Beaches (1988)

The 1988 Garry Marshall film “Beaches” filmed at Cottage 13 at Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach.  The cottage looks a bit different now than how it appeared back then, but there is still some resemblance.

Parking is tricky in this area.  While you can drop off and pick up fairly close to the beach, the closest proper parking lot (the Los Trancos Parking Lot) is across the street and charges a fee.  You’ll have to walk the rest of the way or wait for a shuttle, which also charges a fee.  There’s no exact address to the cottage, but some GPS systems do identify it as the “Beaches Film & Media Center.”  It’s the last cottage at the end, past The Beachcomber restaurant.

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LOCATION: Beaches Film & Media Center, Newport Beach, CA 92657 (just past The Beachcomber restaurant at 15 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, CA 92657)

Crystal Cove kindly honors their film history with a sign marking it as the cottage from the movie.  There a film museum inside, celebrating not only “Beaches,” but many other productions at the beach, which date all the way back to the silent era.

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The cottage is owned by the State of California and is completely open to the public.

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The Walking Dead

“The Walking Dead” is famously shot around Atlanta, Senoia and the surrounding towns of Georgia.  The former Raleigh Studios Atlanta is the central hub of the show, but many famous locations have shot beyond the studio property.

Early in season 1, Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, awakens from this “hospital” to discover a world in chaos.  This scene was filmed at the back of the Atlanta Mission Administrative Offices.

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LOCATION: 2353 Bolton Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Rick can be seen walking out of the door and down the stairs.

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Rick’s house can also be found in Atlanta.

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LOCATION: 817 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

Right around the corner from Rick’s place is Morgan’s house, where the two meet for the first time.

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LOCATION: 376 Ormond St SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

The sheriff’s office where Rick worked is part of a long strip of commercial lots.  It’s a bit further down Ellsworth Industrial Blvd, with a sign stating “Complex F” (though the building itself is labeled “G”).

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LOCATION: 1737G Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

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The iconic shot of the post-apocalyptic freeway, used as the poster for season 1, can be seen from the Jackson Street Bridge, overlooking the 10 freeway leading into the Atlanta skyline.  Some CGI was added to achieve the exact look the production wanted.  The same shot (minus the CGI) can be seen in the 2015 remake of “Vacation.”

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LOCATION: Jackson Street Bridge, Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312 (near 210 Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312)

Season 1 concludes with the group reaching the Center for Disease Control.  This unique building is the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

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LOCATION: 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339

Season 2 was primarily set on Herschel’s Farm.  The farm is a real location, not a set.  However, it sits on private property on a gravel road off GA-85.  The owners are rumored to have distanced themselves from the show, due to the excessive attention it brought.  The property can be found at 33°18’01.5″N, 84°31’22.4″W in Senoia, Georgia, but it is not accessible to the public.

Season 3 largely took place at a prison, which was actually a set at Raleigh Studios Altanta.  After the prison story arc was completed, the set was heavily overhauled and became the Savior’s Sanctuary in later seasons.  The studio can be found at 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276, but until 2018 was entirely inaccessible to fans.  The building still remains, but the fences and towers are now gone.  At first glance, you’d probably not even recognize it as being the prison at this point.

Also in season 3, the fictional town of Woodbury plays a key role.  Main Street in Senoia stood in as Woodbury, with some sets and art decoration added.  Due to the popularity of the show, many of these properties have since become shops and restaurants themed around the series, which we’ll get to later in this article.

Here is a view of the main strip of Woodbury.  The Governor’s house was a set that has since been removed, but the area is still recognizable.

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LOCATION: 9 Main St, Senoia, GA 30276

If you’re headed to the former Raleigh Studios in Senoia, along the way you’ll pass this restaurant, which stood in as a bar where Merle has a drink in season 3, episode 15.

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LOCATION: 34 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276

As you approach the main studio, you’ll pass Crook Rd, which has been used in countless episodes of the show, any time a wooded road is needed.  Even though the road is not on studio property, it is scarcely used by motorists and is therefore easy to obtain filming permits, hence the frequent appearances.

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LOCATION: Crook Rd, Senoia, GA 30276

Also in Senoia, in season 4, episode 9, Carl sits atop the roof of this house eating a can of pudding.  This house is located near the the “Alexandria” site.

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LOCATION: 239 Pylant St, Senoia, GA 30276

In season 5, “Terminus” plays a central role.  The Terminus site is a real location in Atlanta.  Although there are some walls along Windsor Street obscuring the view a bit, it can still be seen with relative ease by simply looking over top.

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LOCATION: 799 Windsor St SW, Atlanta, GA 30315

Back in Senoia, another location that’s very close to the studio is Dwight’s house, seen in season 7, episode 11.

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LOCATION: 30 Golfview Ct, Senoia, GA 30276

In 2017, AMC purchased Raleigh Studios Atlanta, renaming it Riverwood Studios.  This paved the way for something the fans had long been requesting; a studio tour.  Beyond the studio itself, the tour also takes guests inside the walls of “Alexandria.”

Alexandria is filmed in a real neighborhood in Senioa, just past Main St (“Woodbury”).  Originally the area was a developing neighborhood and open to the public.  You can even see old google street views taking you through it, before the show sealed it off.  At the time AMC took interest, only one brownstone building was there, with tenants already occupying the units.  The rest of the land was vacant lots planned for residential development.  The network worked out a deal with the existing tenants to allow them to film and Alexandria was born.  They then began purchasing the empty lots and constructing houses for the show.  Due to the fact the buildings needed to remain standing for years on end, state laws required them to meet actual building codes, meaning the houses in Alexandria are fully functional.  Likewise, the massive walls surrounding the neighborhood is also built to code, which is to say they are dug deep and very sturdy.

There is a security guard posted at the main entrance of the neighborhood and the whole area is surrounded by cameras.  Tenants are allowed to come and go as they please, but pedestrians and motorists are not allowed in.  That changed slightly in 2018, however, with the launch of the Walking Dead Studio Tour.  Fans are now able to enter within the walls and see pretty much everything there as part of the tour.  Photo privileges are very strict, however.  There is unfortunately only one spot in the entire neighborhood where photos are allowed, which is facing toward the windmill.  Eventually after the show has ended or no longer uses the site, the neighborhood will hopefully return to being open to the public.  As is, key sites such as Rick and Michonne’s house are prohibited from photography.

This is the main entrance into the neighborhood, where the security guard is posted.  If you attempt to approach Morgan St (outside of the tour), you’ll quickly be asked to turn back.   There are signs posted stating the road has no public access.

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LOCATION: 132 Morgan St, Senoia, GA 30276

Here is another entrance, which remains closed unless the production is using it.

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This is the sole permissible photo location inside Alexandria on the studio tour.

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Here’s another look at the completed windmill, taken during the filming of the show.

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Moving on to Riverwood Studios itself, quite a lot of the show has been filmed there.  In addition to the previously mentioned prison set, Hilltop, Oceanside and the Sanctuary are all there as well.  Hilltop is a real building built to code on the outside, but the inside is completely empty.  All interior Hilltop scenes are filmed on a sound stage. The show’s production offices are also based at Riverwood Studios.

The tour opened in late 2018.  Prior to that, the studio grounds were fenced off and guarded by security.  It’s a very large place, surrounded by woods full of animals and insects, so it’s probably not the kind of place you want to go wandering around unprepared.  You’re much better off purchasing a tour ticket.  For the most part, the tour is a very enjoyable experience.  Due to the size of the property, as well as potential safety hazards, much of the time is spent in tour buses, guided by a very friendly and well-informed staff.  There are select spots where you can exit the bus for closer looks.

The biggest drawback of the tour is the strict policy on photography and video.  Video and audio is prohibited altogether. There are some areas that can be photographed.  However, they are mostly limited to the sites no longer used in active storylines on the show.  Anything being used in current seasons, while still showcased on the tour itself, is unfortunately off-limits for photos or video.  This includes Hilltop, Oceanside and the Sanctuary.  Alexandria is the only exception, but it’s very limited, allowing the aforementioned single photo spot.

While there are some minor spoilers involved with some of the sets, if specific parameters were set, as with Alexandria, the photo rules could be a bit more relaxed.  These sets have been shown on screen to millions of viewers for years, so they’re not exactly top secret places.  Having said that, the tour is otherwise excellent from top to bottom and it’s a very welcome change that the studio is finally open to fans.  However, the tour seasons are limited only to times when the show is not filming, so you need to plan in advance.

We’ll now take a look at the sites at Riverwood Studios that can be photographed.  First up is the site where (*spoilers*) Negan kills Glenn and Abraham.  The show was so secretive about which characters would be killed off that they actually filmed scenes of Negan killing every major character, in order to maintain the mystery of which ones would make it to air.

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LOCATION: 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276

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Next is the lake where Rick and Aaron search a houseboat for supplies in season 7, episode 7.  It’s a nice touch that they kept some body props in the water.

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LOCATION: 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276

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Arguably the best site that can be photographed at the studio is the Scavenger’s junkard, also known as “The Heaps.”  It’s right next to the Sanctuary, but the junk is piled so high, you’d never know by the photos alone.

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LOCATION: 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276

The junk is actually just a top layer.  Just beneath are large piles of dirt, giving the appearance of more junk than is actually there.

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Also on the tour are many vehicles used in the show.  These too were prohibited from photography, for reasons unknown.  Overall, if you’re a fan of the show, we still highly recommend the tour.  You’ll see virtually all of the sites available there and gain a lot of knowledge about the show, even if only a few spots can be captured.  The tour hosts did say that it’s a work in progress, so perhaps the policies and places will change as time goes on.

Beyond the actual filming locations, there are several show-themed business in Senioa.  The Woodbury Shoppe sells a wide variety of show merchandise.  The store is located along Main St in Senoia, which served as the fictional town of Woodbury on the show.

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LOCATION: 48 Main St #1A, Senoia, GA 30276

The basement of the store also features a Walking Dead museum, which houses props, posters, artwork, memorabilia and more.  There’s autographs from nearly every cast member scrawled across the walls.  Here we’ll take a look at a bit of what can be seen in the museum, but not everything.  Here is one of the motorcycles Daryl rode in the series.

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One of the main cell blocks from the prison in seasons 3 and 4, on loan from AMC.

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A kid’s bedroom in the prison from season 4, episode 9.

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To the left is the “W” zombie, on loan from executive producer Greg Nicotero.  To the right is a dental chair from season 3, episode 16, in which Andrea is handcuffed to the chair by The Governor and left for dead.

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Some knives from the show.

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Some pieces of the Woodbury Town Hall, from season 4, episode 6.  This was part of a set, which was later destroyed, but these fragments were collected.

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A prop mirror broken by Beth, when she attempts to kill herself in season 2.  Actress Emily Kinney has signed the prop.

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Also on Main St in Senoia is The Walking Dead Cafe.

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LOCATION: 48 Main St, Senoia, GA 30276

For those looking for a full course meal, just a few buildings down is Nic & Norman’s, owned by executive producer Greg Nicotero and actor Norman Reedus.

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LOCATION: 20 Main St, Senoia, GA 30276

Here is some artwork inside the restaurant, done in the style of the famous closing photo from “The Shining,” depicting most of the cast from the show.

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It’s always a challenge photographing anything actively in production.  It’s usually easier to do after filming has ended, so production agendas won’t interfere.  In some cases, however, sites only exist as long as the production does.  We’ve tried to show a mixture of both and we’ll add what we can when the opportunity presents itself.  It’s likewise a challenge capturing the sheer volume of filming locations a long-running show such as “The Walking Dead”  has utilized over its run. We barely scratched the surface here. There are of course dozens more locations we did not cover and new ones always keep popping up as the show continues onward. Atlanta has a lot of sites to offer fans of the show, particularly from the early seasons. The town of Senoia in particular thrives on the show, driving tourism, employing locals at the studio and inspiring show-themed businesses.

Stanley Kubrick LACMA Exhibit

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, better known as LACMA, ran a Stanley Kubrick retrospective exhibit from November 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.  While the exhibit is long since closed, here we’ll take a look through some of the items that were on display.

LOCATION: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Numerous posters from Kubrick’s filmography.

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One of his old director’s chairs.

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Some “2001: A Space Odyssey” items, starting with a film slate.

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Some concepts for the ape costumes for the “Dawn of Man” sequence.

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Some props from the film, including silverware and a watch.

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A model of the running wheel from the film.

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The monolith.

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A model of the room from the end of the film.

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The star child.

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One of the ultra wide angle lenses used on the film.

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Some items from “The Shining.”

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The typewriter from the film.  “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

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The twins’ dresses.

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Danny’s sweater.

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A knife from the film.

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A model of the hedge maze.

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The final shot.

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Some items from “A Clockwork Orange.”

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A Japanese press brochure.

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Some press clippings of the ensuing controversy the film stirred up.

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Some “Full Metal Jacket” items.

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The “Born to Kill” helmet.

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A slate for Kubrick’s final film, “Eyes Wide Shut.”

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Some masks from the orgy scene.

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Some “Barry Lyndon” items.

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Some costumes from the film.

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Some “Dr. Strangelove” items, starting with some posters for the film.

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A model of the war room.

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A costume from “Sparticus.”

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Some concept art from Stanley Kubrick’s version of “A.I.”  The film would famously go on to be made by Steven Spielberg after Kubrick’s passing.

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Some items from Kubrick’s “Napoleon” film, which was never made.  Here is a script page.

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A bookshelf full of research materials.

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Some notes for the film.

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An assortment of lenses used by Kubrick were also on display.

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Last, but not least, Kubrick’s chess board.  The director was famously fond of the game.

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While the exhibit is no longer on display, LACMA is an excellent museum and regularly has interesting things to see.  We highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in the Los Angeles area.

A Christmas Story (1983)

For years, the house from “A Christmas Story,” located in Cleveland, Ohio, remained a private residence and had undergone many updates, until 2004, when a private developer purchased the home and restored it back to how it appeared in the film.  The buyer purchased with the intent of converting it into a tourist attraction.  Today, the home is available for tours and you can even book the house to stay in overnight.  The owner also purchased two properties across the street, converting one into a museum of memorabilia from the film, while the other was turned into a gift shop.

Located in the Tremont section of Cleveland’s West Side, the house has become a beacon for film lovers since it first opened to the public in 2006.  For tickets and information on visiting the house, you can find their website here.

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LOCATION: 3159 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH 44109

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The interiors were actually shot on a sound stage in Toronto, Canada, but the owner remodeled the inside as well, to make it appear exactly as it did in the film.

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A replica of Ralphie’s father’s “major award.”  The owner of the house and museum actually runs a business selling these replica lamps, which is how he came up with the capital to invest in purchasing the properties when they went on the market.

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The back yard.  The shed is the one structure on the property than has not been restored in any way.  It is original to how it appeared in the film.

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A few behind the scenes photos.

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Some props and wardrobe from the film.

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A miniature model of the house.

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A French poster for the film.

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