The John Carpenter classic “They Live,” starring Roddy Piper, was filmed in Los Angeles, California. Most of the film was shot around Downtown. The train tracks where Nada, played by Piper, first arrives can be found near the Spring Street Bridge. This is about the closest view possible. To get to this area, head down Aurora St until it dead ends at N Spring St. There is a short walkway there, before you reach a fence and can proceed no further. This is a view through the fencing toward the tracks.
LOCATION: Next to 1745 N Spring S, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (where Aurora St dead ends at N Spring St)
Here is the view of Nada walking toward the city, with the Downtown skyline on the horizon. A tip for anyone looking to visit, this is located very close to the above location at the rail tracks and you can quickly walk to both. Public parking near the Los Angeles State Historic Park is available along Baker St, which sits right between the two locations.
LOCATION: Near the intersection of N Spring St / Mesnagers St Los Angeles, CA 90012
As Nada heads into the city, he is seen walking along S Grand Ave. This same spot is seen in the film “Speed.”
LOCATION: Near the intersection of Hope Pl / S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071 (facing towards W 5th St)
Nada visits City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles where a man is preaching.
LOCATION: 200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
The former construction site where Nada seeks work has been completely developed since filming and no longer has any resemblance to how it appeared in the film. The area could be found near 333 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013.
Nada encounters Frank, played by Keith David, at a shantytown in the middle of the city. The area is now a soccer field. The church and the entire section of road where it was located were removed entirely due to redevelopment. Today, the only remnants of filming are a couple of the buildings in the background, which still align.
LOCATION: 1138 W Court St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Here is the location of the Obey sign subliminal message, only visible through special sunglasses Nada finds. The famous artist Shepard Fairey drew inspiration from the film for his “Obey Giant” street art.
LOCATION: 631 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Here is the location of the “Marry and reproduce” sign.
LOCATION: 530 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Here is the view of the city where Nada can see subliminal message signs everywhere. The location is on 1st St in Downtown Los Angeles, overlooking S Figueroa St. The “No thought” building on the right is the back view of the apartment of Edward Norton’s character in “Fight Club.”
LOCATION: Between 880 – 900 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (GPS coordinates: 34.057739, -118.252016 on 1st St, overlooking S Figueroa St)
Nada sees an alien reading at a newsstand at this location.
LOCATION: 640 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Nada sees another alien fixing her hair at this location.
LOCATION: 716 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
This is the market where a woman calls upon authorities to capture Nada.
LOCATION: 1216 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Nada visits the home of Holly, played by Meg Foster, where he unsuccessfully tries to get her to where sunglasses to see the hidden messages.
LOCATION: 8634 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069
This alley, known as Mercury Ct, is where the famous fight breaks out between Nada and Frank over a pair of sunglasses. The alley can be found between S Olive St and S Hill St. It still looks similar to how it appeared in the film and remains a well-preserved gem for filming location fans in Los Angeles. This is the view facing toward W 6th St.
LOCATION: Mercury Ct, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (GPS coordinates: 34.046659, -118.254647)
Here is where the garbage cans were located.
Here is where Nada gives Frank a back suplex off the wall.
Here is where the garbage truck is seen, facing toward W 7th St.
The bank where Nada delivers the immortal line, “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum” was filmed at the A.G. Bartlett Building in Downtown Los Angeles. The building is currently used for a variety of businesses and lofts. The property has been seen in countless other films, including “Seven,” “The Mask,” “The Wedding Singer,” “L.A. Story,” “The Prestige,” “Ghost,” “Bridesmaids,” “13 Going On 30” and many more. This area cannot normally be accessed by pedestrians, so we were unable to match up the exact shot. However, portions of the inside are still visible from the street in a couple areas through the windows.
LOCATION: 650 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Parking in Downtown L.A. can be expensive and many of the locations of “They Live” are within walking distance of one another, so be sure to do your research if you plan on visiting, in order to avoid looping back around the same areas.
The police station from the 1976 John Carpenter film “Assault On Precinct 13” can be found in Venice, California. The building, once an actual police station, now serves as an art center. It has been featured in numerous films, such as “L.A. Confidential,” “Annie Hall” and “The Net,” as well as such television shows as “Beverly Hills, 90210.”
LOCATION: 685 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
This home was used as the residence of Ethan Bishop, played by Austin Stoker.
LOCATION: 1957 N Alexandria Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
The 1984 sci-fi film “Starman,” directed by John Carpenter, was filmed in numerous locations, including Tennessee, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Iowa. Jenny, played by Karen Allen, tries to get Starman, played by Jeff Bridges, back home by taking him to the Meteor Crater Natural Landmark in Winslow, Arizona. The crater site is privately owned. However, it is open to public visitation and is a popular tourist destination.
LOCATION: Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, Interstate 40, Winslow, AZ 86047
The photos do not do justice to how large and impressive the site is in person, but here is a panoramic view.
John Carpenter’s original 1978, classic horror film, “Halloween,” is one of those films that tends to inspire people to seek out it’s filming locations. Nearly everything from the film can still be seen today, much of it within a small radius of one another. These locations have been heavily documented over the years, but that won’t stop us from taking a look at some of the most iconic spots from the film.
Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, lives at this house, supposedly located in Haddonfield, Illinois, but actually filmed in South Pasadena, California.
LOCATION: 1115 Oxley St, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Another view of the house, from the corner of Oxley St and Fairview Ave. The owners of the house are quite welcoming to fans of the film, which is always refreshing to see, even leaving Halloween pumpkins on their front porch year round.
Haddonfield Elementary school is actually Garfield Elementary in Alhambra. The interior of the same school also serves as Laurie’s classroom.
LOCATION: 110 W McLean St, Alhambra, CA 91801
Some bullies are seen teasing Tommy.
Tommy continues walking past the front of the school.
Laurie and Lynda are walking home from school at this street corner.
LOCATION: Corner of Highland St and Fairview Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030
They cross the street, whenever they feel they are being followed by a car being driven by a strange figure. The camera looks back toward Fairview Ave, where the car first turns down the street.
LOCATION: Facing the street approximately in front of 1014 Highland St, South Pasadena, CA 91030 (looking towards Fairview Ave)
Annie yells “Hey jerk, speed kills!” at the car, when it hits it’s breaks. The camera in this shot is on the same street, now facing the opposite direction, towards Meredian Ave. The houses from a couple very different kinds of films, “Liar Liar” and “Space Jam,” were shot on this same block. John Carpenter would himself return to the same neighborhood for his 1983 Stephen King adaptation, “Christine.”
LOCATION: Facing the street approximately in front of 1014 Highland St, South Pasadena, CA 91030 (looking towards Meridian Ave.)
Laurie and Annie are walking toward these shrubs, when they appear to see Michael Meyers looking out at them.
They approach the shrubs and look behind them, only to see no one is there.
LOCATION: 1019 Montrose Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030
The Michael Meyers house was originally located at 707 Meridian Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030. Since then, some apartments have been built in it’s place. The original house, however, was spared from demolition at the last minute in 1987. A South Pasadena resident, recognizing the historical importance of the home and realizing it was about the be demolished, purchased it for a mere $1, with the promise to relocate the house and keep it in tact. It wasn’t moved very far away, just over on Mission Street, near some train tracks. Later recognizing that the home had historical significance, the city of South Pasadena would go on to designate the home as a California landmark. Many iconic movie locations have been demolished over the years, so it’s always nice to hear of stories where one was not only spared, but preserved and honored. While fans of the film are encouraged to visit the house, it is currently occupied by a local business, who simply asks visitors to keep to the driveway area and refrain from attempting to go up on the porch or inside.
LOCATION: 1000 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030 (original 707 Meridian Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030)
Right across the street from the Myers house, you’ll find the hardware store Michael robs. The same intersection appears in the film “13 Going On 30,” ” as well as “Step Brothers,” “Straight Talk,” “Carpool” and “Prototype.”
LOCATION: 966 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Just a couple blocks away from Hollywood Blvd, you’ll find the Wallace house.
LOCATION: 1537 N Orange Grove Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Just across the street is Doyle’s house. The same house has appeared in the Rodney Dangerfield comedy “Back To School,” as well as the TV series “American Horror Story.”
LOCATION: 1530 N Orange Grove Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Overall, if you are a fan of the original “Halloween” film, you’ll likely have an enjoyable time strolling around South Pasadena visiting many of these spots and it won’t even consume too much of your time.
In the 1983 John Carpenter adaption of the Stephen King novel, “Christine,” the director returned to his old South Pasadena stomping grounds, where he famously shot “Halloween.” Those locations can be found in the same proximity as the exterior of the house where Arnie lives in “Christine.”
LOCATION: 1037 Buena Vista St, South Pasadena, CA 91030
However, when people think of the film “Christine,” the first thing that comes to mind is of course the killer car. The film follows a possessed Plymouth Fury as it wreaks havoc on it’s owner and those around him. 24 total Plymouth Fury vehicles were acquired for use in the film. This was one of two stunt cars, which can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California. At the end of the production, the vehicle was set to be destroyed. However, a buyer stepped in and rescued the car, using parts from other screen-used “Christine” vehicles and restored it back to it’s original condition.
LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036