Black Sheep (1996)

The 1996 comedy “Black Sheep,” starring Chris Farley and David Spade, takes place in Washington.  However, much of the film actually shot in Southern California.  The house of Mike Donnelly, played by Chris Farley, can be found in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 5158 Highland View Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90041

Point Break (1991)

The 1991 action film “Point Break,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow, was filmed mostly around Southern California, with a few late scenes filmed in Oregon and Hawaii.

Early in the film, the FBI agent Pappas, played by Gary Busey encourages his new partner Johnny Utah, played by Keanu Reeves, to learn to surf.  Believing the bank robbers they are pursuing to be surfers, they discuss the need to infiltrate the tight-knit surfer community in order to gain leads as to the thieves’ identities.  These scenes were filmed at the Manhattan Beach Pier.

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LOCATION: 2 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

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While surfing, Johnny meets Tyler, played by Lori Petty and the two strike up a romance.  Johnny visits her at her work, which was filmed at Neptune’s Net in Malibu.  A famous biker and surfer restaurant, the same place was also seen in “The Fast And The Furious.”

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LOCATION: 42505 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Utah begins frequenting a variety of beaches, in hopes of identifying the robbers, who call themselves the Ex-Presidents.  One of the beaches he checks out is Dockweiler Beach in Playa Del Rey.  Utah can be seen near the El Segundo Power Plant, just past W Grand Ave.

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LOCATION: 12001 Vista Del Mar, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

Johnny is washing off after surfing, when another crew approaches and attacks him.  Bodhi, played by Patrick Swayze, intervenes as the two fight off the rival crew.  These scenes were filmed at Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu.

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LOCATION: 35000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

Later in the film, Utah is ordering sandwiches when the Ex-Presidents pull up right behind him and proceed to rob a a bank.  This was filmed in Culver City, with the Culver Hotel seen in the distance (where the opening of “Last Action Hero” was filmed).

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LOCATION: Main St, Culver City, CA 90232 (facing toward Culver Blvd)

The building where the bank was located has been remodeled and is now separated into several business spaces.

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LOCATION: 3849 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

After the robbery, Utah and Pappas pursue the Ex-Presidents in a car chase.  The chase continues into the Westfield Shopping Plaza in Culver City, as the cars enter from Slauson Ave towards what is now a Macy’s department store.

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LOCATION: 6200 Slauson Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

They hook a left in the parking lot and drive past what is now a Trader Joe’s.

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LOCATION: 6150 Slauson Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

The cars race up and down the aisles of the parking lot, which is located beneath the Marina Fwy (CA-90).

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LOCATION: 6000 S Hannum Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

The cars then drive down Westfield Dr and head towards S Hannum Ave, where Pappas crashes into a security gate, stalling out the car.  Utah exits the car and continues on foot.

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LOCATION: Westfield Dr / S Hannum Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

The thieves blow out a tire as they turn right onto S Hannum Ave.

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While made to look only a short distance away, the Ex-Presidents pull off into a gas station, which was actually located in Redondo Beach.  Bodhi torches the car by lighting a gas pump and using it as a flame thrower.  Now on foot, Utah catches up and tackles him.   The gas station is no longer there, replaced by a surf shop on N Catalina Ave.  This can be slightly confusing, as the same surf shop uses a multiple buildings along the block, including across the street on N Broadway.  The correct location of the former gas station is at the intersection of Beryl St and N Catalina Ave.

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LOCATION: 600 N Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Most of the buildings seen in the background of the gas station, such as the Crowne Plaza, are still there and match up with the film.

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LOCATION: Beryl St / N Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Bodhi runs from Utah and the foot chase begins as the two race across N Broadway, located behind the former gas station.  This triangular rooftop building can be seen in the background, which is another property of the surf shop.  The other side of the street, where the two begin running down the narrow, residential corridors, has been remodeled.

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LOCATION: N Broadway / N Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

The ending of the foot chase, with a conflicted Utah reluctantly passing on the opportunity to shoot at Bodhi, was filmed over at Ballona Creek, a concrete water channel and bike path, which runs through Culver City.

Lethal Weapon (1987)

The tower where the woman falls to her death in the opening of the 1987’s “Lethal Weapon” was filmed at the International Tower Condos in Long Beach, California.

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LOCATION: 700 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802

Roger Murtaugh, played by Danny Glover, shows up in front of the same tower to investigate.  The Villa Riviera condos can be seen in the distance.

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Murtaugh’s house, seen in much of the film, is not a real house.  It’s a set on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is offsite from the main Warner Studio lot and is unfortunately not available for public tours.  The house has been used in countless productions, including the home of the Griswold’s angry neighbors in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” the Colonel’s house in “American Beauty” and many, many more.  It has the most complete interiors of any set on the ranch, much of which was seen in the film.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The building where Martin Riggs, played by Mel Gibson, uses his unique methods to neutralize a potential suicide jumper was filmed at the Emser Tile building in West Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 8431 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (some GPS systems alternately list the location as 8431 CA-2, Los Angeles, CA 90069)

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Riggs and Murtaugh grab hotdogs at the corner of Western Ave and Wilshire Blvd, with The Wiltern music venue in the background.

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LOCATION: Western Ave / Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

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: Mullholland Drive (2001), Twin Peaks