Southland Tales (2006)

The 2006 Richard Kelly film “Southland Tales” tells the story of an alternate timeline in the near future where the United States is descending into chaos and ultimately the end of the world. The film features an ensemble cast with interconnecting stories set against the backdrop of Southern California. The film is largely set along the beach fronts of Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach. However, the film also shot brief scenes in Abilene, Texas and Primm, Nevada. This article contains some spoilers for the film.

In the opening scene of the movie, a nuclear attack is shown in the town of Abilene, Texas, through the perspective of home video footage at a children’s party. These scenes really were filmed in Abilene, with the house located at 2143 S 10th St, Abilene, TX 79605.

Throughout the film, Private Pilot Abilene, played by Justin Timeberlake, sits perched at the end of the Santa Monica Pier on the rooftop of Maria Sol restaurant, armed with a military grade gun, which is aimed inland at citizens.

LOCATION: 401 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Here’s closer view of the building, from the pier itself.

Boxer Santaros, played by Dwayne Johnson, awakens on the beach, unable to remember the events prior to the start of the film (those events are told in a graphic novel). He is seen walking up these stairs, which connect Palisades Park to the Santa Monica Beach parking area, as he is monitored by USIDent, which is something of an mock up and extreme version of the Department of Homeland Security.

LOCATION: 34°00’47.5″N 118°29’51.6″W

In Downtown Los Angeles, protesters demonstrate outside of the USIDent headquarters, which was filmed at the Caltrans building.

LOCATION: 100 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Boxer Santaros and Krysta Now, a porn star with psychic abilities played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, hide out with Fortunio Balducci, played by Will Sasso, at this home in Manhattan Beach. It is also under surveillance from USIDent.

LOCATION: 132 3rd St, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Later in the film, Officer Ronald Taverner, played by Seann William Scott, stands in front of the home and looks out toward the beach.

The Sidewalk Cafe in Venice is featured multiple times throughout the film, as several characters meet and discuss various matters. It is connected to Small World Books, which is another location seen later in the film.

LOCATION: 1401 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

The entrance is seen briefly in the film.

USIDent surveillance shows that Boxer was first found at the California / Nevada state line, with images showing Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino in Primm, Nevada (31700 S Las Vegas Blvd, Primm, NV 89019).

Neo-Marxist Cyndi Pinziki, played by Nora Dunn, lives at this apartment above a storefront in Venice Beach, which has been slightly remodeled since filming.

LOCATION: 1307 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

The Neo-Marxist compound, where Roland Taverner, also played by Seann William Scott, awakens can also be found on Venice Beach.

LOCATION: 909 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

Later in the film, Roland escapes the Neo-Marxist compound by jumping off the rooftop of the same building. The dumpster jump was a visual effect, but the location is otherwise geographically accurate. In fact, most of the film is geographically accurate in the ways the characters move from one location to the next. This side of the building faces Speedway / Breeze Ave.

Ronald and Boxer go on a drive together as Ronald makes a racist remark, which is captured on camera by Boxer, who is recording for research for an upcoming movie role. The two drive along Culver Blvd, past Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve in Playa Del Rey.

A political ad plays on the USIDent screens, with a little girl standing in front of a church. This was filmed back in Abilene, Texas (518 N 6th St, Abilene, TX 79601).

Boxer follows the mysterious Serpentine, played by Bai Ling, into a book store. This was filmed at the aforementioned Small World Books, which is connected to the beach front restaurant featured multiple times throughout the film. Both the interior and exterior of the store were featured in the film.

LOCATION: 1407 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

Dr. Soberin Exx, played by Curtis Armstrong, picks up Boxer Santaros in front of this restaurant in Marina Del Rey.

LOCATION: 311 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

Bing Zinneman, played by Todd Berger, gets hit by car at this intersection in Venice.

LOCATION: Market St / Speedway, Los Angeles, CA 90291

The actual close-up stunt of the impact, however, was filmed in an alley near Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles, around 337 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

On the same street where Bing Zinneman is hit, Ronald Taverner is injected with Fluid Karma, a drug with a variety of effects, depending on which color is taken. Ronald passes out in the street in this area.

LOCATION: 74 Market St, Venice, CA 90291

After Roland awakens from the dumpster he jumped into, he arrives at this area, where he finds Walter Mung, played by Christopher Lambert, parked in an ice cream truck.

LOCATION: 1313 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

Dozens of caskets draped in American flags are unloaded onto the Santa Monica Pier.

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

One of the bodies is transported on a tram to Treer Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles. The tram was a CGI creation, but the surrounding buildings are once again geographically accurate, placing the location at W 7th St / Francisco St. As you can see in the photo, however, new buildings are going up as the skyline continues to change.

LOCATION: W 7th St / Francisco St, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (partial CGI used for the location)

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is Pilot Abilene’s Fluid Karma hallucination, where an impromptu musical sequence ensues to “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers. This was filmed at the Playland Arcade on the Santa Monica Pier, which was renamed the “Fire Arcade” in the film, as a nod to the band Arcade Fire. Both the interior and exterior of the arcade are seen and it still looks largely similar to how it appeared in the film

LOCATION: 350 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Late into the film, the MegaZeppelin prepares to launch in Downtown Los Angeles. This was another CGI creation. However, it is depicted as being located beside the Staples Center, placing it where L.A. Live stands now.

LOCATION: 777 Chick Hearn Ct, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (partial CGI used for the location)

Zora Charmichaels, played by Cheri Oteri and Bart Bookman, played by Jon Lovitz, track down Krysta Now in Hermosa Beach. They exit the Municipal Parking Structure, where armed military are present. This same building appears later in the film, as gunfire erupts.

LOCATION: Municipal Parking Structure, 13th St, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Krysta Now enters the former Poop Deck, which was a real bar and restaurant in Hermosa Beach. It is now known simply as The Deck. Both the exterior and interiors of the restaurant were featured in the film. However, the bathroom scene where Krysta delivers a tape was filmed on a set.

LOCATION: 1272 The Strand, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Back at the Municipal Parking Structure, which is just around the corner, a military gunman opens fire on Zora and Bart from the top deck.

Krysta Now escapes the scene.

The interior of the MegaZeppelin was a composite of two different locations. It starts inside a restaurant at the Pacific Design Center (8687 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069), before seamlessly transitioning (via a hidden edit in an unbroken shot) into the ballroom, which was filmed at Skirball Cultural Center (2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049).

A Los Angeles freeway is seen, with more CGI elements added. This was filmed at W 7th St, overlooking the CA-110 freeway, facing Southbound. Again, the surrounding buildings are geographically accurate.

LOCATION: 34°03’01.0″N 118°15’45.3″W (partial CGI used for the location)

Walter Mung drives his ice cream truck, with Roland inside, towards the erupting riots in the city. A car is burning next to the “Uptown Rocker” public art piece in Downtown Los Angeles.

LOCATION: W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071 (GPS coordinates: 34°03’06.3″N 118°15’10.2″W)

The ice cream truck crashes at S Hill St / W 4th St, where there are riots in the streets.

LOCATION: S Hill St / W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

As Roland and Ronald Taverner meet one another, the ice cream truck ascends into the sky in front of the US Bank Tower in Downtown Los Angeles.

LOCATION: 633 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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Sister Act (1992)

In the opening of the 1992 comedy “Sister Act,” a flashback scene is shown at “Saint Anne’s Academy” in 1968. A young Deloris, Goldberg’s character, is seen misbehaving in a Catholic school. The building can be found in Reno, Nevada.

LOCATION: 310 W 2nd St, Reno, NV 89503

An adult Deloris is now a singer in Reno, Nevada. Early in the film, the famous Reno Arch is prominently featured.

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LOCATION: 155 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501

After witnessing a murder, Deloris goes to a police station. They agree to put her under witness protection until she can testify in court.

LOCATION: 50 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501

The exterior of the church where Deloris becomes a nun is the St Paul’s Catholic Church, which can be found in San Fransisco.

LOCATION: 221 Valley St, San Francisco, CA 94131

The Simpsons

While it’s obvious that an animated show such as “The Simpsons” does not have any actual filming locations, there are a few real world replicas that do a good job of recreating the town of Springfield.

A full scale recreation of The Simpsons house was built in Henderson, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas.  The house was designed to be an exact replica, with the builders studying over 100 episodes for the series in an attempt to match every detail.  When the house was first unveiled, it was painted in the same colors as the show.  The home was built as part of a promotional contest in 1997 from the TV network, where the winner could choose between having the house or the cash value of the property at the time, $75,000.  The winner ended up choosing the latter and the home unfortunately went up for sale and became just another private home.  There is even an image of Homer by series creator Matt Groening drawn into the cement of the sidewalk leading to the front door.  If only a fan with more enthusiasm for the show had won, the home could have been turned into a tourist attraction for fans to come and visit.  Nevertheless, looking at the outer facade of the home, you can still see the resemblance to the cartoon.

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LOCATION: 712 Red Bark Ln, Henderson, NV 89011

Something much better suited for fans of the show is the Springfield area of Universal Studios Hollywood.  Many recreations of the show exist there, in the form of restaurants, rides and stores.  Here is a sign welcoming guests to Springfield.

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LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Here is Moe’s Tavern, with the Springfield sign and power plant in the background.

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Here is Barney inside Moe’s Tavern, looking for a refill.

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Here is the Kwik-E-Mart.

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Millhouse is outside enjoying a beverage.

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Krusty Buger.

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Lard Lad Donuts, the mascot for which is something of a hybrid between Bob’s Big Boy and Randy’s Donuts.

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Here is the Springfield Police Station, where Eddie and Lou keep an eye on things.

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Meanwhile, Snake is escaping the jail directly above them.

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Nearby, Chief Wiggum has crashed his police car into a pole.

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Here is the Springfield Department of Motor Vehicles, where Patty and Selma work.

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Here is the office of Dr. Nick Riviera.

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Disco Stu has closed up shop due to an injury.

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Krustyland, where The Simpsons Ride is located.

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Cletus is running a chicken restaurant.

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Here’s a Duff’s hot dog shop, with the brewery in the background.

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Last, but not least, we leave you with the Bumblebee Man’s taco truck.

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The Muppets (2011)

The 2011 film version of “The Muppets” was shot primarily in the Los Angeles area.  The opening dance number, set it “Smalltown USA,” was filmed on the Warner Bros. Studios Lot.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Gary, played by Jason Segel, runs into this school, where he meets up with Mary, played by Amy Adams.  This is also a set on the Warner lot.

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The Muppets studio was filmed at the real Jim Henson Company in Hollywood. It is the former site of Charlie Chaplin’s studios. Old photos of Chaplin standing outside can be found online, with much of the buildings still looking the same.

LOCATION: 1416 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

The Muppets Theater is the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 6838 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

The exterior gate of Kermit’s mansion is located in Encino.

LOCATION: 4545 White Oak Ave, Encino, CA 91316

The interior of Kermit’s mansion was filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.  While the outside of the Greystone grounds is open daily and free to the public, opportunities to tour inside are somewhat rare.  The property is owned by the City of Beverly Hills and regularly accommodates productions and private events.  Therefore, only a few times a year is access to the inside of the estate possible.  Planning ahead is required if you’d like to see inside.

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LOCATION: 905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The same mansion has been featured in countless films, such as “The Big Lebowski,” “There Will Be Blood,” “The Social Network” and dozens more.

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Kermit begins trying to round up the Muppets and makes his way to Reno, Nevada to find Fozzie Bear.  The famous Reno Arch is seen during this scene.

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LOCATION: 155 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89501

The office of Tex Richman, played by Chris Cooper, can be found in Downtown Los Angeles.  The same building was seen in “Pretty Woman.”

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LOCATION: 333 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

This building serves as Gonzo’s factory. It has been featured in countless films and television series, including “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Divergent,” “Wrath Of Man,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “License To Drive,” “Unlawful Entry,” “Inspector Gadget,” “Child’s Play 2” and dozens more.

LOCATION: 635 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Transformers (2007)

In the 2007 film “Transformers,” Shia LaBeouf plays Sam Witwicky.  The Witwicky residence can be found in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

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LOCATION: 2187 W 24th St, Los Angeles, CA 90018

The car lot where Sam shops for cars with his dad can be found in Altadena. It was actually a composite of two locations on opposite sides of the street from one another. The location at 2012 Lake Ave still stands, but the other location at 2000 Lake Ave has since been demolished.

LOCATION: 2012 Lake Ave, Altadena, CA 91001

Bobby Bolivia, played by Bernie Mac, points down the street to where his mother lives.

Bumblebee gives himself an updated look inside the Second Street Tunnel in Downtown L.A.  This is a popular filming location, appearing in such films as “Kill Bill,” “Demolition Man,” “Blade Runner,” “Con Air,” “Independence Day” and many more.

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

The police station seen in the film can be found in Highland Park.  The building is no longer an active police station and operates today as a police museum.  The building has been featured in countless films, including “Clerks 2,” “Gangster Squad” and “National Security,”  as well as the TV series “Twin Peaks: The Return.”

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LOCATION: 6043 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Sam and Mikaela, played by Megan Fox, watch a meteor shower at the iconic Griffith Observatory.  The location is another staple of film, appearing in such movies as “Rebel Without A Cause,” “La La Land,” “The Terminator” and dozens more.

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LOCATION: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Sam and Mikaela are taken into custody near this railway bridge, only for the Transformers to rescue them.

LOCATION: N Henry Ford Ave / Pier A Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90744

Sam and Mikaela are taken to the Hoover Dam in Nevada, which houses Megatron inside a bunker.

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LOCATION: Hoover Dam, Boulder City, NV 89005

A full scale Optimus Prime truck used in the film could be seen on display in the prop room at Paramount Studios.

LOCATION: 5555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Also on display was a full scale Bumblebee.

Showgirls (1995)

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

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

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LOCATION: 2112 Western Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Casino (1995)

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

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LOCATION: 3515 Cochise Ln, Las Vegas, NV 89169

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

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

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

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

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LOCATION: 6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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

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

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

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

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LOCATION: 829 Health Sciences Rd, Irvine, CA 92617

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

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

Hard Eight (1996)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s underappreciated 1996 debut film, “Hard Eight” (a.k.a. “Sydney”) filmed primarily in Reno, Nevada.

The restaurant seen at the beginning and end of the film, where Sydney, played by Philip Baker Hall, meets John, played John C. Reilly, who is sitting outside the doorway, was filmed at Jack’s Cafe in Sparks, Nevada, located just outside of Reno.

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LOCATION: 2200 Victorian Ave, Sparks, NV 89431

The entrance where John C. Reilly is sitting is not the main entrance to the restaurant.  In fact, it’s a side door with an emergency exit sign.  There were several homeless people around this area.

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Things take a turn for the worse when John and Clementine, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, find themselves involved in a hostage situation at a motel.  The motel is the Ace Motor Lodge in Reno.  The motel has changed quite a bit from how it appeared in the film and is now more dilapidated.

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LOCATION: 222 N Sierra St, Reno, NV 89501

John can be seen exiting through the front entrance.  The surrounding area has also changed quite a bit from what was seen in the film, as the casinos are no longer beside the motel.

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Near the end of the film, Sydney awaits Jimmy, played by Samuel L. Jackson, at his house.

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LOCATION: 756 W 6th St, Reno, NV 89503

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Kingpin (1996)

The 1996 Farrelly Brothers comedy “Kingpin” was shot mostly around Pennsylvania, but like many Farrelly Bothers films, it becomes something of a road trip movie, reaching Reno, Nevada by the film’s climax. In the opening scene of the film, a young Roy Munson practices bowling with his father at the Munson Service Center. The scene is supposedly set in Ocelot, Iowa. It was actually filmed in Mars, Pennsylvania.

LOCATION: 255 Mars Valencia Rd, Mars, PA 16046

Roy bowls with his father at the side of the building, using a homemade lane and bowling pins.

After winning a bowling tournament, Roy Munson, played by Woody Harrelson, takes his car to a mechanic, who tells him someone put sugar in his gas tank. This scene was filmed just a few buildings down from the Munson Service Center and is easily within walking distance.

LOCATION: 229 Mars Valencia Rd, Mars, PA 16046

Only a small part of the building is seen in the film. However, this house across the street is also seen in the background of the scene, confirming the location.

“Big Ern” McCracken (played by Bill Murray) and Roy Munson hustle some local bowlers.  As they exit the bowling alley, they are confronted by the guys they duped.  Big Ern lets Roy take the fall, as he speeds off and abandons him at the Beaver Valley Bowl in Rochester, Pennsylvania, with Roy losing his hand in the process.  This same location was used in the Michael Douglas film “Wonder Boys,” where he has his own confrontation with “Vernon Hardapple.”

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LOCATION: 25 New York Ave, Rochester, PA 15074

The apartment of Roy Munson is supposedly located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The real building is actually located in the town of Trafford. Roy’s neighbors sit outside and complain about life, while his landlady lives next door as well. The building has been slightly updated, but is still very recognizable from how it appeared in the film.

LOCATION: 533 5th Street Ext, Trafford, PA 15085

Later in the film, Roy stages a purse snatching on his landlady, in which he rescues her in hopes she’ll cut him a break on his late rent.

Right around the corner from Roy’s apartment was another scene from the film. Roy helps a mother get her stroller up on the sidewalk and then steals the baby’s milk for his coffee.

LOCATION: 5th St / 5th Street Ext, Trafford, PA 15085

Roy first meets Amish bowler Ishmael, played by Randy Quaid, at the Lancaster Bowl. This scene was actually filmed at Mars Lanes, located right across the street from the Munson Service Center.

LOCATION: 262 Mars Valencia Rd, Mars, PA 16046

For the film’s climax, Roy and Big Ern square off at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada.  The lanes are not open to public use, but there is a bowling museum inside that is open to the public, for those interested.

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LOCATION: 300 N Center St, Reno, NV 89501

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