Independence Day (1996)

The 1996 sci-fi action film “Independence Day” was a large scale production, filming in California, New York,  Utah, Washington D.C., New Mexico and more.  Capt. Steven Hiller, played by Will Smith, lives at this Los Angeles home, where he first spots the giant spaceship in the sky.

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LOCATION: 6033 W 74th St, Los Angeles, CA 90045

The First Lady, played by Mary McDonnell, receives a phone call at the famed Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown L.A.  The hotel is a staple of film, having appeared in such movies as “Ghostbusters,” “Beverly Hills Ninja,” “Fight Club” and many more.

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LOCATION: 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The famous sequence with the fires engulfing the tunnel full of cars was filmed at the Second Street Tunnel in Downtown L.A.  This is another popular filming location, appearing in such films as “Kill Bill,” “Demolition Man,” “Blade Runner” and many more.

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LOCATION: 620 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Hiller drags a defeated alien across the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  The salt flats have been seen in many films, such as “Pirates Of The Carribean: At World’s End,” “The Tree Of Life” and this film’s 2016 sequel, “Independence Day: Resurgence.”  The I-80 freeway traverses straight through the Bonneville Salt Flats, with viewing points on the side of the road.  There’s also an exit to drive in for a closer look.

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LOCATION: Bonneville Salt Flats, UT 84083

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Wendover Airfield, located near the border of Nevada and Utah, served as the airfield where President Thomas J. Whitmore, played by Bill Pullman, gives his speech to rally the troops before taking their final stand against the aliens.  This scene was filmed in front of Hangar 2.  This area is private property, but they do allow tours.  Wendover Airfield has appeared in many films, such as “Con Air,” 1982’s “The Philadelphia Experiment” “Mullholland Falls,” The Core” and Ang Lee’s 2003 version of “The Hulk”

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LOCATION: 345 Airport Way, Wendover, UT 84083

Hiller’s military uniform can be found on display at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino is Las Vegas.

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LOCATION: 3667 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Showgirls (1995)

Paul Verhoeven’s infamous 1995 film “Showgirls” was of course filmed primarily in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The city is constantly changing and many of the skylines and buildings are quite different than they appeared back in the 1990s.  Here we’ve highlighted a few spots still bearing some resemblance.

The topless club where Nomi, played by Elizabeth Berkley, first starts dancing is Cheetahs, a real club which still remains in business.

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LOCATION: 2112 Western Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102

After getting into an argument with James, played by Glenn Plummer, Nomi sits on a bench in front of the Luxor Hotel & Casino.

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LOCATION: 3900 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Near the end of the film, Nomi is hitchhiking along the I-15 freeway in the southbound lane with the Luxor and Excalibur seen in the distance.  It’s difficult to replicate this location.  Besides of course being on a busy freeway, the skyline has changed a lot, with Mandalay Bay Rd now an overpass above the freeway, partially blocking the skyline.  This is actually a view from Dean Martin Dr, which runs parallel with the freeway.  A stadium is currently being constructed in this area, so it will inevitably change even more in the time to come.

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LOCATION: I-15, Las Vegas, NV 89118 (this photo is taken from Dean Martin Dr, next to the southbound lane of the freeway, near Connector Rd)

In front of the Vista Theater, you’d find these hand prints and signatures from Rena Riffel, Lin Tucci and Patrick Bristow.

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LOCATION: Vista Theater, 4473 Sunset Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Casino (1995)

Much of the 1995 Martin Scorsese film “Casino” was filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada, as you might imagine.  The house where Ace, played by Robert De Niro, lives can be found in the Paradise Palms neighborhood.  A real casino owner did at one time live in the home and once was even targeted for attack by a car bomb.  However, it is not the same man De Niro’s character is based on in the film.  Former rap mogul Suge Knight is also said to have owned the house at one time.

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LOCATION: 3515 Cochise Ln, Las Vegas, NV 89169

Related articles: The Departed (2006), Goodfellas (1990)

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

In Steven Soderbergh’s ensemble heist remake, “Ocean’s Eleven,” after being released from jail, Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, meets Rusty, played by Brad Pitt.  The two drive to Musso & Frank Grill, the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, founded over 100 years ago.  The two can be seen driving to the parking lot with a camera mounted on the back of the car.  The interior pops up twice in the film.  First when Danny lays out the plans for a Vegas heist to Rusty, then again when Danny questions if ten men is enough, or if they need one more.

The restaurant has popped up in numerous films, including “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood,” “Ed Wood” and “Swingers,” as well as the TV shows “Mad Men” and “Bosch.”

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LOCATION: 6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Later in the film Rusty rescues Basher, played by Don Cheadle.  This was filmed at a bank in Downtown Los Angeles, across the street from where the opening scenes of “Speed” were filmed.

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LOCATION: 601 W 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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The reverse view is also shown in the scene, looking out onto the intersection of S Grand Ave and W 5th St.

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The gang plans a “pinch” to create a temporary blackout on the Las Vegas Strip.  The scenes in which they steal the device to create the electromagnetic pulse were filmed at the Gillespie Neuroscience Research Facility on the UC Irvine campus in California.

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LOCATION: 829 Health Sciences Rd, Irvine, CA 92617

The ending, with the gang all standing in front of the casino fountain, was filmed at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

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LOCATION: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Pawn Stars

Just a few miles from the Las Vegas Strip, you’ll find the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, also known as the “Pawn Stars” shop from the hit TV series.  The shop is open 24 hours, with security always posted at the front entrance.  Depending on the level of business at a given time, the staff will sometimes form a line outside for visitors to enter if it becomes too crowded inside.

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LOCATION: 713 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101

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Video inside the store is strictly forbidden.  However, photography is permitted.  Here is the famous sales counter from the show.

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