Wild At Heart (1990)

The 1990 David Lynch film “Wild At Heart,” starring Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern, filmed in Southern California, New Orleans, Louisiana and El Paso, Texas. The opening scenes were filmed at the MacArthur in Los Angeles, formerly known as the Park Plaza Hotel. No longer a functioning hotel, the MacArthur today serves primarily as a property for hosting filming and special events.  However, it is under renovation with apparent plans to open a portion up once again as a hotel in 2022. While we have been inside the hotel, the Grand Staircase seen in the opening was crowded at the time and we weren’t able to get photos the way we wanted. You can find plenty of shots of it online, the staircase is located just through the lobby doors of the main entrance.

LOCATION: 607 S Park View St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

We did get better shots inside the restroom of the MacArthur, where Marietta Fortune, played by Diane Ladd, makes a pass at Sailor Ripley, played by Nicolas Cage. The same bathroom has appeared in such films as “Reservoir Dogs” and “Barton Fink.” It has since been remodeled a bit, but remains largely recognizable.

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The Pee Dee Correctional Institution, where Sailor is released from prison, is actually the property of the city’s Department of Water and Power.

LOCATION: 1630 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Lula, played by Laura Dern, picks up Sailor and they take off down Main Street.

Sailor and Lula drive past this restaurant as they travel across the country. The same restaurant was featured in the film “Duel,” as well as the TV series “Sharp Objects.”

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LOCATION: 12625 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

The interiors of Mr. Reindeer’s home were filmed at the Castle Green Apartments in Pasadena. Castle Green has been featured in countless films, such as “True Romance,” “The Sting,” “The Little Rascals,” “Deja Vu,” “Sneakers,” “Bugsy,” “The Last Samurai,” “Puppet Master” and many more.

LOCATION: 99 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

Lula nearly gets into an accident at the intersection of E 4th Pl and Mateo St.

LOCATION: E 4th Pl / Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

Sailor tells Lula he’s leaving near the intersection of Naud St / Wilhardt St. This is located very close to the Pee Dee Correctional Institution location.

LOCATION: 1709 Naud St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

As Sailor is walking, some gang members approach him. He insults them and gets attacked.

LOCATION: E 2nd St / S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Sailor runs back to Lula, jumping on top of cars in a traffic jam along Banning St, very close to the above location. The large building behind him is no longer there. Sailor sings “Love Me Tender” to Lula near the intersection of Banning St and N Vignes St.

LOCATION: Near Banning St / N Vignes St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Related articles: Lost Highway (1997), Mullholland Drive (2001), Twin Peaks

Mullholland Drive (2001)

Given the title, it’s a given that David Lynch’s 2001 film “Mullholland Drive,” like many of his other films, is based around Los Angeles.  When Betty, played by Naomi Watts, first arrives in L.A., she stays at this apartment complex.

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LOCATION: 450 N Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

In the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles, you’ll find the “Sierra Bonita” apartments, where Diane lives.  Located just a few blocks from the original site of Walt Disney Studios, the eight cottages are said to have inspired the animation designs for the dwarf houses in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

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Diane’s apartment unit used in the film is the cottage closest to Griffith Park Blvd, to the left of the front gate.

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LOCATION: 2900 Griffith Park Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The iconic Pink’s Hot Dogs is seen where the hitman speaks with a prostitute.

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LOCATION: 709 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

The Winkie’s Diner on Sunset Blvd is not actually on Sunset or even in Hollywood.  The building can actually be found in the city of Gardena.  The “Winkie’s” name was also created by the filmmakers.  The real restaurant was at one time a Denny’s, before later becoming Caesar’s Restaurant.  It currently sits vacant.

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LOCATION: 1016 W El Segundo Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

In one of the film’s more unsettling scenes, Dan, played by Patrick Fischler, is haunted by the image of a man behind a wall in the back lot of the restaurant.  He makes his way down the sidewalk and stairs to the wall behind the restaurant, to face his nightmare.

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As he approaches the wall, he collapses when he sees the man in his nightmares personified.  As you can see, the wall appears a bit different now than how it appeared in the film, no longer extending out as far.

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In Downtown Los Angeles, you’ll find the entrance to Club Silenco.  This is actually the back of the Palace Theatre, facing S Spring St

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LOCATION: 630 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (rear entrance, near 621 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014)

Related articles: Wild At Heart (1990), Lost Highway (1997), Twin Peaks

Lost Highway (1997)

David Lynch’s underappreciated masterpiece “Lost Highway” shot around Southern California, Death Valley and the Nevada desert.

Early in the film, Fred and Renee, played by Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette respectively, receive a mysterious video tape at their doorstep.  David Lynch used what was, at that time, his own home as the location.

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LOCATION: 7035 Senalda Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90068

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Fred plays his saxophone at the Luna Lounge.  This was filmed at the Lankershim Arts Center in North Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 5108 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Fred ends up on death row for the murder of his wife.  The cell block wasn’t a prison at all, rather a creative re-purposing of a decommissioned fire station in downtown Los Angeles.  The same station was used for interior scenes for the original “Ghostbusters” firehouse.  Much like that film, only the interiors were used in the film, but here is a view of the exterior.  Today, the surrounding area has become run down and it isn’t the safest of places.

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LOCATION: 225 E 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

After some mysterious events, Pete, played by Balthazar Getty, awakens in Fred’s jail cell.  Baffled by this phenomenon, the police decide to release him.  Pete returns to his home, located in Northridge.

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LOCATION: 16706 Citronia St, Northridge, CA 91343

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Pete’s girlfriend Sheila, played by Natasha Gregson Wagner, lives at this house, located just a few blocks away from Pete’s place.

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LOCATION: 9532 McLennan Ave, Northridge, CA 91343

Pete works as a mechanic at Arnie’s, which was filmed at the Firestone building in Los Angeles.  No longer in service, the building, built in 1937, is designated as an historical monument by the city.

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LOCATION: 800 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The place where Mr. Eddy becomes enraged at a tailgating driver requires a bit of effort if you want to visit the location. It was filmed on Mt Hollywood Dr, near the Griffith Observatory. Contrary to what is seen in the film, the road is actually completely inaccessible to the public by vehicle.  It is found along a fully paved road, but the road is gated off in all directions from motor vehicles.  Aside from park rangers, the road is primarily used by hikers and bicyclists.

The easiest way to visit is by parking at the Griffith Observatory.  The lot at the Observatory itself is almost always full.  You’re unlikely to find a spot in the actual lot.  However, you can park along East or West Observatory Road.  Unfortunately, these are now paid parking spaces and somewhat expensive.  There are a few free auxiliary lots, but those fill up quickly as well, plus they put you pretty far away from where you need to be to get to the location.  You shouldn’t have a difficult time finding a paid parking space on Observatory Road, unless you’re arriving at peak evening hours.  Your best bet is to arrive early.

The easiest way to spot the trail head to reach the location is to look for the tunnel when approaching Griffith Observatory.  Most traffic to reach the Observatory passes through it.  The tunnel was famously seen in Back To The Future Part 2, when Biff and Marty McFly (riding a hoverboard) fight over a sports almanac.  The very first road on your right, once you pass through the tunnel, is where you will need to hike.  It will either be gated off, or if the gates are open, a guard will be parked there, making sure no motorists attempt to drive up it.  The road is freely accessible to pedestrians on foot or bike, however, and you’ll likely see a lot of both.  You simply take that road for about 0.5 miles to reach the location. At least you can take photographs in relative safely here, without concern for traffic on the road.

LOCATION: Mt Hollywood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (GPS coordinates: 34.126026, -118.306921)

It is a moderate hike.  Much of it is uphill, but considering you can walk a paved road the entire way, as well as the fact that there are resting spots, it’s certainly manageable for most.  A bottle of water should suffice, unless it’s an extremely hot day.

If you want to get the most out of your money for paying for a parking space near Griffith Observatory, we recommend continuing along the same path to the location of the dance scene in “La La Land.” That location is another 1.5 miles up the same road.

After Alice meets Pete at the mechanic’s, the pair begin an affair.  Alice is waiting at the Palm Tree Inn in North Hills, calling down to him from the second floor to say that she already got them a room.

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LOCATION: 8424 Sepulveda Blvd, North Hills, CA 91343

Pete pulls up to this spot in the parking lot, where he talks to Alice.

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The cops watch from the parking lot as the two go into the hotel room.  The same motel has also been seen in the TV series “My Name Is Earl.”

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Near the end of the film, Fred arrives at the Lost Highway Hotel.  This was actually a composite of two separate buildings.  The exterior, seen below, is an abandoned building located at Death Valley Junction, near the California / Nevada border.  The same building was seen in the 1986 film “The Hitcher.”  The interior corridors were actually filmed across the street at the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel (608 Death Valley Jct, Death Valley, CA 92328).  This area is very much in the middle of nowhere.

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LOCATION: Near the intersection of State Line Rd / CA-127, Death Valley Junction, CA 92328 (nearest address is 608 CA-127, Death Valley Junction, CA 92328)

Related articles: Wild At Heart (1990), Mullholland Drive (2001), Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

With the revival of David Lynch’s classic television drama, there is a lot of renewed interest in the filming locations of Twin Peaks.  Here, we’ll take a look at the show’s iconic, opening shot, with the sign to the entrance of the fictitious town of Twin Peaks.  You’ll have to head to Snoqualmie, WA to find it, taking a drive down Reinig Road.  There you’ll find Mount Si, which doubles as the titular twin peaks.

You’ll need to drive with the Snoqualmie River facing your right-hand side, looking toward Mount Si to get the exact spot.  It’s not too difficult to locate, as the sign was posted at a point in the road where there is a small shoulder on the right, which comes very close to the river.  The shoulder makes it pretty identifiable and it should be recognizable once you see it.  If you do make it to Snoqualmie, we highly recommend taking time to walk around the river and surrounding area, which is quite beautiful.  Everything remains relatively untouched from how it appeared in the original run of the show.

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LOCATION: SE Reinig Rd, Snoqualmie, WA 98065

The waterfall from the opening credits is Snoqualmie Falls. Though it may appear rural in the show, it’s actually very accessible and receives frequent pedestrian traffic. There is nearby parking available and a walking path right up to this viewpoint of the falls.

LOCATION: Snoqualmie Falls, 6501 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065

In 2017, to celebrate the revival of the series, Showtime hosted a pop-up exhibition of the Double R Diner in Los Angeles.  The pop-up lasted for one week and has long since closed.  Inside, visitors could find merchandise from the show, memorabilia and even David Lynch’s coffee brand.  The same spot was later used as a pop-up for the “Peach Pit” from “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

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Related articles: Wild At Heart (1990), Lost Highway (1997), Mullholland Drive (2001)