Iron Man (2008)

The 2008 film “Iron Man” famously launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is regarded not only as one of the finest Marvel films, but one of the best superhero films ever made.  Early in the film, Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey, Jr., demonstrates his latest weapon, the “Jericho” missile.  Supposedly set in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan, these scenes were actually filmed at Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California.  Many classic western films have also filmed there over the years, along with more recent films, such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and “Gladiator.”

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LOCATION: Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA 93545

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Tony’s iconic Malibu house doesn’t actually exist, it is rather a CGI creation.  However, the land where it’s located is very much real.  Point Dume in Malibu is a public park that is thankfully devoid of any homes.  Instead there is a foot trail and biking path which leads to a beautiful ocean view.  The closest actual home, located directly across the street, is the “Circles on the Point” mansion, another property frequently featured in film and television productions, such as “Color Of Night,” “Glow” and more.  The CGI design of the Stark home is rumored to have been inspired by another mansion; the The Razor House in La Jolla (9826 La Jolla Farms Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037), near San Diego.  The gated access and high cliff walls do not make for convenient photography of the Razor House, however.

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LOCATION: Point Dume, Cliffside Dr / Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265

More CGI trickery was used with the Stark Industries building.  The main building is the Masimo headquarters, formerly known as the Nikken Building, in Irvine.  However, the wider shot is a composite of other streets and buildings, including portions of Shoreline Drive in Long Beach.  The Masimo building has been used in many other productions, including “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” “You, Me And Dupree” and “All About Steve.”

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LOCATION: 52 Discovery, Irvine, CA 92618

Tony attends a charity ball at the Walt Disney Concert Hall near downtown Los Angeles.  The unmistakable design is the work of legendary architect Frank Gehry.

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LOCATION: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tony first conceives the Iron Man suit after he is captured by terrorists.  Once he escapes and builds the suit, he returns to do battle with the Gulmira terrorists.  The bombed out ruins where he makes short work of his enemies was actually a set located on the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita.  As is always the case with movie ranches, the sets are often changed around to meet the needs of the latest productions, but several portions of the Iron Man set still remain recognizable.

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LOCATION: 20019 Blue Cloud Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

Some additional views of the area where Iron Man battles the terrorists.

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Here is the spot where Iron Man blows up the tank and walks away, as famously featured in the film’s trailer.  It was dressed heavily by the production to look more war-torn.

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In 2019, the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles held a limited exhibition called “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy,” which featured Tony’s 1932 Ford Flathead Roadster from the film.

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LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Not far from Alabama Hills in Lone Pine is the excellent Lone Pine Film History Museum.  Props and memorabilia from the many films shot in Lone Pine can be found there, with their primary focus on classic westerns.  They even have a small section of the museum dedicated to Iron Man.  Here are some of the items on display.

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LOCATION: 701 S Main St, Lone Pine, CA 93545

Some merchandise promoting the film.

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Some posters and prop recreations.

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This is the suit worn by Robert Downey, Jr. during his “Jericho” missile scenes, filmed in Lone Pine.

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The Avengers (2012)

The 2012 Marvel film “The Avengers” shot in a wide variety of locations, including Cleveland, Ohio, New York City, New York, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Los Angeles, California and more. In an early scene in the film, Cleveland stood in for Russia. Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, is bound to a chair being interrogated at this warehouse when she gets a call from Agent Coulson.

LOCATION: 2175 Ashland Rd, Cleveland, OH 44103

Having visited a lot of filming locations throughout many cities, this stood as one of the more precarious spots we’ve been. As such, we caution visiting yourself. While there were no signs posted prohibiting entrance and the building appears to be abandoned, it is in a derelict area and the building itself is in very poor condition. Entire portions of walls were missing and only an old, narrow staircase leads you to this top level where the scenes were shot.

While we encountered no issues during our visit, the building and surrounding area houses many potential hazards. Standing there in person, it is hard to believe a major motion picture shot here, but there’s no denying it offers a unique and interesting appearance.

While it is never seen from this exterior angle in the film, we have included an image of what the building looks like from the outside.

Cleveland also stands in for Stuttgart, Germany, where Loki descends down these stairs as he grabs the attention of the party guests. They all flee when Loki attacks a man. These scenes were filmed inside the Probate Court of Cuyahoga County. The building is open to the public, albeit with a security screening required upon entry. Photos are permitted inside.

LOCATION: 1 W Lakeside Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113

As Loki makes his way outside what is supposed to be the same building, he orders the frightened crowd kneel before him. This is followed by a brief battle against Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow. These exterior scenes were filmed at a completely different location in front of Tower City Center, part of Cleveland Public Square.

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LOCATION: 230 W Huron Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113

Most of the climactic battle was filmed in New York City. Thor can be seen from the top of the Chrysler Building wielding his hammer to battle enemies in the sky. The same building can be seen in the background of Stark Tower, a CGI created building which does not actually exist.

LOCATION: 405 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10174

Related articles: Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)