Better Call Saul

Much like its predecessor, “Breaking Bad,” the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico is so ingrained as a backdrop for the spin-off series, “Better Call Saul,” it takes on the life a character on the show. In the early seasons, Jimmy McGill, played by Bob Odenkirk, cares for his brother Chuck, played by Michael McKean. Chuck is housebound with a mental illness that causes a strong aversion to electricity and electric devices, with his house featured prominently in the series.

LOCATION: 1607 San Cristobal Rd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87104

Gus Fring, played by Giancarlo Esposito, plays a recurring character in the show and we see his infamous Los Pollos Hermanos many times. The restaurant is actually named “Twisters” and still operates today. There are a few of these restaurants in the area, so be sure to go to the one on Isleta Blvd in order to see the location used in the show. The restaurant was of course also featured heavily on “Breaking Bad.”

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LOCATION: 4257 Isleta Blvd. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105

By season six, Saul has set up his office in the same location featured in “Breaking Bad.”

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LOCATION: 9800 Montgomery Blvd, Albuquerque, NM 87111

A few businesses have come and gone from the location, but the current restaurant actually has their front door made up to look like Saul’s office.

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A pop-up replica of Los Pollos Hermanos was built on an open parking lot space in Los Angeles for just a few short days in 2017, in promotion of “Better Call Saul.” For the event, they featured Jimmy’s car from the show, which he is seen driving throughout the early seasons.

Related articles: Breaking Bad

Nebraska (2013)

The 2013 Alexander Payne film “Nebraska” does feature many scenes set in the titular state, but the film also shot significant portions in Montana as well. Additional scenes filmed in Wyoming and South Dakota. If you’ve never seen the film, this article contains some spoilers. In the film, Bruce Dern plays Woody Grant, an aging man who believes he’s won a million dollar sweepstakes prize. After repeated attempts to walk to Nebraska to collect his perceived winnings, Woody’s son David, played by Will Forte, decides to drive him to Nebraska.

While on the road, David suggests they stop at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. Woody, unimpressed, looks at it from the parking lot and suggests they get back on the road. The monument has appeared in many films, sometimes as the real location, other times as a set recreation. The most famous example is of course Alfred Hitchcock’s “North By Northwest,” which did not actually film the monument itself, but did film scenes at the parking lot and concession areas on location. Other films with scenes set at Mount Rushmore, real or recreated, include “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” “Superman II,” “Mars Attacks!,” the 2011 version of “The Muppets,” “North,” “The NeverEnding Story III,” “Head of State,” “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” and many more.

LOCATION: 13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751

While David and nearly everyone else in the film is aware Woody’s prize is a mail scam to get people to purchase magazine subscriptions, David nevertheless takes him to the marketing headquarters. The building is said to be located in Lincoln, Nebraska, which is where the scenes were indeed shot.

LOCATION: 3400 Madison Ave, Lincoln, NE 68504

Near the end of the film, David buys Woody a new truck from a car dealership, also located in Lincoln.

LOCATION: 2034 O St, Lincoln, NE 68510 (as seen from N 21st St)

Related articles: Election (1999), About Schmidt (2002), Sideways (2004), The Descendants (2011), Downsizing (2017)

Breaking Bad

In the wake of the popular television series “Breaking Bad,” it’s difficult to even mention the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico without thinking of the show.  Albuquerque plays a central role in the series and there’s a vast array of filming locations scattered all across the city.  Here, we’ll take a look at those, as well as a some props and even a pop-up set.

First, we begin with one of the more notorious film locations; the Walter White house.  Beyond the notoriety of the house within the show itself, the real home has it’s own reputation, due to the sometimes adversarial owner.  While most of the time it’s fine to visit properties once seen in films or TV shows, on occasion, property owners of these locations are not receptive to visitors.  While that’s not exactly the case with the Walter White house, the owner could be considered particular to the acceptable ways in which visitors approach her home.  This is not without reason, however, as some past guests have abused their visiting privileges, by doing things like trespassing into their back yard, while others have even gone as far as throwing pizza on her roof, in a distasteful attempt to parody a famous scene from the show.  The pizzas in particular escalated to the point where series creator Vince Gilligan himself had to publicly denounce these acts and tell fans to stop doing it.  That’s not to mention the sheer volume of guests that visit the house, which was said to be dozens per day at the height of the show’s popularity.  So while there’s seemingly no harm in looking at a house, it is nevertheless understandable if the property owner has developed a low tolerance for intrusive visitors.  Since the show ended, the owners have made a habit of opening their garage up each day and sitting in front of the house, from dawn to dusk.  It isn’t often you’ll visit the property in the daytime where the owners won’t be perched out front.  They also installed cameras around the house, posted a “no trespassing” sign and erected a steel gate at the front door, in an effort to curb the repeated trespassing issues.  While the owner of the house can be friendly, she has also had some verbal altercations with visitors, if she feels they are being intrusive.  All of this, however, is not to say visitation is discouraged.  The owner has stated she does not mind fans of the show stopping by and taking photos, as long as they remain on the opposite side of the street and do not disturb them.  While one can make a valid argument that it’s perfectly legal to walk right up to the curb in front of the house and take a photo, doing so will likely provoke the ire of the homeowners, so please respect their wishes if you intend on visiting the property and you’re unlikely to encounter any issues.

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LOCATION: 3828 Piermont Dr. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111

Jesse Pinkman’s house requires a bit less discretion when visiting, as we are unaware of any animosity between the owners and fans of the show.

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LOCATION: 322 16th St. SW, Albuquerque, NM, 87104

Agent Hank Schrader’s house is located in this cul de sac.

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LOCATION: 4901 Cumbre Del Sur Ct. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111

Next we take a look at the infamous “Los Pollos Hermanos,” the restaurant owned by criminal mastermind Gus Fring.  Here we have photos from both the real location (a restaurant named “Twisters”), as well as a pop-up replica of the restaurant, which was used to promote “Better Call Saul.”  First, lets look at the actual location in Albuquerque, called “Twisters.”  There are a few of these restaurants in the area, so be sure if you plan to visit, you go to the one on Isleta Blvd, in order to see the location used in the show. The location also resurfaces in “Better Call Saul.”

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LOCATION: 4257 Isleta Blvd. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105

The counter inside at the real location, which features a small “Los Pollos Hermanos” sign.  You can also sit and eat at the table Walter White sat in, if it isn’t already occupied by another customer.

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This is a “Los Pollos Hermanos” logo painted inside the real Twisters location, on the wall beside the entrance door.  This was added by the “Breaking Bad” production and the restaurant allowed it to remain up.  They are very welcoming to fans of the show.

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Now we move on to what is a pop-up replica of “Los Pollos Hermanos,” which was built on an open parking lot space in Los Angeles for just a few short days, in promotion of “Better Call Saul.”  These are not photos of the real restaurant and the pop-up has long since been dismantled.

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A “Los Pollos Hermanos” restaurant sign built for the pop-up.

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Visitors to the pop-up were given a complimentary order of french fries and a cup of water, both bearing the “Los Pollos Hermanos” name.

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A mock application form was also given out to visitors of the pop-up.

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Back in Albuquerque and to the real show locations, here is a look at the office of Saul Goodman.

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LOCATION: 9800 Montgomery Blvd., Albuquerque, NM 87111

A few businesses have come and gone from the location since the show aired, but the current restaurant actually has their front door made up to look like Saul’s office.

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The Whites’ car wash.

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LOCATION: 9516 Snow Heights Cir. NE, Albuquerque NM, 87112

Tuco’s headquarters, which is left in bad shape after a visit from Walter.  The real building is actually a coffee shop.

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LOCATION: 906 Park Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM, 87102

This is Walt and Jesse’s RV from the show, which can be seen as part of the Sony Pictures Studio Tour in Culver City, California.  The show had 2 identical RVs for filming, one of which actually was destroyed on the show.  This is the only remaining RV from the production.

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Walter White’s vehicle from the show is also on display at the Sony Pictures Studio Tour.

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Next up are some props from the show, also seen on the Sony Pictures Studio Tour.  Included are Gail’s lab notes, Walt’s missing person flier, the stuffed animal that falls into Walt’s pool and much more.

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Last, but not least, we leave you with a couple of Bryan Cranston’s costumes from the show.  First up, this Heisenberg outfit can be found on display on the Sony Pictures Studio Tour.

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Another of Walter’s outfits 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

Related articles: Better Call Saul