Identity (2003)

The motel from the 2003 thriller “Identity,” starring John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet and John Hawkes, was filmed at the Four Aces Movie Ranch in Palmdale, California.  The set has been seen in countless films, such as “House Of 1,000 Corpses,” “Faster” and “Slipstream.”  It has also appeared in such TV shows as “Twin Peaks” and “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” as well as numerous commercials and music videos.

Please keep in mind the property is private and there are “no trespassing” signs posted.  However, it is easily visible from the road.  The set is a popular filming location, so you may encounter a shoot in progress when you visit.  If it’s a particularly secretive set, sometimes the roads next to it are closed off to the public.

identity1

LOCATION: Four Aces Movie Ranch, 14499 E Ave Q, Palmdale, CA 93591

Roadracers (1994)

Between his successful indie debut “El Mariachi” and the hit sequel “Desperado,” Robert Rodriguez made a small film called “Roadracers.”  Shot in just 13 days, the film was part of a television anthology known as “Rebel Highway,” which enlisted notable directors to take b-movie titles from the 1950s and apply them to original stories.  This first installment was set to be directed by Wes Craven, before he dropped out in order to begin work on “New Nightmare.”  Rodriguez stepped up in his place and made a fun film that continues to find new audiences decades later.

While set in Texas, most of the film was shot in Whittier, California.  The downstairs club where Dude Delaney, played by David Arquette, meets up with Donna, played by Salma Hayek, can be found on Greenleaf Ave in Whittier.  The location pops up numerous times over the course of the film.  While located on a busy shopping strip, the property currently sits vacant.

roadracers1

LOCATION: 6745 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

The theater where Dude and Donna pick up Nixer, played by John Hawkes, is the Whittier Village Cinemas, located just up the road.  Over twenty years later, the theater is still going strong.

roadracers2

LOCATION: 7038 Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90602

The theater pops up again later in the film when trio watch the 1956 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” featuring a cameo from original film star Kevin McCarthey.

roadracers3

Teddy Leather, played by Jason Wiles, rolls up with his crew next to Dude’s car in front of the Nixon Plaza.  Dude flicks his cigarette butt, which lands in the hair of the girl in the back seat.  Indicative of Rodriguez’s run and gun style of his early career, the same location was used again later in the film, when Teddy’s crew toss beer bottles at Dude.

roadracers4

LOCATION: 13002 Philadelphia St, Whittier, CA 90601

The two cars drag race down Philadelphia St.

roadracers5

LOCATION: Philadelphia St / Greenleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Donna’s house can be found just across the street from the Whittier Central Park, another location that pops up later in the film.

roadracers6

LOCATION: 6543 Washington Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

The roller rink where Dude greases his hair and spreads it across the floor of the rink was the former Fiesta Roller Rink in San Gabriel.  The roller rink closed back in 2003.  Some other businesses have since come and gone, but the building currently sits empty.

roadracers7

LOCATION: 136 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

Here’s a look inside.

roadracers8

Dude’s house, which has been slightly remodeled, can be found back in Whittier.

roadracers9

LOCATION: 5919 Redman Ave, Whittier, CA 90606

Along the curb in front of his house, Dude backs his car into the police car of Sarge, played by William Sadler.

roadracers10

As Donna and her friend walk beside Whittier Central Park, Teddy Leather’s crew approaches along Bailey St and Teddy forces himself on Donna.  The same area was used again in a later scene, where Sarge gives Teddy a gun.

roadracers11

LOCATION: Near the intersection of Bailey St / Washington Ave, Whittier, CA 90601

Dude and Donna sit on the steps of this gazebo, located at Whittier Central Park.

roadracers12

LOCATION: Central Park, Whittier, CA 90601

roadracers13

Teddy’s crew walks down these steps and challenge Dude.

roadracers14

The final confrontation between Dude and Teddy takes place across from the former Los Portales Mexican restaurant.

roadracers15

LOCATION: 13033 Philadelphia St, Whittier, CA 90601

Too Old To Die Young

“Too Old to Die Young” from director Nicolas Winding Refn is, depending on how you look at it, either a TV series or a long film.  Refn himself prefers to view it as the latter.  Most of the production took place around the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, with some additional filming in New Mexico.  Here we’ll cover the locations episode by episode.  Some locations of course appear over multiple episodes.  This article contains many spoilers for the show, so please do not proceed unless you’ve seen it in it’s entirety.

Volume 1 – “The Devil”

The first episode opens with Martin Jones, played by Miles Teller and his partner Larry, played by Lance Gross, standing in front of this mural along the side of a taco restaurant in Studio City.

toooldtodieyoung1

LOCATION: 11401 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91602

Here is a wider view of the side of the building.

toooldtodieyoung2

Also seen in the opening scene is this sports bar, located directly next to the taco restaurant.

toooldtodieyoung3

LOCATION: 11411 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91602

Unbeknownst to Martin and Larry, they are being watched from across the street by Jesus, played by Augusto Aguilera.

toooldtodieyoung4

Martin and Larry pull over a young woman in the parking lot of a largely abandoned shopping plaza in North Hollywood sometimes referred to as the Valley Plaza.  The area is becoming a popular filming location, having also recently appeared in “Captain Marvel.”  The Blockbuster Video store where Carol Danvers first arrives is one of the store fronts in the background.

toooldtodieyoung5

LOCATION: Near the intersection of Sylvian St / Vantage Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (directly across from 12200 Sylvan St, North Hollywood, CA 91606)

The police car is parked in the area to the left near the tree.

toooldtodieyoung6

After taking money from the girl they’ve pulled over, they let her go and Larry walks over towards a restaurant called “The Lone Drifter.”  This is not a real establishment, rather a vacant building dressed up by the production.  It too was seen in “Captain Marvel,” dressed as a music venue called “The Slow Club,” where Carol makes a call at a payphone.

Jesus is parked just beside the building, where he approaches and shoots Larry.  The fire hydrant to the right is where Larry’s cell phone is recovered.

toooldtodieyoung7

LOCATION: 2124 Sylvan St, North Hollywood, CA 91606

Martin returns fire on Jesus with the Regency Valley Plaza theater seen in the background.

toooldtodieyoung8

After the shooting, Jesus escapes driving down Sylvian St and turning right onto Laurel Canyon Blvd.  Martin calls in the shooting and surprisingly states the actual location of the scene to dispatch, rather than a fictionalized address, which is a somewhat rare occurrence in film and television.

toooldtodieyoung9

The police station where Martin works, seen frequently throughout the show, is the Sunkist Headquarters building in Sherman Oaks.  It is seen mostly from interior views in the show.

toooldtodieyoung10.jpg

LOCATION: 14130 Riverside Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

The building faces the 101 freeway and Westfield shopping mall, both of which are seen through the windows in various scenes.

toooldtodieyoung11

Not far from the police station, Martin parks here and walks to a payphone to call Damian, played by Babs Olusanmokun.  This area is the rear parking lot behind a shoe repair and dry cleaners, looking out over a gas station and bank building.  There is no actual payphone there.

toooldtodieyoung12

LOCATION: 13644 Riverside Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (rear parking lot)

Damian runs his operation out of an ice skating rink in Van Nuys.  The location appears many times in the show, from a variety of angles both from the interior and exterior.  Here is the front entrance.

toooldtodieyoung13

LOCATION: 14318 Calvert St, Van Nuys, CA 91401

In one scene, Martin is seen approaching past this sign.

toooldtodieyoung14

The parking lot is featuring in several scenes.  First, Martin meets Damian to say he only wants to kill those who have committed horrible acts.  In later episodes, Damian slices fruit with a sword and a would-be assassin named Gameboy watches as Damian and his crew perform a peculiar dance to “Ten Commandments” by Prince Buster.

toooldtodieyoung15

Here is the corner where Devante, Jaime and Gameboy all stake out Damian’s ice rink.

toooldtodieyoung16

LOCATION: Calvert St / Tyrone Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91401

Gameboy mistakenly takes out the wrong man, killing Celestino.  He attempts to speed off, but Damian returns fire and kills him in the street.

toooldtodieyoung17

Martin’s apartment can be found in Sherman Oaks.

toooldtodieyoung18

LOCATION: 14426 Addison St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Later, when Martin returns home with Janey, played by Nell Tiger Free, Damian and his crew are waiting on this street corner, where they violently persuade Martin to become a hitman for them.

toooldtodieyoung19

LOCATION: Addison St / Tilden Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Martin pays a visit to Amanda’s apartment in North Hollywood to pay her money.

toooldtodieyoung20

LOCATION: 6837 Fulton Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91605

As Martin goes to perform the hit ordered by Damian, he parks at this liquor store.

toooldtodieyoung21

LOCATION: 12500 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91604

His target is a man inside this auto shop.

toooldtodieyoung22

LOCATION: 4350 Whitsett Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

Once inside, he finds the man nude on a couch and the two engage in a physical battle before Martin gets the upper hand.

toooldtodieyoung23

Volume 2 – “The Lovers”

Don Ricardo’s estate, where much of episode 2 takes places, is the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley.  The property regularly hosts weddings and special events.  It is otherwise a private estate, however, only allowing guests by appointment.  The only road leading to the ranch is typically gated shut with no trespassing signs, making it unfortunately closed to the public.  The property has also appeared in Oliver Stone’s “Savages,” “Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher and in the second season of “True Detective.”

toooldtodieyoung24

LOCATION: 2940 Kuehner Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93063

Volume 3 – “The Hermit”

In episode 3, the character of Viggo, played by John Hawkes, is introduced.  As he is transporting a dead body in his trunk, he suddenly runs out of gas.  He pulls over to this alley in Van Nuys.

toooldtodieyoung25

LOCATION: 14524 Hamlin St, Van Nuys, CA 91411

toooldtodieyoung26

Not thinking clearly, Viggo locks himself out of his car.  In the neighboring parking lot, gunshots suddenly ring out as an unrelated crime takes place.  Viggo decides to escape on foot, leaving the key with his fingerprint inside the car.  The next morning Martin arrives and discovers the key, putting him on the trail of Viggo.

toooldtodieyoung27

LOCATION: 6417 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401 (rear parking lot)

Diana, played by Jena Malone, orchestrates Viggo’s targets and regularly meets with him at the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center.  The pool has a picturesque mountain range spanning the backdrop.  It is depicted as quiet and isolated in the show, but in reality, it’s a popular spot for families to visit.

toooldtodieyoung28

LOCATION: 11798 Foothill Blvd, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342

The slide at the pool is also seen in a later episode when the two once again meet up and talk.

toooldtodieyoung29

Martin visits the family of an abused boy to gather more information on Viggo.

toooldtodieyoung30

LOCATION: 6616 Langdon Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Janey forces a bartender to serve her a drink despite knowing she is underage.  Most of the scene is out of focus, but when she exits the building, it is revealed to be a bar inside Highland Park Bowl.

toooldtodieyoung31

LOCATION: 5621 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Here is a view of the full exterior, although it is never seen from this angle in the show.

toooldtodieyoung32

Janey then walks over to meet her father at an art gallery.  This is geographically accurate, as the location really is just a few doors down from the bar.  It is seen only from interior views in the scene.

toooldtodieyoung33

LOCATION: 5601 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Martin finally tracks down Viggo and follows him to his mother’s house in Sylmar.

toooldtodieyoung34

LOCATION: 11370 Clybourn Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342

Martin then follows Viggo to the Northridge Fashion Center, which leads him to Diana.  Viggo is seen driving up this ramp.  To access the exact area seen in the film, you need to go to Nordhoff St and turn into the lot near Sears.  The ramp is on the left and will take you to the upper lot where the scene was shot.

toooldtodieyoung35

LOCATION: 9301 Tampa Ave, Northridge, CA 91324

toooldtodieyoung36

Viggo parks along the wall on the right, while Diana parks beside the lamppost in the foreground.  Martin photographs them from afar, looking at this angle.

toooldtodieyoung37

Martin is told to meet Damian at a strip mall near the house.  Damian gives him a key to enter the house of his next target.  The plaza can be found in Studio City.

toooldtodieyoung38

LOCATION: 11308 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Volume 4 – “The Tower”

Martin’s next target is a Korean man that he tracks down at this burger restaurant in Burbank.

toooldtodieyoung39

LOCATION: 2320 W Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

Martin follows the man and he pulls over here to eat a burger.  As Martin pulls the gun, he finds himself conflicted about whether the man really deserves death and decides to find an alternate solution.  Once again, the route they drive is geographically accurate and just a short distance from the burger restaurant.

toooldtodieyoung40

LOCATION: 2301 W Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

Volume 5 – “The Fool”

Episode 5 was filmed on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We do not yet have specific location information at this time.

Volume 6 – “The High Priestess”

Back in the Valley, Alfonso attempts to get in the good graces of Jesus by ordering a hit on Damian.  He visits Devante at this auto shop in Van Nuys and hires him to perform the hit for $6,000.

toooldtodieyoung41

LOCATION: 14101 Oxnard St, Van Nuys, CA 91401

Devante then outsources the job to Jaime for $2,000, who in turn outsources the hit to a junkie named Gameboy for $200 and some crystal meth.  Gameboy stops by this apartment and does some drugs, tearing the photo of his target in two in the process and mixing up Damian with Celestino.  The address is on Bakman Ave in North Hollywood, but the view seen in the show is actually the back side of the building, on an unnamed road next to the electrical towers.

toooldtodieyoung42

LOCATION: 6607 Bakman Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (rear side of the building on an unnamed road)

Gameboy is then seen passing the electrical towers and turning down Kittridge St to go kill Damian.  Things do not go as planned.

toooldtodieyoung43

Volume 7 – “The Magician”

Janey’s father Theo, played by William Baldwin, takes Martin to a screening room, where he plays a scene of a show within a show.  The scene is very meta, mimicking the scene from episode 1 where Martin and Larry pull over a woman.  This was filmed at an auto shop very close to the location of the final scene in the show.

toooldtodieyoung44

LOCATION: 5547 Satsuma Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601

After Viggo helps Martin dispose of a body, Martin asks him to pull over as he vomits.

toooldtodieyoung45

LOCATION: 8981 Bradley Ave, Sun Valley, CA 91352

Volume 8 – “The Hanged Man”

Martin and Viggo’s next target takes them to an abandoned shopping mall.  This is the former Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Center.  The plaza has been abandoned for years, with on-again, off-again plans for demolition.  In the meantime, it has become a popular spot for filming and photography.  It has been seen in such films at “Gone Girl,” “Minority Report” and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” as well as the TV series “Westworld.”  The building is closed to the public and regularly patrolled by security, so unless you have permission from the city or someone filming, it is trespassing to enter the grounds.  It is a popular spot for abandon building enthusiasts, however, and quite a few people have managed to get inside over the years.

toooldtodieyoung51

LOCATION: 12124 Hawthorne Blvd, Hawthorne, CA 90250 (closed to the public)

toooldtodieyoung46

The High Priestess of Death executes everyone in sight at the Sierra Pelona Motel in Santa Clarita.  The motel was also used in the 2002 Britney Spears film “Crossroads” and is located very close to the restaurant from “Duel.”  The phone booth was not a prop and really exists at the motel.

toooldtodieyoung52

LOCATION: 12117 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

toooldtodieyoung53

Most of the killings take place in front of rooms 3 and 4.

toooldtodieyoung54

Volume 9 – “The Empress”

In the penultimate episode, Diana has a vision which changes her eyes.  She visits a mysterious woman to explain her vision and fix her eyes.  All of the decor seen in the front of the shop is real and was not a flourish of the production.  This location is right across the street from the scene in episode 1 where Martin and Larry pull over the young woman.

toooldtodieyoung47

LOCATION: 6316 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606

Diana makes her way out to the back of the building to speak to the woman.

toooldtodieyoung48

Volume 10 – “The World”

In the final episode, Yuritza makes her presence known as the High Priestess of Death.  She sits at the corner of Satsuma Ave and Cumpston St.  This is on the same street as the show within a show that Theo plays for Martin in his screening room.

toooldtodieyoung49

LOCATION: Satsuma Ave / Cumpston St, North Hollywood, CA 91601

The final scenes were filmed at the Limelight West, an event space in North Hollywood.

toooldtodieyoung50

LOCATION: 5453 Satsuma Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Related articles: Drive (2011)

Deadwood

The David Milch TV series “Deadwood,” despite garnering critical acclaim and a loyal fan base, prematurely ended after three seasons back in 2006.  Since then, various attempts to tie the story up have been made, with many doubts it would ever happen.  In 2019, however, it finally did and the show was given the opportunity to reach a satisfying conclusion with “Deadwood: The Movie.”  Please note if you’ve not watched the film, this article contains spoilers.

While set in the town of Deadwood, South Dakota, both the original TV series, as well as the movie, were primarily shot in Newhall, California at Melody Ranch.  Another renowned HBO series, “Westworld,” shot at the same ranch, where it served as the town of Sweetwater.  The production designers did a great job of giving each show a much different look from one another.

Melody Ranch is private property, inaccessible to the general public most of the time.  However, the ranch does in fact offer tours (something of a rarity for movie ranches), with the caveat being that no tours occur whenever active production is taking place on the ranch.  The challenge is the fact that production is almost always taking place there.  So opportunities for the general public to see it are rare and not something you can plan much in advance.  You simply need good timing or a lot of persistence.  In years past, the ranch also hosted the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, which also allowed the public inside, but due to the heavy demand of productions over recent years, the festival has relocated elsewhere.

Given that the “Deadwood” show and movie are tied together as one narrative, this article is intended to cover both, but once it was clear the original show would not return after the third season, many of the sets were remodeled, dismantled or shifted around, as often happens on studio lots.  When filming for the movie finally got up and running in 2018, much of the sets had to be recreated.  Since the story in the film picks up 10 years later, as South Dakota is entering into statehood, many of the sets also had to be updated to reflect the passage of time.  The photographs in this article showcase the movie’s sets.

Much like the original show, most of these sets have since been repurposed or dismantled after filming completed, in order to make way for new productions coming in.  Here we offer a glimpse into that brief moment in time where Deadwood stood in full glory once again.

LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321

The most famous location is of course the Gem Saloon, owned by Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), who would often stand on the balcony overlooking the activities of the town.

deadwood1

The Grand Central Hotel is where the villainous Senator George Hearst, played by Gerald McRaney, takes residence.  He too often stood out on the balcony, engaging in verbal jousts with the residents of Deadwood.

deadwood2

Seth Bullock, played by Timothy Olyphant, lives in this house at the end of the main street of Deadwood.  This location had long been demolished since the original show, with the original blueprints lost.  The production designer had to study the original show footage in detail in order to rebuild the set for the film.

deadwood3

Here is a look inside Seth’s house, where he is seen walking down these stairs.

deadwood5

Here are the train tracks and station platform where visitors arrive.

deadwood4

After running a hardware store with Seth, Sol Star, played by John Hawkes now lives with Trixie at the Bullock & Star Hotel.  In the film, as Hearst rides through the streets in a parade, Trixie stands on the hotel balcony and berates him.

deadwood6

The Bella Union, owned by Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) in the series, is now owned by Joanie Stubbs (Kim Dickens) in the film.  The same building was famously used as the brothel in Westworld where Thandie Newton’s character works.  It’s also seen in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” when Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters are interviewed on a western set.

deadwood7

Here is the interior of the Bella Union, which viewers of “Westworld” would immediately recognize when seen from reverse angles.

deadwood8

Here is a view of the upstairs.

deadwood9

This is the bar where Wild Bill Hickok, played by Keith Carrodine, is killed in the show.

deadwood10

In the film, Calamity Jane, played by Robin Weigert, returns to the bar to pay her respects.

deadwood11

The outside of the jail of Marshall Seth Bullock.

deadwood12

The interior of the jail.

deadwood13

This is the area where Seth tracks down Charlie’s killers and has a brief standoff with them.

deadwood14

Mr. Wu is relieved when his son escapes unharmed.

deadwood15

We leave you with a view down the main street of Deadwood, where the sets stood tall one last time.

deadwood16