used a combination satellite imagery and GPS.  A drone (or jet ski) is likely a better method to view the house, but if you do attempt it on foot, use caution and do your research.

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LOCATION: 26940 Malibu Cove Colony Dr, Malibu, CA 90265

The restaurant where Donald, played by Dennis Haysbert, begins working under the abuse of a crooked manager is Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank (not to be confused with the Downey location covered earlier in this article).

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LOCATION: 4211 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505

Later in the film, Neil happens to be dining inside with his crew and spots Donald cooking and immediately recognizes him as a former prison buddy.

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Neil speaks to his driver, Trejo, from a phone at the restaurant, where he is informed Trejo is being tailed by cops and cannot join their heist.  In need of a last-minute, replacement driver, Neil offers Donald a job on the spot.

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Plans for the bank heist are first offered to Neil and Nate, played by Jon Voight, when they visit Kelso, played by Tom Noonan.  The house was filmed on Dodds Circle in Los Angeles, which is also where Trejo’s house is located in the film.  Neil and Nate first park here, overlooking the 10 freeway.

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LOCATION:  Dodds Cir, Los Angeles, CA 90063 (just off Dickson Ave)

McCauley then discusses the plan with Kelso at his house, which is fenced off around the entire perimeter.

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LOCATION:  1235 Dodds Cir, Los Angeles, CA 90063

Vincent and Drucker visit Albert’s chop shop in Wilmington.  At the time of filming, the area was rumored to host an actual chop shop, though now it’s just a train maintenance area.  The distinct, yellow sulpher pile still remains and there is a very strong smell in person.

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LOCATION: 1017 Foote Ave, Wilmington, CA 90744 (near the railroad tracks)

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Vincent later meets up with Albert at a club to speak with another informant.

LOCATION: 3548 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

The drive-in theater where a deal goes wrong was formerly located at 5700 W Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045.  It was demolished not long after filming took place.

The restaurant where Neil’s crew dines can be found in Santa Monica, near the pier.

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LOCATION: 1535 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

McCauley’s crew proceed to take down a metals repository, only to abandon the job midway, after McCauley hears a noise and correctly surmises the police are watching.

LOCATION: Near 1309 Factory Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Vincent stands in this general area after the failed operation.

Eady’s house sits perched on stilts in the hills of West Hollywood, offering a magnificent view over the city.  There’s not much to see from the front of the house itself on Blue Heights Dr.  Signs declare the cul-de-sac where it sits to be private property, but you can still see it well from the public section of the road.  The floor to ceiling windows and patio area are much better seen from lower streets, such as Viewmont Dr (near the 1600 block, just before it reaches a dead end).  The house found renewed interest in 2014 with the TV series “Bosch,” where it serves as the home of the titular detective.

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LOCATION: 1870 Blue Heights Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90069 (best seen from around the 1600 block of Viewmont Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90069, just before the road hits a dead end)

Here is a view of the city, as seen from Blue Heights Dr, just before you reach Eady’s house, closely resembling what you’d see from the home.

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One of the film’s classic scenes is of course the face to face meeting between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.  The conversation took place at the excellent Kate Mantilini, an institution of Beverly Hills which sadly closed in 2014 after the restaurant could not afford a rental increase by the building owners.  We managed to capture some photos from when the place was still open.

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LOCATION: 9101 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (now closed)

Above the entrance to the restaurant, this image from the iconic scene was hung.

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After meeting Neil, Vincent returns to a hotel where he’s staying, only to discover his step-daughter Lauren has attempted suicide in his bathroom.  This was filmed at the Hotel Angeleno, just off the 405 freeway.  The hotel was mostly seen from interior views in the film, aside from a shot of Vincent looking down at the freeway from his balcony.

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LOCATION: 170 N Church Ln, Los Angeles, CA 90049

The exterior of the famous bank robbery scene is set in downtown Los Angeles at the Citigroup Center.  This same location was also briefly seen in David Fincher’s “Fight Club.”

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LOCATION: 444 S Flower St. Los Angeles, CA 90071

The robbery then spills out onto the streets, in what many consider one of the greatest shootouts ever filmed.

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LOCATION: Intersection of W 5th St / S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

After the robbery, the police try to bait in Chris by setting up a meeting with his wife Charlene, played by Ashley Judd.  After she tips him off with a subtle gesture, he leaves the scene.  He’s stopped next to Venice Beach by the police, where he presents false identification and escapes.

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LOCATION: Navy St / Speedway, Los Angeles, CA 90405

Trejo’s house, much like Eady’s, sits on stilts over a hillside of L.A., where he is discovered by McCauley near the end of the film.  It sits on the same small road as Kelso’s house from earlier in the film, which was discovered as a result of finding this home for the film.

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LOCATION: 1219 Dodds Cir, Los Angeles, CA 90063

Neil talks with Eady as the two look out over the ocean next to this tree.  It’s located next to a popular park in Pacific Palisades known as The Point at the Bluffs, which has a beautiful view over the water.

The hotel where Neil tracks down Waingo can be found right next to LAX airport, just as depicted in the film.  Neil parks in this alley next to the hotel.

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LOCATION: 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045