The 1987 film “The Lost Boys,” directed by Joel Schumacher, is set in the fictional beach town of Santa Carla, California. In reality, the film was famously shot in Santa Cruz, with some additional scenes filmed in Southern California. The Santa Cruz Boardwalk plays a prominent role in the film. In the opening scenes, David, played by Kiefer Sutherland, can be seen riding the carousel with his crew.
LOCATION: 400 Beach St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
As the boardwalk closes down for the night, a security guard is attacked as he exits to a parking lot.
Later in the film, Michael, played by Jason Patric, meets Star, played by Jami Gertz, in this area of the boardwalk. The 2019 Jordan Peele film “Us” also shot scenes at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. The film’s opening scene is set in 1986, at the same time “The Lost Boys” was filming. The characters in “Us” even reference this film when they walk past this area, mentioning a movie is being filmed nearby.
Michael meets David and his crew at this area of the boardwalk.
David invites Michael to come along on a bike ride and the boys all ride their bikes down these stairs.
Sam, played by Corey Haim, moves with his family from Phoenix to Santa Carla to live at his grandpa’s house. The building seen in the film is known as the Pogonip Clubhouse. Built in 1911, the building operated as everything from a golf club, to hosting women’s polo matches, to briefly serving as a rehab facility for servicemen during WWII. The building opened and closed again many times throughout the years, before being condemned in 1986, right around the time of filming. Only the exteriors of the building were used in the film, interiors were filmed at Warner Bros. Studios.
LOCATION: Near 333 Golf Club Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (GPS coordinates: 36.995416, -122.038388)
Today, the building is part of Pogonip, a scenic hiking and biking trail. The building is open to the public and there’s a few ways to reach it. From the nearest trailhead on Golf Club Dr, you can take a paved path straight up to it, or the Lower Meadow Trail. Unfortunately, the Lower Meadow Trail, while offering scenic views, is overrun by homeless people, to such a degree that we found ourselves inadvertently walking right into their campsites more than once. While no one was confrontational, as the paths do receive a lot of pedestrian traffic, we recommend sticking to the paved path if you wish to see the building from the film. Either route is about a half mile walk, with some uphill portions, but not terribly difficult. Remember to bring water if you do hike there.
The comic book shop where Sam meets Edgar and Alan Frog, played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander, still exists, but no longer at it’s original location. While made to appear on the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, the actual shop seen in the film was formerly located on Pacific Ave. The building suffered severe damages in a 1989 earthquake, resulting in the comic book shop changing locations.
LOCATION: 705 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (now demolished)
The store, Atlantis Fantasyworld, is now located on Cedar St in Santa Cruz. While not an actual filming location, they do still have a prop from the film inside; the original “Vampires Everywhere!” comic book. It sits on display behind the front counter.
LOCATION: 1020 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
The cave where David’s crew is based, known as Hudson’s Bluff Sea Cave, is located far from Santa Cruz in Rancho Palos Verdes. The cave sits next to Terranea Beach, which is easily accessible on foot along the Terranea Trail, a public trail which runs behind the Terranea Resort. Seeing the cave up close requires a bit of climbing up some rocks, however, so use caution if you wish to proceed beyond Terranea Beach. The same area has been seen in such films as “Charlie’s Angels,” “Lethal Weapon 2” and “Batman: The Movie,” as well as such TV shows as “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Wonder Woman,” “The Munsters” and more.
Another Southern California location is the bridge where David and Michael hang underneath as a train passes. It can be found at the Iron Horse Trailhead near Valencia. The actual bridge is a pedestrian crossing with no train tracks.
LOCATION: 25311 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91355
Unlike what is depicted in the film, the bridge is nowhere near the height above ground suggested in the scene. Here is a view of the actual elevation, with Six Flags Magic Mountain seen in the distance.
The church where Sam and Edgar collect holy water can be found at Warner Bros. Studios. The same church has been seen in many productions, such as “Gremlins” and “The Monster Squad.”
The TV series “Dennis the Menace,” which ran from 1959 to 1963, was set in a fictional neighborhood located at the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California. The Warner Ranch lot is separate from the main Warner backlot and unfortunately is not open to public tours at this time. Plans have been announced for Warner to sell the ranch, so its future is unknown at this time, but for now the structures still stand.
The Mitchell house is the original home exterior featured on the show and still remains today, although it has had some remodeling. It is one of the few original sets on the ranch, having survived previous fires on the grounds.
LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505
The Wilson house was located next door, but the original set was lost in a fire in 1970. It was eventually rebuilt and this is how the facade currently appears.
The Elkins house was likewise burned in the 1970 fire and rebuilt. Here is how it appears now. The same facade was used in the 1970s TV series “The Partridge Family” and the film “The Monster Squad.”
The 2011 film version of “The Muppets” was shot primarily in the Los Angeles area. The opening dance number, set it “Smalltown USA,” was filmed on the Warner Bros. Studios Lot.
LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
Gary, played by Jason Segel, runs into this school, where he meets up with Mary, played by Amy Adams. This is also a set on the Warner lot.
The Muppets studio was filmed at the real Jim Henson Company in Hollywood. It is the former site of Charlie Chaplin’s studios. Old photos of Chaplin standing outside can be found online, with much of the buildings still looking the same.
LOCATION: 1416 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Muppets Theater is the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.
LOCATION: 6838 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The exterior gate of Kermit’s mansion is located in Encino.
LOCATION: 4545 White Oak Ave, Encino, CA 91316
The interior of Kermit’s mansion was filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. While the outside of the Greystone grounds is open daily and free to the public, opportunities to tour inside are somewhat rare. 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
Filming for the 2002 Steven Spielberg sci-fi film “Minority Report,” starring Tom Cruise, took place mostly around Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Virginia. In one action scene, a chase on rocket-packs occurs in front of this building. This is actually part of the Warner Bros. backlot in Burbank, California. The same building was seen in the 1994 Jim Carrey comedy, “The Mask.”
LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
The Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California ran an exhibit entitled “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles Of Science Fiction and Fantasy” from May 2019 through May 2020. Included on display were some vehicles from the film.
As a manhunt ensues for John Anderton, played by Tom Cruise, as he is chased by Agent Danny Witwer, played by Colin Farrell. As the chase enters a car factory, Witwer watches as this “2054” Lexus Coupe is assembled around Anderton, who immediately drives it off and escapes.
LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
As Anderton drives this “2054” Lexus Maglev Pod, a computer controlled iris recognition system spots him and stops the vehicle. As police pursue, Anderton escapes out the window.
As Anderton tries to evade police in a mall, an advertisement plays for this “2054” Lexus Roadster.
The 1984 film “Gremlins” was shot mostly at Warner Bros Studios in Burbank, California. In the opening of the film, set in Chinatown, Mr. Peltzer emerges from this alley. This was filmed on the Warner Bros. Studios Lot.
LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
Here is the Mogwai shop, also located on the Warner Backlot.
LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
The Peltzer house can be found over at the Warner Bros. Ranch. The ranch is located separate from the main Warner Bros. Studio lot and is unfortunately not open to public tours.
LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505
Kate, played by Phoebe Cates, lives at this house, located back at the main Warner lot.
When word began to spread that Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood” would be using practical set dressing to convert Los Angeles back to 1969 block by block, we knew this rare occurrence was something we should capture as much as possible for the fleeting moments it took place.
We typically avoid visiting filming locations while a project is in active production. There are so many moving pieces, restricted areas and things in the way, it almost always proves best to wait until a production has left. However, this film proved to be an exception. Documenting the locations in real time made for a much different, more challenging process. Some areas, such as Hollywood Blvd, were lined with large crowds actively watching for nights on end. Other places, such as the Spahn Ranch set, were quite low profile and known to very few. The locations were so impressive, we’ve deviated a bit from our usual format to show some set dressing and behind the scenes photos. Not everything made it to camera, so we thought it was worthwhile to showcase the level of detail that went into the project. While there are some minor spoilers in this article, we did our best to avoid any major ones.
The early scenes of Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt, on the set of “Bounty Law” were filmed at Melody Ranch in Newhall, California. This is not Tarantino’s first time filming at Melody Ranch. Some scenes from”Django Unchained” were also filmed there. Melody Ranch does offer tours to the public, which is a rarity among movie ranches in Southern California. However, the challenge is that it’s a very popular filming location, often booked for months at a time. There are only a few opportunities a year you can successfully book a tour and it is typically on very short notice. Here’s a look at several buildings seen in the film during the “Bounty Law” advertisement.
LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321
Rick and Cliff sit down for an interview along the boardwalk in front of this building. The interior was used extensively as the brothel where Thandie Newton’s character works in “Westworld.” The interior of this building was also featured in Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” where Dr. King Schulz has a confrontation with the sheriff.
Rick and Cliff head to Musso & Frank Grill to meet Marvin Schwarzs, played by Al Pacino. Musso & Frank Grill is the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, founded over 100 years ago. The restaurant has popped up in numerous films, including “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Ed Wood” and “Swingers,” as well as the TV shows “Mad Men” and “Bosch.”
LOCATION: 6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Rick and Cliff sit at the bar when Marvin first arrives.
After the meeting, Rick and Cliff head to the parking lot in back and have a quick chat in front of this sign.
The flashback of Rick crashing his car is in front of the Frolic Room on Hollywood Blvd. The same bar was used in such films as “L.A. Confidential” and “The Little Things.”
LOCATION: 6245 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Rick Dalton lives on Cielo Drive next door to Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie. The real entrance to Cielo Dr is seen multiple times in the film. The houses seen in the film are not actually located on the real Cielo, but the Tate house is a pretty close representation of what was there in 1969. Most of Cielo is actually public, but the path up to the former Tate residence is private. The entrance area seen in the film is visible from the public portion of the road.
LOCATION: Cielo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The actual home used as the exterior for Rick Dalton’s house can be found in a cul-de-sac in Studio City. It’s actually one of three locations used in the film to composite Rick’s home, as each of the individual locations lacked specific features needed for the story. The Studio City home was used extensively, however, with many scenes recognizable to it. Unlike Cielo Dr, Alto View Dr is a public road.
LOCATION: 10969 Alta View Dr, Studio City, CA 91604
The driveway is featured in many scenes in the film, with a large painting of Rick placed on the left side.
Here is the front entrance of the home. The door was painted green in the film.
Rick’s pool overlooking the city is a real pool at the home.
Here is an alternate view of the pool, along with the area where Rick stores his flamethrower.
As Rick is memorizing his lines for an upcoming role at his pool, the camera shifts over to the Tate/Polanski house, which is a geographically accurate shot.
The house next door serves as the home of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. The home is a departure from how the real house on Cielo appeared, but it serves Tarantino’s story well.
LOCATION: 10974 Alta View Dr, Studio City, CA 91604
Here is a view of Rick Dalton’s house on the right and the Tate/Polanski gate on the left.
Here’s a closer look at the gate to the Tate residence.
Here is the area where Charles Manson, played by Damon Herriman, parks a Twinkies delivery truck. Cliff observes him from the roof as he goes looking for Terry Melcher.
Here is the road leading into the cul-de-sac of the Dalton and Tate/Polanski residences, which is seen a few times in the film.
After dropping Rick off at his home, Cliff drives at high speeds down Hollywood Blvd as he heads home.
LOCATION: Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Here is Brad Pitt waiving to the crowd on the street.
Tarantino acknowledging the crowd of onlookers as well.
Here’s a deeper look at the set dressing around Hollywood Blvd, which was completely transformed back to 1969 for the film.
Cliff’s trailer, supposedly located on the grounds of the Van Nuys Drive-In Theatre (a real drive-in theater long since closed), was a combination of two locations. The drive-in sign was built by the production at the Saugus Speedway in Santa Clarita, which now serves as the site of the Santa Clarita Swap Meet. Cliff drives past the white fencing and enters here.
LOCATION: 22500 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91350
The camera cranes up over the sign, which was a creation of the production and we’re seamlessly transported to a second location. The drive-in itself is the Paramount Drive-In Theaters.
LOCATION: 7770 Rosecrans Ave, Paramount, CA 90723
Sharon Tate and husband Roman Polanski attend a party at the Playboy Mansion. This was filmed at the real Playboy Mansion. The property sits in a residential neighborhood and if you didn’t know what you were looking for, it would be very easy to drive past without any idea. It should be noted this is a private residence and from the street you can mostly just see the front gate.
LOCATION: 10236 Charing Cross Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
The scene where Cliff fights Bruce Lee supposedly takes place on a studio backlot. In reality, it was filmed at a high school, with heavy set dressing added to make it appear like a backlot. The school is Excelsior High School in Norwalk, which was also featured in the film “Grease 2.” Cliff sits outside of Rick’s trailer, which is parked in this lot. Randy, played by Kurt Russell, speaks with Rick in his trailer and reluctantly agrees to hire Cliff onto the stunt team.
LOCATION: 15711 Pioneer Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650
Here is the area where the fight between Cliff and Bruce Lee takes place.
Janet, played by Zoë Bell, comes across the two men sparring and insists Cliff be fired on the spot.
The Manson Family girls are introduced digging through the dumpsters at the Super A Foods market. The same market was seen in the films “A Star Is Born” and “Crossroads.”
LOCATION: 2924 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065
It’s difficult to see, but the actresses playing the Manson girls, including Harley Quinn Smith, are gathered by the dumpster in the center of this shot.
The Manson girls then walk away with their haul, making their way past this mural of James Dean from the film “Giant.” This was located at a pharmacy just across the street from the Super A Foods market. It was added by the production and is unfortunately no longer painted on the actual location.
LOCATION: 2922 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Here’s a look at some more of the shoot from Super A Foods.
While driving, Cliff spots Pussycat, played by Margaret Qualley, sitting in front of the Pandora’s Box nightclub looking for a ride. Pandora’s Box was a real nightclub in West Hollywood, which was at the center of protests over a curfew in 1966. The building was eventually demolished in 1967. For the film, the production recreated the former nightclub at Jospeh’s Cafe on Ivar Ave. Here’s a view of when the production was setting up for the scene.
LOCATION: 1775 Ivar Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
From the reverse view at the same location, Cliff can be seen in his car with the Capitol Records building in the background.
Here’s a couple more shots from when the Pandora’s Box shoot was prepping.
Sharon stops by the Bruin Theater to watch herself in the film “The Wrecking Crew” with Dean Martin. The Bruin is still in operation, though the marquee is now digital. Fatboy Slim’s music video for “Praise You” shot in front of the same theater.
LOCATION: 948 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
The Fox Theater right across the street is also seen in several shots.
LOCATION: 961 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Here’s a closer look at the Fox Theater, with the finished marquee for the film.
Here is the view across the street from the Bruin Theater, when it was dressed for filming.
Here is the exterior of the book store Sharon Tate visits. It’s not a book store in realty, but this is what it looked like when it was fully dressed.
LOCATION: 10909 Weyburn Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
This travel agency was also seen in the film. It was another creation of the production and not an actual travel agency.
Here are some more views of the area when production was in progress.
Cliff takes Rick down Hollywood Blvd and they pass the famous Pantages Theater.
LOCATION:6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Cliff runs into Pussycat once again in front of Jackalope Pottery in North Hollywood.
LOCATION: 10726 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
Here is the area when filming was taking place. It was overflowing with crew at the corner.
Just across the street, Quentin Tarantino stood on the right, along with Rick Dalton’s car on the street.
Pussycat takes Cliff to Spahn Ranch, which was a very accurate recreation built at Corriganville Park in Simi Valley. Originally the production hoped to film at the real Spahn Ranch, but due to the fact that the entrances were bulldozed over, it made the land difficult for building sets. Much like Spahn Ranch, the nearby Corriganville is also a former movie ranch which hosted many westerns in during the 1950s and 1960s, before being destroyed by widlfires. The land now operates as a public park, but there are many signs explaining the land’s film history and the frames of the old buildings are still in the ground.
The Spahn Ranch set took a couple months to build, but when it was finished, it shot very quickly and was demolished just a few weeks later. Having done plenty of research on the real Spahn Ranch and The Manson Family long before this film was ever announced, we were quite well versed in the subject matter. Standing in person at what was a near exact, full scale replica of Spahn Ranch remains one of the most memorable location experiences we’ve ever had. The production design and attention to detail was incredible. If you go there now, it’s empty land again, but here we’ll take a look at when the set existed.
LOCATION: 7001 Smith Rd, Simi Valley, CA 93063 (Spahn Ranch sets now demolished)
George Spahn’s house plays a key role in the scene, as Cliff insists on speaking with the old man, played by Bruce Dern.
Some more views of the Spahn house.
Here is a view of the front of the Spahn set, including the famous truck. The signs for the Longhorn Saloon and Rock City Cafe are spot on to the original ranch.
Here is the horse stable area where Clem sits on the fence.
Here are some more views around the ranch.
Rick is photographed with a new love interest in tow at a restaurant, supposedly located in Rome, Italy. This is actually the Cicada Restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. The interior is also seen in another scene of Marvin Schwarz calling Rick as he sits at the bar. The restaurant has been featured in numerous films, such as “Mank” “Pretty Woman,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “Indecent Proposal” and “Bruce Almighty,” as well as such TV shows as “Mad Men, “The Morning Show” and “American Horror Story.”
LOCATION: 617 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Rick returns from Italy with his costar. The couple is seen walking past the wall tiles of Terminal 6 at LAX Airport. These tiles can be found along the pedestrian tunnel in the lower level and are only accessible to airline passengers and staff, as they make their way to baggage claim or the exits. Tarantino also filmed Pam Grier in this area in the opening of “Jackie Brown.”
LOCATION: Terminal 6, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (lower level, arrivals area)
In the third act, a montage of businesses are shown turning on their neon lights as night falls, leading up to the conclusion of the film.
An old Taco Bell is also shown. This was located much further south in Tunstin. The building was abandoned and the production came and made it look like an operational Taco Bell from 1969.
LOCATION: 14232 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780
The famous Cinerama Dome in Hollywood is seen next.
LOCATION: 6360 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Vine Theater on Hollywood Blvd is also seen. This was part of the production design for when Cliff is seen driving home early in the film.
LOCATION: 6321 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Supply Sergeant sign is also seen illuminating. This remains an active business on Hollywood Blvd.
LOCATION: 6664 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Chili John’s in Burbank is also briefly seen.
LOCATION: 2018 W Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506
Der Wienerschnitzel is actually a taco stand today, which the production altered to make it appear like it did back in the 1960s.
LOCATION: 1910 W Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90810
Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski have dinner that evening at the El Coyote restaurant. This is where the real people ate that night and the film shot at the actual location.
LOCATION: 7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Here is a view of the front entrance of El Coyote, which remains in business to this day.
Rick and Cliff have dinner at the same evening at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks.
LOCATION: 13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
The location actually appears twice in the film, with one of the booths inside also standing in as a restaurant supposedly in Spain.
We leave you with Quentin Tarantino’s hand and foot prints in front of the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. While in no way a filming location, we felt it was nevertheless fitting to include.
LOCATION: 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
It was a unique experience walking through 1969 with the production and we hope these photos help you share in that experience. There’s actually many locations we captured where the production shot, but were not featured in the final film. Perhaps there will be a longer or alternate cut someday. For now, we’ll keep to the places that made it into the film.