Forrest Gump (1994)

Visiting the filming locations of the classic 1994 film “Forrest Gump” is a staggering feat, as the story unfolds all across the United States and the production likewise followed that path.

The famous opening scene of the feather falling was filmed at Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia.  It descends past the steeple of The Independent Presbyterian Church Administration Building.

forrestgump1

LOCATION: The Independent Presbyterian Church Administration Building, Savannah, GA 31401

Here is a wider view of the full building.

forrestgump2

As the feather falls closer to the ground, we see the First Baptist Church in the distance.

forrestgump3

LOCATION: First Baptist Church, 223 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401

The feather finally reaches the ground and settles on the shoe of Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks.  Forrest sits at a bus stop and recounts the story of his life to strangers sitting on a bench waiting for their bus rides.  The location where Forrest sits is at the intersection of Hull Street and Bull Street in Chippewa Square.  In reality, there is no bus stop or bench there.  They were added for the film.  Instead, there are just some plants.

forrestgump4

Here is a wider view of the area.

forrestgump5

LOCATION: Chippewa Square, Savannah, GA 31401 (at the intersection of Hull St / Bull St)

The actual bench from the film can be found at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California.  It can be seen on their studio tours.

forrestgump6

LOCATION: 5555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

The exterior of the lounge where Forrest finds Jenny, played by Robin Wright, performing nude, can also be found in Savannah.  The name of the restaurant is Love’s, just as depicted in the film, but it is a seafood and steak joint and you won’t find any nude performers there.  The interior of the scene was actually filmed at the former Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, which has long since been demolished.

forrestgump7

LOCATION: 6817 Chief Of Love Rd, Savannah, GA 31419

Forrest celebrates New Year’s Eve with Lieutenant Dan, played by Gary Sinise, in what is supposed to be New York City.  This was actually filmed on 6th St in Downtown Los Angeles.  This area is right next to the locations used for the Nite Owl Coffee Shop from “L.A. Confidential” and Wild Bill’s Leather from “Seven,” both of which were fictional businesses.

forrestgump8

LOCATION: Near the intersection of E 6th St / S Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

On the same street, as Forrest exists a TV studio, Lieutenant Dan is waiting for him outside.  This was actually on a ramp built above this sandwich shop, which has since been removed.

forrestgump9

LOCATION: 118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Lieutenant Dan then loses control of his wheelchair and slides down the ramp into this wall at the same location.

forrestgump10

Later in the film, Forrest begins running, from coast to coast.  He is seen reaching the famous Santa Monica Pier.

forrestgump11

LOCATION: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

He reaches the end of the pier and turns around to begin running back across the country.  There is a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant located on the pier itself as well, although of course it was not a filming location.

forrestgump12

As Forrest runs through Flagstaff, Arizona, he steps in a pile of manure and helps coin the phrase “Shit happens.”

forrestgump17

LOCATION: Near 106 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Also in Flagstaff, Forrest runs past the former Twin Arrows Trading Post.  The building featured two large, wooden arrows piercing the ground.  Some mud splashes on Forrest and he uses a t-shit to clean off his face, creating the famous smiley face t-shirt.  The building now unfortunately sits abandoned.

forrestgump18

LOCATION: Twin Arrows Trading Post Ruins – Historic Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Here’s a closer look at the arrows, which are slowly deteriorating.

forrestgump19

Forrest’s running attire from the film can be found on display at Planet Hollywood in Florida.

forrestgump16

LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Late in the film, Jenny is working as a waitress and sees Forrest on television.  This was filmed at Debi’s Restaurant in Savannah, located just a few blocks away from the opening scene of the film.

forrestgump13

LOCATION: 225 E Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401

The restaurant is quite proud of their connection to the film and the front is decorated with quotes from the film and a shot of the scene.

forrestgump14

forrestgump15

We’ve only covered a portion of the vast filming locations here.  The production also shot scenes in South Carolina, Utah, Arizona, North Carolina, Vermont, Maine, Montana and Washington D.C.

Con Air (1997)

At Wendover Airfield, located near the border of Nevada and Utah you’ll find one of the planes used in the Nicolas Cage action film “Con Air.”  The plane isn’t the only attraction to be seen, however, as the area was also used as one of the major locations of the film.

First, we’ll cover the plane.  There were actually several planes used during filming.  The plane used during flight scenes has a rather tragic history.  After being sold to a variety of owners, both military and private, in 2010 the plane crashed into Mt Healy, Alaska, killing three flight crew on board.  However, the Jailbird plane used for filming taxi scenes fared much better and now sits on display at Wendover Airfield and it’s completely free to see.  It can be found near the parking lot and while it is surrounded by fencing, during daytime business hours at the nearby museums, the plane is accessible for free to the public.  Here are several different views of the plane.

conair1

LOCATION: 345 Airport Way, Wendover, UT 84083

conair2

conair3

conair4

conair5

Here is a view inside the plane.  The interiors seen in the film were actually a set built at Sunset Las Palmas Studios (1040 N Las Palmas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038).  Nevertheless, we’ve included a few shots inside the plane at Wendover.

conair6

conair7

Here is a view of the cockpit, facing out towards the airfield.

conair8

Wendover Airfield is still an operational airport, which has a long history dating back to World War II.  Bomber groups trained here during the war, which included three Medal of Honor recipients.  There’s a museum documenting the history of the airfield, which attracts a lot of tourism.  However, our focus is of course on the filming history.

Wendover Airfield has often been used in films, dating back to 1982’s “The Philadelphia Experiment.”  “Independence Day,” “Mullholland Falls,” The Core” and Ang Lee’s 2003 version of “The Hulk” all filmed at the airfield as well.  The scenic vistas have also been filmed as plates and stock footage in untold numbers of productions.  However, arguably the film most widely associated with the airfield is “Con Air.”

The bad news is that all of the filming locations are located away from the main roads, out on the airfield.  The good news is, for a fee, you can arrange a personal escort out to the filming locations.  Simply look up the Historic Wendover Airfield and reach out to management to arrange a tour.  Do not book one of the regular museum tours, as that is a separate attraction and they typically do not venture out to the filming locations.  Instead, contact management and tell them exactly what you’re wanting to see and when.  They are very friendly and accommodating.

Now we’ll take a look at which scenes filmed at the airfield.  Midway through the film, the plane makes a stop at the fictional “Lerner Airfield” for a rendezvous, where the criminals are supposed to change planes and escape the country.  When they arrive however, the other plane does not appear to be there, leaving them waiting at the airfield for an extended portion of the film.

The filming area is surrounded by this barbed-wire fencing.  In the movie, Steve Buscemi plays a Hannibal Lector like killer named Garland Greene.  Garland roams off from the others out past the fencing.  Due to the fact the fence runs the entire perimeter, it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact spot of the shot, but here is a general view of the fencing.

conair9

Garland spots a little girl at a nearby trailer park having tea time in this empty pool.  He comes over and joins her.

conair10

This is the airstrip where the plane takes off again, dragging a car in tow.

conair12

This tower was featured prominently in the film, including when Johnny-23, played by Danny Trejo, warns the others they’ve got company.  It’s also where the car crashes into the tower and detaches from the plane.  There is a similar looking tower visible from the road near the entrance of Wendover Airfield.  That is not the one seen in the film.  The filmmakers saw the real tower and had a replica built specifically for the film, which is seen below.  It is not visible from the main road.

conair11

Vince Larkin, played by John Cusack, stands beside the inept Duncan Malloy near these buildings, as they watch Malloy’s car crash back down to the ground.

conair13

Near the end of the film, an action sequence takes place at in a tunnel supposedly located in Las Vegas, as Poe pursues Cyrus The Virus, played by John Malkovich, on a fire truck.  This was actually filmed in the Second Street Tunnel in Downtown Los Angeles.  The tunnel is a popular filming location, appearing in such films as “Kill Bill,” “Blade Runner,” “Independence Day” and many more.

theterminator10

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

If you’re a filming location fan, we highly encourage a visit to Wendover Airfield.  Just be sure to plan a bit in advance with management to confirm you can get an escort out to the locations.  It’s well worth the time and expense if you can make the trip.

Heat (1995)

As time has passed, appreciation for Michael Mann’s crime saga masterpiece “Heat” has continued to grow.  Few films have ever captured Los Angeles so magnificently as Mann did here.  Even after all of these years, a few locations remain secret, but most have surfaced.

The opening shots of the film show Neil McCauley, played by Robert DeNiro on the Metro Green Line, arriving at the Redondo Beach Station.  Director Michael Mann would return to this same station for the climactic scenes of “Collateral.”  If you plan to visit this station, the only way to access the platform is by purchasing a fare.

heat19

LOCATION: 2406 Marine Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Neil steals an ambulance from the St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach.  The same hospital shows up again later in the film, when Vincent Hanna, played by Al Pacino, rushes his step-daughter Lauren, played by Natalie Portman, to the emergency room.

heat18

LOCATION: 1050 Linden Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813

Chris, played by Val Kilmer, purchases explosives from a company in Whittier (10006 Rose Hills Rd, Whittier, CA 90601).  However, the building seen in the film was unfortunately demolished.

The Mexican food stand where Waingro gets picked up was likewise demolished.  It was formerly located at 1233 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006.

The opening robbery of the armored truck takes place on Venice Blvd, exactly as Hanna states in the film.  It’s near the Los Angeles Convention Center, just underneath the interchange of the 10 and 110 freeways.

heat8

LOCATION:  Venice Blvd / Convention Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90015

The robbers emerge from underneath this split overpass for the collision.

heat9

This is where Vincent arrives to investigate the aftermath.

heat10

McCauley’s crew takes Waingro to the former Johnie’s Broiler in Downey, where they attempt to kill him in the parking lot, but he ultimately escapes.  The restaurant has a unique history, having appeared in many other films, such as “Short Cuts,” “License To Drive,” “The Game,” “One Hour Photo” and many more.  In 2007, the building was unfortunately demolished.  However, Bob’s Big Boy purchased the property years later and rebuilt it based on the original blueprints and even some of the same materials.  So what stands now closely resembles what was seen in the film.

heat21

LOCATION: 7447 Firestone Blvd, Downey, CA 90241

heat22

The bookstore (1254 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401) where Eady, played by Amy Brenneman works, as well as the cafe (1457 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401) where she gets to know Neil are part of the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.  The whole area, an outdoor pedestrian mall, was heavily renovated and both businesses are long since gone.

Vincent and his wife Justine live in what is known as the “Sixth Street House” in Santa Monica.  A famous architectural piece, the house has the designation of historical landmark.  Unfortunately, much of the front of the home is obscured by a wall and shrubs, making it a bit inconspicuous.  The side of the home offers better visibility.  In the film itself, only the interiors of the house are seen.

heat15

LOCATION: 2634 6th St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

The location of Neil’s oceanfront home, where Chris sleeps off a domestic spat, has long been subject to debate.  The house most commonly believed to be the correct location can be found on Malibu Cove Colony Drive, a private road just off the Pacific Coast Highway.  Old real estate listings showing the interior of the home match closely with what was seen in the film, down to fixtures and appliances.  The same house was also featured in the film “Less Than Zero,” where Jami Gertz tells Andrew McCarthy she’s not going to college.  However, since then portions of the home have been remodeled, making it a difficult task to match up in person.

The entrance to Malibu Cove Colony Drive has a gate and guard on duty, preventing any public access (most beachfront roads in this area are likewise private).  On the opposite side, however, are the outskirts of Escondido Beach, which is open to the public, but also presents it’s own challenges.  First and foremost, the houses sit very close to the water.  All of them are perched on stilts, as the tides can reach all the way up to the base of the properties.  Visitors should use caution if they walk these narrow shores, as the high tides can leave you little room to cross.  It also makes photography a challenge, unless you plan to take a swim.  The next challenge is simply identifying the correct home.  Many of these beachfront homes have been heavily remodeled.  If you attempt to match them to satellite views, many details won’t align in person, due to remodeling.  Some of the homes also resemble one another, particularly their patios, making it even more confusing.  It’s easy to see why, after decades, the location has remained subject to debate.  To be certain we found the correct home we were seeking, we used a combination satellite imagery and GPS.  A drone (or jet ski) is likely a better method to view the house, but if you do attempt it on foot, use caution and do your research.

heat20

LOCATION: 26940 Malibu Cove Colony Dr, Malibu, CA 90265

The restaurant where Donald, played by Dennis Haysbert, begins working under the abuse of a crooked manager is Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank (not to be confused with the Downey location covered earlier in this article).

heat17

LOCATION: 4211 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505

Later in the film, Neil happens to be dining inside with his crew and spots Donald cooking and immediately recognizes him as a former prison buddy.

heat13

Neil speaks to his driver, Trejo, from a phone at the restaurant, where his is informed Trejo is being tailed by cops and cannot join their heist.  In need of a last-minute, replacement driver, Neil offers Donald a job on the spot.

heat14

Plans for the bank heist are first offered to Neil and Nate, played by Jon Voight, when they visit Kelso, played by Tom Noonan.  The house was filmed on Dodds Circle in Los Angeles, which is also where Trejo’s house is located in the film.  Neil and Nate first park here, overlooking the 10 freeway.

heat6.jpg

LOCATION:  Dodds Cir, Los Angeles, CA 90063 (just off Dickson Ave)

McCauley then discusses the plan with Kelso at his house, which is fenced off around the entire perimeter.

heat7

LOCATION:  1235 Dodds Cir, Los Angeles, CA 90063

Vincent and Drucker visit Albert’s chop shop in Wilmington.  At the time of filming, the area was rumored to host an actual chop shop, though now it’s just a train maintenance area.  The distinct, yellow sulpher pile still remains and there is a very strong smell in person.

heat23

LOCATION: 1017 Foote Ave, Wilmington, CA 90744 (near the railroad tracks)

heat24

The drive-in theater where a deal goes wrong was formerly located at 5700 W Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045.  It was demolished not long after filming took place.

The restaurant where Neil’s crew dines can be found in Santa Monica, near the pier.

heat25

LOCATION: 1535 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Eady’s house sits perched on stilts in the hills of West Hollywood, offering a magnificent view over the city.  There’s not much to see from the front of the house itself on Blue Heights Dr.  Signs declare the cul-de-sac where it sits to be private property, but you can still see it well from the public section of the road.  The floor to ceiling windows and patio area are much better seen from lower streets, such as Viewmont Dr (near the 1600 block, just before it reaches a dead end).  The house found renewed interest in 2014 with the TV series “Bosch,” where it serves as the home of the titular detective.

heat11

LOCATION: 1870 Blue Heights Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90069 (best seen from around the 1600 block of Viewmont Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90069, just before the road hits a dead end)

Here is a view of the city, as seen from Blue Heights Dr, just before you reach Eady’s house, closely resembling what you’d see from the home.

heat12

One of the film’s classic scenes is of course the face to face meeting between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.  The conversation took place at the excellent Kate Mantilini, an institution of Beverly Hills which sadly closed in 2014 after the restaurant could not afford a rental increase by the building owners.  We managed to capture some photos from when the place was still open.

heat3

LOCATION: 9101 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (now closed)

Above the entrance to the restaurant, this image from the iconic scene was hung.

heat4

After meeting Neil, Vincent returns to a hotel where he’s staying, only to discover his step-daughter Lauren has attempted suicide in his bathroom.  This was filmed at the Hotel Angeleno, just off the 405 freeway.  The hotel was mostly seen from interior views in the film, aside from a shot of Vincent looking down at the freeway from his balcony.

heat16

LOCATION: 170 N Church Ln, Los Angeles, CA 90049

The exterior of the famous bank robbery scene is set in downtown Los Angeles at the Citigroup Center.  This same location was also briefly seen in David Fincher’s “Fight Club.”

heat1

LOCATION: 444 S Flower St. Los Angeles, CA 90071

The robbery then spills out onto the streets, in what many consider one of the greatest shootouts ever filmed.

heat2

LOCATION: Intersection of W 5th St / S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

After the robbery, the police try to bait in Chris by setting up a meeting with his wife Charlene, played by Ashley Judd.  After she tips him off with a subtle gesture, he leaves the scene.  He’s stopped next to Venice Beach by the police, where he presents false identification and escapes.

heat26

LOCATION: Navy St / Speedway, Los Angeles, CA 90405

Trejo’s house, much like Eady’s, sits on stilts over a hillside of L.A., where he is discovered by McCauley near the end of the film.  It sits on the same small road as Kelso’s house from earlier in the film, which was discovered as a result of finding this home for the film.

heat5

LOCATION: 1219 Dodds Cir, Los Angeles, CA 90063

The hotel where Neil tracks down Waingo can be found right next to LAX airport, just as depicted in the film.  Neil parks in this alley next to the hotel.

heat27

LOCATION: 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045