Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood (2019)

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.

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LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321

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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.”

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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.”

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LOCATION: 6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Rick and Cliff sit at the bar when Marvin first arrives.

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After the meeting, Rick and Cliff head to the parking lot in back and have a quick chat in front of this sign.

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The flashback of Rick crashing his car is in front of the Frolic Room on Hollywood Blvd.  The same bar was used in the film “L.A. Confidential.”

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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.

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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.

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LOCATION: 10969 Alta View Dr, Studio City, CA 91604

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The driveway is featured in many scenes in the film, with a large painting of Rick placed on the left side.

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Here is the front entrance of the home.  The door was painted green in the film.

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Rick’s pool overlooking the city is a real pool at the home.

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The house next door plays a key role as well, serving as the home of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski.  The layout is a notable departure from how the real house entrance on Cielo appeared, but it serves Tarantino’s story well.

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LOCATION: 10974 Alta View Dr, Studio City, CA 91604

Here’s a closer look at the gate to the Tate residence.

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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.

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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.

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After dropping Rick off at his home, Cliff drives at high speeds down Hollywood Blvd as he heads home.

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LOCATION: Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Here is Brad Pitt waiving to the crowd on the street.

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Tarantino acknowledging the crowd of onlookers as well.

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Here’s a deeper look at the set dressing around Hollywood Blvd, which was completely transformed back to 1969 for the film.

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Cliff’s trailer, supposedly located on the grounds of the Van Nuys Drive-In Theatre, 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.

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LOCATION: 22500 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

The drive-in itself is the Paramount Drive-In Theaters (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.

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LOCATION: 10236 Charing Cross Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

The Manson Family girls are introduced digging through the dumpsters at the Super A Foods market.  The same market was seen in “A Star Is Born.”

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LOCATION: 2924 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065

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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.

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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.

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LOCATION: 2922 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065

Here’s a look at some more of the shoot from Super A Foods.

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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.

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LOCATION: 1775 Ivar Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Here’s a couple more shots from when the Pandora’s Box shoot was prepping.

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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.

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LOCATION: 948 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

The Fox Theater right across the street is also seen in several shots.

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LOCATION: 961 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Here’s a closer look at the Fox Theater, with the finished marquee for the film.

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Here is the view across the street from the Bruin Theater, when it was dressed for filming.

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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.

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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.

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Here are some more views of the area when production was in progress.

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Cliff takes Rick down Hollywood Blvd and they pass the famous Pantages Theater.

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LOCATION: 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Cliff runs into Pussycat once again in front of Jackalope Pottery in North Hollywood.

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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.

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Just across the street, Quentin Tarantino stood on the right, along with Rick Dalton’s car on the street.

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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.

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LOCATION: 7001 Smith Rd, Simi Valley, CA 93063 (Spahn Ranch sets now demolished)

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George Spahn’s house plays a key role in the scene, as Cliff insists on speaking with the old man, played by Bruce Dern.

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Some more views of the Spahn house.

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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.

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Here is the horse stable area where Clem sits on the fence.

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Here are some more views around the ranch.

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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.

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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.”

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LOCATION: Terminal 6, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (lower level, arrivals area)

In the third act, a montage of businesses are shown leading up to the end of the film, including the famous Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 6360 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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.

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LOCATION: 14232 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780

Chili John’s in Burbank is also briefly seen.

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LOCATION: 2018 W Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (2003)

Grandma’s Boy (2006)

The 2006 Adam Sandler produced comedy “Grandma’s Boy” filmed around Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.  Alex, played by Allen Covert, lives here with his friend Josh.

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LOCATION: 918 E Edgeware Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Dante, played by Peter Dante, lives in this Burbank home.

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LOCATION: 5104 Ledge Ave, Burbank, CA 91505

Jeff, played by Nick Swardson, lives in this Toluca Lake home.

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 LOCATION: 4649 Sancola Ave, Toluca Lake, CA 91602

Grandma Lilly’s home can be found in the Angelino Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, just across the street from the houses from Michael Jackon’s “Thriller” music video and the TV show “Charmed” (this house was also used in the film “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo”).

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LOCATION: 1324 Carroll Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026

The boys grab a bite at the original Tommy’s hamburgers, a popular and long-running L.A. establishment.

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LOCATION: 2575 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

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Samantha, played by Linda Cardellini, lives at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.  While the address is on S Grand Ave, the side seen in the film faces S Olive St near Pershing Square.

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LOCATION: 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071 (rear entrance facing S Olive St)

Too Old To Die Young

“Too Old to Die Young” from director Nicolas Winding Refn is, depending on how you look at it, either a TV series or a long film.  Refn himself prefers to view it as the latter.  Most of the production took place around the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, with some additional filming in New Mexico.  Here we’ll cover the locations episode by episode.  Some locations of course appear over multiple episodes.  This article contains many spoilers for the show, so please do not proceed unless you’ve seen it in it’s entirety.

Volume 1 – “The Devil”

The first episode opens with Martin Jones, played by Miles Teller and his partner Larry, played by Lance Gross, standing in front of this mural along the side of a taco restaurant in Studio City.

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LOCATION: 11401 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91602

Here is a wider view of the side of the building.

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Also seen in the opening scene is this sports bar, located directly next to the taco restaurant.

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LOCATION: 11411 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91602

Unbeknownst to Martin and Larry, they are being watched from across the street by Jesus, played by Augusto Aguilera.

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Martin and Larry pull over a young woman in the parking lot of a largely abandoned shopping plaza in North Hollywood sometimes referred to as the Valley Plaza.  The area is becoming a popular filming location, having also recently appeared in “Captain Marvel.”  The Blockbuster Video store where Carol Danvers first arrives is one of the store fronts in the background.

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LOCATION: Near the intersection of Sylvian St / Vantage Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (directly across from 12200 Sylvan St, North Hollywood, CA 91606)

The police car is parked in the area to the left near the tree.

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After taking money from the girl they’ve pulled over, they let her go and Larry walks over towards a restaurant called “The Lone Drifter.”  This is not a real establishment, rather a vacant building dressed up by the production.  It too was seen in “Captain Marvel,” dressed as a music venue called “The Slow Club,” where Carol makes a call at a payphone.

Jesus is parked just beside the building, where he approaches and shoots Larry.  The fire hydrant to the right is where Larry’s cell phone is recovered.

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LOCATION: 2124 Sylvan St, North Hollywood, CA 91606

Martin returns fire on Jesus with the Regency Valley Plaza theater seen in the background.

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After the shooting, Jesus escapes driving down Sylvian St and turning right onto Laurel Canyon Blvd.  Martin calls in the shooting and surprisingly states the actual location of the scene to dispatch, rather than a fictionalized address, which is a somewhat rare occurrence in film and television.

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The police station where Martin works, seen frequently throughout the show, is the Sunkist Headquarters building in Sherman Oaks.  It is seen mostly from interior views in the show.

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LOCATION: 14130 Riverside Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

The building faces the 101 freeway and Westfield shopping mall, both of which are seen through the windows in various scenes.

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Not far from the police station, Martin parks here and walks to a payphone to call Damian, played by Babs Olusanmokun.  This area is the rear parking lot behind a shoe repair and dry cleaners, looking out over a gas station and bank building.  There is no actual payphone there.

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LOCATION: 13644 Riverside Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (rear parking lot)

Damian runs his operation out of an ice skating rink in Van Nuys.  The location appears many times in the show, from a variety of angles both from the interior and exterior.  Here is the front entrance.

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LOCATION: 14318 Calvert St, Van Nuys, CA 91401

In one scene, Martin is seen approaching past this sign.

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The parking lot is featuring in several scenes.  First, Martin meets Damian to say he only wants to kill those who have committed horrible acts.  In later episodes, Damian slices fruit with a sword and a would-be assassin named Gameboy watches as Damian and his crew perform a peculiar dance to “Ten Commandments” by Prince Buster.

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Here is the corner where Devante, Jaime and Gameboy all stake out Damian’s ice rink.

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LOCATION: Calvert St / Tyrone Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91401

Gameboy mistakenly takes out the wrong man, killing Celestino.  He attempts to speed off, but Damian returns fire and kills him in the street.

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Martin’s apartment can be found in Sherman Oaks.

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LOCATION: 14426 Addison St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Later, when Martin returns home with Janey, played by Nell Tiger Free, Damian and his crew are waiting on this street corner, where they violently persuade Martin to become a hitman for them.

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LOCATION: Addison St / Tilden Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Martin pays a visit to Amanda’s apartment in North Hollywood to pay her money.

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LOCATION: 6837 Fulton Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91605

As Martin goes to perform the hit ordered by Damian, he parks at this liquor store.

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LOCATION: 12500 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91604

His target is a man inside this auto shop.

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LOCATION: 4350 Whitsett Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

Once inside, he finds the man nude on a couch and the two engage in a physical battle before Martin gets the upper hand.

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Volume 2 – “The Lovers”

Don Ricardo’s estate, where much of episode 2 takes places, is the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley.  The property regularly hosts weddings and special events.  It is otherwise a private estate, however, only allowing guests by appointment.  The only road leading to the ranch is typically gated shut with no trespassing signs, making it unfortunately closed to the public.  The property has also appeared in Oliver Stone’s “Savages,” “Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher and in the second season of “True Detective.”

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LOCATION: 2940 Kuehner Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93063

Volume 3 – “The Hermit”

In episode 3, the character of Viggo, played by John Hawkes, is introduced.  As he is transporting a dead body in his trunk, he suddenly runs out of gas.  He pulls over to this alley in Van Nuys.

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LOCATION: 14524 Hamlin St, Van Nuys, CA 91411

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Not thinking clearly, Viggo locks himself out of his car.  In the neighboring parking lot, gunshots suddenly ring out as an unrelated crime takes place.  Viggo decides to escape on foot, leaving the key with his fingerprint inside the car.  The next morning Martin arrives and discovers the key, putting him on the trail of Viggo.

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LOCATION: 6417 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401 (rear parking lot)

Diana, played by Jena Malone, orchestrates Viggo’s targets and regularly meets with him at the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center.  The pool has a picturesque mountain range spanning the backdrop.  It is depicted as quiet and isolated in the show, but in reality, it’s a popular spot for families to visit.

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LOCATION: 11798 Foothill Blvd, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342

The slide at the pool is also seen in a later episode when the two once again meet up and talk.

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Martin visits the family of an abused boy to gather more information on Viggo.

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LOCATION: 6616 Langdon Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Janey forces a bartender to serve her a drink despite knowing she is underage.  Most of the scene is out of focus, but when she exits the building, it is revealed to be a bar inside Highland Park Bowl.

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LOCATION: 5621 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Here is a view of the full exterior, although it is never seen from this angle in the show.

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Janey then walks over to meet her father at an art gallery.  This is geographically accurate, as the location really is just a few doors down from the bar.  It is seen only from interior views in the scene.

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LOCATION: 5601 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Martin finally tracks down Viggo and follows him to his mother’s house in Sylmar.

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LOCATION: 11370 Clybourn Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342

Martin then follows Viggo to the Northridge Fashion Center, which leads him to Diana.  Viggo is seen driving up this ramp.  To access the exact area seen in the film, you need to go to Nordhoff St and turn into the lot near Sears.  The ramp is on the left and will take you to the upper lot where the scene was shot.

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LOCATION: 9301 Tampa Ave, Northridge, CA 91324

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Viggo parks along the wall on the right, while Diana parks beside the lamppost in the foreground.  Martin photographs them from afar, looking at this angle.

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Martin is told to meet Damian at a strip mall near the house.  Damian gives him a key to enter the house of his next target.  The plaza can be found in Studio City.

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LOCATION: 11308 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Volume 4 – “The Tower”

Martin’s next target is a Korean man that he tracks down at this burger restaurant in Burbank.

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LOCATION: 2320 W Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

Martin follows the man and he pulls over here to eat a burger.  As Martin pulls the gun, he finds himself conflicted about whether the man really deserves death and decides to find an alternate solution.  Once again, the route they drive is geographically accurate and just a short distance from the burger restaurant.

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LOCATION: 2301 W Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

Volume 5 – “The Fool”

Episode 5 was filmed on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We do not yet have specific location information at this time.

Volume 6 – “The High Priestess”

Back in the Valley, Alfonso attempts to get in the good graces of Jesus by ordering a hit on Damian.  He visits Devante at this auto shop in Van Nuys and hires him to perform the hit for $6,000.

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LOCATION: 14101 Oxnard St, Van Nuys, CA 91401

Devante then outsources the job to Jaime for $2,000, who in turn outsources the hit to a junkie named Gameboy for $200 and some crystal meth.  Gameboy stops by this apartment and does some drugs, tearing the photo of his target in two in the process and mixing up Damian with Celestino.  The address is on Bakman Ave in North Hollywood, but the view seen in the show is actually the back side of the building, on an unnamed road next to the electrical towers.

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LOCATION: 6607 Bakman Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (rear side of the building on an unnamed road)

Gameboy is then seen passing the electrical towers and turning down Kittridge St to go kill Damian.  Things do not go as planned.

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Volume 7 – “The Magician”

Janey’s father Theo, played by William Baldwin, takes Martin to a screening room, where he plays a scene of a show within a show.  The scene is very meta, mimicking the scene from episode 1 where Martin and Larry pull over a woman.  This was filmed at an auto shop very close to the location of the final scene in the show.

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LOCATION: 5547 Satsuma Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601

After Viggo helps Martin dispose of a body, Martin asks him to pull over as he vomits.

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LOCATION: 8981 Bradley Ave, Sun Valley, CA 91352

Volume 8 – “The Hanged Man”

Martin and Viggo’s next target takes them to an abandoned shopping mall.  This is the former Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Center.  The plaza has been abandoned for years, with on-again, off-again plans for demolition.  In the meantime, it has become a popular spot for filming and photography.  It has been seen in such films at “Gone Girl,” “Minority Report” and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” as well as the TV series “Westworld.”  The building is closed to the public and regularly patrolled by security, so unless you have permission from the city or someone filming, it is trespassing to enter the grounds.  It is a popular spot for abandon building enthusiasts, however, and quite a few people have managed to get inside over the years.

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LOCATION: 12124 Hawthorne Blvd, Hawthorne, CA 90250 (closed to the public)

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The High Priestess of Death executes everyone in sight at the Sierra Pelona Motel in Santa Clarita.  The motel was also used in the 2002 Britney Spears film “Crossroads” and is located very close to the restaurant from “Duel.”  The phone booth was not a prop and really exists at the motel.

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LOCATION: 12117 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

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Most of the killings take place in front of rooms 3 and 4.

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Volume 9 – “The Empress”

In the penultimate episode, Diana has a vision which changes her eyes.  She visits a mysterious woman to explain her vision and fix her eyes.  All of the decor seen in the front of the shop is real and was not a flourish of the production.  This location is right across the street from the scene in episode 1 where Martin and Larry pull over the young woman.

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LOCATION: 6316 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606

Diana makes her way out to the back of the building to speak to the woman.

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Volume 10 – “The World”

In the final episode, Yuritza makes her presence known as the High Priestess of Death.  She sits at the corner of Satsuma Ave and Cumpston St.  This is on the same street as the show within a show that Theo plays for Martin in his screening room.

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LOCATION: Satsuma Ave / Cumpston St, North Hollywood, CA 91601

The final scenes were filmed at the Limelight West, an event space in North Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 5453 Satsuma Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Related articles: Drive (2011)

Small Soldiers (1998)

In the 1998 Joe Dante film “Small Soldiers,” Alan’s house was not actually a real house, rather a set constructed on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The set was built specifically for the film, but remains standing to this day and has since been used for other productions, including “Pleasantville” and the TV series “Pushing Daisies.”

This Warner Bros. Ranch is separate from the main Warner backlot and unfortunately not open to public tours at this time.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Another set from the film, The Inner Child toy store, is located over on the main studio lot of Warner Bros. and can in fact be seen on their studio tour.  The building was famously later used as the coffee shop where Emma Stone works in “La La Land.”

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Related articles: Matinee (1993), The ‘Burbs (1989)

Jurassic Park (1993)

Steven Spielberg’s classic 1993 film “Jurassic Park” takes place on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, supposedly near Costa Rica.  The real locations were filmed mostly in Hawaii, on the islands of Kauaʻi, O’ahu and Maui, with some additional scenes filmed on studio lots near Hollywood, California.

Early in the film, Nedry, played by Wayne Knight, meets Dodgson at an outdoor dining area, supposedly located in San Jose, Costa Rica.  The real location is just off the Kuhio Highway in Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi.  There are numerous food trucks there where motorists can stop and enjoy local food.  This is the spot where Dodgson first arrives by the side of the road.

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LOCATION: 4-1620 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, HI 96746

This is the general area where Nedry and Dodgson sit and discuss plans to steal dinosaur DNA from InGen and sell it to a rival company.  As you can see, the area has changed a little bit.  While there are tables you can sit and eat, they are closer to the road at the food trucks.  In the film, the two sit further back near the palm trees.

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One of the most memorable scenes in the film is of course the first dinosaur sighting.  For years, it also remained one of the most elusive locations to fans.  The brachiosaurus encounter was filmed at Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi.  The land is a private ranch for horse, sheep and cattle.  For decades, it did not offer tours of any kind and only a select few ever made it onto the property.  That changed in 2019, when the ranch began offering public tours for the first time, including a tour dedicated to filming locations around the ranch.  Besides the original film, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Jurassic Park III” and “Jurassic World” also filmed at the ranch.

Here is where Hammond (Richard Attenborough) rides with Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie (Laura Dern) and Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in the Jeeps, as they first approach a hill towards the brachiosaurus.

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LOCATION: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, 5-1771D, Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, HI 96754

The vehicles continue driving past this row of trees.

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Here is the exact spot where they first see the brachiosaurus.  It is eating from the tree on the right.  As iconic as this scene is, the ranch itself is so vast, it would be quite easy to miss if you didn’t know the general vicinity.  However, once you’re there, if you know the film, it’s very identifiable.

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As Grant sits on the ground bewildered by what he’s just seen, he looks the opposite direction and sees a herd of dinosaurs at a lake.  This is made to appear as if it’s right near the trees where the first brachiosaurus is seen, but in reality is a completely different part of the ranch.  Visual effects were used to composite the actors into the shot, to appear to be overlooking the lake.

This was filmed at the Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir, located on the ranch.  After a breach of the nearby Ka Loko Reservoir in 2006, located about 2 miles east of the ranch, the owners decided to decommission the Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir in 2009 and downsize it into a lake.  This is how it appears now.

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If you get a chance to visit Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi, we certainly encourage you to do so if you’re a fan of the film.  There are other, very recognizable locations from the other “Jurassic Park” films to be seen there as well.  The staff is very friendly and welcoming to photography and video and eager for fan input on how to improve the experience.  With the ranch now open to tours, it will likely grow as a tourist hot spot in the years to come.

Later in the film, a storm arrives on the island, which was filmed at Nawiliwili Harbor in Kauaʻi.  The very real Hurricane Iniki hit Kauaʻi during filming in 1992.  Spielberg and the cast were safely holed up at the Marriott Resort in Lihue when the hurricane struck.  The hurricane resulted in many scenes initially planned for filming in Kauaʻi to be shifted to O’ahu, as well as the studio lots in California.  However, they managed to use footage of the actual hurricane in the film, taken at the hotel looking out over the harbor.  If you don’t want to visit the hotel, there is a nearby park, from which the harbor can also be seen pretty well.

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LOCATION: Nawiliwili Harbor, Lihue, HI 96766 (seen near 3610 Rice St, Lihue, HI 96766)

The T-rex attack was filmed at Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, California, on their tallest sound stage.  The T-rex chasing Malcolm and Ellie was originally intended to be shot in Kauaʻi, however.  Due to the hurricane, this scene was also shifted to the Warner lot and can sometimes be seen on their studio tours, depending on the production schedules around the lot.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Perhaps the most widely known location for this film is Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.  The Gallimimus stampede, with Grant and the two children, was not initially intended to be filmed at Kualoa Ranch.  Instead it was meant to be another location in Kauaʻi.  Kualoa was a replacement location, due to the hurricane.  Here is the main valley at the ranch, where the stampede takes place.

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LOCATION: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Another view where Grant and the children are running.

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The ranch still has a small piece of the original fallen tree they hide behind as the T-rex hunts and eats the Gallimimus.  They added a sign for the film and it has since become the most popular photo location on the ranch.  It’s right next to the main tour trail, so it’s very easy to access.

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These mountains were seen in the background as Grant and the kids hide and watch the T-rex.

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While “Jurassic Park” was not the first movie to film at Kualoa, it certainly became the most famous.  After this film, countless other films, TV shows, commercials and music videos began filming on the ranch, bringing with it quite a lot of tourism.  The ranch has so many filming locations, it’s almost like a studio tour.  There are a wide variety of tours available at the ranch, many of which are not film related.  While the locations from this film can be seen on quite a few of the tours, we recommend the Premier Movie Site Tour, as it takes you to many locations from other films that are only seen on that particular tour.

If you get a chance to visit Hawaii, there are quite a few “Jurassic Park” locations to be seen.  Some are quite a challenge to visit, however, involving hiking or private helicopter rides as the only way to reach them.  For the casual fan, we recommend Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi and Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.  Both offer spectacular views and very recognizable locations from multiple different “Jurassic Park” films.  As a reminder, these are private ranches closed to the general public for unauthorized experiences.  Please do not trespass.  The only way to see them is by booking a tour.

Related articles: Jurassic World (2015)

The Partridge Family

The house from the 1970s sitcom “The Partridge Family” can be found on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank. This studio lot is separate from the main Warner backlot and unfortunately not open to public tours at this time.  The house has since changed a bit in appearance, due to being used for an explosion during the filming of “Lethal Weapon.”  The same house can be seen in “The Monster Squad.”

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Bewitched

The house from the classic TV series “Bewitched” can be found at the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is a small lot located apart from the main studio lot and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  However, the design of this house is actually based on a real home, located at 267 18th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402, with the layout simply reversed for the ranch set.  While the Santa Monica home was never used on screen, it’s the closest version visible to the public.  The house set at the Warner Bros. Ranch was also used in the TV series “Gidget” and “The Geena Davis Show.”

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

For the 1989 sequel “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” most of the story is set in Chicago, Illinois, but production took place primarily in Burbank, California, with a few exteriors filmed in Chicago and Colorado.  The Griswold house is not a real house, rather a set on the Warner Bros. Ranch.  The ranch is located separate from the main Warner Bros. Studio lot and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  The house has since changed a bit, but still bears some resemblance.  The same house can be seen in “American Beauty,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Small Soldiers,” “Pleasantville” and more.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Just next to the Griswold house is the neighbors’ house of Todd and Margo, played by Nicholas Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  It too is a set, but of all the houses on the ranch, it has the most functional interior, having been used in many productions.  The house is mostly shown from side angles or close-ups, likely due to having been used in another popular film series at that time, “Lethal Weapon,” where it served as Danny Glover’s house.  Known as the Lindsay house, it has also appeared in “American Beauty“, The Three Stooges serials, “Pushing Daisies,” “The Middle” and many more.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Clark flirts with an attractive woman working at a department store, before his son busts him.  This was filmed at Bullocks Wilshire, a famous art deco building on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.  Once a luxury department store, the building now operates as a law school.  The building is only seen from interior views in the film.  While the inside is typically closed to the public, there are occasional public tour opportunities.  The building has also been seen in the films “The Aviator” and “Dunston Checks In,” the TV series “Moonlighting” and Areosmith’s music video for “Love in an Elevator,” as well many other productions.

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LOCATION: 3050 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Later in the film, Clark fantasizes about the same department store woman, undressing at a pool in his back yard.  The pool is also located at the Warner Bros Ranch.  While it is located fairly close to the Griswold house, it’s actually on the opposite side of the street (known as Blondie St), not in back of the house as depicted in the film.  If not for the trees in the background of the photo below, you could see the Griswold house in the distance.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Near the end of the film, Cousin Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, abducts Clark’s boss from his home after he stiffs his staff of their Christmas bonuses.  This was filmed at the Mattison Boyd Jones house in Glendale, California.  The house can be a bit tricky to see from the road, as the front of the property has a long fence with high shrubs and the driveway is gated.  However, from the right angle you can still catch a view.  Currently a private residence, the house has been seen in many television shows, primarily from the 70s and 80s, including “Flamingo Road,” “Columbo,” “Knight Rider” and “Emerald Point N.A.S.”

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LOCATION: 727 W Kenneth Rd, Glendale, CA 91202

Related articles: National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

The Monster Squad (1987)

The cult 1980s film “The Monster Squad” shot mostly on studio lots, but there are a couple real world locations.  One of those more memorable locations was the house of the “Scary German Guy.”  It could be found in Santa Monica, but as is often the case around Southern California, new owners came along, demolished the property and built a more modern house in it’s place.  Below is what it looked like before it was destroyed.

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LOCATION: 229 12th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402 (now demolished)

Sean’s house was a facade, located on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank.  This studio lot is separate from the main Warner backlot and unfortunately not open to public tours.  The appearance has since changed a bit, but the house still bears some resemblance to how it appeared in the film.  The same house was used in the 1970s TV series “The Partridge Family.”

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The climactic battle against the monsters was filmed on the main Warner backlot, which is of course open to tours.  The boys make their way to this church, which was also seen in another 1980s horror classic, “The Lost Boys.”

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Here is a wider view of the town square, which was also famously used as the fictional town of “Stars Hollow” in the TV show “Gilmore Girls.”

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Dracula stands in front of this house, which is another facade on the Warner lot.  The same home was seen in “Gremlins” and the TV series “Growing Pains.”

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Seeing the locations of “The Monster Squad” is a tricky proposition, as it involves a mixture of studio and real world locations, not all of which we covered here.  Whether you’re a nostalgic fan from the film’s initial release, or a new fan just discovering it for the first time, “The Monster Squad” continues to have an undeniable cult following.

American Beauty (1999)

It is common practice in Hollywood to film exteriors of homes on location, while filming interiors on studio lots.  For the 1999 Sam Mendes film, “American Beauty,” an unusual approach was taken to film the exteriors on a studio lot and the interiors in real locations.

Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, lives at this house, the exterior of which is located on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is a small lot located apart from the main studio lot, and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  The house is also well known for having been used as the Griswold home in 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”  It has also appeared in the films “Hocus Pocus,” “Small Soldiers,” “Pleasantville” and more.  As is often the case with houses on studio lots, the outer facade has since changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The interiors of Lester’s home were filmed at this house, located in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 11388 Homedale St, Los Angeles, CA 90049

To the right of the Bernham house at the Warner Bros. Ranch is the exterior of the Colonel’s house.  This house is most well known for being Danny Glover’s home in the “Lethal Weapon” films.  Known as the Lindsay house, it has also appeared in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” The Three Stooges serials, “Pushing Daisies,” “The Middle” and many more.  Once again, the outer facade has changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.  The interior of the Colonel’s house was filmed at 330 S Windsor Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90020.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

To the left of the Burnham house is the house of the two Jims, played by Scott Bakula and Sam Robards.  To stand on Blondie Street at the Warner Bros Ranch, where all three of the house exteriors are located, it really does feel like you’re standing in a real neighborhood.  It’s only when you approach up close that the facades begin to show.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Lester takes a job at a fast food restaurant, where his wife unknowingly visits him at the drive through.

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LOCATION: 20105 Saticoy St, Winnetka, CA 91306