The TV series “Alice,” based on the Martin Scorsese film “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” ran from 1976 until 1985. Linda Lavin plays the titular Alice, a woman working as a waitress at Mel’s Diner. The show was based in Phoenix, Arizona and there is indeed a Mel’s Diner in Phoenix. The diner’s sign with the coffee cup was in fact featured in the show. However, the diner itself was actually a set built in Los Angeles.
The real Mel’s Diner in Phoenix remains in business all these years later and inside they have many photos from the show. If you do plan to visit, the restaurant is only open during breakfast and lunch hours.
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.
LOCATION: 24715 Oakcreek Ave, Newhall, CA 91321
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.
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.”
LOCATION: 6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Rick and Cliff sit at the bar when Marvin first arrives.
After the meeting, Rick and Cliff head to the parking lot in back and have a quick chat in front of this sign.
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.”
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.
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.
LOCATION: 10969 Alta View Dr, Studio City, CA 91604
The driveway is featured in many scenes in the film, with a large painting of Rick placed on the left side.
Here is the front entrance of the home. The door was painted green in the film.
Rick’s pool overlooking the city is a real pool at the home.
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.
Here’s a closer look at the gate to the Tate residence.
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.
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.
After dropping Rick off at his home, Cliff drives at high speeds down Hollywood Blvd as he heads home.
LOCATION: Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Here is Brad Pitt waiving to the crowd on the street.
Tarantino acknowledging the crowd of onlookers as well.
Here’s a deeper look at the set dressing around Hollywood Blvd, which was completely transformed back to 1969 for the film.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
LOCATION: 2924 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065
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.
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.
LOCATION: 2922 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Here’s a look at some more of the shoot from Super A Foods.
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.
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.
Here’s a couple more shots from when the Pandora’s Box shoot was prepping.
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.
LOCATION: 948 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
The Fox Theater right across the street is also seen in several shots.
LOCATION: 961 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Here’s a closer look at the Fox Theater, with the finished marquee for the film.
Here is the view across the street from the Bruin Theater, when it was dressed for filming.
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.
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.
Here are some more views of the area when production was in progress.
Cliff takes Rick down Hollywood Blvd and they pass the famous Pantages Theater.
LOCATION:6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Cliff runs into Pussycat once again in front of Jackalope Pottery in North Hollywood.
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.
Just across the street, Quentin Tarantino stood on the right, along with Rick Dalton’s car on the street.
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.
LOCATION: 7001 Smith Rd, Simi Valley, CA 93063 (Spahn Ranch sets now demolished)
George Spahn’s house plays a key role in the scene, as Cliff insists on speaking with the old man, played by Bruce Dern.
Some more views of the Spahn house.
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.
Here is the horse stable area where Clem sits on the fence.
Here are some more views around the ranch.
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.”
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.”
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.
LOCATION: 14232 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780
The famous Cinerama Dome in Hollywood is seen next.
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.
LOCATION: 6321 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The Supply Sergeant sign is also seen illuminating. This remains an active business on Hollywood Blvd.
LOCATION: 6664 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Chili John’s in Burbank is also briefly seen.
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.
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.
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.
Rick and Cliff have dinner at the same evening at Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks.
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.
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.
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.
“Too Old to Die Young” from director Nicolas Winding Refn is, depending on how you look at it, either a TV series or a long film. Refn himself prefers to view it as the latter. Most of the production took place around the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, with some additional filming in New Mexico. Here we’ll cover the locations episode by episode. Some locations of course appear over multiple episodes. This article contains many spoilers for the show, so please do not proceed unless you’ve seen it in it’s entirety.
Volume 1 – “The Devil”
The first episode opens with Martin Jones, played by Miles Teller and his partner Larry, played by Lance Gross, standing in front of this mural along the side of a taco restaurant in Studio City.
LOCATION: 11401 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91602
Here is a wider view of the side of the building. The same building has appeared in the films “People Like Us” and “Up In Smoke.”
Also seen in the opening scene is this sports bar, located directly next to the taco restaurant.
LOCATION: 11411 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91602
Unbeknownst to Martin and Larry, they are being watched from across the street by Jesus, played by Augusto Aguilera.
Martin and Larry pull over a young woman in the parking lot of a largely abandoned shopping plaza in North Hollywood sometimes referred to as the Valley Plaza. The area is becoming a popular filming location, having also recently appeared in “Captain Marvel.” The Blockbuster Video store where Carol Danvers first arrives is one of the store fronts in the background.
LOCATION: Near the intersection of Sylvian St / Vantage Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (directly across from 12200 Sylvan St, North Hollywood, CA 91606)
The police car is parked in the area to the left near the tree.
After taking money from the girl they’ve pulled over, they let her go and Larry walks over towards a restaurant called “The Lone Drifter.” This is not a real establishment, rather a vacant building dressed up by the production. It too was seen in “Captain Marvel,” dressed as a music venue called “The Slow Club,” where Carol makes a call at a payphone.
Jesus is parked just beside the building, where he approaches and shoots Larry. The fire hydrant to the right is where Larry’s cell phone is recovered.
LOCATION: 2124 Sylvan St, North Hollywood, CA 91606
Martin returns fire on Jesus with the Regency Valley Plaza theater seen in the background.
After the shooting, Jesus escapes driving down Sylvian St and turning right onto Laurel Canyon Blvd. Martin calls in the shooting and surprisingly states the actual location of the scene to dispatch, rather than a fictionalized address, which is a somewhat rare occurrence in film and television.
The police station where Martin works, seen frequently throughout the show, is the Sunkist Headquarters building in Sherman Oaks. It is seen mostly from interior views in the show.
LOCATION: 14130 Riverside Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
The building faces the 101 freeway and Westfield shopping mall, both of which are seen through the windows in various scenes.
Not far from the police station, Martin parks here and walks to a payphone to call Damian, played by Babs Olusanmokun. This area is the rear parking lot behind a shoe repair and dry cleaners, looking out over a gas station and bank building. There is no actual payphone there.
Damian runs his operation out of an ice skating rink in Van Nuys. The location appears many times in the show, from a variety of angles both from the interior and exterior. Here is the front entrance.
LOCATION: 14318 Calvert St, Van Nuys, CA 91401
In one scene, Martin is seen approaching past this sign.
The parking lot is featuring in several scenes. First, Martin meets Damian to say he only wants to kill those who have committed horrible acts. In later episodes, Damian slices fruit with a sword and a would-be assassin named Gameboy watches as Damian and his crew perform a peculiar dance to “Ten Commandments” by Prince Buster.
Here is the corner where Devante, Jaime and Gameboy all stake out Damian’s ice rink.
LOCATION: Calvert St / Tyrone Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91401
Gameboy mistakenly takes out the wrong man, killing Celestino. He attempts to speed off, but Damian returns fire and kills him in the street.
Martin’s apartment can be found in Sherman Oaks.
LOCATION: 14426 Addison St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Later, when Martin returns home with Janey, played by Nell Tiger Free, Damian and his crew are waiting on this street corner, where they violently persuade Martin to become a hitman for them.
LOCATION: Addison St / Tilden Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Martin pays a visit to Amanda’s apartment in North Hollywood to pay her money.
LOCATION: 6837 Fulton Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91605
As Martin goes to perform the hit ordered by Damian, he parks at this liquor store.
LOCATION: 12500 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91604
His target is a man inside this auto shop.
LOCATION: 4350 Whitsett Ave, Studio City, CA 91604
Once inside, he finds the man nude on a couch and the two engage in a physical battle before Martin gets the upper hand.
Volume 2 – “The Lovers”
Don Ricardo’s estate, where much of episode 2 takes places, is the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley. The property regularly hosts weddings and special events. It is otherwise a private estate, however, only allowing guests by appointment. The only road leading to the ranch is typically gated shut with no trespassing signs, making it unfortunately closed to the public. The property has also appeared in Oliver Stone’s “Savages,” “Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher and in the second season of “True Detective.”
LOCATION: 2940 Kuehner Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93063
Volume 3 – “The Hermit”
In episode 3, the character of Viggo, played by John Hawkes, is introduced. As he is transporting a dead body in his trunk, he suddenly runs out of gas. He pulls over to this alley in Van Nuys.
LOCATION: 14524 Hamlin St, Van Nuys, CA 91411
Not thinking clearly, Viggo locks himself out of his car. In the neighboring parking lot, gunshots suddenly ring out as an unrelated crime takes place. Viggo decides to escape on foot, leaving the key with his fingerprint inside the car. The next morning Martin arrives and discovers the key, putting him on the trail of Viggo.
LOCATION: 6417 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401 (rear parking lot)
Diana, played by Jena Malone, orchestrates Viggo’s targets and regularly meets with him at the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center. The pool has a picturesque mountain range spanning the backdrop. It is depicted as quiet and isolated in the show, but in reality, it’s a popular spot for families to visit.
LOCATION: 11798 Foothill Blvd, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342
The slide at the pool is also seen in a later episode when the two once again meet up and talk.
Martin visits the family of an abused boy to gather more information on Viggo.
LOCATION: 6616 Langdon Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406
Janey forces a bartender to serve her a drink despite knowing she is underage. Most of the scene is out of focus, but when she exits the building, it is revealed to be a bar inside Highland Park Bowl.
LOCATION: 5621 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
Here is a view of the full exterior, although it is never seen from this angle in the show.
Janey then walks over to meet her father at an art gallery. This is geographically accurate, as the location really is just a few doors down from the bar. It is seen only from interior views in the scene.
LOCATION: 5601 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
Martin finally tracks down Viggo and follows him to his mother’s house in Sylmar.
LOCATION: 11370 Clybourn Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342
Martin then follows Viggo to the Northridge Fashion Center, which leads him to Diana. Viggo is seen driving up this ramp. To access the exact area seen in the film, you need to go to Nordhoff St and turn into the lot near Sears. The ramp is on the left and will take you to the upper lot where the scene was shot.
LOCATION: 9301 Tampa Ave, Northridge, CA 91324
Viggo parks along the wall on the right, while Diana parks beside the lamppost in the foreground. Martin photographs them from afar, looking at this angle.
Martin is told to meet Damian at a strip mall near the house. Damian gives him a key to enter the house of his next target. The plaza can be found in Studio City.
LOCATION: 11308 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
Martin meets with Viggo at the Olympic Coffee Shop in Sylmar. The two discuss what it feels like to kill. The same coffee shop has appeared in the films “Over The Top” and “Every Which Way But Loose,” as well as such TV series as “Bosch” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
LOCATION: 12192 San Fernando Rd, Sylmar, CA 91342
Volume 4 – “The Tower”
Martin’s next target is a Korean man that he tracks down at this burger restaurant in Burbank.
LOCATION: 2320 W Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506
Martin follows the man and he pulls over here to eat a burger. As Martin pulls the gun, he finds himself conflicted about whether the man really deserves death and decides to find an alternate solution. Once again, the route they drive is geographically accurate and just a short distance from the burger restaurant.
LOCATION:2301 W Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506
Volume 5 – “The Fool”
Episode 5 was filmed on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We do not yet have specific location information at this time.
Volume 6 – “The High Priestess”
Back in the Valley, Alfonso attempts to get in the good graces of Jesus by ordering a hit on Damian. He visits Devante at this auto shop in Van Nuys and hires him to perform the hit for $6,000.
LOCATION: 14101 Oxnard St, Van Nuys, CA 91401
Devante then outsources the job to Jaime for $2,000, who in turn outsources the hit to a junkie named Gameboy for $200 and some crystal meth. Gameboy stops by this apartment and does some drugs, tearing the photo of his target in two in the process and mixing up Damian with Celestino. The address is on Bakman Ave in North Hollywood, but the view seen in the show is actually the back side of the building, on an unnamed road next to the electrical towers.
LOCATION: 6607 Bakman Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (rear side of the building on an unnamed road)
Gameboy is then seen passing the electrical towers and turning down Kittridge St to go kill Damian. Things do not go as planned.
Volume 7 – “The Magician”
Janey’s father Theo, played by William Baldwin, takes Martin to a screening room, where he plays a scene of a show within a show. The scene is very meta, mimicking the scene from episode 1 where Martin and Larry pull over a woman. This was filmed at an auto shop very close to the location of the final scene in the show.
LOCATION: 5547 Satsuma Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601
After Viggo helps Martin dispose of a body, Martin asks him to pull over as he vomits.
LOCATION: 8981 Bradley Ave, Sun Valley, CA 91352
Volume 8 – “The Hanged Man”
Martin and Viggo’s next target takes them to an abandoned shopping mall. This is the former Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Center. The plaza has been abandoned for years, with on-again, off-again plans for demolition. In the meantime, it has become a popular spot for filming and photography. It has been seen in such films at “Gone Girl,” “Minority Report” and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” as well as the TV series “Westworld.” The building is closed to the public and regularly patrolled by security, so unless you have permission from the city or someone filming, it is trespassing to enter the grounds. It is a popular spot for abandon building enthusiasts, however, and quite a few people have managed to get inside over the years.
LOCATION: 12124 Hawthorne Blvd, Hawthorne, CA 90250 (closed to the public)
The High Priestess of Death executes everyone in sight at the Sierra Pelona Motel in Santa Clarita. The motel was also used in “The Grifters,” the 2002 Britney Spears film “Crossroads” and the TV series “Westworld.” The motel is also located very close to the restaurant from “Duel.” The phone booth was not a prop and really exists at the motel.
LOCATION: 12117 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390
Most of the killings take place in front of rooms 3 and 4.
Volume 9 – “The Empress”
In the penultimate episode, Diana has a vision which changes her eyes. She visits a mysterious woman to explain her vision and fix her eyes. All of the decor seen in the front of the shop is real and was not a flourish of the production. This location is right across the street from the scene in episode 1 where Martin and Larry pull over the young woman.
LOCATION: 6316 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606
Diana makes her way out to the back of the building to speak to the woman.
Volume 10 – “The World”
In the final episode, Yuritza makes her presence known as the High Priestess of Death. She sits at the corner of Satsuma Ave and Cumpston St. This is on the same street as the show within a show that Theo plays for Martin in his screening room.
LOCATION: Satsuma Ave / Cumpston St, North Hollywood, CA 91601
The final scenes were filmed at the Limelight West, an event space in North Hollywood.
LOCATION: 5453 Satsuma Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601
The history of The Manson Family and their victims is long and vast, scattered all across California and beyond, spanning through the heart of Hollywood, into the far reaches of the desert. We’ve previously we posted articles covering Spahn Ranch and Barker Ranch. Here we will take a look at many additional sites related to the history of The Family, in semi-chronological order. We do not endorse any of the crimes related to this subject matter. This article’s sole intention is to simply acknowledge the places where these events happened and show them as they stand today.
Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who would become the second member of The Manson Family and one of the most devoted, did not get along with her father from a young age. Not far from LAX airport, you’ll find the childhood home of Lynette.
LOCATION: 6511 W 82nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Of particular interest is the lamp post in front of the home. On the cement in front of it, Lynette scrawled her name as a child, which remains there to this day. Eventually Lynette ran away from home, leading her to Venice Beach, where she met a recently paroled Charles Manson.
When released from Terminal Island in San Pedro in 1967, Charles Manson headed north to the Bay Area. He played guitar at the UC Berkeley campus, where he would meet Mary Brunner, the first member of the Manson Family. Here is the famous Sather Gate at the Berkeley campus.
LOCATION: Sather Gate, Sather Rd, Berkeley, CA 94720
Just inside the gate is the courtyard area where Manson played his guitar and met Brunner. Here are some views of what the general area looks like today.
Mason became a resident of the famous Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Fransisco during the “Summer of Love” in 1967, renting an apartment unit in this building. It was in San Francisco that he also met future family member Susan “Sadie” Atkins.
LOCATION: 636 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Around this same period, Bobby Beausoleil, who would later become involved in the first of the Manson Family murders, was also in San Francisco. He posed for a famous photo on the front stairs of this house, which at the time was occupied by underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Anger filmed portions of his short film “Invocation of My Demon Brother” at the house, which featured Bobby Beausoleil and Anton LaVey, with music by Mick Jagger.
LOCATION: 1198 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Here are the stairs where Bobby posed for his photo. While serving his sentence for his murder conviction, Beausoleil later composed the score to Anger’s film “Lucifer Rising,” after a score by Jimmy Page was rejected. You can read a bit more about this home in our separate article about the Kenneth Anger House.
Eventually Manson would make his way back down to Southern California. Susan Atkins joined Manson in his trek south, along with other Family members. Sadie worked as a stripper at the Candy Cat One in Chatsworth, California. The Candy Cat remained open for decades until 2017, when it finally closed its doors. You can still see the faded letters where the sign once was.
LOCATION: 21625 Devonshire St, Chatsworth, CA 91311
Just across the street from the former Candy Cat One is The Munch Box, a staple of the San Fernando Valley that has been in business since 1956. Charles Manson used to sit and eat at The Munch Box, waiting for Sadie to finish her work shifts. A market also once stood in this area, which was one of the spots the women of the Manson Family would go digging through the dumpsters, looking for discarded food.
LOCATION: 21532 Devonshire St, Chatsworth, CA 91311
There are conflicting stories about how Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys came to know The Manson Family. The most common story is that he picked up members Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey in 1968, who were hitchhiking, and brought them back to his place on Sunset Blvd. The story has been disputed, but what is known is that the Family began staying at Dennis Wilson’s home for a time. During this period, Wilson and Manson undertook some musical collaborations. Manson’s song “Cease to Exist” ended up being recorded under the name “Never Learn Not to Love” on The Beach Boys’ “20/20” album, though the sole songwriting credit went to Dennis Wilson.
Eventually the Family would overstay their welcome and Wilson split from them by selling the home. The house still stands, but it is fairly difficult to get a decent view. Fencing and trees surround the entire property along the street. Here is a view of the driveway gate.
LOCATION: 14400 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Here is a view within the property, when one of the gates was open.
Across the street on Will Rogers State Park Rd, the road goes up an incline, allowing for views over the fence. The trees still obscure most of the property though. It should be noted that parking is difficult here. Sunset Blvd is quite busy along this stretch and has no parking shoulder. You can go up Will Rogers State Park Rd, but the nearest parking area is at the top, meaning you’d have a long walk down and back up to return to your vehicle. Your best bet is to take one of the side roads in the vicinity, but many of them are private, so it can be tricky.
Here is a view of the horse stables at the property.
Both Charles Manson and Charles “Tex” Watson visited the famous Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood. Watson is said to have lived on the road just behind it for a time.
LOCATION: 8901 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Members of the Family attended parties at the house of Harold True on multiple occasions. This is Harold’s former house, which was located directly next door to Rosemary and Leno LaBianca.
LOCATION: 3267 Waverly Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Over in Beverly Hills is the original home of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate, before they moved to Cielo Drive, where the fateful murders took place. It was here that they first met their maid, Winifred Chapman, who would continue working for them at the Cielo house and would have the unfortunate role of discovering the bodies the morning after the murders.
LOCATION: 1600 Summitridge Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Jay Sebring, another victim of the Manson Family, was a celebrity hair stylist prior to the murders who had connections all over Hollywood, including Warren Beatty and Bruce Lee. His hair salon could be found on Fairfax Ave in Los Angeles. The space remains a hair salon to this day, albeit under different ownership.
LOCATION: 725 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Sebring’s house could be found in Benedict Canyon, about a mile from Tate and Polanski’s house on Cielo.
LOCATION: 9860 Easton Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
In early 1969, Charles Manson rented a house in Canoga Park, where members of The Family stayed with him. They called the house the “Yellow Submarine,” due to its paint color. By this time, Manson had already discovered Spahn Ranch, but he felt it was too disorganized for musical recording and wanted to use the home as a studio. The Family’s time there would be brief and the house was eventually demolished. Today, an apartment complex stands in its place.
LOCATION: 21019 Gresham St, Canoga Park, CA 91304
The most well-known home of The Manson Family was of course Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth, California. This is where the murders were ordered. You can read much more detail about the history of Spahn Ranch in our article here.
LOCATION: Formerly 1200 Santa Susana Pass Rd, Chatsworth, CA 91311 (now defunct), nearest present address is 22601 Santa Susana Pass Rd., Chatsworth, CA 91311
The events that set the stage for the Tate-LaBianca murders really kicked into full motion in 1969 with the shooting of Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe. Crowe had agreed to a drug deal with Charles “Tex” Watson, who burned him and kept the money. An angry Crowe called Spahn Ranch and asked for Charles. The name mix-up put him on the phone with Charles Manson, rather than Watson. Crowe threatened to harm Watson’s girlfriend if the situation wasn’t fixed, so Manson headed to his apartment in the middle of Hollywood. There things escalated and Manson ended up shooting Lotsapoppa. Leaving under the belief he had killed Crowe, when Manson watched the news, he saw reports of a murdered member of the Black Panther party. Crowe had in fact survived the shooting and was not a member of the Panthers. However, Manson erroneously believed he was on the hook for murder and that the Panthers would soon visit Spahn Ranch seeking retaliation. Manson also believed that Watson owed him big for having taken care of his situation.
The apartment where Lotsapoppa was shot has long since been demolished. It is now a parking lot for the famous Magic Castle.
LOCATION: 7001 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
More trouble would soon come when Gary Hinman set up a drug deal with a biker gang through Bobby Beausoleil. While Beausoleil denies ever being a member of the Manson Family, he held many ties with them. After the bikers claimed the drugs were bad, they demanded their money back from Beausoleil. Beausoleil went to the house of Gary Hinman, along with Mary Brunner and Susan Atkins and held Hinman captive. Believing he had received a large inheritance, they demanded money from him. Hinman denied having money and also disputed that the drugs were bad. Eventually Charles Manson would visit the house as well, slicing Hinman with a sword.
Bobby Beausoleil would then murder Gary Hinman, with words written in blood on the walls, in an attempt to make it look like a crime committed by the Black Panthers. Not long after, Beausoleil was found asleep in Hinman’s car and charged with murder. Here is the former Hinman house, which has since been remodeled and is obscured by trees and shrubs. There used to be stairs leading up to the house, which have also since been removed.
LOCATION: 964 Old Topanga Canyon Rd, Topanga, CA 90290
With Beausoleil arrested for murder, the events fell into place for the first night of the Tate-LaBianca murders. Many members of the Family have claimed the murders were intended to appear as copycat crimes, to make it appear as if Hinman’s killer was still on the loose, thus resulting in Beausoleil’s release. Others have disputed this motive, however.
Steven Parent lived at this house in El Monte, California. Parent had the misfortune of trying to sell William Garretson a clock radio on the night of the murders on August 8, 1969. Garretson was staying in a guest house at the Tate residence when Parent paid him a visit. As Parent was leaving, he encountered Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian. Watson shot and killed Parent in his car in the driveway.
LOCATION: 11214 Bryant Rd, El Monte, CA 91731
Earlier the same night, Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski had dinner at the El Coyote restaurant. The Mexican restaurant was a favorite of Tate’s. It would unfortunately turn out to be their final meal.
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.
This is alleged to be the table where the group ate their dinner.
This is the entrance to the private road of Cielo Drive. Much of Cielo is actually a public road. It is only the portion leading up to the houses that is marked private. It is at the foot of the private road where the killers parked their car, heading up the rest of the way on foot in darkness.
LOCATION: Formerly 10500 Cielo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (now defunct), changed to 10066 Cielo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
While that portion of Cielo Drive is private, the road directly across the street, Bella Drive, is not. It too goes up an incline and from the top you get a clear view of all the homes along Ceilo Dr. The house furthest to the left in front of the city skyline is where the Tate/Polanki residence once stood. The killers’ original plan was to murder the occupants of every house along the block. The Tate murders proved more difficult than they had anticipated, however, so they abandoned plans to enter the other homes. While neighbors did hear sounds the night of the murders, the canyons echoed sounds and it was difficult to place where the noises came from.
LOCATION: Cielo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, as seen from 1436 Bella Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Here is a better view of where the Tate/Polanski home once stood, taken from Beverly View Drive. The home has since been demolished and a mansion belonging to “Full House” creator Jeff Franklin stands in it’s place.
After the murders, the killers traveled about 1.5 miles up Benedict Canyon Drive and stopped at this home on Portola Drive. Here they used a hose to wash off the victims’ blood. However, the homeowner discovered them and wrote down their license plate, which would become a heavily incriminating piece of evidence during the murder trials.
LOCATION: 9870 Portola Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The killers then made their way further up Benedict Canyon. They pulled over to this section of the road, across the street from 2901 Benedict Canyon, where they tossed the clothes they wore during the murders. In 1969, this area was a wide shoulder where cars could pull over. Now a guard rail blocks it, but there is still a strip of land there with enough space to fit a car. Based on descriptions later provided by Susan Atkins, which described the area as mountain on one side and a ravine on the other, a local news station recreated the drive from Cielo, traveling at a moderate speed and changing their clothes. When they finished, they pulled over to the nearest shoulder they could find, leading them to the precise location where the clothes were tossed.
LOCATION: 2901 Benedict Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Here’s another view of the area.
Upon making the discovery, the reporter headed across the street to notify the police.
The killers then made their way over to Beverly Glen Blvd, where they tossed the gun. They believed this area to be an empty canyon where the weapon would not likely be recovered. From the road above, this is the view they would have seen. It was not an empty canyon, however. At the bottom of the hill was a neighborhood and the gun was tossed into one of the back yards.
LOCATION: Beverly Glen Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (near 3627 Longview Valley Rd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423)
This is the home where the gun was discovered.
LOCATION: 3627 Longview Valley Rd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Here you can see a view of Beverly Glen Blvd in the distance, where the gun was tossed as the killers passed.
Not content with one night of murders or with how they were carried out, Charles Manson decided to accompany the group for a second night of killings. After roaming around in search of a suitable site, they made their way over to the neighborhood of Harold True and eventually selected the house next door, belonging to Rosemary and Leno LaBianca. The group consisted of Manson, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten, and Steve “Clem” Grogan. Manson entered the LaBianca house and tied up the victims, telling them they were only there to rob the place and would not be harmed.
He then returned to the car with Rosemary LaBianca’s wallet and sent Watson, Krenwinkel and Van Houten in to do the killings. He told them to hitchhike back to Spahn Ranch and he would take the remaining group out to perform a different set of murders. Here is what the LaBianca house looks like today. A gate and garage have been added and trees planted to obscure the view. Much like the Cielo house, the address was also slightly changed.
LOCATION: Formerly 3301 Waverly Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, changed to 3311 Waverly Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Manson then took the second group to this gas station in Sylmar and had Linda Kasabian dispose of Rosemary LaBianca’s wallet in the restroom. Here is the side of the building where the restroom once was. During the trial, the prosecution alleged that this gas station was chosen in a predominantly black area, as to implicate black killers and bring about a race war called “Helter Skelter.” One of the few blows against the “Helter Skelter” motive came when the defense noted that Sylmar was not a predominantly black area.
LOCATION: 12881 Encinitas Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342
Manson then walked over to this Denny’s and ordered a chocolate shake. The Denny’s still stands there today.
LOCATION: 12861 Encinitas Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342
Manson, Grogan, Kasabian and Atkins then went to this apartment building on Venice Beach, looking to commit the next murder. They came here because Kasabian remembered a resident there she disliked. After knocking on a door and failing to find the correct apartment unit, which Kasabian later claimed to have done intentionally to avoid more killings, the group abandoned plans to commit murder here. Upon making their way down the stairwell to exit, Susan Atkis deficated in the building before leaving.
LOCATION: 1011 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291
The morning after the LaBianca murders, the family arrived at the house. Noticing some unusual activity; the fact that the LaBianca’s boat had been left out and the curtains were drawn closed, they went across the street to phone the police.
LOCATION: 3306 Waverly Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
In the wake of the murders, The Manson Family fled to Barker Ranch in Death Valley. It was here that Charles Manson was eventually captured. You can read our article about Barker Ranch here.
LOCATION: Just off of Goler Wash Rd, Death Valley National Park, Panamint, CA 93592 (easiest access is via Ballarat, CA, GPS coordinates: 35°51′34.57″N 117°5′18.76″W)
While at the Sybil Brand Institute, Susan Atkins confessed to a cell mate named Virginia Graham about the Tate Murders. Graham in turn shared what Atkins had told her with homocide detectives, which eventually helped lead to the indictment of Charles Manson. The prison shut down in 1997, but today the grounds are still owned by the Los Angeles sherrif’s office, where it is used by warehouse companies and for filming purposes. Walking the grounds, however, it still very much feels like a prison.
LOCATION: 4500 City Terrace Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90063
The trial for the Tate/LaBianca murders was held at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles.
LOCATION: 211 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members of the Manson Family who were not incarcerated sat at this corner on Broadway and Temple, speaking with media throughout the duration of the trail. After Manson shaved his head and carved an X into his forehead, the members followed suit.
LOCATION: Intersection of N Broadway / W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
After Manson was convicted and sent to Folsom Prison, Family members Sandra Good and Lynette Fromme moved into the attic unit of this house in Sacramento, in order to be nearer to him.
LOCATION: 1725 P St, Sacramento, CA 95811
There used to be an outdoor starcase on the side of the house leading to the attic unit, which has since been removed.
Over at the Historic Sacramento City Cemetery, a famous photo of Lynette Fromme and Sandra Good wearing robes was taken for a German magazine at this grave plot. The gravestone is marked Heintz at plot B83 276. It actually sits very near the entrance at the intersection of Broadway and Ninth St. From there it can be found 2 plots forward, 4 plots to the left.
LOCATION: 1000 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818
On September 5, 1975, Lynette Fromme left her house on P Street dressed in a red robe and came to the California State Capitol building in Sacramento. She stood at this tree and aimed a gun at then President Gerald Ford, who was walking past. Secret Service members immediately subdued her with no shots fired. For her crime, she served 34 years in prison before being paroled in 2009. The easiest way to reach the tree where the incident happened is from the intersection of 12th St and L St. Ford was leaving the Senator Hotel and crossed that intersection, heading for the California State Capitol building.
LOCATION: 1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814
The final tenant of the original Cielo Drive residence before it was demolished was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. When Trent relocated from Los Angeles to New Orleans, he took with him one piece of the Cielo property; the infamous door that had “Pig” scrawled in Sharon Tate’s blood by Susan Atkins. Trent purchased this former funeral home in New Orleans in 1995 and converted it into a recording studio. He had the Cielo door installed as the front entrance to the studio. Trent would eventually relocate back to Los Angeles in 2004, this time leaving the Cielo door behind for good. The building stood vacant until 2010, when it was purchased by a surgeon looking to convert the property into a retail area. It has since been remodeled beyond recognition, but we managed to visit back when the original building still stood.
LOCATION: 4500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115
Here is the Cielo door at the front entrance to the former studio on Magazine Street, where it sat behind a steel gate. The door remained until around 2012, when the building was completely remodeled. The current whereabouts of the door is unknown.
After Charles Manson died in 2017, his funeral was quitly held in Porterville, Califonia and his ashes were spread in a nearby, undisclosed location.
LOCATION: 765 W Henderson Ave, Porterville, CA 93257
Here is the back of the funeral home.
There are countless more locations related to these events, which we have not covered. There are also many books that dive much deeper into the subject. We simply aimed to present a visual timeline of one of the most infamous crimes in American history. It is a fascinating, tragic story. It was very real and these are the places where it all unfolded.
One of the most memorable scenes in Martin Scorsese’s classic 1990 film “Goodfellas” is when Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, takes Karen, played by Lorraine Bracco, on a date to the Copacabana in Manhattan. The camera follows them as they take a side entrance, skipping the line and walking through the kitchen out onto the restaurant floor, where a table is immediately brought for them.
The Copacabana was a legendary restaurant located in the actual spot seen in the film. Acts such as Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and The Supremes all performed there. However, after fifty years, it was relocated in 1992, not long after the film was released. Scorsese briefly used this location once again as the Copacabana in his 2019 film “The Irishman.”
The 1991 action film “Point Break,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow, was filmed mostly around Southern California, with a few late scenes filmed in Oregon and Hawaii.
Early in the film, the FBI agent Pappas, played by Gary Busey encourages his new partner Johnny Utah, played by Keanu Reeves, to learn to surf. Believing the bank robbers they are pursuing to be surfers, they discuss the need to infiltrate the tight-knit surfer community in order to gain leads as to the thieves’ identities. These scenes were filmed at the Manhattan Beach Pier.
LOCATION: 2 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
While surfing, Johnny meets Tyler, played by Lori Petty and the two strike up a romance. Johnny visits her at her work, which was filmed at Neptune’s Net in Malibu. A famous biker and surfer restaurant, the same place was also seen in “The Fast And The Furious.”
LOCATION: 42505 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Utah begins frequenting a variety of beaches, in hopes of identifying the robbers, who call themselves the Ex-Presidents. One of the beaches he checks out is Dockweiler Beach in Playa Del Rey. Utah can be seen near the El Segundo Power Plant, just past W Grand Ave.
LOCATION: 12001 Vista Del Mar, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
Johnny is washing off after surfing, when another crew approaches and attacks him. Bodhi, played by Patrick Swayze, intervenes as the two fight off the rival crew. These scenes were filmed at Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu.
LOCATION: 35000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
Later in the film, Utah is ordering sandwiches when the Ex-Presidents pull up right behind him and proceed to rob a a bank. This was filmed in Culver City, with the Culver Hotel seen in the distance (where the opening of “Last Action Hero” was filmed).
LOCATION: Main St, Culver City, CA 90232 (facing toward Culver Blvd)
The building where the bank was located has been remodeled and is now separated into several business spaces.
LOCATION: 3849 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232
After the robbery, Utah and Pappas pursue the Ex-Presidents in a car chase. The chase continues into the Westfield Shopping Plaza in Culver City, as the cars enter from Slauson Ave towards what is now a Macy’s department store.
LOCATION: 6200 Slauson Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
They hook a left in the parking lot and drive past what is now a Trader Joe’s.
LOCATION: 6150 Slauson Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
The cars race up and down the aisles of the parking lot, which is located beneath the Marina Fwy (CA-90).
LOCATION: 6000 S Hannum Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
The cars then drive down Westfield Dr and head towards S Hannum Ave, where Pappas crashes into a security gate, stalling out the car. Utah exits the car and continues on foot.
LOCATION: Westfield Dr / S Hannum Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
The thieves blow out a tire as they turn right onto S Hannum Ave.
While made to look only a short distance away, the Ex-Presidents pull off into a gas station, which was actually located in Redondo Beach. Bodhi torches the car by lighting a gas pump and using it as a flame thrower. Now on foot, Utah catches up and tackles him. The gas station is no longer there, replaced by a surf shop on N Catalina Ave. This can be slightly confusing, as the same surf shop uses a multiple buildings along the block, including across the street on N Broadway. The correct location of the former gas station is at the intersection of Beryl St and N Catalina Ave.
LOCATION: 600 N Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Most of the buildings seen in the background of the gas station, such as the Crowne Plaza, are still there and match up with the film.
LOCATION: Beryl St / N Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Bodhi runs from Utah and the foot chase begins as the two race across N Broadway, located behind the former gas station. This triangular rooftop building can be seen in the background, which is another property of the surf shop. The other side of the street, where the two begin running down the narrow, residential corridors, has been remodeled.
LOCATION: N Broadway / N Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
The ending of the foot chase, with a conflicted Utah reluctantly passing on the opportunity to shoot at Bodhi, was filmed over at Ballona Creek, a concrete water channel and bike path, which runs through Culver City.
In the town of Oceanside, California, about 40 miles north of San Diego, you’ll find the iconic house from the 1986 hit “Top Gun.” Charlie, played by Kelly McGillis, lives at this beachfront cottage, where she is visited by Maverick, played by Tom Cruise. The two make love while Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” plays, in one of the most famous love scenes of the 1980s.
The house sat vacant and boarded up for years, having fallen into a state of disrepair, with fencing erected around it in an effort to minimize vandalism. At the time of filming, several other houses existed along the block, but all were demolished except for this one. Hotel development has since taken place in 2020 on this block, but the “Top Gun” house drives tourism to Oceanside, so rather than demolition, the house was relocated about a block away and restored (much like what happened with the Michael Myers house from the original “Halloween“). While the restoration is much needed, we were able to capture it at it’s original site while it still remained there. The house now sits in it’s permanent location across from the Oceanside Fishing Pier, on N Pacific St, between Pier View Way and Mission Ave.
LOCATION: Originally located at 102 N Pacific St, Oceanside, CA 92054, permanently relocated to N Pacific St, between Pier View Way and Mission Ave
Here is a front facing view of the house before the 2020 restoration, where you can see a poster for the film over one of the boarded up windows.
For scenes set at the back of the house, a completely different location stood in, behind the medical building of Paramount Studios.
LOCATION: 5555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
In San Diego, you’ll find the bar where Maverick and Goose sing “Great Balls of Fire.” Kansas City Barbeque, located not far from the city’s convention center where their famous Comic Con takes place, makes no secret of their connection to the film. In fact, it’s one of the main themes of the restaurant. Here is the room where Goose played the piano, which was on the wall to the left.
LOCATION: 600 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
The piano itself has been relocated to a different room in the restaurant.
The walls are adorned with tons of imagery and promotional items from the film.
In a later scene, Maverick sits at this bar.
They even have a neon sign for the film in the front windows.
It’s always nice to see places embrace their film history so much. Be sure to check it out if you’re in the San Diego area.
“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.
LOCATION: 2353 Bolton Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Rick can be seen walking out of the door and down the stairs.
Rick’s house can also be found in Atlanta.
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.
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”).
LOCATION: 1737G Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
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.”
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.
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. This same area was seen in the film “Pet Sematary II.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
LOCATION: 132 Morgan St, Senoia, GA 30276
Here is another entrance, which remains closed unless the production is using it.
This is the sole permissible photo location inside Alexandria on the studio tour.
Here’s another look at the completed windmill, taken during the filming of the show.
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.
LOCATION: 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276
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.
LOCATION: 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the main cell blocks from the prison in seasons 3 and 4, on loan from AMC.
A kid’s bedroom in the prison from season 4, episode 9.
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.
Some knives from the show.
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.
A prop mirror broken by Beth, when she attempts to kill herself in season 2. Actress Emily Kinney has signed the prop.
Also on Main St in Senoia is The Walking Dead Cafe.
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.
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.
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.