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), Fight Club (1999), Panic Room (2002), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010)

Kill Bill (2003)

Quentin Tarantino’s revenge drama “Kill Bill,” was shot around California, China, Japan and Mexico.  Here we will cover locations from both volumes of the film.

The “Two Pines Wedding Chapel,” supposedly located in El Paso, Texas, is actually in the Mojave Desert in Lancaster, California.  First called the “Hi Vista Community Hall,” the building served as a community center and did not originally feature the Spanish style front facade, which is so recognizable today.  The Mission-style facade was actually added by another film production, 1981’s “True Confessions,” starring Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall.  The building also later featured in Talking Heads’ music video for “Road  To Nowhere.”  The building wasn’t widely known, however, until “Kill Bill.”  Tarantino’s production team added the wooden porch on the front and heavily remodeled the interiors.  Sometimes known as the Sanctuary Adventist Church, most people today just refer to the building as the “Kill Bill Church.”  It’s location is a bit remote, being out in the middle of the desert, but well worth a visit if you’re a fan of the film.

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LOCATION: Approximately 19809 E Ave. G, Lancaster, CA, 93535 (near the corner of 198th St E)

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The Bride’s “Death List Five” brings her to the house of Vernita Green, which is set in “The city of Pasadena, California.”  The real house is near South Pasadena, but actually located in East Los Angeles.  The house can also be seen in the 2003 “Project Greenlight” film, “The Battle Of Shaker Heights” and “Mysterious Skin.”

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LOCATION: 5500 Atlas St, Los Angeles, CA 90032

The Bride drives her Kawasaki bike along the streets of Tokyo, riding behind Sofie Fatale’s car down Yasukuni Dori.  It’s difficult to replicate the exact angles, as they were filmed by cameras mounted on moving vehicles in the middle of the street in a high traffic area.  The shots are also mostly quick cuts against moving backgrounds.  Here are a couple views of the general area used in the sequence.  First up is a shot looking down Yasukuni Dori at night.

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LOCATION: Yasukuni Dori, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to, 160-0022, Japan

Here is another view of the same street in the day, which is near Kabukicho, a red-light district of Tokyo where parts of Gaspar Noé’s “Enter The Void” were also filmed.

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After a few shots in Tokyo, The Bride pulls up beside Sofie at this tunnel entrance, which is actually in Los Angeles at the Second Street Tunnel.  The tunnel is also well known for it’s use in “Blade Runner,” “The Terminator” and many more films.

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LOCATION: 620 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (facing S Figueroa St.)

Budd, played by Michael Madsen, lives in a remote trailer on a dirt road near Barstow.  At the base of these hills toward the right is where Budd’s trailer sat.  Mule Canyon Road is a popular site for off road vehicles.  While you may be able to reach it in a regular vehicle (this site is about 1 mile down from the nearest paved road), we recommend a 4×4 vehicle or at least something that doesn’t sit low to the ground, as there are many rocks and dips along the way.  Also keep in mind this area gets very hot in the summer months.

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LOCATION: Mule Canyon Rd, Newberry Springs, CA 92365 (GPS coordinates are 34.936439, -116.837655)

The area to the right is where Bill parks his car, with these rock formations in the background.  This is located in the same general vicinity as Budd’s trailer.

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Looking back towards Calico Rd is the view where Elle Driver races down the road with a dust trail kicking up behind her.  This is also in the same general area as Budd’s trailer.

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The interior of the bar where Budd works is Sam’s Hofbrau, a real topless bar, also featured in “Jackie Brown.”

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LOCATION: 1751 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Django Unchained (2012), Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood (2019)