Easy Rider (1969)

The 1969 counterculture road trip film, “Easy Rider,” directed by Dennis Hopper, was filmed across the American Southwest and South, including many sites tucked away along back roads.  If  inclined, one could take a unique road trip cross-country revisiting the filming locations.  Production took place across California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Louisiana.

At the beginning of the film, after completing a drug deal that scores them cash for a cross-country trip, Wyatt and Billy, played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper respectively, begin their trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  During the opening credits montage, they are seen driving past many locations on their bikes.  They drive along the California-Arizona Bridge at the border of the two states, passing over the Colorado River.  The Old Trails Bridge (15130 W Historic Rte 66, Topock, AZ 86436) can be seen behind them.

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LOCATION: California-Arizona Bridge, AZ-95, Needles, AZ 92363

During the same montage, they pass this hotel as they drive down Route 66 through Flagstaff, Arizona.  This building is located within walking distance of the “shit happens” jogging scene in “Forrest Gump.”

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LOCATION: 2 W Historic Rte 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

At the end of the day, Wyatt and Billy stop off at this motel, where the owner shuns them and changes the vacancy light to “no vacancy.”  Known as the Richfield building, it is located next to the Pine Breeze Inn RV Park.  The building itself has no known address.  The exact GPS coordinates are 35°13’27.1″N 111°48’02.3″W.  The owners are clearly aware of their connection to the film.  On the front door window, there is a small poster for the film.

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LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 35°13’27.1″N 111°48’02.3″W (nearest address is 10520 W Rte 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86015)

Here is the side of the building, where Wyatt and Billy have their encounter with the rude motel clerk.

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After picking up a hitchhiker, Wyatt and Billy stop at the Sacred Mountain service station in Flagstaff.  Billy pulls Wyatt aside and questions the safety of allowing the hitchhiker to fill his gas tank, as that is where their money stash is hidden.  The station has long since closed, but the building still remains.  If you’re driving on US-89, there is a small intersection at 150 Rd, which is where the building is located.

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LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 35°27’17.9″N 111°33’45.3″W (near intersection of US-89 / 150 Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004)

Billy, Wyatt and the hitchhiker end up camping overnight at Lomaki Pueblo in Cameron, Arizona.  There are several ruins along the trail at Lomaki Pueblo.  To find the exact spot used in the film, simply follow the trail to the furthest ruins and the location is just behind the wall.  In the photo below, the walking trail is just to the right of the frame.  It’s not a difficult task to reach the site, but there are many rocks protruding from the ground, so watch your steps as you traverse the uneven terrain.

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LOCATION: Lomaki Pueblo, Cameron, AZ 86020 (GPS coordinates: 35°34’46.3″N 111°28’04.8″W)

Even if you’re not a fan of the film, the Lomaki Pueblo is a unique place to visit and one we recommend if you’re in the area.

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Chinatown (1974)

The 1974 Roman Polanski film “Chinatown,” starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, is about a private investigator uncovering corruption in the Los Angeles water system.  The production naturally took place around Los Angeles.

The dry river bed where Jake Gittes, played by Nicholson, follows Hollis can be found on Foothill Blvd in Sunland-Tujunga, near the intersection of Foothill Blvd / W Conover St.  The Foothill Blvd Bridge overlooks the Tujunga Wash, where the scene was filmed.  This area falls in a strange intersection of city jurisdictions, where maps call it anything from Sunland-Tujunga to Sylmar, or Lave View Terrace to Los Angeles.  We’ve provided the exact GPS coordinates below for clarity.

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LOCATION: Foothill Blvd, Sunland-Tujunga, CA 91342 (GPS coordinates: 34.272220, -118.338135, nearest address 9666 Foothill Blvd, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342)

Jake pretends to photograph his associate on Echo Park Lake in Echo Park, while he actually photographs Hollis and Katherine.  The park had become run down for years, but has since been revitalized and you can even take paddle boats out on the lake.

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LOCATION: Echo Park Lake, Los Angeles, CA 90026

The mansion of Evelyn Mulwray, played by Faye Dunaway, can be found in Pasadena.  Trees in front of the property unfortunately obscure most of the view.

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LOCATION: 1315 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106

They alleyway where Evelyn is parked can be found in Downtown Los Angeles.  It’s an alley for private guests to enter the famous Millennium Biltmore Hotel.  This side is facing S Olive St.  The lower portion to the left can be seen in the 2018 remake of “A Star Is Born” and the reverse view from S Grand Ave can be seen in the film “Seven.”  There is a gate here blocking entrance into the alley, so it’s a bit tricky getting a photo.

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LOCATION: Alley between 523 / 525 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA, 90013

Jake visits Noah Cross in Catalina Island.  Catalina Island is most synonymous with the film “Step Brothers” and the “Catalina Wine Mixer,” but no actual filming took place on the island for that film.  Unlike “Step Brothers,” “Chinatown” really did shoot scenes on the island, located just under 30 miles off the coast of Long Beach, California.  The Casino Ballroom building can be seen in the background.  For eager visitors, no actual gambling is offered at the Casino Ballrom, in spite of the name.

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LOCATION: 1 Casino Way, Avalon, CA 90704

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The Mar Vista Rest Home Jake and Evelyn visit is actually the Archer School For Girls, located on Sunset Blvd.

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LOCATION: 11725 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

Evelyn’s sister Katherine lives at this home, which was later used in the film “Blast From The Past.”

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LOCATION: 1972 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Jake visits the home of Ida Sessions, only to discover a body.

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LOCATION: 848 E Kensington Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Jake’s client Curly lives in this East Hollywood home.

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LOCATION: 5030 Lemon Grove Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

The Departed (2006)

Martin Scorsese’s classic Boston crime saga “The Departed,” a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film “Infernal Affairs,” used a mixture of Boston and New York to comprise the locations of the film.  After Warner Bros. purchased the rights to the film, director Martin Scorsese deliberately avoided viewing it until after he completed “The Departed.”  Here we’ll take a look at some of the Boston locations from the film.

The Massachusetts State House plays a recurring role in the film, as Matt Damon’s character Colin Sullivan stares in awe at it and rents an upscale penthouse apartment with a view of it’s iconic golden dome at the center of the Boston skyline.

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LOCATION: 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

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Matt Damon’s penthouse “apartment” isn’t really an apartment at all.  It’s the library on the top floor of the Suffolk University Law School.  For this obvious reason, the building is never seen from an exterior view in the film, but this is what it looks like from the street.  Unfortunately, you must have a university ID to enter the building, so recreating the apartment view from the library is not possible for the public.

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LOCATION: 120 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson, lives at this apartment overlooking the east waterfront of the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston.  The building is known as Flagship Wharf.  Much like Matt Damon’s apartment, the exteriors of this building are scarcely seen in the film.  However, some shots of the windows and a view out over the water can be seen as Costello talks on the phone to Sullivan.

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LOCATION: 197 8th St, Boston, MA 02129

Outside of Costello’s bar, two of Costello’s crew, Fitzy and Delahunt, stand and observe pedestrians walking by, claiming anyone who avoids looking at the pair are cops.  As Billy, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, exits the building without looking at them, Fitzy jokingly says to him “You’re a cop.”  Two buildings were actually used for this location; this exterior can be found in Boston, while the interior was an entirely different building in New York (Raul’s, 180 Prince St, New York, NY 10012).

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LOCATION: 17 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114

Late in the film, Billy meets Queenan, played by Martin Sheen on a rooftop of what is supposedly 344 Washington Street.  There is a hand-drawn sign in front with the numbers 344.  Costello’s crew is informed of the meeting and Delahunt mistakenly tells Billy to meet them at “314 Washington.”  Despite his error, Billy meets Costello’s crew at the correct address, cluing in Delahunt to Billy’s real identity.

The entrance to real building seen in the film is not on Washington Street, but rather along an alley running between Farnsworth Street and Thompson Place, just north of Congress Street in Boston’s Fort Point.

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LOCATION: 11 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210 (this entrance is along a side alley of the building, running between Farnsworth Street and Thompson Place)

Billy narrowly escapes from the rooftop to avoid exposure as an undercover cop.  He races down a fire escape into this alley, just beside the entrance seen above.  The real building does not have a fire escape, but some skillful editing makes it appear as if this is where the fire escape reaches the streets.

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LOCATION: Alley between 11 Farnsworth St and 12 Thompson Pl, Boston, MA 02210

Just as Billy reaches the front of the building, he is shocked as Queenan is thrown from the rooftop.  His body falls in front of these windows.  Director Martin Scorsese had X marks taped over all the windows, as an homage to the 1932 film “Scarface.”

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Billy looks in horror back in front of the building entrance, as Costello’s crew pours out and meet up with him, unaware he was the undercover cop they were just seeking.  The police observe the scene and, against Sullivan’s orders, engage in a shootout with Costello’s crew.  Billy and Sullivan’s fateful meeting also takes place in this building and on the rooftop.

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Related articles: Casino (1995), Goodfellas (1990)

Batman (1989)

While Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” film was originally considered to be shot at Warner Bros. Studios, the film instead primarily shot at Pinewood Studios, just outside of London, England.  However, the Batmobile from the original film can today be seen at the Warner Bros. lot, as part of their studio tour.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

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 one of the original, screen-used costumes worn by Michael Keaton in the film.

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

A couple models of the Batmobile can be found on display at Planet Hollywood in Florida.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Related articles: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Batman Returns (1992), Ed Wood (1994), Big Fish (2003), Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2016)

The Shining (1980)

While most of Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1980 film was shot on a studio lot in England, a couple of the film’s most iconic sites can actually be found as real locations.

Perhaps the most majestic opening credits sequence ever laid to film is also the most majestic film location we’ve ever personally visited.  As Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson, drives his family up the remote mountain road to the hotel, the aerial footage is breathtaking.  Looking at it in person, however, is even more breathtaking.

The road in question is Going-To-The-Sun Road, located in Glacier National Park, Montana.  There are a few entrances to get to the road.  Those looking for the opening shot over the lake will want to head to the western banks of Saint Mary Lake entrance.  You won’t have to drive far to begin to recognize the famous views.

Some advice for prospective visitors; leave early and plan to spend the day in the park.  Going-To-The-Sun Road spans nearly 50 miles of winding, mountain road.  It will take you hours, especially if you stop and soak in the many brilliant views to be seen, such as the glaciers, cascading waterfalls, towering mountains, beautiful wildflowers and active wildlife (you’ll likely encounter grazing, wild goats).  We’d also recommend you visit during the summer months, as parts of the road may close in the winter months.  There is an entrance fee into the park, but that’s nothing in comparison to what you get in return.  Having traveled the United States many times over, in our opinion, we can comfortably say that we consider Going-To-The-Sun Road in Montana to be the crown jewel and the most beautiful, scenic drive the country has to offer.

LOCATION: Going-To-The-Sun Rd., West Glacier, MT 59936 (inside Glacier National Park)

This is the point of Saint Mary Lake where the opening shot takes place.  It’s close to the St. Mary entrance of the road.

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A view of the start of the winding road, which runs along the mountainside.  The drive is  fun and never felt particularly hazardous, as long as you drive safely and the weather conditions are optimal.

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Another view of the lake, seen from the perspective of driving along the road.

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And lastly, a view of the road from much higher up the mountain.

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Moving on to the hotel itself, you’ll have to travel far away from the windy roads of Montana, out west to Oregon.  The avoid confusion, there are actually three hotels widely associated with the fictional Overlook Hotel from the film.  The first is the Stanley Hotel (located at 333 E Wonderview Ave., Estes Park, CO 80517).  This is the hotel the novel’s author, Stephen King, stayed at, which inspired the story.  King and his wife stayed in Room 217 in 1974 and were the sole, final guests of the season, before the hotel closed for the winter months.  The empty corridors and lack of other guests helped inspire the author.  In 2015, the Stanley Hotel added a maze outside, as an homage to the novel and film.  The 1997 TV movie version of The Shining filmed at the Stanley Hotel.

The second hotel associated with the film is the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, California.  The interiors for this hotel inspired the set designs of the Kubrick version of the film.  Those sets were built at Elstree Studios in England, while the real Ahwahnee Hotel was never seen in the actual film.  As of 2016, due to a trademark dispute, the hotel has actually been renamed the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (located at 1 Ahwahnee Dr., Yosemite National Park, CA 95389).

The third hotel, the Timberline Lodge, is the sole hotel that was seen in the actual film.  The exteriors provided the outside views of the Overlook Hotel.   The Timberline Lodge can be found at Mount Hood in Oregon.  It should be noted that only a few shots of the actual hotel are seen in the film, which are establishing shots.  For all of the acted scenes, the production actually built a massive recreation of the Timberline Lodge just outside of their studios in England.

LOCATION: 27500 W Leg Rd., Timberline Lodge, OR 97028

Here is a look at the back of the hotel.

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Here’s a view of the front of the hotel, which is bustling with visitors, unlike the desolation seen in the film.

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Moving on to some props and memorabilia from the film, several were on display at the Stanley Kubrick exhibit in Los Angeles, which has since closed.

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The typewriter from the film.  “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

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The twins’ dresses.

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Danny’s sweater.

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A knife from the film.

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A model of the hedge maze.

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The final shot.

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Last, but not least, Jack’s axe from the film can be found at Planet Hollywood in Florida.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830