Fargo (1996)

The 1996 Coen Brothers film “Fargo” is set in North Dakota and Minnesota and while some filming did occur in both states, none took place in the titular city of Fargo, North Dakota. The majority of the film was shot around the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, but due to some unusually low snowfall in the winter of 1995 when filming took place, some shots were done in Northern Minnesota and North Dakota.

Jerry Lundegaard, played by William H. Macy, meets with Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud, played by Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare, at The King of Clubs, supposedly located in Fargo. The real building was located near 929 NE Central Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55413, but was demolished in 2003.

The home of Jerry Lundegaard is supposedly located in Minneapolis. The real home is located nearby in Eden Prairie.

LOCATION: 6358 Ginger Dr, Eden Prairie, MN 55346

The Blue Ox Motel, where Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud have sex with two prostitutes, was actually a truck stop in South St Paul, which was dressed to look like a motel for the film

LOCATION: 501 Farwell Ave, South St Paul, MN 55075

Police chief Marge Gunderson, played by Frances McDormand, interviews the two prostitutes at the Lakeside Club in Mahtomedi. The building looked nearly identical to how it appeared in the film, but was demolished in 2022. However, we were able to visit while it still stood.

LOCATION: 10 Old Wildwood Rd, Mahtomedi, MN 55115 (now demolished)

According to several sources online, the interior kitchen of the Gunderson house was located at 2215 Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. There are real estate listings online and while the garage seen through the kitchen window appears to match up to the current property.

Related articles: The Big Lebowski (1998), No Country For Old Men (2007), Hail, Caesar! (2016)

Zodiac (2007)

The 2007 David Fincher film “Zodiac” is primarily set in the San Francisco Bay area. However, production was split between Northern and Southern California, with quite a few scenes shot in the Greater Los Angeles area. The opening scenes show a young Mike Mageau, played by Lee Norris, being picked up for a date by Darlene Ferrine, played by Ciara Moriarty on July 4, 1969. While set in Vallejo, California, the scene was actually filmed in Long Beach. The camera rolls past a series of houses on Gundry Ave, beginning around 3938 Gundry Ave and stopping five houses down at Mike’s place.

LOCATION: 3964 Gundry Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

The couple drives to this diner, also located in Long Beach, where Darlene says it’s too crowded and decides to go some place quiet. The same diner has also appeared in the films “Corrina, Corrina,” “The Real McCoy” and “A Cinderella Story.”

LOCATION: 4390 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

Robert Graysmith, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, lives in a house that is only seen from interior views in the film. However, a couple shots help pinpoint the neighborhood to Angelino Heights in Los Angeles. For example, the street outside of his home can be seen here when he takes his son to school early in the film.

LOCATION: Near the intersection of Douglas St / Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (approximately in front of 1406 Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026)

Robert drops his son off at for school at Roosevelt Middle School in San Francisco (460 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118).

Robert works as a cartoonist at the San Francisco Chronicle. For exterior shots, the real newspaper building was used.

LOCATION: 901 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Interiors for the San Francisco Chronicle were filmed at the old United States Post Office – Los Angeles Terminal Annex in Downtown Los Angeles. The building has also been used in such films as “City of Angels” and “Dear God,” as well as such TV shows as “Southland,” “EZ Streets” and “No Ordinary Family.”

LOCATION: 900 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Zodiac kills a taxi driver at the corner of Washington and Cherry in San Francisco. This film shot at the real location where the murder took place, however their access was limited, as the neighborhood did not want the production there or the attention it would draw. The location is revisited several times in the film, as the characters hope the killer might return to the site on the anniversary of his crimes. For the night scenes, the Presidio Heights neighborhood was actually recreated on a studio lot at the former Downey Studios (12214 Lakewood Blvd, Downey, CA 90242), with blue screens used to add further backgrounds to the practical sets. Downey Studios has since been demolished.

LOCATION: 3893 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Robert stops his son from getting on the school bus at this location. This is again in the Angelino Heights neighborhood, just around the corner from the spot where he drives his son to school early in the film.

LOCATION: Near the intersection of Douglas St / Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (approximately in front of 908 Douglas St, Los Angeles, CA 90026)

Detectives visit the house of Melvin Belli, played by Brian Cox, after the Zodiac writes him a letter. Later in the film, Robert also visits the home. Belli’s house is located in Hancock Park at Fremont Place, which is one of the few gated communities in Los Angeles and therefore inaccessible to the public. A popular filming location, many productions have shot inside Fremont Place, such as “Taken,” “The War Of The Roses” and “Rocky III.” Fincher himself returned to the same neighborhood for “Gone Girl,” where the house of Desi Collings can also be found.

LOCATION: 72 Fremont Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Paul Avery, played by Robert Downey Jr., has an argument with Inspector David Toschi, played by Mark Ruffalo, outside of the Riverside Police Department. The building used in the scene is actually located in Culver City. The same location was also featured in the film “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

LOCATION: 4130 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

Toschi shares a sandwhich with his partner William Armstrong, played by Anthony Edwards, at the former Callahan’s Diner in Santa Monica. The location actually appears in three separate scenes in the film, with the latter two featuring Toschi meeting with Robert. According to information online, some shots were done on a set. Callahan’s Diner, formerly located at 1213 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403, has long since closed and a different restaurant now operates there.

A time lapse is shown of the construction of the Transamerica Pyramid building. This was of course a CGI creation.

LOCATION: 600 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Toschi catches a screening of “Dirty Harry,” where he is unimpressed with the depiction of the Zodiac inspired villain “Scorpio.” The exterior of the building still exists (295 Bay St, San Francisco, CA 94133). However, the interior scenes were filmed at the former National Westwood Theatre in Los Angeles, which was demolished in 2008. Here is the area where it formerly stood.

LOCATION: 10925 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024

The Golden Gate Bridge is briefly seen in a transition shot when Robert makes his way to the Vallejo Police Department. The bridge is one of the most often seen locations in film, having appeared in “Vertigo,” “The Rock,” “Pacific Rim,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Terminator: Genisys,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Superman: The Movie,” “San Andreas,” “A View To A Kill,” “Dirty Harry,” “Hulk,” “Lords Of Dogtown,” “The Bridge” and many more.

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LOCATION: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

The Vallejo Police Department, where Robert obtains more information on the case, could be found in Hawthorne. It was a real police building, also featured in the TV series “True Blood” and the second season of “True Detective.” The building has since been demolished. Here is the area where it formerly stood.

LOCATION: 4440 W 126th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250 (now demolished)

Robert meets up with Toschi at the Wilshire Collonade to tell him about the progress of his own personal investigation. Toschi encourages Robert to keep investigating and directs him to seek out Melvin Belli. The same location was featured in numerous films, such as “Wrath Of Man,” “Stealing Harvard” and “Earthquake,” as well as such TV series as “Californication,” “American Crime Story: Impeachment” and more.

LOCATION: 3701 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Robert calls Toschi from a payphone in front of San Francisco City Hall, following a lead on Zodiac’s birthday.

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LOCATION: 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl., San Francisco, CA 94102

Robert approaches Inspector Toschi again at the Earl Warren Building in San Francisco, seeking more information on the case. Toschi lets Robert know the case is unlikely to ever be solved at that point and tells him to not disturb him anymore.

LOCATION: 350 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102

The building is located next to City Hall, which can once again be seen in the background of some shots.

Robert is picked up by Bob Vaughn in front of the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro. The same theater also appeared in many other films, including “Pearl Harbor,” “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” “Seabiscut,” “Remote Control,” “Win A Date With Tad Hamilton,” “Ghosts Of Mississippi,” “Boys And Girls,” “Live By Night,” “Worth Winning,” “Mark Of Love,” “Invasion Earth: The Aliens Are Here” and “From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks.” It has also appeared in such television series as “The O.C.,” “Party Of Five,” “Melrose Place,” “T.J.Hooker,” “7th Heaven” and “Cousin Skeeter.”

LOCATION: 478 W 6th St, San Pedro, CA 90731

Near the end of the film, Robert tracks down a suspect he believes may be the Zodiac working inside this hardware store in South Gate. The building is only seen from interior views in the film.

LOCATION: 3948 Tweedy Blvd, South Gate, CA 90280

In the closing scenes of the film, an older Mike Mageau is brought in at the Ontario Airport to look at photos of potential suspects. The airport has appeared in many other films, including “Catch Me If You Can,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Blow,” “Argo” and more.

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LOCATION: 1940 Moore Way, Ontario, CA 91761

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Related articles: Seven (1995), The Game (1997), Fight Club (1999), Panic Room (2002), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010), Mindhunter, Mank (2020)