While set in the San Fernando Valley, much of the TV series “Cobra Kai,” which continues the story of “The Karate Kid” films, is actually filmed in the Greater Atlanta, Georgia area. There are occasional shots that do take place in California, however. One key location found in the Valley is the apartment of Johnny Lawrence, played by William Zabka.
LOCATION: 18555 Burbank Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356
In season 1, episode 9, Johnny and Daniel Larusso, played by Ralph Macchio, visit Daniel’s former apartment, seen in the original film. The same location was used for the scene.
The 2004 drama “Mysterious Skin,” while set in the town of Hutchinson, Kansas, like most films by Gregg Araki, it was actually filmed in Southern California, primarily around the San Fernando Valley.
Early in the film, a young boy, Neil, is taken by his mother, played by Elizabeth Shue, to a little league baseball field back in the early 1980s. These scenes were filmed at Balboa Park in Encino. Its a fairly large park and it shows up in numerous scenes throughout the film, so we’ll attempt to identify where inside the park different scenes take place. Young Neil first sees the coach at the baseball fields. The field used in the scene is nearest to the basketball courts, with GPS coordinates around 34.174865, -118.504439.
LOCATION: Balboa Park, Encino, CA 91316 (nearest address is 17015 Burbank Blvd, Encino, CA 91316)
A teenage Neil, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, hustles at the playground of the same park. It has since been remodeled some. The GPS coordinates are around 34.173486, -118.505016.
Later in the film, as Neil walks away from this building to catch a ride, he shouts that he is sick of his town. This too was shot at Balboa Park, at the parking lot near the soccer fields. The GPS coordinates are around 34.176277, -118.504659.
The 2000 film “Erin Brockovich,” starring Julia Roberts and directed by Steven Soderbergh, tells the story of a woman who uncovers a water contamination case in the town of Hinkley, California. Based on true events, the production did indeed shoot in the actual town, which is commendable for its efforts at location accuracy, since there are areas closer to Los Angeles that could’ve stood in.
Erin’s house can be found in Ventura, California.
LOCATION: 545 Emma Ave, Ventura, CA 93003
Erin picks up her kids from the babysitter next door. The house really is directly next door to Erin’s house. After the babysitter moves out, George, played by Aaron Eckhart, moves in and begins babysitting Erin’s kids.
LOCATION: 555 Emma Ave, Ventura, CA 93003
Erin takes her kids to this restaurant, where she makes an excuse for not eating, in order to cover up the fact she doesn’t have enough money to cover a meal for herself.
LOCATION: 3159 E Main St, Ventura, CA 93003
Erin gets a job a Ed Masry’s office, which can be found in Reseda.
LOCATION: 18645 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335
After deciding to research the case further, Erin makes her way to the town of Hinkley, California, passing by the gas and electric company.
LOCATION: 35863 Fairview Rd, Hinkley, CA 92347
Located just past the gas company is the house of Donna Jensen, played by Marg Helgenberger. There’s not much to see from the road, as the properties are obscured by trees.
LOCATION: Fairview Rd, Hinkley, CA 92347 (just after the gas buildings)
Erin visits the water board in an attempt to find incriminating records.
LOCATION: 26949 Cote St, Boron, CA 93516
Erin interviews more possible victims of toxic water at this home, located in Boron.
LOCATION: 26821 John St, Boron, CA 93516
She encounters a woman who initially refuses to participate in the case at this home.
LOCATION: 12130 Kostopolous Ave, Boron, CA 93516
A judge decides the case merits going to trial at the Barstow Superior Court.
LOCATION: 235 E Mountain View St, Barstow, CA 92311
Ed Masry holds a meeting with a group of upset plaintiffs at this building, located in Boron.
LOCATION: Near the intersection of Boron Ave / John St, Boron, CA 93516 (GPS coordinates: 34°59’47.3″N 117°39’00.6″W)
Ed Masry upgrades to a new office, located in Glendale.
LOCATION: 505 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203
Late in the film, Erin meets with George at this motel.
LOCATION: 24147 Twenty Mule Team Rd, Boron, CA 93516
The 1980s classic “The Karate Kid” shot mostly around the San Fernando Valley in California. Surprisingly, many of the film locations are not only still standing, but still closely resemble how they appear in the film. The major exception is Mr. Miyagi’s house, which was torn down.
Daniel Larusso’s apartment still exists in Reseda, California. The apartment looks identical to how it appeared in 1984. However, the neighborhood it’s located in isn’t the safest of areas.
LOCATION: 19223 Saticoy St, Reseda, CA 91335
Daniel embarrassingly arrives in his mom’s run-down car to pick up Ali at her house for a date.
LOCATION: 4072 Alonzo Ave, Encino, CA 91316
The two go on a date to Golf N’ Stuff, which is a real place and still open to visitors. It’s located further south, down in Norwalk, California.
LOCATION: 10555 Firestone Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650
The location of the Cobra Kai dojo can be found in North Hollywood. The same location was featured in the film “Say Anything…“
LOCATION: 5223 Lankershim Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91601
Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic portrayal of the 1970s and 1980s porn industry, “Boogie Nights,” was shot all around Southern California, but like many of his early works, was primarily based around the San Fernando Valley.
The opening shot of the Reseda Theater can be found on Sherman Way in Reseda, California. The theater has long since closed, but plans are underway to reopen the property as a mutiplex.
LOCATION: 18443 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335
Just down the street is the “Hot Traxx” nightclub, which is now a church. Also right around the corner is the workplace of Quiz Kid Donnie Smith in “Magnolia.”
LOCATION: 18419 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335
Dirk Diggler’s parents’ house is located far south of the Valley, down in Torrance, California.
LOCATION: 3503 187th St, Torrance, CA 90504
Jack Horner takes Dirk out for a meal with Amber Waves and Rollergirl at Du-Pars Restaurant and Bakery in Studio City. The same restaurant was featured in the film “Valley Girl.” The location has since closed down and the building has been heavily remodeled.
LOCATION: 12036 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (now closed)
Jack Horner’s house is tucked away in the city of Covina. The property is not easily visible from the street.
LOCATION: 19515 E Cameron Ave, Covina, CA 91724
The side of the house, where Little Bill, played by William H. Macy, witnesses his wife having sex outside, while a group of party guests watch.
The back of Jack Horner’s house, with the patio and swimming pool, where the party takes place.
Later in the film, Dirk Diggler moves into his own house, located in Woodland Hills.
LOCATION: 4214 Lobos Rd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Amber Waves makes a documentary about Dirk Diggler, which itself is based on the documentary “Exhausted: John C. Holmes, the Real Story.” The bridge Dirk stands in front of is the Colfax Ave footbridge in Studio City. It can be found near the intersection of Colfax Ave and Ventura Blvd. Once you spot the overpass on Colfax, the bridge is just beneath it and can easily be accessed by foot.
LOCATION: Near the intersection of Colfax Ave / Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604 (nearest address is 4028 Colfax Ave, Studio City, CA 91604)
Towards the end of the film, things take a darker turn as Dirk solicits himself to perform sexual acts for money. The alley where he meets the man in the truck is still there, but the buildings to the left has since been demolished. The church in the background can still be seen. This location is very close to the donut shop in the film.
LOCATION: 18128 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335
Buck Swope picks up some donuts at the aforementioned Miss Donuts. This is in Reseda, near the church seen above and the “Hot Traxx” location.
LOCATION: 18231 Sherman Way, Reseda, CA 91335
The drug dealer robbery is planned from the El Royale Hotel in Studio City.
LOCATION: 11117 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
Things reach a crescendo with a drug deal gone bad, at this house in Encino. Sadly, the house has since been demolished and a new home build in it’s place. Luckily, we we able photograph it prior to it’s demolition.