50 First Dates (2004)

The 2004 comedy “50 First Dates” was filmed primarily in Oahu, Hawaii, with some additional scenes filmed in Southern California.

The Hukilau Cafe, where Henry, played by Adam Sandler, first meets Lucy, played by Drew Barrymore, was a set built for the film.  Contrary to some information online, it definitely no longer exists.  It was filmed near the Moli’i Fishpond, which is adjacent to Kualoa Ranch.  The ranch in fact owns this land and it has been featured in many films, including “Jurassic World,” “Triple Frontier,” “Snatched,” “Tears of the Sun,” “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” “You, Me and Dupree” and the TV show “Lost.”  There are some buildings there, but they were not used as the restaurant set, which was torn down after filming.

There are a couple ways to see this area.  The local shops near the pond, which rent their buildings from Kualoa Ranch, offer tours of their own near the water for a small fee.  However, the Premier Movie Site Tour offered by Kualoa Ranch itself stops at this area and covers it in detail, which is our recommended way to see it.  Here is a view of the general area where the cafe set was built.

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LOCATION: 49-243 Kuukama St, Kailua, HI 96734

Here is a small sign nearby marking it as the filming location.

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It is a challenge to find the house of Lucy and even more of a challenge to photograph it.  There is a lot of conflicting information about its location and GPS does not offer a definitive address.  So the easiest way to pinpoint the general area is to find the Waikane Store on Kamehameha Hwy, located at 48-377 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744.  There is an unnamed road sitting right beside the store.  That is the road that leads to Lucy’s house.  You can in fact walk down this road, as we did, but the houses do not appear to have any registered addresses.  From where the road dead ends, you still can’t see the house very well, as you’re facing behind it and from a distance.  You would need to actually continue onto the property, which is private, in order to obtain a good view.

The best alternative we could find by land was traveling a bit down Kamehameha Hwy over to Waiahole Beach Park at 48-199 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744.  Despite the name, the area is quite grassy, with little sand.  There is a small section around the trees that extends out from the shoreline a bit, offering the best view of the house.  It’s still not ideal, but it is the closest point on public land to obtain a view of the actual house.  If you have a long-focus lens, you can probably obtain a better view.  It should also be noted there is no parking on Kamehameha Hwy at Waiahole Beach Park.  There are some nearby side streets, however, where you can park and walk over.

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LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 21°29’34.1″N 157°50’50.6″W (nearest registered address is 48-377 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744)

Here is a wider view of the area.  The pier, known as Waikane Pier, is also seen in the film, though only remnants of it exist now.  The TV show “Lost” also featured the pier.

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Further out in the water, you can see a small island known as Mokolii, or sometimes referred to as Chinaman’s Hat, which can also be seen in the film.  It is a popular photo spot for tourists.

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The road where Henry keeps finding creative ways to stop Lucy can be found on Kualoa Ranch.  Countless other films have shot in this area, ranging from “Jurassic Park” to “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” to “Windtalkers.”  If we have one complaint about the Kualoa Ranch tours (which are otherwise great), even on their Premier Movie Site Tour, they drive through this area rather quickly and do not stop.  This makes getting decent photographs a challenge.

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LOCATION: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Later in the film, Lucy is admitted to the Callahan Institute for Brain Injuries.  This was filmed at the Cabrillo Beach Bath House in San Pedro, California.  The same location was famously featured in the film “Face/Off.”

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LOCATION: 3800 Stephen M White Dr, San Pedro, CA 90731

The Cabrillo Beach Bath House interiors were also used in the film.  The staff is very friendly there and welcoming to the public, so don’t hesitate to visit.

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Triple Frontier (2019)

While much of J.C. Chandor’s 2019 heist film “Triple Frontier” is set in South America, it was mostly filmed in O’ahu, Hawaii, with a few scenes filmed in Colombia and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

Ben Affleck’s character is introduced unsuccessfully trying to sell a property to prospective buyers at Pae Ko Gardens in Kapolei.  As he exits, Oscar Isacc is outside waiting to speak with him.

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LOCATION: 91-1040 Kaiau Ave, Kapolei, HI 96707

The two stand in the parking lot and talk.

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Just a few blocks away is Ben Affleck’s house in the film, where he is only allowed in the garage.

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LOCATION: 91-228 Pilipiliula Pl, Kapolei, HI 96707

The camera is mostly positioned inside the garage, looking out towards the neighboring houses across the street.

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LOCATION: 91-229 / 91-225 Pilipiliula Pl, Kapolei, HI 96707

As Affleck drives his daughter to school, he stops by a convenience store.  The real building is currently a restaurant.

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LOCATION: 91-775 Papipi Rd, Ewa Beach, HI 96706

He then drops his daughter off at school, which was filmed at Samuel Wilder King Intermediate School in Kaneohe.

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LOCATION: 46-155 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

The freeway establishing shot in South America is actually the iconic Interstate H-3 in O’ahu, also known as the John A. Burns Freeway, which crosses east and west over the Southeast side of the island.  The freeway is known for it’s viaducts running alongside the lush Hawaiian landscape.  We could not replicate the aerial view seen in the film, but here is a view of the freeway from one of the nearby neighborhoods.

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LOCATION: Interstate H-3, Kaneohe, HI 96744

This is the view actually driving the H-3.  Some visual effects were used in the film to add a small village near the road.

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The house where the heist takes place was a composite of a couple different locations.  The main building is part of the historic Clarence H. Cooke Residence, which can be found on Old Pali Road in Honolulu.  It’s actually almost directly across the street from George Clooney’s house in “The Descendants.”  Unfortunately, the building seen in the film is not visible from the road.

The gate and surrounding jungle seen in the film were actually filmed at Kualoa Ranch (49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744).  Unfortunately, the area where the gate set was built was not identified on their movie tour.  Here is a view of the real gate to the Clarence H. Cooke Residence, which of course was never seen from this residential view in the film.

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LOCATION: Clarence H. Cooke Residence, 3860 Old Pali Rd, Honolulu, HI 96817

The crew can be seen having drinks at this cottage, which sits near the the Moli’i Fishpond in Kailua.  The property is actually owned by Kualoa Ranch.  This cottage building can also be seen in the Bruce Willis film “Tears of the Sun.”  The surrounding buildings and pond have also been featured in many movies, such as “Jurassic World,” “50 First Dates,” “Snatched,” “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” “You, Me and Dupree” and TV show “Lost.”

This area, while private, can be seen as part of the Premier Movie Site Tour of Kualoa Ranch.  It’s worth mentioning that parts can also by seen by visiting the local shops near the pond, which rent their buildings from Kualoa Ranch. They offer tours of their own near the water for a small fee, but the Premier Movie Site Tour offered by the ranch is our recommended way to see it.

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LOCATION: 49-243 Kuukama St, Kailua, HI 96734

The helicopter crash site was filmed on the main property of Kualoa Ranch.  Their tours do not go up close to the exact site, but they do pass nearby and offer a view in the distance.  A couple buildings from the film, seen on the left side, are still standing.  Countless productions have also filmed in this area, including the 1998 remake of “Mighty Joe Young,” “Windtalkers” and dozens more.

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LOCATION: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Jurassic Park (1993)

Steven Spielberg’s classic 1993 film “Jurassic Park” takes place on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, supposedly near Costa Rica.  The real locations were filmed mostly in Hawaii, on the islands of Kauaʻi, O’ahu and Maui, with some additional scenes filmed on studio lots near Hollywood, California.

Early in the film, Nedry, played by Wayne Knight, meets Dodgson at an outdoor dining area, supposedly located in San Jose, Costa Rica.  The real location is just off the Kuhio Highway in Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi.  There are numerous food trucks there where motorists can stop and enjoy local food.  This is the spot where Dodgson first arrives by the side of the road.

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LOCATION: 4-1620 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaʻa, HI 96746

This is the general area where Nedry and Dodgson sit and discuss plans to steal dinosaur DNA from InGen and sell it to a rival company.  As you can see, the area has changed a little bit.  While there are tables you can sit and eat, they are closer to the road at the food trucks.  In the film, the two sit further back near the palm trees.

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One of the most memorable scenes in the film is of course the first dinosaur sighting.  For years, it also remained one of the most elusive locations to fans.  The brachiosaurus encounter was filmed at Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi.  The land is a private ranch for horse, sheep and cattle.  For decades, it did not offer tours of any kind and only a select few ever made it onto the property.  That changed in 2019, when the ranch began offering public tours for the first time, including a tour dedicated to filming locations around the ranch.  Besides the original film, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Jurassic Park III” and “Jurassic World” also filmed at the ranch.

Here is where Hammond (Richard Attenborough) rides with Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie (Laura Dern) and Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in the Jeeps, as they first approach a hill towards the brachiosaurus.

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LOCATION: Jurassic Kahili Ranch, 5-1771D, Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, HI 96754

The vehicles continue driving past this row of trees.

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Here is the exact spot where they first see the brachiosaurus.  It is eating from the tree on the right.  As iconic as this scene is, the ranch itself is so vast, it would be quite easy to miss if you didn’t know the general vicinity.  However, once you’re there, if you know the film, it’s very identifiable.

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As Grant sits on the ground bewildered by what he’s just seen, he looks the opposite direction and sees a herd of dinosaurs at a lake.  This is made to appear as if it’s right near the trees where the first brachiosaurus is seen, but in reality is a completely different part of the ranch.  Visual effects were used to composite the actors into the shot, to appear to be overlooking the lake.

This was filmed at the Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir, located on the ranch.  After a breach of the nearby Ka Loko Reservoir in 2006, located about 2 miles east of the ranch, the owners decided to decommission the Pu’u Ka Ele Reservoir in 2009 and downsize it into a lake.  This is how it appears now.  This same lake was featured again in “Jurassic Park III,” when Dr. Grant and the survivors ride a barge along the water and pass herds of dinosaurs standing along the banks.

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If you get a chance to visit Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi, we certainly encourage you to do so if you’re a fan of the film.  There are other, very recognizable locations from the other “Jurassic Park” films to be seen there as well.  The staff is very friendly and welcoming to photography and video and eager for fan input on how to improve the experience.  With the ranch now open to tours, it will likely grow as a tourist hot spot in the years to come.

Later in the film, a storm arrives on the island, which was filmed at Nawiliwili Harbor in Kauaʻi.  The very real Hurricane Iniki hit Kauaʻi during filming in 1992.  Spielberg and the cast were safely holed up at the Marriott Resort in Lihue when the hurricane struck.  The hurricane resulted in many scenes initially planned for filming in Kauaʻi to be shifted to O’ahu, as well as the studio lots in California.  However, they managed to use footage of the actual hurricane in the film, taken at the hotel looking out over the harbor.  If you don’t want to visit the hotel, there is a nearby park, from which the harbor can also be seen pretty well.

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LOCATION: Nawiliwili Harbor, Lihue, HI 96766 (seen near 3610 Rice St, Lihue, HI 96766)

The T-rex attack was filmed at Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank, California, on their tallest sound stage.  The T-rex chasing Malcolm and Ellie was originally intended to be shot in Kauaʻi, however.  Due to the hurricane, this scene was also shifted to the Warner lot and can sometimes be seen on their studio tours, depending on the production schedules around the lot.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Perhaps the most widely known location for this film is Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.  The Gallimimus stampede, with Grant and the two children, was not initially intended to be filmed at Kualoa Ranch.  Instead it was meant to be another location in Kauaʻi.  Kualoa was a replacement location, due to the hurricane.  Here is the main valley at the ranch, where the stampede takes place.

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LOCATION: Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Another view where Grant and the children are running.  The valley appears again in both “Jurassic World” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

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The ranch still has a small piece of the original fallen tree they hide behind as the T-rex hunts and eats the Gallimimus.  They added a sign for the film and it has since become the most popular photo location on the ranch.  It’s right next to the main tour trail, so it’s very easy to access.

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These mountains were seen in the background as Grant and the kids hide and watch the T-rex.

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While “Jurassic Park” was not the first movie to film at Kualoa, it certainly became the most famous.  After this film, countless other films, TV shows, commercials and music videos began filming on the ranch, bringing with it quite a lot of tourism.  The ranch has so many filming locations, it’s almost like a studio tour.  There are a wide variety of tours available at the ranch, many of which are not film related.  While the locations from this film can be seen on quite a few of the tours, we recommend the Premier Movie Site Tour, as it takes you to many locations from other films that are only seen on that particular tour.

If you get a chance to visit Hawaii, there are quite a few “Jurassic Park” locations to be seen.  Some are quite a challenge to visit, however, involving hiking or private helicopter rides as the only way to reach them.  For the casual fan, we recommend Jurassic Kahili Ranch in Kauaʻi and Kualoa Ranch in O’ahu.  Both offer spectacular views and very recognizable locations from multiple different “Jurassic Park” films.  As a reminder, these are private ranches closed to the general public for unauthorized experiences.  Please do not trespass.  The only way to see them is by booking a tour.

Related articles: Jurassic Park III (2001), Jurassic World (2015), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)