L.A. Story (1991)

The 1991 Steve Martin comedy “L.A. Story” features multiple locations all over the titular city. At the beginning of the film, four cars yield for one another, before all proceeding simultaneously into a four way collision. The intersection can be found at Kingsland St and Butler Ave in Mar Vista.

LOCATION: Kingsland St / Butler Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

Trudi, played by Marilu Henner, lives in this apartment in West Hollywood. Harris, played by Steve Martin, continues a dead-end relationship with Trudi, while looking for a way out.

LOCATION: 884 Palm Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

The famous freeway sign from the film is not actually located on a freeway. Instead it was filmed on Burbank Blvd in Encino. The sign was of course a prop built by the production. The area where the sign could be found is just past Hayvenhurst Ave. We’ve listed the GPS coordinates below, however, we do not recommend visiting this location. Burbank Blvd has moderate to heavy traffic and there is no sidewalk or parking on the shoulder. It becomes narrow in some places and puts you dangerously close to traffic at times. At best, simply driving past it is likely a safer option to anyone interested in seeking it out.

LOCATION: Just past the intersection of Hayvenhurst Ave / Burbank Blvd, Encino, CA 91436 (GPS coordinates: 34.167274, -118.489291)

Matte paintings were used to depict a city skyline in the distance.

The restaurant where Harris meets Sara, played by Victoria Tennant, was a composite of two locations. The exterior was actually not a restaurant at all, rather an entrance to an apartment complex, which still exists today. The dining patio, however, was part of the Ambassador Hotel, which was demolished in 2006. It formerly stood at 3400 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010.

LOCATION: 426 S Norton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90020

After Harris and Trudi finish eating, Harris initially forgets Trudi on the street curb and starts to drive away. This is the same general spot as the restaurant entrance.

Harris’ house can be found in West Hollywood.

LOCATION: 1206 N Orange Grove Ave ,West Hollywood, CA 90046

Sara lives at this apartment in, also located in West Hollywood. The same building has been featured in the films “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey,” “The Limey,” “Rush Hour” and more.

LOCATION: 1400 N Hayworth Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Harris’ friend Ariel, played by Susan Forristal, lives just a few doors up from Harris. The location of the apartment complex has since been completely remodeled, unfortunately and no longer bears any resemblance to how it appeared in the film.

LOCATION: 1220 N Orange Grove Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Harris goes skating inside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The portion of the museum seen in the exterior establishing shot has since been torn down for remodeling. The same area was seen in the 1988 film “Miracle Mile.”

LOCATION: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Now! clothing store where SanDeE, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, works is currently a pharmacy.

LOCATION: 8491 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

SanDeE’s apartment can be found in Venice Beach.

LOCATION: 25 Windward Ave, Venice, CA 90291

A false doorway was added on the side of the building, making it appear SanDeE lives within the mural.

The Colonic Institute can also be found in Venice Beach. The same building can be seen in the film “Point Of No Return.”

LOCATION: 523 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

Harris and Sara attend an art museum fundraiser at this house in Rancho Palos Verdes. Only a small portion of the home can be seen from the street.

LOCATION: 3456 Vía Campesina, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

The El Pollo del Mar resort where Harris and Sara unexpectedly run into one another can be found in Long Beach. The front entrance to the property is gated off, but the back side of it, also seen in the film, is visible from the beach.

LOCATION: 20 S 37th Pl, Long Beach, CA 90803

A Cinderella Story (2004)

The house from the 2004 Hilary Duff film “A Cinderella Story” can be found in Altadena, California.

LOCATION: 1272 E Calaveras St, Altadena, CA 91001

Sam, played by Duff, works at this diner, located in Long Beach. The same diner has also appeared in the films “Zodiac,” “Corrina, Corrina” and “The Real McCoy.”

LOCATION: 4390 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

During a masquerade ball, Sam takes a walk with Austin, played by Chad Michael Murray. This scene was filmed at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino. The trellises they walk under can be found near the Rose Garden.

LOCATION: 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108

True Detective (Season 2)

Our article on Season 1 of the TV series “True Detective” remains one of the biggest location searches we’ve ever done, through the small towns of Southern Louisiana.  For the second season of the show, writer Nic Pizzolatto shifts the setting to Southern California in the fictional city of Vinci, loosely based on the city of Vernon, which had a corruption scandal not unlike what is depicted in the show.

The locations are just as plentiful as the first season, spanning from Santa Paula to Santa Ana, from Mt. Baldy to Beverly Hills and everything in between. The show presents a more gritty look into Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Visiting the locations is a deep dive into Southern California and one that should only be done if you’re a fan of the show, as it won’t take you to any tourist destinations. Sometimes you’ll even find yourself in somewhat unsafe neighborhoods.

The following article contains numerous spoilers for the show, so we recommend only reading if you’ve seen the complete second season.  As is often the case with TV shows, many of these locations appear in multiple episodes, so we’ll cover each location by where they first appear.

Episode One – “The Western Book of the Dead”

The season begins with Detective Ray Velcoro, played by Colin Farrell, dropping his son off at school.

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LOCATION: 2125 Lincoln Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

The Black Rose bar, where Ray frequently meets Frank Semyon, played by Vince Vaughn, over the course of the series is located in Vernon.  It is mostly seen from interior views in the show, but the building is not actually a bar.  It is a private building closed to the public and it is unclear if the interiors were actually filmed here or elsewhere.  The exterior is seen a few times in the show as well, however.  Frank gives Ray info on who assaulted his ex-wife, leading Ray to seek revenge on the assailant.

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LOCATION: 2465 E 53rd St, Vernon, CA 90058

The establishing shots of the fictional city of Vinci were shot around Vernon.

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LOCATION: Seen from the parking lot behind 3666 S Soto St, Vernon, CA 90058

The casino where Frank works could be found in Gardena.  The actual casino has since closed down.

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LOCATION: 1045 Rosecrans Ave, Gardena, CA 90247

Detective Ani Bezzerides, played by Rachel McAdams, runs an eviction raid on this home, which is located in Santa Paula, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 593 Orcutt Rd, Santa Paula, CA 93060

Ray’s house can be found in Vernon. It is located right next to City Hall, also seen in the show.

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LOCATION: 4322 Furlong Pl, Vernon, CA 90058

Bezzerides follows a lead on a woman to the Panticapaeum Institute, a spiritual retreat run by her father.  These scenes were filmed at Wayfarers Chapel in Ranchos Palos Verdes.  The same location was featured in the 1980s comedy “Innerspace.”

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LOCATION: 5755 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

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Here are the stairs from which the detectives approach.

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The chapel is a very scenic place to visit, offering views overlooking the ocean.

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The California Highway Patrol Station where Highway Patrol officer Paul Woodrugh, played by Taylor Kitsch, works could be found in Hawthorne. It was a real police building, also featured in the TV series “True Blood” and the film “Zodiac.” The building has since been demolished. It formerly stood at 4440 W 126th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250.

Ray parks outside of this apartment building, where he plans to attack the man he believes raped his ex-wife Gena.

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LOCATION: 15464 Moorpark St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

The apartment where he stages the attack is located across the street.

LOCATION: 15445 Moorpark St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Ray visits this house at night, where a boy who has been bullying his son lives.  Ray beats the boy’s father in front of him at the front door, as a warning to stop bullying.

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LOCATION: 19825 Needles St, Chatsworth, CA 91311

Bezzerides gets escorted out of a casino when she receives a call about a new case.

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LOCATION: 6580 Auto Center Dr, Ventura, CA 93003

Woodrugh discovers the body of Ben Caspere sitting on a picnic table at Point Magu Rock, overlooking the ocean.  Detectives Ray Velcoro and Ani Bezzerides are called to the scene, where the three officers meet and the stage is set for the case.  There are no picnic tables at the actual location, but it is a popular scenic overlook.

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LOCATION: Point Magu Rock, 799 Pacific Coast Hwy, NAS Point Mugu, CA 93042

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Episode Two – “Night Finds You”

Ray visits the city of Vinci, where he sees kids playing in the toxic water draining into this river channel. In the same area, he meets with Frank. The drainage hole was a visual effect added by the show.

LOCATION: Near 2715 E Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Woodrugh visits his mother at this trailer park.

LOCATION: 4456 Naval Air Rd, Oxnard, CA 93033

A brief transition shot is shown of these train tracks in Vinci.

LOCATION: Near 2552 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Ray visits this shopping plaza to see his son, but is instead greeted by his ex-wife Gena. Angry over Ray’s violent assault on the bully’s father, Gena tells him she will be petitioning for sole custody. The scene was filmed at the Northridge Mall. It’s a large place, so we’ve provided GPS coordinates below to the specific parking lot.

LOCATION: 9301 Tampa Ave, Northridge, CA 91324 (GPS coordinates: 34.240655, -118.556896)

After some men attack a man on the street, Frank pretends to be a bystander, before threatening the man himself. This scene was filmed near the same freeway overpass seen in the films “Heat” and “Scarface.”

LOCATION: Near 749 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Ray and Bezzerides visit the clinic of Ben Caspere’s doctor. These scenes were filmed at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley. The property regularly hosts weddings and special events. It is otherwise a private estate, only allowing guests by appointment. The only road leading to the ranch is typically gated shut with no trespassing signs. The property has also appeared in Oliver Stone’s “Savages,” “Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher and in the TV series “Too Old To Die Young.”

LOCATION: 2940 Kuehner Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93063

Frank visits the mayor at the Vinci City Hall. The opposite side of the building is where Ray’s house can be found.

LOCATION: 4305 S Santa Fe Ave, Vernon, CA 90058

Episode Three – “Maybe Tomorrow”

Bezzerides and Woodrugh visit the house of the mayor of Vinci, which can be found in Beverly Hills.

LOCATION: 1091 Laurel Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Ray and Bezzerides follow up on a lead when their car is set on fire under this freeway overpass.

LOCATION: 11502 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90061

Episode Four – “Down Will Come”

Woodrugh is unexpectedly confronted by the press in front of this hotel.

LOCATION: 7023 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Frank pays a visit to this apartment, where he informs the owner he is now 40% partner of the property. The apartment complex is seen from the interior courtyard in the show. The apartment next door was also featured in the film “Collateral.”

LOCATION: 1029 S Union Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Woodrugh’s girlfriend informs him she’s pregnant at this restaurant.

LOCATION: 2601 S Soto St, Vernon, CA 90058

Woodrugh locates a stolen watch at this pawn shop.

LOCATION: 5901 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

After Bezzerides find out she has a sexual misconduct complaint filed against her, she has an argument with her partner outside the police department. The same location was featured in the film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” This building has since been demolished. It formerly stood at 333 N Prairie Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301.

The pawn shop lead brings the detectives to a suspect. While the cops are watching the area ahead of their raid, workers file into this building.

LOCATION: 615 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Protesters gather in front of this building.

LOCATION: 560 S Mission Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Bezzerides and her team approach past this building to begin the raid.

LOCATION: 607 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

A shootout ensues from this building, with a large explosion on the top floor.

LOCATION: 621 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Ray and Woodrugh make it through the gunfire over to this door at foot of the building.

They then cross these stairs in front in pursuit of the suspects in a vehicle.

The suspect vehicle then crashes into a bus at this intersection, where another shootout ensues.

LOCATION: Jesse St / S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Episode Five – “Other Lives”

Burdened by financial issues, Frank is forced to move into a more modest home.

LOCATION: 1400 N Spaulding Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Bezzerides meets the woman she ran a raid on in the first episode at this hotel. While speaking to her, she obtains information on a private party.

LOCATION: 401 S Westlake Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Ray follows a group of prostitutes to a nondescript building. He parks in front of this building.

LOCATION: 1951 Staunton Ave, Vernon, CA 90058

He sees the prostitutes enter into this building.

LOCATION: 2001 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90058 (seen from E 20th St)

Frank has a business meeting, where a man offers him a deal to own some land again, if Frank can locate a hard drive owned by Ben Caspere. The location is next to Union Station and the establishing shot shows Union Station, then pans slightly toward the building to the right, where the meeting takes place.

LOCATION: 800 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, panning towards 700 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Ray meets his ex-wife Gena at this scenic area overlooking Dodger Stadium and Downtown Los Angeles. His wife informs him her rapist was captured and it wasn’t the man Ray believed it was, therefore the information Ray had was incorrect. This area is the Elysian Park Helipad. There is parking nearby and a path that leads up directly to this area. It is not a difficult walk to reach it. This area is located close to where a dream sequence in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” was shot.

LOCATION: Elysian Park Helipad, Solano Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (GPS coordinates: 34.082766, -118.236997)

Bezzerides and Woodrugh follow a lead in the Caspere case to a lodge in the woods. Known as the Harwood Lodge, it can be fount in Mt. Baldy, about 50 miles away from Los Angeles. There is a dirt road that leads up to the lodge, which is sometimes best reached by walking, depending on weather conditions.

LOCATION: 6700 Mt Baldy Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759

Bezzerides notices birds circling in the air in the woods nearby, leading them to the discovery of another crime scene.

Episode Six – “Church in Ruins”

Frank and his crew arrive at this home in search of a prostitute. Instead, he finds out the home belongs to the Mexicans criminals seen previously in the show, when Frank refused to form a partnership with them. Frank now renegotiates.

LOCATION: 1521 Colton St, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (seen from Lake Shore Terrace)

After the Mexicans put Frank in touch with the woman he’s been searching for, he arranges to meet her at this location, only to discover her dead body there. The Mexicans have killed her as retribution against Frank for not accepting their initial terms.

LOCATION: 2901 Fruitland Ave, Vernon, CA 90058 (seen from E 50th St)

Episode Seven – “Black Maps and Motel Rooms”

After Ray and Woodrugh rescue Bezzerides from a party in which she was drugged and attacked, the three stay at this motel in Mt. Baldy, located not far from the cabin seen in episode six.

LOCATION: 6867 Mt Baldy Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759

Woodrugh searches police records at the LAPD building in Downtown Los Angeles.

LOCATION: 100 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Woodrugh goes to meet a man who is blackmailing him at the Hall of Records. It turns out to be a set-up.

LOCATION: 320 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (seen from N Hill St)

Woodrugh is shot at the steps of old Los Angeles Police Department in Downtown Los Angeles, which has since been demolished. The same building was featured in the film “Inherent Vice.”

LOCATION: 150 N Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (now demolished)

Episode Eight – “Omega Station”

Frank sends his wife Jordan, played by Kelly Reilly, away at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center. The same location was featured in such films as “Rain Man” and “Memoirs of an Invisible Man.”

LOCATION: 1000 E Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Jordon refuses to leave until Frank finally persuades her.

Ray and Bezzerides enter this home and discover a lot of evidence about the case, as well as the fact that Laura and Leonard Osterman were behind the attack on Caspere.

LOCATION: 1000 El Mirador Ave, Long Beach, CA 90815

Bezzerides sends Laura Osterman away on a bus at this station. The real location is not a bus station at all, rather a boarding terminal for cruise ships in San Pedro.

LOCATION: 100 Swinford St, San Pedro, CA 90731

Frank makes his way to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center to meet the corrupt cops under the agreed plan of exchanging incriminating evidence in his possession.

LOCATION: 2626 E Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806

Ray makes his way to the upper level inside the building.

Leonard Osterman then attacks one of the men and a shootout begins.

Ray parks at this intersection to see his son one last time, only to discover a tracking device on his vehicle. The intersection really is located next to the school, seen in the first episode.

LOCATION: Lincoln Ave / Apple Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

The Mexican criminals kidnap Frank at this intersection.

LOCATION: E 16th St / Hooper Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021

They proceed onto the freeway here.

LOCATION: E 17th St / Naomi Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Bezzerides escapes to what is supposedly Venezuela. In reality, the scenes were shot in Downtown Los Angeles, with a lot of set decoration and some visual effects to fill the city backdrop.

LOCATION: E 11th St / Wall St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

There remain dozens more locations we did not document from the second season. Some are minor, others are major, but not easily visible for photography. Los Angeles is a constantly changing city and just a few short years later, several locations already no longer exist. We’ve tried to document as any as we could here. If you do plan to visit the season 2 filming locations, it requires a lot of time and distance, so do your research and allow yourself many days to navigate it all.

Related articles: True Detective (Season 1)

Zodiac (2007)

The 2007 David Fincher film “Zodiac” is primarily set in the San Fransisco Bay area. However, production was split between Northern and Southern California, with quite a few scenes shot in the Greater Los Angeles area. Early in the film, a couple drives to this diner, located in Long Beach, where the woman says it’s too crowded and decides to go some place quiet. The same diner has also appeared in the films “Corrina, Corrina,” “The Real McCoy” and “A Cinderella Story.”

LOCATION: 4390 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

Robert Graysmith, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, lives in a house that is only seen from interior views in the film. However, a couple shots help pinpoint the neighborhood to Angelino Heights in Los Angeles. For example, the street outside of his home can be seen here when he takes his son to school early in the film.

LOCATION: Near the intersection of Douglas St / Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (approximately in front of 1406 Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026)

Robert works as a cartoonist at the San Fransisco Chronicle. For exterior shots, the real newspaper building was used.

LOCATION: 901 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The Zodiac kills a taxi driver at the corner of Washington and Cherry in San Fransisco. This film shot at the real location where the murder took place. The location is revisited several times in the film, as the characters hope the killer might return to the site on the anniversary of his crimes.

LOCATION: 3893 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Robert stops his son from getting on the school bus at this location. This is again in the Angelino Heights neighborhood, just around the corner from the spot where he drives his son to school early in the film.

LOCATION: Near the intersection of Douglas St / Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (approximately in front of 908 Douglas St, Los Angeles, CA 90026)

Detectives visit the house of Melvin Belli, played by Brian Cox, after the Zodiac writes him a letter. Later in the film, Robert also visits the home. Belli’s house is located in Hancock Park at Fremont Place, but unfortunately it is within one of the few gated communities in Los Angeles and therefore inaccessible to the public. A popular filming location, many productions have shot inside Fremont Place, such as “Taken,” “The War Of The Roses” and “Rocky III.” Fincher himself returned to the same neighborhood for “Gone Girl,” where the house of Desi Collings can also be found.

LOCATION: 72 Fremont Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Paul Avery, played by Robert Downey Jr., has an argument with Inspector David Toschi, played by Mark Ruffalo, outside of the Riverside Police Department. The building used in the scene is actually located in Culver City. The same location was also featured in the film “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

LOCATION: 4130 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

A time lapse is shown of the construction of the Transamerica Pyramid building. This was of course a CGI creation.

LOCATION: 600 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Robert approaches Inspector Toschi at the Earl Warren Building in San Fransisco, seeking more information on the case. Toschi lets Robert know the case is unlikely to ever be solved at that point and tells him to not disturb him anymore.

LOCATION: 350 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102

The building is located next to San Fransisco City Hall, which can be seen in the background of some shots.

The Vallejo Police Department, where Robert obtains more information on the case, could be found in Hawthorne. It was a real police building, also featured in the TV series “True Blood” and the second season of “True Detective.” The building has since been demolished. It formerly stood at 4440 W 126th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250.

Robert meets up with Toschi at the Wilshire Collonade to tell him about the progress of his own personal investigation. Toschi encourages Robert to keep investigating and directs him to seek out Melvin Belli.

LOCATION: 3701 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Near the end of the film, Robert tracks down a suspect he believes may be the Zodiac working inside this hardware store in South Gate. The building is only seen from interior views in the film.

LOCATION: 3948 Tweedy Blvd, South Gate, CA 90280

Related articles: Seven (1995), The Game (1997), Fight Club (1999), Panic Room (2002), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010), Mank (2020)

Last Action Hero (1993)

The 1993 film “Last Action Hero” was shot mostly in Southern California, with a few additional scenes filmed in New York City.  Early in the film, Jack Slater, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, faces off against his nemesis, The Ripper, played by Tom Noonan.  These scenes were filmed at the Culver Hotel in Culver City.

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LOCATION: 9400 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

A magic ticket enters Danny, played by Austin O’Brien, into the movie. He proceeds to try to convince Slater, unsuccessfully, that he too is in a movie. Danny takes Slater to a video store in an attempt to point out other movies Arnold Schwarzenegger has appeared in. After coming across a standee for “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” Danny is shocked to see Sylvester Stallone on the image instead. These scenes were filmed at the Malibu Colony Plaza in Malibu. The two continue arguing out front after they leave the video store.

LOCATION: 23705 Malibu Rd, Malibu, CA 90265

Tony Vivaldi, played by Anthony Quinn, lives at this Mailbu estate.

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LOCATION: 28824 Cliffside Dr, Malibu, CA 90265

Jack Slater’s house can be found in Sherman Oaks.  Unfortunately, a large fence has been built around the front, obscuring most of the view.

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LOCATION: 3831 Oakfield Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

This angle of the back of the home, also seen in the film, remains a bit more visible.

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Late in the film, a mob funeral is held at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach.

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LOCATION: 200 S Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802

Reacher can be seen driving his car across the water here.

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Here is the entrance to the hotel, where Benedict, played by Charles Dance, is seen.

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L.A. Confidential (1997)

The 1997 Curtis Hanson film “L.A. Confidential” is one of the most iconic Los Angeles movies of all time, shown through the lens of a 1950s noir film.  Aside from two scenes being built as sets; Bud holding the D.A. from the window and the motel shootout at the climax of the film, all other scenes shot at real locations.  A vast undertaking, the locations span all over the city.

The Hush Hush office of Sid Hudgens, played by Danny DeVito, can be found at the Crossroads of the World plaza on Sunset Blvd, a former shopping mall featuring a building in the shape of a sea vessel.  The location has also been seen in such films as “Indecent Proposal” and “Cafe Society.”  Sid’s office is located near the back of the property.

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LOCATION: 6671 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

The house where Bud White, played by Russell Crowe, reports to a scene of domestic abuse can be found in Long Beach.  It has since been remodeled.

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LOCATION: 4216 Rose Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

This location, a cane and basket supply, serves as the liquor store where Bud first meets Lynn Bracken, played by Kim Basinger.

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LOCATION: 1279 S Cochran Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Jack Vincennes, played by Kevin Spacey, makes a drug bust at this house, using it as an opportunity to get some press for himself.

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LOCATION: 1714 N Gramercy Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90028

He stands on the street in front of the house speaking to Sid Hudgens, with the camera facing toward Hollywood Blvd.  The building in the distance is a former bank, designed by the same architects of the L.A. City Hall.  It was dressed to look like a movie theater in the film.

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The interior lobby of the police station can be found in Venice.  The same building has appeared in numerous films, such as “Assault On Precinct 13,” “The Net,” “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension” and many more.

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LOCATION: 685 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Two of Mickey Cohen’s men are gunned down in front of this home.

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LOCATION: 4439 Victoria Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90019

The exterior of the police station is the Los Angeles City Hall.  It’s been featured in endless movies, such as “Liar Liar,” “Chinatown” and “Gangster Squad,” just to name a few.  The interiors were a combination of the old Pacific Electric Building (610 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90014), now converted into lofts, and the Old Venice Police Station (685 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291).

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LOCATION: 200 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Nite Owl Coffee Shop location can be found in Downtown Los Angeles.  It’s next to Wild Bill’s Leather from “Seven” and across the street from where Forrest and Lieutenant Dan celebrate New Year’s in “Forrest Gump.”

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LOCATION: 119 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Bud follows a lead to the house of Pierce Patchett, played by David Strathairn.  Known as the Lovell Health House, the property is located in the hills of Los Feliz, up some very narrow roads at the hilltop, not far from the Griffith Observatory.

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LOCATION: 4616 Dundee Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

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Here is the home of Lynn Bracken, the Veronica Lake lookalike, which sits next to a golf course.

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LOCATION: 501 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Jack Vincennes and Ed Exley, played by Guy Pearce, follow a lead on the Night Owl Massacre to this home, which is located just across the street from Bob’s Market from “The Fast And The Furious,” which can be seen briefly in the background.

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LOCATION: 1255 Bellevue Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026

The investigation leads to this house on N Bronson Ave, which has since been destroyed by fires.  What’s left of the house is still standing, but will almost certainly be razed altogether soon.

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LOCATION: 1241 N Bronson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

A woman is held captive at this home in Lincoln Heights.

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LOCATION: 496 E Ave 28, Los Angeles, CA 90031

The property is also seen from this hilltop view in the film.

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The suspects escape, but are tracked down at the home of Roland Navarette, where a shootout ensues.

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LOCATION: 2618 San Marino St, Los Angeles, CA 90006

Pierce Patchett throws a party at the John Snowden House in Los Feliz.  A famous architectural design by Lloyd Wright, the house gained infamy when a book alleged that one of the former owners tortured Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia victim, inside the home, although this has never been proven.  The house is only seen from interior views in the film.  It pops up again in another scene, when Vincennes and Dudley Smith, played by James Cromwell, discuss their investigation in the kitchen.   The house has been featured in Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator,” as well as the TV series “I Am the Night.”

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LOCATION: 5121 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Jack Vincennes and Sid Hudgens meet up at the Frolic Room on Hollywood Blvd.  The famous bar was also seen in such films as “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood” and “The Little Things.”

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LOCATION: 6245 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

A dead body is found at this motel on Sunset Blvd.

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LOCATION: 6720 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Bud visits the house of Meeks.

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LOCATION: 1704 Morton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Exley meets with Vincennes at the famous Formosa Cafe, an iconic spot in West Hollywood.  The restaurant has also been seen in such films as “Swingers” and “The Majestic.”

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LOCATION: 7156 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Jack visits the house of Captain Dudley Smith.

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LOCATION: 5668 Berkshire Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90032

While the climactic motel shootout was built as a set, it was not constructed on any studio lot.  Instead is was built on the grounds of the Inglewood Oil Field in Culver City, giving it the strong illusion of being a real location.

Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood (2019)

When word began to spread that Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood” would be using practical set dressing to convert Los Angeles back to 1969 block by block, we knew this rare occurrence was something we should capture as much as possible for the fleeting moments it took place.

We typically avoid visiting filming locations while a project is in active production.  There are so many moving pieces, restricted areas and things in the way, it almost always proves best to wait until a production has left.  However, this film proved to be an exception.  Documenting the locations in real time made for a much different, more challenging process.  Some areas, such as Hollywood Blvd, were lined with large crowds actively watching for nights on end.  Other places, such as the Spahn Ranch set, were quite low profile and known to very few.  The locations were so impressive, we’ve deviated a bit from our usual format to show some set dressing and behind the scenes photos.  Not everything made it to camera, so we thought it was worthwhile to showcase the level of detail that went into the project.  While there are some minor spoilers in this article, we did our best to avoid any major ones.

The early scenes of Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Cliff Booth, played by Brad Pitt, on the set of “Bounty Law” were filmed at Melody Ranch in Newhall, California.  This is not Tarantino’s first time filming at Melody Ranch.  Some scenes from”Django Unchained” were also filmed there.  Melody Ranch does offer tours to the public, which is a rarity among movie ranches in Southern California.  However, the challenge is that it’s a very popular filming location, often booked for months at a time.  There are only a few opportunities a year you can successfully book a tour and it is typically on very short notice.  Here’s a look at several buildings seen in the film during the “Bounty Law” advertisement.

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LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321

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Rick and Cliff sit down for an interview along the boardwalk in front of this building.  The interior was used extensively as the brothel where Thandie Newton’s character works in “Westworld.”  The interior of this building was also featured in Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” where Dr. King Schulz has a confrontation with the sheriff.

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Rick and Cliff head to Musso & Frank Grill to meet Marvin Schwarzs, played by Al Pacino.  Musso & Frank Grill is the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, founded over 100 years ago.  The restaurant has popped up in numerous films, including “Ocean’s Eleven,” “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

Rick and Cliff sit at the bar when Marvin first arrives.

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After the meeting, Rick and Cliff head to the parking lot in back and have a quick chat in front of this sign.

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The flashback of Rick crashing his car is in front of the Frolic Room on Hollywood Blvd.  The same bar was used in such films as “L.A. Confidential” and “The Little Things.”

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LOCATION: 6245 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Rick Dalton lives on Cielo Drive next door to Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie.  The real entrance to Cielo Dr is seen multiple times in the film.  The houses seen in the film are not actually located on the real Cielo, but the Tate house is a pretty close representation of what was there in 1969.  Most of Cielo is actually public, but the path up to the former Tate residence is private.  The entrance area seen in the film is visible from the public portion of the road.

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LOCATION: Cielo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The actual home used as the exterior for Rick Dalton’s house can be found in a cul-de-sac in Studio City.  It’s actually one of three locations used in the film to composite Rick’s home, as each of the individual locations lacked specific features needed for the story.  The Studio City home was used extensively, however, with many scenes recognizable to it.  Unlike Cielo Dr, Alto View Dr is a public road.

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LOCATION: 10969 Alta View Dr, Studio City, CA 91604

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The driveway is featured in many scenes in the film, with a large painting of Rick placed on the left side.

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Here is the front entrance of the home.  The door was painted green in the film.

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Rick’s pool overlooking the city is a real pool at the home.

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Here is an alternate view of the pool, along with the area where Rick stores his flamethrower.

As Rick is memorizing his lines for an upcoming role at his pool, the camera shifts over to the Tate/Polanski house, which is a geographically accurate shot.

The house next door serves as the home of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski.  The home is a departure from how the real house on Cielo appeared, but it serves Tarantino’s story well.

LOCATION: 10974 Alta View Dr, Studio City, CA 91604

Here is a view of Rick Dalton’s house on the right and the Tate/Polanski gate on the left.

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Here’s a closer look at the gate to the Tate residence.

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Here is the area where Charles Manson, played by Damon Herriman, parks a Twinkies delivery truck.  Cliff observes him from the roof as he goes looking for Terry Melcher.

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Here is the road leading into the cul-de-sac of the Dalton and Tate/Polanski residences, which is seen a few times in the film.

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After dropping Rick off at his home, Cliff drives at high speeds down Hollywood Blvd as he heads home.

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LOCATION: Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Here is Brad Pitt waiving to the crowd on the street.

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Tarantino acknowledging the crowd of onlookers as well.

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Here’s a deeper look at the set dressing around Hollywood Blvd, which was completely transformed back to 1969 for the film.

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Cliff’s trailer, supposedly located on the grounds of the Van Nuys Drive-In Theatre (a real drive-in theater long since closed), was a combination of two locations.  The drive-in sign was built by the production at the Saugus Speedway in Santa Clarita, which now serves as the site of the Santa Clarita Swap Meet.  Cliff drives past the white fencing and enters here.

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LOCATION: 22500 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

The camera cranes up over the sign, which was a creation of the production and we’re seamlessly transported to a second location.  The drive-in itself is the Paramount Drive-In Theaters.

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LOCATION: 7770 Rosecrans Ave, Paramount, CA 90723

Sharon Tate and husband Roman Polanski attend a party at the Playboy Mansion.  This was filmed at the real Playboy Mansion.  The property sits in a residential neighborhood and if you didn’t know what you were looking for, it would be very easy to drive past without any idea.  It should be noted this is a private residence and from the street you can mostly just see the front gate.

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LOCATION: 10236 Charing Cross Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

The scene where Cliff fights Bruce Lee supposedly takes place on a studio backlot. In reality, it was filmed at a high school, with heavy set dressing added to make it appear like a backlot. The school is Excelsior High School in Norwalk, which was also featured in the film “Grease 2.” Cliff sits outside of Rick’s trailer, which is parked in this lot. Randy, played by Kurt Russell, speaks with Rick in his trailer and reluctantly agrees to hire Cliff onto the stunt team.

LOCATION: 15711 Pioneer Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650

Here is the area where the fight between Cliff and Bruce Lee takes place.

Janet, played by Zoë Bell, comes across the two men sparring and insists Cliff be fired on the spot.

The Manson Family girls are introduced digging through the dumpsters at the Super A Foods market.  The same market was seen in the films “A Star Is Born” and “Crossroads.”

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LOCATION: 2924 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065

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It’s difficult to see, but the actresses playing the Manson girls, including Harley Quinn Smith, are gathered by the dumpster in the center of this shot.

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The Manson girls then walk away with their haul, making their way past this mural of James Dean from the film “Giant.”  This was located at a pharmacy just across the street from the Super A Foods market. It was added by the production and is unfortunately no longer painted on the actual location.

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LOCATION: 2922 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065

Here’s a look at some more of the shoot from Super A Foods.

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While driving, Cliff spots Pussycat, played by Margaret Qualley, sitting in front of the Pandora’s Box nightclub looking for a ride.  Pandora’s Box was a real nightclub in West Hollywood, which was at the center of protests over a curfew in 1966.  The building was eventually demolished in 1967.  For the film, the production recreated the former nightclub at Jospeh’s Cafe on Ivar Ave.  Here’s a view of when the production was setting up for the scene.

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LOCATION: 1775 Ivar Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

From the reverse view at the same location, Cliff can be seen in his car with the Capitol Records building in the background.

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Here’s a couple more shots from when the Pandora’s Box shoot was prepping.

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Sharon stops by the Bruin Theater to watch herself in the film “The Wrecking Crew” with Dean Martin.  The Bruin is still in operation, though the marquee is now digital.  Fatboy Slim’s music video for “Praise You” shot in front of the same theater.

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LOCATION: 948 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

The Fox Theater right across the street is also seen in several shots.

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LOCATION: 961 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Here’s a closer look at the Fox Theater, with the finished marquee for the film.

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Here is the view across the street from the Bruin Theater, when it was dressed for filming.

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Here is the exterior of the book store Sharon Tate visits.  It’s not a book store in realty, but this is what it looked like when it was fully dressed.

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LOCATION: 10909 Weyburn Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

This travel agency was also seen in the film.  It was another creation of the production and not an actual travel agency.

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Here are some more views of the area when production was in progress.

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Cliff takes Rick down Hollywood Blvd and they pass the famous Pantages Theater.

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LOCATION: 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Cliff runs into Pussycat once again in front of Jackalope Pottery in North Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 10726 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Here is the area when filming was taking place.  It was overflowing with crew at the corner.

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Just across the street, Quentin Tarantino stood on the right, along with Rick Dalton’s car on the street.

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Pussycat takes Cliff to Spahn Ranch, which was a very accurate recreation built at Corriganville Park in Simi Valley.  Originally the production hoped to film at the real Spahn Ranch, but due to the fact that the entrances were bulldozed over, it made the land difficult for building sets.  Much like Spahn Ranch, the nearby Corriganville is also a former movie ranch which hosted many westerns in during the 1950s and 1960s, before being destroyed by widlfires.  The land now operates as a public park, but there are many signs explaining the land’s film history and the frames of the old buildings are still in the ground.

The Spahn Ranch set took a couple months to build, but when it was finished, it shot very quickly and was demolished just a few weeks later.  Having done plenty of research on the real Spahn Ranch and The Manson Family long before this film was ever announced, we were quite well versed in the subject matter.  Standing in person at what was a near exact, full scale replica of Spahn Ranch remains one of the most memorable location experiences we’ve ever had.  The production design and attention to detail was incredible.  If you go there now, it’s empty land again, but here we’ll take a look at when the set existed.

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LOCATION: 7001 Smith Rd, Simi Valley, CA 93063 (Spahn Ranch sets now demolished)

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George Spahn’s house plays a key role in the scene, as Cliff insists on speaking with the old man, played by Bruce Dern.

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Some more views of the Spahn house.

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Here is a view of the front of the Spahn set, including the famous truck.  The signs for the Longhorn Saloon and Rock City Cafe are spot on to the original ranch.

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Here is the horse stable area where Clem sits on the fence.

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Here are some more views around the ranch.

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Rick is photographed with a new love interest in tow at a restaurant, supposedly located in Rome, Italy.  This is actually the Cicada Restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. The interior is also seen in another scene of Marvin Schwarz calling Rick as he sits at the bar.  The restaurant has been featured in numerous films, such as “Mank” “Pretty Woman,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “Indecent Proposal” and “Bruce Almighty,” as well as such TV shows as “Mad Men, “The Morning Show” and “American Horror Story.”

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LOCATION: 617 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Rick returns from Italy with his costar.  The couple is seen walking past the wall tiles of Terminal 6 at LAX Airport.  These tiles can be found along the pedestrian tunnel in the lower level and are only accessible to airline passengers and staff, as they make their way to baggage claim or the exits.  Tarantino also filmed Pam Grier in this area in the opening of “Jackie Brown.”

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LOCATION: Terminal 6, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (lower level, arrivals area)

In the third act, a montage of businesses are shown turning on their neon lights as night falls, leading up to the conclusion of the film.

An old Taco Bell is also shown.  This was located much further south in Tunstin.  The building was abandoned and the production came and made it look like an operational Taco Bell from 1969.

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LOCATION: 14232 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780

The famous Cinerama Dome in Hollywood is seen next.

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LOCATION: 6360 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

The Vine Theater on Hollywood Blvd is also seen.  This was part of the production design for when Cliff is seen driving home early in the film.

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LOCATION: 6321 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

The Supply Sergeant sign is also seen illuminating.  This remains an active business on Hollywood Blvd.

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LOCATION: 6664 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Chili John’s in Burbank is also briefly seen.

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LOCATION: 2018 W Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

Der Wienerschnitzel is actually a taco stand today, which the production altered to make it appear like it did back in the 1960s.

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LOCATION: 1910 W Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90810

Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski have dinner that evening at the El Coyote restaurant.  This is where the real people ate that night and the film shot at the actual location.

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LOCATION: 7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Here is a view of the front entrance of El Coyote, which remains in business to this day.

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Rick and Cliff have dinner at the same evening at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks.

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LOCATION: 13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

The location actually appears twice in the film, with one of the booths inside also standing in as a restaurant supposedly in Spain.

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We leave you with Quentin Tarantino’s hand and foot prints in front of the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd.  While in no way a filming location, we felt it was nevertheless fitting to include.

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LOCATION: 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028

It was a unique experience walking through 1969 with the production and we hope these photos help you share in that experience.  There’s actually many locations we captured where the production shot, but were not featured in the final film.  Perhaps there will be a longer or alternate cut someday.  For now, we’ll keep to the places that made it into the film.

Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (2003), Django Unchained (2012)

Lethal Weapon (1987)

The tower where the woman falls to her death in the opening of the 1987’s “Lethal Weapon” was filmed at the International Tower Condos in Long Beach, California.

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LOCATION: 700 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802

Roger Murtaugh, played by Danny Glover, shows up in front of the same tower to investigate.  The Villa Riviera condos can be seen in the distance.

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Murtaugh’s house, seen in much of the film, is not a real house.  It’s a set on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is offsite from the main Warner Studio lot and is unfortunately not available for public tours.  The house has been used in countless productions, including the home of the Griswold’s angry neighbors in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” the Colonel’s house in “American Beauty,” Dottie’s house in “WandaVision” and many, many more.  It has the most complete interiors of any set on the ranch, much of which was seen in the film.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The building where Martin Riggs, played by Mel Gibson, uses his unique methods to neutralize a potential suicide jumper was filmed at the Emser Tile building in West Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 8431 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (some GPS systems alternately list the location as 8431 CA-2, Los Angeles, CA 90069)

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Riggs and Murtaugh grab hotdogs at the corner of Western Ave and Wilshire Blvd, with The Wiltern music venue in the background.

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LOCATION: Western Ave / Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Donnie Darko (2001)

In the 2001 film “Donnie Darko,” a jet engine crashes into the bedroom of the Darko residence.  While set in the town of Middlesex, Virginia, the house can actually be found in Long Beach, California.

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LOCATION: 4225 Country Club Dr, Long Beach, CA 90807

Just up the same road, the house of Jim Cunningham, played by Patrick Swayze, can also be found.

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LOCATION: 4252 Country Club Dr, Long Beach, CA 90807

The high school seen in the film is Layola High School in Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 1901 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

Donnie goes to a movie at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, one of the best revival houses in the Los Angeles area.  The theater regularly shows classic films, often featuring Q&A’s with the filmmakers and cast.  It has been featured in many films, including “Get Shorty” and “Sleepwalkers.”

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LOCATION: 1328 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

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Related articles: Southland Tales (2006)

American Pie (1999)

The house from the 1999 comedy “American Pie” can be found in Long Beach, California.  In the film, Jim, played by Jason Biggs, makes a pact with his friends to lose their virginity.  Jim lives with his family at this home, where many famous scenes take place, including a memorable encounter with a sexy foreign exchange student, played by Shannon Elizabeth, as well as the infamous pie scene.

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LOCATION: 4153 Cedar Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

The house where Michelle, played by Alyson Hannigan, lives can also be found on the same road.

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LOCATION: 3925 Cedar Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

Kevin’s home can be found in Pasadena.

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LOCATION: 3689 San Pasqual St, Pasadena, CA 91107

The high school used in the film is Millikan High School in Long Beach.

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LOCATION: 2800 Snowden Ave, Long Beach, CA 90815

The boys frequent this restaurant, located in Monrovia.

LOCATION: 402 S Myrtle Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016

The exterior of Stifler’s house can also be found in Pasadena.

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LOCATION: 3644 Lombardy Rd, Pasadena, CA 91107

The interiors of Stifler’s house, however, used this house in Altadena.  The house has been used in many productions, including “Can’t Hardly Wait,” “Bye Bye Love,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and “I Know Who Killed Me,” as well as such TV shows as “The Mentalist” and “This Is Us.”

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LOCATION: 1090 Rubio St, Altadena, CA 91001