Better Off Dead (1985)

In the 1985 film “Better Off Dead,” Lane Meyer, played by John Cusack, lives at this house with his family in Glendale, California.

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LOCATION: 1636 Virginia Ave, Glendale, CA 91202

Directly across the street is the home of Monique, the foreign exchange student.

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LOCATION: 1633 Virginia Ave, Glendale, CA 91202

The Pig Burgers building now sits vacant in North Hollywood.  This same location was used as Mooby’s restaurant in “Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back.”

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LOCATION: 6223 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606

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,” “WandaVision,” “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,” “WandaVision,” 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)

Pineapple Express (2008)

In the 2008 comedy “Pineapple Express,” Dale, played by Seth Rogen, witnesses a murder at this unique house in Glendale, California.

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LOCATION: 1845 Niodrara Dr, Glendale, CA 91208

Dale then rushes to the apartment of his drug dealer Saul, played by James Franco, as the two go on the run.

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LOCATION: 118 N Westmoreland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

The outfit James Franco wears in the film can be found on display at Sony Pictures Studio.

LOCATION: 10202 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Superbad (2007)

The 2007 comedy “Superbad” shot all  around Southern California, including the San Fernando Valley, El Segundo, Culver City and more.  The high school scenes were filmed at El Segundo High School.

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LOCATION: 640 Main St, El Segundo, CA 90245

Here is the front entrance of the school, also seen in the film.  The same high school has been used in many films, including “WarGames,” “Role Models” and “The Babysitter.”

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The “Good Shopper” supermarket where Seth, played by Jonah Hill, attempts to steal alcohol, only to back out after visions of being murdered, was filmed at Jon’s Market in Glendale.

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LOCATION: 1717 W Glenoaks Blvd, Glendale, CA 91201

The liquor store where “McLovin” attempts to buy alcohol, only to wind up caught in the middle of a robbery, was filmed at a real liquor store, also located in Glendale.  The scene where Seth gets hit by a car was also filmed in this same parking lot.

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LOCATION: 1700 Victory Blvd, Glendale, CA 91201

The party house where Evan and Seth try yet again to steal alcohol can be found in Northridge.  It’s located on the same street as the house from another Seth Rogen film, “Knocked Up.”

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LOCATION: 17711 Community St, Northridge, CA 91325

Bailey’s Bar and Grill, where the cops take McLovin, was actually the Buggy Whip restaurant in Westchester.  It was seen in several other films, including “Blow,” “The Doors” and “Date Night.”  Unfortunately, the restaurant closed in 2013 and was demolished in 2017.

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LOCATION: 7420 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (now demolished)

Pulp Fiction (1994)

One of the most critically acclaimed films of the 1990s, Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” was shot in Southern California. The restaurant that opens and closes the film was the Hawthorne Grill in Hawthorne, California.  Unfortunately, the restaurant closed in 1996 and is now an AutoZone. It could be found at 13763 Hawthorne Blvd, Hawthorne, CA 90250.

Vincent Vega takes Mia Wallace to the memorable “Jack Rabbit Slims,” which is not a real restaurant.  The interiors were built on a studio stage.  However, the exterior is in fact a real place, albeit not a restaurant.  Located in Glendale, California, the building was originally a bowling alley called Grand Central Bowl, which has long since closed.  Today, the building is owned by The Walt Disney Company, which owned Miramax, the company which released “Pulp Fiction.”  The building is part of Disney’s larger Grand Central Business Center, which consists of numerous buildings in the area used as business offices.  The building is actually tucked away behind a wall and fencing, but the wall is not very tall and it’s easy to get a view over top of it.  What is not so easily accomplished is getting a closer view of the building.  The property is only open to business staff, so the closest the public can get is the sidewalk.

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LOCATION: 1435 Flower St, Glendale, CA 91201

Vincent Vega pays a visit to his friend Lance, played by Eric Stoltz, early in the film, in order to purchase some heroin.  After Mia Wallace mistakes Vega’s heroin for cocaine, she overdoses and is rushed to this house in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, for a very tense scene in which they give her an adrenaline shot.

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LOCATION: 3519 La Clede Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039

The building where Butch’s boxing match takes place can be found in Pasadena.  The marquee has since been changed.  The same building was also used in “This is Spinal Tap.”

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LOCATION: 129 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

Later in the film, after Butch has double-crossed Marsellus Wallace, he sneaks back to his apartment, located in North Hollywood, to retrieve his gold watch.

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LOCATION: 11813 Runnymede St, North Hollywood, CA 91605

After a violent confrontation at his apartment, Butch is leisurely driving away, when a chance encounter with Marsellus occurs at this intersection of Fletcher Dr. and Atwater Ave., also located in Atwater Village.  Butch is facing NW on Atwater Ave. when he spots Marsellus crossing Fletcher Dr.

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LOCATION: Intersection of Atwater Ave. / Fletcher Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90039

Butch quickly floors it and hits Marsellus, before getting in a car collision in the intersection.  Marsellus awakens and begins firing his gun at Butch, when a bystander is hit in front of Fosters Freeze, which is at the same intersection.  Forsters Freeze was also featured on the television show “GLOW.”

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LOCATION: 2760 Fletcher Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Marsellus chases Butch on foot SW down Fletcher Dr. from the same intersection.

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LOCATION: Fletcher Dr., just past Atwater Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039

Marsellus fires one last shot in the distance at Butch, who is standing at the corner of this building in Canoga Park.  This location is far away from the earlier shots in Atwater Villiage.  It is actually the corner alley next to the Zed’s Pawn Shop, in which both characters make a grave mistake in entering.

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LOCATION: The alley left of Crown Pawn Shop at 20933 Roscoe Blvd, Canoga Park, CA 91304

Zed’s Pawn Shop is where things take a bizarre, ugly turn for Butch and Marsellus.  The real building actually is a pawn shop.

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LOCATION: 20933 Roscoe Blvd, Canoga Park, CA 91304

Near the end of the film, Jules and Vincent find themselves in “The Bonnie Indecent,” in which they are in sudden, urgent need of getting rid of a body.  They arrive here at Jimmy’s house, played by Quentin Tarantino.  It is here they meet “The Wolf,” played by Harvey Keitel.

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LOCATION: 4145 Kraft Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

The site of Monster Joe’s Truck and Tow can be found in Sun Valley. The area has changed some since filming took place.

LOCATION: 12143 Branford St, Sun Valley, CA 91352

Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992)Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (2003), Django Unchained (2012), Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood (2019)

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

The comedy classic “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is set all across the United States, but a good portion of the filming was based in Southern California.

Early in the film, Clark, played by Chevy Chase, visits a car dealership with his son Rusty, to trade in their vehicle. After the dealership fails to stock the vehicle they requested, Clark asks for his old car to be returned, only to find it has been destroyed. These scenes were filmed in Glendale, Califonia.

LOCATION: 900 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91204

The Griswold house, set in Chicago, Illinois, is actually located in near Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California. You’ll likely drive right past if it you visit the Griffith Observatory.

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LOCATION: 2310 N Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

The hotel where Clark goes skinny dipping with “The Girl in the Ferarri,” played by Christie Brinkley, is the Guesthouse Hotel in Norwalk, California.  Despite some remodeling and changes in ownership, the pool area is still fairly recognizable to how it appeared in the film.  The scene where Clark runs into The Girl in the Ferrari at thehotel lounge was also filmed here, but that section, while still a lounge, has unfortunately been remodeled beyond recognition.

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LOCATION: 12500 Firestone Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650

The gas station where Clark has trouble finding the gas tank can be found in Flagstaff, Arizona.

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LOCATION: 2515 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

When the Griswolds get lost in a bad neighborhood, the rough streets were actually filmed on the Warner Bros. Studio lot.  This is the spot where Clark is getting directions, while the guys on the street steal his hubcaps.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

When Aunt Edna dies, the family drops her off at Cousin Normie’s house, which can be found in Flagstaff.

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LOCATION: 3025 W Wilson Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

The production was clever when it came to filming the “Walley World” entrance at the end of the film.  While the amusement park used in the film was Six Flags Magic Mountain (26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy., Valencia, CA 91355), the memorable entrance was a totally different location; the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.  This overpass was used as the entrance, with a matte painting of the Walley World sign and the roller coasters in the background.  The overpass is actually on the outskirts of the park, right beside the Westfield Santa Anita mall.  In this case, the exact address is tricky, as the grounds are large and it only navigates you to the general vicinity.  A tip on how to find the exact spot is to drive down W Huntington Dr. towards S. Baldwin Ave.  As you near the mall’s parking lot, drive past the overpass entrance and proceed to the next entrance, into the mall parking lot.  As soon as you turn off of Huntington Dr. to the mall, you’ll immediately see this view of the Santa Anita Park parking lot on your right, with the Walley World overpass in the distance.

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LOCATION: 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007

Related articles: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)