Seven (1995)

David Fincher’s 1995 thriller “Seven” filmed primarily in downtown Los Angeles, against muted color tones and an onslaught of rain towers.  Detective Mills, played by Brad Pitt, first meets Detective Somerset, played by Morgan Freeman, at a murder scene in the Flower District of downtown.  As they exit the building, Somerset invites Mills for a drink, but is promptly declined.  The two walk along the building as they continue talking.

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LOCATION: 746 1/2 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

The pair are introduced to the seven deadly sin killings with the “Gluttony” murder scene, filmed in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 720 Beacon Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017

They make their way across a then-vacant lot, along the side of the property to a rear entrance.

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Somerset researches the seven deadly sins at the city library.  This 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 “The Mask,” “The Prestige,” “Ghost,” “Bridesmaids” and many more.  This area cannot normally be accessed by pedestrians.  However, it is still visible from the street in a couple areas through the windows.

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LOCATION: 650 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Mills runs across the street in the rain to his car, parked across from this ramp to the Millennium Biltmore Hotel on S Grand Ave.  Lady Gaga walks up the same ramp in the opening of “A Star Is Born” and it can also be seen in “Chinatown.”

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LOCATION: 530 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Thinking they’ve located the killer, the police raid leads instead to the discovery of the “Sloth” victim at the former Pan American Building, now known as the Pan American Lofts.  The building had a distinctive “Giant Penny Store” sign along the bottom, which is now gone.  However, much of the architecture otherwise remains the same.  The shots seen in the film are actually from the side of the building on W 3rd St.

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LOCATION: 253 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tracy asks Somerset to meet her at a diner, which was the former Quality Cafe in downtown.  The diner was a one-time staple of films, appearing in “Training Day,” “Ghost World,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Million Dollar Baby” and dozens more.  However, it was not an actual restaurant open to the public.  Instead it was used solely for filming (much like Johnie’s Coffee Shop in mid-town L.A.).  Unless the building was being set up for a production, most of the time it was closed up and locked by a large metal door covering the front windows.  So catching a glimpse of it was rare.

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LOCATION: 1238 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (now closed and heavily remodeled)

Sadly, it ceased to function as a filming location and was completely renovated in 2014.  The property no longer bears any resemblance to how it appeared in so many films.

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Later in the film, Somerset emerges from this doorway of Chester Williams Building.

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LOCATION: 215 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The fictitious Wild Bill’s Leather could be found on E 6th St in downtown Los Angeles, next to the Nite Owl from “L.A. Confidential” and across the street from where Forrest and Lieutenant Dan celebrate New Year’s in “Forrest Gump.”

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LOCATION: 123 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The police station was a composite of a few different buildings, but the exterior can be found on Mateo St.

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LOCATION: 673 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

The film’s infamous ending was shot in Lancaster.  While there are quite a few electrical towers out there, it’s not as dense as what’s seen in the film, indicating some use of visual effects.

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LOCATION: 10482 W Ave I, Lancaster, CA 93536

Related articles: The Game (1997), Panic Room (2002), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010)

American Beauty (1999)

It is common practice in Hollywood to film exteriors of homes on location, while filming interiors on studio lots.  For the 1999 Sam Mendes film, “American Beauty,” an unusual approach was taken to film the exteriors on a studio lot and the interiors in real locations.

Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, lives at this house, the exterior of which is located on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is a small lot located apart from the main studio lot, and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  The house is also well known for having been used as the Griswold home in 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”  It has also appeared in the films “Hocus Pocus,” “Small Soldiers,” “Pleasantville” and more.  As is often the case with houses on studio lots, the outer facade has since changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The interiors of Lester’s home were filmed at this house, located in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 11388 Homedale St, Los Angeles, CA 90049

To the right of the Bernham house at the Warner Bros. Ranch is the exterior of the Colonel’s house.  This house is most well known for being Danny Glover’s home in the “Lethal Weapon” films.  Known as the Lindsay house, it has also appeared in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” The Three Stooges serials, “Pushing Daisies,” “The Middle” and many more.  Once again, the outer facade has changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.  The interior of the Colonel’s house was filmed at 330 S Windsor Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90020.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

To the left of the Burnham house is the house of the two Jims, played by Scott Bakula and Sam Robards.  To stand on Blondie Street at the Warner Bros Ranch, where all three of the house exteriors are located, it really does feel like you’re standing in a real neighborhood.  It’s only when you approach up close that the facades begin to show.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The Usual Suspects (1995)

In “The Usual Suspects,” the suspects meet up with Redfoot at the Korean Bell of Friendship, in San Pedro, California.  Perched right in front of a spectacular ocean view, it’s a great place to visit, even if you’re not a fan of the film.

The bell was given as a gift by South Korea to celebrate the U.S. bicentennial in 1978.

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LOCATION: 3601 Gaffey St., San Pedro, CA 90731