Nightcrawler (2014)

The 2014 Dan Gilroy film “Nightcrawler,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, was filmed around Los Angeles, California. The film tells the story of a Louis Bloom, an ambitious freelance photojournalist, who increasingly crosses moral boundaries to obtain captivating footage to sell to news stations. The production made use of locations all around the city. During the opening credits, the Griffith Observatory is seen. The Observatory is of course a staple of film and television, appearing in such films as “The Terminator,” “Rebel Without A Cause,” “La La Land” and dozens more.

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

The Capitol Records building also makes an appearance during the opening credits. It can also be seen in countless films, including “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood,” “Get Him to the Greek,” “Rush Hour” and many more.

LOCATION: 1750 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Lou’s apartment can be found in Angelino Heights, near Dodger Stadium.

LOCATION: 1045 Figueroa Terrace, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Lou sits parked near Bob’s Market, listening to the police radio. The same market can be seen in such films “The Fast And The Furious,” “L.A. Confidential” and “The Salton Sea.”

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LOCATION: 1234 Bellevue Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Lou starts filming a police arrest in front of this building in Echo Park, prompting the officers to threaten him with arrest.

LOCATION: 1123 Laveta Terrace, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Over in Koreatown, Lou arrives at the aftermath of a car jacking, where a man has been injured. He once again oversteps his bounds, causing him and another photojournalist to be kicked out of the crime scene. In the film, the characters state the location as 1st and Western, which is accurate.

LOCATION: S Western Ave / W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90004

After eavesdropping on a call of another photojournalist selling his footage, Lou heads to a news station, where he successfully sells his footage as well. This was filmed at 5808 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028, but the building has since been demolished. The corporate offices for Netflix now stand in its place.

Later in the film, Lou rejects an offer to work for Joe Loder, played by Bill Paxton, in front of another TV station just down the road, which still stands.

LOCATION: 5800 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Lou interviews Rick for a job as his assistant at Dinah’s Cafe in Culver City. The same restaurant has also appeared in such films as “The Big Lebowski” and “The Limey.”

LOCATION: 6521 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Lou attempts to interview a witnesses next door to another crime scene in front of this home.

LOCATION: 1415 N Coronado St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

He then enters the home of the crime scene, which is one house to the left, to get more footage.

LOCATION: 1411 N Coronado St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

After Rick, played by Riz Ahmed, spills some gas on his car at this gas station in Studio City, Lou threatens to fire him.

LOCATION: 12007 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Joe Loder lives at this home, located in Venice.

LOCATION: 808 Royal Ct, Venice, CA 90291

Royal Ct is a very narrow road, but there is a pedestrian walkway from Pacific Ave, which offers easier access and parking.

Joe Loder’s van crashes into a light pole at this intersection in Studio City.

LOCATION: Ventura Pl / Laurel Canyon Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Lou captures an active crime scene where a shooting is taking place in Tarzana. The home sits down a long drive and cannot be seen from the street.

LOCATION: 4808 Topeka Dr, Tarzana, CA 91356

Out front on Topeka Dr, however, the area where he parks on the street can easily be seen.

Lou uses his video footage to track down the shooting suspects. He follows them after they leave their apartment, located in Echo Park.

LOCATION: 1701 Clinton St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

The shooting suspects stop at this Chinese restaurant, where Lou sets up to videotape their capture, before calling the police to report them.

LOCATION: 252 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Related articles: Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

True Lies (1994)

The 1994 James Cameron film “True Lies,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis, was filmed in numerous cities and states, including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Baltimore, Rhode Island and the Florida Keys. In the film, Harry Tasker, a secret agent for U.S. counterterrorism played by Schwarzenegger, pursues a terrorist named Aziz, played by Art Malk. Aziz flees through hotels on a motorcycle, while Harry pursues on horseback.

The chase first passes through the former Ambassador Hotel, which has since been demolished. The hotel was a staple of film and television, appearing in such films as “The Graduate,” “Forrest Gump,” “Seven,” “Bobby,” “True Romance,” “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)

The chase continues at the Westin Bonaventure hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Harry rides a horse through the water as Aziz takes a hostage inside the elevator.

LOCATION: 404 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Harry in turn takes his horse up the opposite facing elevator.

Here is the elevator entrance Aziz takes. Both elevators used in the film are marked with plaques noting their appearance in the film.

Here’s a closer look at one of the plaques. There are several more around the hotel, noting some of the other films shot there, including “In the Line of Fire” and “Forget Paris.” We appreciate when locations celebrate their film history in this manor.

Here is the elevator entrance Harry takes up to the roof.

Taking things a step further, the hotel dedicated the entire hallway leading from the parking garage to the lobby to all of it’s cinematic history. The Westin Bonaventure is one of the most frequently filmed locations in all of Los Angeles. In addition to the previously mentioned films, movies such as “Interstellar,” “Rain Man,” “Lethal Weapon 2,” “Strange Days,” “Nick of Time,” “Hard to Kill,” ‘Playing God” and many more have all filmed at the hotel and posters for many of them line their walls. Here is the “True Lies” poster on display at the hotel.

Harry threatens Simon, played by Bill Paxton, as he holds him on a ledge at the Sepulveda Dam in Van Nuys. The dam has likewise been featured in many films, such as “Escape From New York,” “Gattaca,” “The Italian Job,” “Iron Man 2” and many more. It has also appeared in such TV shows as “American Horror Story,” “Alias,” “Knight Rider” and more.

LOCATION: Sepulveda Dam, 15758 Burbank Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91406

The base of the dam is open to the public and there is a large recreation area surrounding it, with trails leading directly to the dam. There are several options for areas to park and the length of the hike to reach the dam depends on where you choose to start. It can be a short walk or a long one, depending on your preference, but all of it is on level ground and what we consider fairly easy to traverse on foot.

Helen, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, is sent on a staged spy mission to the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Gib, played by Tom Arnold, informs her she is undercover as a prostitute and her mission is to plant a bug in one of the rooms, leading to her famous striptease scene for Harry. The hotel is another staple of film, having appeared in such movies as “Ghostbusters,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Independence Day,” “Fight Club” and dozens more.

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LOCATION: 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The Crystal Ballroom of the same hotel also appeared in the film for the tango scene between Harry and Helen. This particular ballroom has also appears in such films as “Pretty In Pink,” “Rocky III,” “The Bodyguard,” “Romy And Michele’s High School Reunion,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and more. It has also appeared in such TV shows as “True Blood,” “Bridgerton” and more.

Aziz’s men kidnap Harry and Helen, loading them in a van and driving up this ramp of the Millennium Biltmore, which is located just past the hotel on S Grand Ave.  The same area can be seen in the 2018 version of “A Star Is Born,” “Chinatown” (on the upper ramp to the right) and from the reverse angle in the film “Seven.”

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Late in the film, a major action sequence takes place at the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys. Harry peruses terrorists at the bridge, as they attempt to transport some nuclear warheads across it. The location is featured in another action sequence in the James Bond film “License To Kill” and also appears in the films “Key Largo,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Up Close & Personal,” “CrissCross” and “The Triangle,” as well as the TV series “Burn Notice.”

LOCATION: Seven Mile Bridge, Marathon, FL, 33050 (GPS coordinates of the start of the bridge: 24.706964, -81.124353)

There are two bridges there, built to connect Knight’s Key to Little Duck Key. The one on the right, originally known as the Knights Key-Pigeon Key-Moser Channel-Pacet Channel Bridge, is now commonly referred to as the Old Seven Mile Bridge. It was constructed from 1909 to 1912 and eventually decommissioned in favor of a new bridge, seen on the left, which was completed in 1982 for vehicular traffic. A portion of the Old Seven Mile Bridge is still open to pedestrian traffic and cyclists. However, it has been under reconstruction since 2017 and is expected to reopen by the end of 2021. Sections of the Old Seven Mile Bridge were missing altogether and the production rebuilt portions for the film, as well as using miniatures for some of the explosions.

Related articles: The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Apollo 13 (1995)

The 1995 Ron Howard film “Apollo 13” was filmed in Florida, Texas and California. The house of Jim and Marilyn Lovell, played by Tom Hanks and Kathleen Quinlan, can be found in Northridge, California.

LOCATION: 18325 Index St, Northridge, CA 91326

Marilyn loses her wedding ring in the shower of this motel, supposedly located in Florida.  The real motel, the Safari Inn, is actually located in Burbank, California.

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LOCATION: 1911 W Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91506

The same motel was featured in the films “True Romance” and “Coach Carter.”

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Frailty (2001)

Bill Paxton’s criminally overlooked 2001 film “Frailty,” starring Matthew McConaughey, is set in the town of Thurman, Texas.  However, the movie primarily filmed around Southern California, with many scenes shot in Orange County.

The FBI Headquarters was filmed at Los Angeles Center Studios.  This is a large facility consisting of numerous buildings.  The studio has been used, both for interior and exterior sets, in countless films and shows, such as “The Game,” “Fight Club” and dozens more.  It’s difficult to photograph the property, because many of the surrounding roads are gated off.  This view is from one of the gates at S Boylston St.

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LOCATION: 450 S Bixel St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Adam Meiks, played by Matthew McConaughey, lives in this house in Covina.

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LOCATION: 470 W Center St, Covina, CA 91723

Thurman Drugs was filmed at the famous Orange Circle.  Another staple of film, Orange Circle has been featured in such movies as “Small Soldiers,” “Big Momma’s House,” “That Thing You Do!” and many more.  The drug store location is now a pizza shop.

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LOCATION: 101 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

The boys are seen walking by this church, also found in Orange.

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LOCATION: 305 W Almond Ave, Orange, CA 92866

Flashback scenes to the family home were filmed in Sun Valley.

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LOCATION: 10643 Tuxford St, Sun Valley, CA 91352

The school the boys attend was Katherine Edwards Middle School in Whittier.

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LOCATION: 6812 Norwalk Blvd, Whittier, CA 90606

The sheriff station seen in flashbacks can be found very close to Orange Circle.

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LOCATION: 312 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

The home of Cynthia Harbridge can also be found in Orange.

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LOCATION: 435 E Palmyra Ave, Orange, CA 92866

The home of Brad White can likewise be found in Orange.

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LOCATION: 225 E Maple Ave, Orange, CA 92866

The present day sheriff station is located in Norwalk. The same location was featured in the film “Best Men.”

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LOCATION: 12139 Front St, Norwalk, CA 90650

Titanic (1997)

The classic 1997 James Cameron film “Titanic” was of course filmed primarily on a recreated set of the famous ship, which was built at Fox Baja Studios in Mexico.  In 2017, however, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California held a unique exhibition on the ship, where it combined real artifacts from the sunken ship alongside props and sets from the film.  It was the largest collection of artifacts from passengers of the ship since the fateful night it collided with an iceberg a century before.

The exhibit has unfortunately since closed, but here we’ll take a look at some of the props, costumes and sets from the film that were on display.

This is the set of the famous scene where Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, draws a nude Rose, played by Kate Winslet.

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Here are some props from the scene, including Rose’s mirror, butterfly hairpin and comb, as well as her “Heart of the Ocean” necklace.

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Here is Jack’s sketchbook and pencil case.  On top of the sketchbook is also the note Rose leaves for Cal, played by Billy Zane.  She places the note inside his safe, along with the necklace.  Her note reads, “Darling – Now you can keep us both locked up inside your safe.  Rose.”

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This is the set of Jack and his friend Fabrizio’s cabin, designed for third class passengers.

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Here is the Marconi Room, another set from the film, where the ship sent out it’s distress calls and communicated with other ships.  Without it, no one would’ve known why or where the ship had sunk.

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Jack Dawson’s suit as he boards the ship.

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Rose wears this dress while the ship is sinking.

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Molly Brown, played by Kathy Bates, wears this dress.

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Bruce Ismay, played by Jonathan Hyde, wears these pajamas and overcoat.

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Here is a dress worn by one of the first class passengers in the film.

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Moving on to more props from the film, here is the clock and cherub from the grand staircase of the ship, where Jack greets Rose.

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Some scale miniatures were also built for the film, including a 45 foot long model of the ship.  Here are some pieces from the miniature.

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The ax Rose uses to free Jack, who is handcuffed in his cabin.

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While the exhibit closed down in 2018, due to the enduring popularity of both the film and the history of the ship itself, these artifacts are bound to find their way into another, future exhibition.

We leave you with one last prop from the film, which was not part of the Reagan Library exhibit.  Rather, it can be found at Planet Hollywood in Florida.  It’s the piece of wood that Rose floats on at the end of the film.

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