The 1988 comedy “My Stepmother Is an Alien,” starring Kim Basinger and Dan Aykroyd, was filmed in Southern California. Steven Mills, played by Aykroyd, works as a scientist at this building, where he sends radio signals to space. The same building, found in Westlake Village near Thousand Oaks, was featured in the film “Demolition Man.”
LOCATION: 1 Baxter Way, Westlake Village, CA 91362
Celeste, played by Basinger, first arrives on Earth at the beach front property of Ron Mills, played by John Lovitz. The property, which was also featured in the TV series “Beverly Hills, 90210,” can be found in Hermosa Beach.
LOCATION: 3500 The Strand, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
The Mills house where Steven and Celeste live can be found in Studio City. Unfortunately, the front of the property is now lined with tall hedges.
LOCATION: 4222 Agnes Ave, Studio City, CA 91604
Celeste, unaware of how to prepare breakfast, sneaks out in the middle of the night to a diner, where she orders everything on the menu. This scene was filmed at the former Johnie’s Broiler in Downey. The restaurant has a unique history, having appeared in many other films, such as “Heat,” “Short Cuts,” “License To Drive,” “The Game,” “One Hour Photo” and many more. In 2007, the building was unfortunately demolished. However, Bob’s Big Boy purchased the property years later and rebuilt it based on the original blueprints and even some of the same materials. So what stands now closely resembles what was seen in the film.
Perhaps no movie has inspired more interest in it’s filming locations over the past several years than the love letter to the City of Los Angeles, “La La Land.” The 2016 musical, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, filmed at a wide variety of locations all over the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas. There are so many locations, in fact, one would be challenged to see them all in a single day.
The opening dance scene in traffic was filmed on the Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange, which connects the 110 and 105 freeways in Los Angeles. The scenes were shot on the express ramp, which requires a non-cash toll. The bus jump from “Speed” was also filmed on the same interchange when it was still under construction.
LOCATION: I-110 / I-105, Los Angeles, CA 90061
Mia, played by Emma Stone, works in a coffee shop on the Warner Bros. Studio lot. The real building is indeed located on the Warner lot, however, it is not actually a coffee shop. Rather it is just a building facade, used for any number of settings for productions, such as the toy store in “Small Soldiers.” After the success of the film, however, Warner Bros. did decorate the building again to make it appear as it did in the film, for a few select weeks. The building can be seen as part of their studio tour.
LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
Mia lives at this pink apartment building in Long Beach, known as El Cordova.
LOCATION: 1728 E 3rd St, Long Beach, CA 90802
The production filmed inside of unit 16.
Mia exits through the courtyard to join her roommates for a dance number.
She and her roommates then dance on E 3rd Street in front of her apartment.
Later in the film, Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, visits the apartment and picks up Mia at this back entrance to the building.
They then drive down this back alley.
Mia is walking alone past this famous mural in Hollywood, known as the “You Are A Star” mural, when she hears music inside. She enters to find Sebastian playing piano. The mural can be found at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Wilcox Ave. It can also be seen in the 1999 film “8MM.”
LOCATION: 1648 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
After reconnecting at a party, Sebastian walks with Mia along Mt Hollywood Drive towards the viewpoint where the film’s most famous scene takes place; the dance sequence over the night skyline.
A lot of creative license was used by the filmmakers here, as to get to the dance spot, the characters would’ve had to hike nearly an hour. The spot is known as “Cathy’s Corner” in Griffith Park and it requires a bit of commitment if you wish to see it in person.
LOCATION: Cathy’s Corner, Mt Hollywood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
There’s surprisingly little information online about how to accurately reach Cathy’s Corner. Here we’ll attempt to detail that. First and foremost, the spot is completely inaccessible 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. Many GPS systems will offer different routes to drive to Cathy’s Corner, but rest assured, you’ll only get so far before you’ll encounter signs or gates preventing you from proceeding any further by car.
The viewpoint is accessible a couple different ways on foot, but the best way to do it 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. There are a few free auxiliary lots, but those fill up quickly as well, plus they get you pretty far away from where you need to be to get to Cathy’s Corner. 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 Cathy’s Corner 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 2.2 miles to reach Cathy’s Corner.
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 and a water fountain along the way, it’s certainly manageable for most. A couple bottles of water should suffice, unless it’s an extremely hot day.
If you use GPS for walking, it should be accurate from Griffith Observatory to Cathy’s Corner. The hike takes anywhere from 90 minutes to a couple hours round trip, depending on your foot speed. Cathy’s Corner can be found along a winding corner of Mt Hollywood Drive and should be distinct from all other corners for it’s skyline view. Contrary to some information online, you do not likely need to worry about traffic, snakes or mountain lions. It’s a heavily used trail on a paved road. Your biggest challenge will be to simply bring adequate hydration and know where you are headed. You can visit there at sunset or night, but you’ll likely have a difficult time finding a parking space.
Taking a closer look at the viewpoint, Sebastian hangs from a lamppost here, which was added by the production.
Sebastian and Mia then sit at a bench, which was located here. The bench was likewise added by the production.
After their famous dance routine, Sebastian walks Mia to her car, which is also located at Cathy’s Corner, simply looking the opposite direction as the scenic view. The production added cars and lampposts all along the road.
As a final tip to film location enthusiasts, a location from the David Lynch film “Lost Highway” can be found along the same trail, much closer to the Griffith Observatory.
Excited about their budding romance, Sebastian sneaks onto the Warner Bros lot to visit Mai at her workplace and the two take a stroll together down the studio backlot. This area was famously also seen on Pink Floyd’s album cover for “Wish You Were Here.”
LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
The pair then go see a jazz show at the Lighthouse Cafe, near the Hermosa Pier in Hermosa Beach. The Lighthouse Cafe really is a jazz bar.
LOCATION: 30 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Right next to The Lighthouse Cafe is the Hermosa Beach Pier, where Sebastian does a dance at sunset. Lampposts were added along the pier by the production. After the success of the film, the City of Hermosa Beach began hosting occasional special events at the pier celebrating the film, where they add temporary lampposts.
LOCATION: 1 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
The two watch “Rebel Without A Cause” at the Rialto Theater in South Pasadena. The theater has appeared in numerous other films, including “Scream 2” and “The Player.”
LOCATION: 1023 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030
After watching the movie, the couple makes an impromptu trip to the Griffith Observatory to check out the filming locations.
LOCATION: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Sebastian drives his convertible, with Mia in tow, down the sidewalk on the right.
They then dance around this pendulum inside the Observatory.
The two gaze up at this mural inside.
They also pause to take a look at this Tesla Coil.
During a romantic “summer” montage, the two can be seen walking along the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena.
LOCATION: 504 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105
The pair can also be seen visiting the Watts Towers.
LOCATION: 1727 E 107th St, Los Angeles, CA 90002
Sebastian and Mia can also be seen riding up Angels Flight in downtown Los Angeles. They dance together briefly at the top.
LOCATION: 50 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Directly across the street from Angels Flight is the Grand Central Market, where another scene in the montage takes place. A popular eating spot, Grand Central Market has appeared in many films, including “Color Of Night,” “City Of Angels,” “I Am Sam” and many more.
LOCATION: 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Later in the film, Mia, now a successful actress, can be seen staying at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood.
LOCATION: 8221 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Near the end of the film, Mia accidentally stumbles upon Sebastian, who has opened his own jazz bar, called Seb’s. In reality, Seb’s was a combination of two film locations. The exterior is a Los Angeles bar known simply as Black.
LOCATION: 6202 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Here is the angle from the sidewalk seen in the film.
The interior is a bar far from Los Angeles, located in Long Beach, known as The Blind Donkey. After the success of the film, The Blind Donkey hosted an evening based around the film, where they once again dressed the space to appear as it did in the film.
Here is the stairway Mia walks down to enter the bar.
Here is the stage where Sebastian played his piano. In the actual bar, it’s just an enclosed seating area.
LOCATION: 149 Linden Ave Ste. B100, Long Beach, CA 90802
As many locations as we’ve covered here, there are still countless more seen in the film. We hope we have covered most of the highlights.
Despite the show’s name, very little of “Beverly Hills 90210” was ever shot in Beverly Hills.
The Walsh residence can actually be found in Altadena, California.
LOCATION: 1675 E Altadena Dr, Altadena, CA 91001
The cast attends “West Beverly High,” which was also filmed far from Beverly Hills at Torrance High School, down in Torrance, California. The same school was used on the TV series “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and the film “She’s All That.”
LOCATION: 2200 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501
Another shot of the school seen frequently on the show.
A few different locations served as the famous “Peach Pit” on the show. In the first season, several episodes depicted the restaurant at this West L.A. restaurant.
LOCATION: 10801 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
However, production switched to this Venice location for the remainder of the season.
LOCATION: 1027 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
The most well-known location for the “Peach Pit,” used from the second season onward, can be found in Pasadena. The building has hosted a variety of restaurants since filming ended and no longer bears much resemblance to how it appeared on the show.
LOCATION: 45 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105
If that wasn’t enough Peach Pit for you, in 2019, a special pop-up version surfaced in Los Angeles, which has since closed. The same location was previously used as a pop-up for “Twin Peaks.”
Dylan, played by Luke Perry, lived at this house in Altadena. It’s located just a few houses down from the Walsh residence.
LOCATION: 1605 E Altadena Dr, Altadena, CA 91001
Steve’s house can be found in Encino. The house was also seen in the films “Ghost In The Machine” and “The Dentist.” Trees in the yard are making the front of the property increasingly difficult to see from the road.
LOCATION: 16711 Bosque Dr, Encino, CA 91436
Andrea’s house was formerly located at 540 N Gramercy Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90004, but the houses on this block have since been demolished and replaced by an apartment complex.
Kelly and Donna’s beach house can be found right along the walkways of Hermosa Beach. The same property was featured in the 1980s comedy “My Stepmother Is An Alien.” It’s quite a nice area to visit, even if you’re not a fan of the show.
LOCATION: 3500 The Strand, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254