Strange Days (1995)

The 1995 Kathryn Bigelow film “Strange Days” is set in the last two days of 1999 in Los Angeles, California. Lenny, played by Ralph Fiennes, uses an illegal electronic device known as a SQUID that records memories onto a disc. On one of these discs, Lenny plays back memories of his ex-girlfriend Faith, played by Juliette Lewis, skating at Venice Beach.

LOCATION: Near Market St / Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

The area has changed a bit, but the Sidewalk Cafe is visible in the background, which is still there. The same cafe was seen in the film “Southland Tales.”

Lenny and Mace, played by Angela Bassett, pick up Mr. Fumitsu at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood. The hotel has been featured in numerous other films, such as “Get Shorty,” “The Player,” “Wayne’s World 2,” the 2003 remake of “The Italian Job” and many more.

LOCATION: 8358 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

The murder scene involving the killer climbing from one room to another from the balconies was filmed at the Andaz West Hollywood (8401 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069), which was given the fictional name Sunset Regent. The hotel has also been featured in such films as “Almost Famous” and “This Is Spinal Tap” and has quite a history with rock stars committing various acts of debauchery.

Jeriko One, played by Glenn Plummer, gets pulled over by police under the 6th St Bridge below E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, which has since been demolished.

The climax of the film was shot at the Westin Bonaventure, which is one of the most frequently filmed locations in all of Los Angeles. Countless other movies have filmed there, such as “True Lies,” “In the Line of Fire,” “Interstellar,” “Rain Man,” “Lethal Weapon 2,” “Forget Paris,” “Nick of Time,” “Hard to Kill,” ‘Playing God” and many more.

LOCATION: 404 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The US Bank Tower in Downtown Los Angeles is seen as the streets are filled with thousands of people celebrating the end of 1999.

LOCATION: 633 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The police shootout at the end was filmed on S Broadway in Downtown L.A., with the Palace Theatre visible in the background.

LOCATION: 630 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Related articles: Point Break (1991)

True Lies (1994)

The 1994 James Cameron film “True Lies,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis, was filmed in numerous cities and states, including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Baltimore, Rhode Island and the Florida Keys. In the film, Harry Tasker, a secret agent for U.S. counterterrorism played by Schwarzenegger, pursues a terrorist named Aziz, played by Art Malk. Aziz flees through hotels on a motorcycle, while Harry pursues on horseback. The chase first passes through the former Ambassador Hotel (3400 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010), which has since been demolished. The chase continues at the Westin Bonaventure hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Harry rides a horse through the water as Aziz takes a hostage inside the elevator.

LOCATION: 404 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Harry in turn takes his horse up the opposite facing elevator.

Here is the elevator entrance Aziz takes. Both elevators used in the film are marked with plaques noting their appearance in the film.

Here’s a closer look at one of the plaques. There are several more around the hotel, noting some of the other films shot there, including “In the Line of Fire” and “Forget Paris.” We appreciate when locations celebrate their film history in this manor.

Here is the elevator entrance Harry takes up to the roof.

Taking things a step further, the hotel dedicated the entire hallway leading from the parking garage to the lobby to all of it’s cinematic history. The Westin Bonaventure is one of the most frequently filmed locations in all of Los Angeles. In addition to the previously mentioned films, movies such as “Interstellar,” “Rain Man,” “Lethal Weapon 2,” “Strange Days,” “Nick of Time,” “Hard to Kill,” ‘Playing God” and many more have all filmed at the hotel and posters for many of them line their walls. Here is the “True Lies” poster on display at the hotel.

Harry threatens Simon, played by Bill Paxton, as he holds him on a ledge at the Sepulveda Dam in Van Nuys. The dam has likewise been featured in many films, such as “Escape From New York,” “Gattaca,” “The Italian Job,” “Iron Man 2” and many more. It has also appeared in such TV shows as “American Horror Story,” “Alias,” “Knight Rider” and more.

LOCATION: Sepulveda Dam, 15758 Burbank Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91406

The base of the dam is open to the public and there is a large recreation area surrounding it, with trails leading directly to the dam. There are several options for areas to park and the length of the hike to reach the dam depends on where you choose to start. It can be a short walk or a long one, depending on your preference, but all of it is on level ground and what we consider fairly easy to traverse on foot.

Helen, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, is sent on a staged spy mission to the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Gib, played by Tom Arnold, informs her she is undercover as a prostitute and her mission is to plant a bug in one of the rooms, leading to her famous striptease scene for Harry. The hotel is another staple of film, having appeared in such movies as “Ghostbusters,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Independence Day,” “Fight Club” and dozens more.

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LOCATION: 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Aziz’s men kidnap Harry and Helen, loading them in a van and driving up this ramp of the Millennium Biltmore, which is located just past the hotel on S Grand Ave.  The same area can be seen in the 2018 version of “A Star Is Born,” “Chinatown” (on the upper ramp to the right) and from the reverse angle in the film “Seven.”

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Late in the film, a major action sequence takes place at the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys. Harry peruses terrorists at the bridge, as they attempt to transport some nuclear warheads across it. The location is featured in another action sequence in the James Bond film “License To Kill” and also appears in the films “Key Largo,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Up Close & Personal,” “CrissCross” and “The Triangle,” as well as the TV series “Burn Notice.”

LOCATION: Seven Mile Bridge, Marathon, FL, 33050 (GPS coordinates of the start of the bridge: 24.706964, -81.124353)

There are two bridges there, built to connect Knight’s Key to Little Duck Key. The one on the right, originally known as the Knights Key-Pigeon Key-Moser Channel-Pacet Channel Bridge, is now commonly referred to as the Old Seven Mile Bridge. It was constructed from 1909 to 1912 and eventually decommissioned in favor of a new bridge, seen on the left, which was completed in 1982 for vehicular traffic. A portion of the Old Seven Mile Bridge is still open to pedestrian traffic and cyclists. However, it has been under reconstruction since 2017 and is expected to reopen by the end of 2021. Sections of the Old Seven Mile Bridge were missing altogether and the production rebuilt portions for the film, as well as using miniatures for some of the explosions.

Related articles: The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

The Terminator (1984)

James Cameron’s original 1984 film “The Terminator” shot all around the Greater Los Angeles area.  Early in the film, Arnold Schwarzenegger travels back in time, arriving at the iconic Griffith Observatory.  The location is a staple of film, appearing in such movies as “Rebel Without A Cause,” “La La Land” and dozens more.

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LOCATION: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Kyle Reese, played by Michael Biehn, arrives back in time in this alley in Downtown Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: Alley beside 214 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Sarah Conner, played by Linda Hamilton, works at this restaurant in South Pasadena.  The building has since been remodeled a bit, but the roof still appears the same as it did in the film.

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LOCATION: 815 Fremont Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

The Terminator visits a gun shop, located in Van Nuys.  The building is now part of a used car lot.

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LOCATION: 14329 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401

The Terminator looks for Sarah Conner at her apartment.

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LOCATION: 420 S Lafayette Park Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Kyle follows Sarah as she approaches the Tech Noir club.  The Tech Noir building is in the process of being remodeled, but the market next to it, now a jewelry shop, can still be seen.

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LOCATION: 720 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

A big action sequence takes place at Grand Lower in Downtown L.A.  This is a popular area for both filming and photography.  It has been featured in countless films, including “Demolition Man,” “Cobra,” “Batman Forever,” “Repo Man” and many more.  It was also featured in the TV series “Westworld.”

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LOCATION: Grand Lower, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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The Tiki Motel where Kyle and Sarah stay can be found in Huntington Park.

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LOCATION: 7301 Santa Fe Ave, Huntington Park, CA 90255

Another action sequence takes place at the Second Street Tunnel in Downtown L.A.  This is another popular filming location, appearing in such films as “Kill Bill,” “Demolition Man,” “Blade Runner,” “Con Air,” “Independence Day” and many more.  The scene starts at the side of the tunnel facing S Figueroa St.

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LOCATION: 620 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (facing S Figueroa St)

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The Terminator crashes his bike and steals a truck on upper S Grand Ave.  This is directly above Grand Lower, where the earlier action scene in the film takes place.

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LOCATION: S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071 (near 340 S Grand Ave)

The big truck explosion near the end of the movie was filmed in front of this building owned by the Los Angeles Police Department.  It is located next just past the Denny’s from “Drive” and very close to Union Station, which has been seen in countless films.

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LOCATION: 555 Ramirez St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The gas station where Sarah’s photograph is taken at the end of the film can be found in the desert town of Littlerock.  The same gas station, which has since been remodeled, was also seen in the Britney Spears movie “Crossroads,” as well as the Z.Z. Top music video for “Gimme All Your Lovin’.”

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LOCATION: 37202 90th St E, Littlerock, CA 93543

Related articles: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003), Terminator: Salvation (2009), True Lies (1994)

Titanic (1997)

The classic 1997 James Cameron film “Titanic” was of course filmed primarily on a recreated set of the famous ship, which was built at Fox Baja Studios in Mexico.  In 2017, however, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California held a unique exhibition on the ship, where it combined real artifacts from the sunken ship alongside props and sets from the film.  It was the largest collection of artifacts from passengers of the ship since the fateful night it collided with an iceberg a century before.

The exhibit has unfortunately since closed, but here we’ll take a look at some of the props, costumes and sets from the film that were on display.

This is the set of the famous scene where Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, draws a nude Rose, played by Kate Winslet.

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Here are some props from the scene, including Rose’s mirror, butterfly hairpin and comb, as well as her “Heart of the Ocean” necklace.

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Here is Jack’s sketchbook and pencil case.  On top of the sketchbook is also the note Rose leaves for Cal, played by Billy Zane.  She places the note inside his safe, along with the necklace.  Her note reads, “Darling – Now you can keep us both locked up inside your safe.  Rose.”

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This is the set of Jack and his friend Fabrizio’s cabin, designed for third class passengers.

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Here is the Marconi Room, another set from the film, where the ship sent out it’s distress calls and communicated with other ships.  Without it, no one would’ve known why or where the ship had sunk.

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Jack Dawson’s suit as he boards the ship.

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Rose wears this dress while the ship is sinking.

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Molly Brown, played by Kathy Bates, wears this dress.

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Bruce Ismay, played by Jonathan Hyde, wears these pajamas and overcoat.

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Here is a dress worn by one of the first class passengers in the film.

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Moving on to more props from the film, here is the clock and cherub from the grand staircase of the ship, where Jack greets Rose.

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Some scale miniatures were also built for the film, including a 45 foot long model of the ship.  Here are some pieces from the miniature.

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The ax Rose uses to free Jack, who is handcuffed in his cabin.

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While the exhibit closed down in 2018, due to the enduring popularity of both the film and the history of the ship itself, these artifacts are bound to find their way into another, future exhibition.

We leave you with one last prop from the film, which was not part of the Reagan Library exhibit.  Rather, it can be found at Planet Hollywood in Florida.  It’s the piece of wood that Rose floats on at the end of the film.

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

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

James Cameron’s iconic sci-fi action sequel, “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” shot all around California, primarily in the Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley and Fremont areas.  Here we’ll take a look at some of these spots.

The T-1000 travels back in time and arrives underneath this bridge, where he kills a police officer and takes his car, beginning his search for John Conner.  This was the 6th St Bridge in downtown Los Angeles, which was used in countless films.  Sadly, the bridge has since been demolished.

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LOCATION: Under the 6th St. Bridge, at the intersection of lower E 6th St. and Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (now demolished)

John Conner lives at this house in Canoga Park with his foster parents.  The T-1000 later arrives searching for John.

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LOCATION: 19828 Valerio St, Canoga Park, CA 91306

John Conner and a friend rob an ATM at this former bank in Van Nuys, California.  The building is now a pharmacy and is fenced off from the street, with no trespassing signs.  It’s still fairly easy to photograph from the sidewalk, however.

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LOCATION: 14400 Roscoe Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91402

After the T-1000 spots John Conner, he begins to pursue him, as John flees down the stairwell of a parking garage.  This is a garage at the Santa Monica Place shopping center.  Despite appearances, it’s actually not too difficult to match up the areas used in the film.

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LOCATION: 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

John races over to his bike.

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The T-1000 chases him at an inhuman speed.

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A look at some other shots seen during the bike chase…

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In one of the most famous scenes in the film, after thinking he’s finally escaped the T-1000, due to some help from the T-800, John is surprised when the T-1000 drives a semi truck through the overpass wall of Bull Creek, a flood control channel located in North Hills.

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LOCATION: Bull Creek, SW corner of Plummer St, near Hayvenhurst Ave, North Hills, CA, 91343

Here is a view of the Bull Creek channel, where John Conner is chased on his dirt bike by the T-1000.

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After The Terminator saves John Conner, Conner asks him to stop the bike at this alley in Van Nuys, where he questions him on his mission.  The alley is located very close to the bank where John Conner robs the ATM.

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LOCATION: Alley on Wakefield Ave, between Burton St and Roscoe Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91402

Sarah Conner, played by Linda Hamilton, is being held at the Pescadero State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.  These scenes were shot at the Phoenix House for Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation.  We did not replicate the exact angles seen of the building in the film, as those sections are now entirely obscured by a row of trees.

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LOCATION: 11600 Eldridge Ave, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342

Sarah has a dream in which she approaches a playground as Judgment Day begins.  This was filmed at Elysian Park, overlooking Dodger Stadium and Downtown Los Angeles.  The park has changed quite a bit and the chain link fence is long gone, but the city skyline can still be matched up.  This area is near Elysian Fields on Park Road, where it ends in a cul-de-sac.  The playground has been moved up closer to the road and the area seen in the film is now a lookout point.

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LOCATION: Near Elysian Fields, Park Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (GPS coordinates: 34°04’56.8″N, 118°14’23.4″W)

The T-800, Sarah and John stop off at this desert market and gas station, as they make their way to the Salceda ranch.  Although long since closed, the property is still recognizable from the film. The same building was featured in the film “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

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LOCATION: 46551 140th St E, Lancaster, CA 93535

Later in the film, the Terminator, John and Sarah Conner all break into the Cyberdine Headquarters, where Skynet will be created, launching Judgement Day.  The real building is located in Northern California in the city of Fremont.  Ironically, the building actually belongs to a real tech company, Mattson Technology.

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LOCATION: 47131 Bayside Pkwy, Fremont, CA 94538

A closer look at the entrance, where the SWAT truck crashes through.

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We leave you with some props from the film.  The T-1000’s crowbar arms, stabbing finger and liquid metal bullet wound 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: The Terminator (1984), Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003), Terminator: Salvation (2009), True Lies (1994)