Zodiac (2007)

The 2007 David Fincer film “Zodiac” is primarily set in the San Fransisco Bay area. However, production was split between Northern and Southern California, with quite a few scenes shot in the Greater Los Angeles area. Early in the film, a couple drives to this diner, located in Long Beach, where the woman says it’s too crowded and decides to go some place quiet.

LOCATION: 4390 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

Robert Graysmith, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, lives in a house that is only seen from interior views in the film. However, a couple shots help pinpoint the neighborhood to Angelino Heights in Los Angeles. For example, the street outside of his home can be seen here when he takes his son to school early in the film.

LOCATION: Near the intersection of Douglas St / Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (approximately in front of 1406 Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026)

Robert works as a cartoonist at the San Fransisco Chronicle. For exterior shots, the real newspaper building was used.

LOCATION: 901 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The Zodiac kills a taxi driver at the corner of Washington and Cherry in San Fransisco. This film shot at the real location where the murder took place. The location is revisited several times in the film, as the characters hope the killer might return to the site on the anniversary of his crimes.

LOCATION: 3893 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Robert stops his son from getting on the school bus at this location. This is again in the Angelino Heights neighborhood, just around the corner from the spot where he drives his son to school early in the film.

LOCATION: Near the intersection of Douglas St / Kellam Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (approximately in front of 908 Douglas St, Los Angeles, CA 90026)

Detectives visit the house of Melvin Belli, played by Brian Cox, after the Zodiac writes him a letter. Belli’s house is located in Hancock Park at 72 Fremont Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90005, but unfortunately the house is in one of the few gated communities in Los Angeles and therefore inaccessible to the public.

Paul Avery, played by Robert Downey Jr., has an argument with Inspector David Toschi, played by Mark Ruffalo, outside of the Riverside Police Department. The building used in the scene is actually located in Culver City. The same location was also featured in the film “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

LOCATION: 4130 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

A time lapse is shown of the construction of the Transamerica Pyramid building. This was of course a CGI creation.

LOCATION: 600 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Robert approaches Inspector Toschi at the Earl Warren Building in San Fransisco, seeking more information on the case. Toschi lets Robert know the case is unlikely to ever be solved at that point and tells him to not disturb him anymore.

LOCATION: 350 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102

The building is located next to San Fransisco City Hall, which can be seen in the background of some shots.

The Vallejo Police Department, where Robert obtains more information on the case, could be found in Hawthorne. It was a real police building, also featured in the TV series “True Blood” and the second season of “True Detective.” The building has since been demolished.

LOCATION: 4440 W 126th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250 (now demolished)

Near the end of the film, Robert tracks down a suspect he believes may be the Zodiac working inside this hardware store in South Gate. The building is only seen from interior views in the film.

LOCATION: 3948 Tweedy Blvd, South Gate, CA 90280

Related articles: Seven (1995), The Game (1997), Fight Club (1999), Panic Room (2002), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010)

Iron Man (2008)

The 2008 film “Iron Man” famously launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is regarded not only as one of the finest Marvel films, but one of the best superhero films ever made.  Early in the film, Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey, Jr., demonstrates his latest weapon, the “Jericho” missile.  Supposedly set in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan, these scenes were actually filmed at Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California.  Many classic western films have also filmed there over the years, along with more recent films, such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and “Gladiator.”

ironman1

LOCATION: Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA 93545

ironman2

Tony’s iconic Malibu house doesn’t actually exist, it is rather a CGI creation.  However, the land where it’s located is very much real.  Point Dume in Malibu is a public park that is thankfully devoid of any homes.  Instead there is a foot trail and biking path which leads to a beautiful ocean view.  The closest actual home, located directly across the street, is the “Circles on the Point” mansion, another property frequently featured in film and television productions, such as “Color Of Night,” “Glow” and more.  The CGI design of the Stark home is rumored to have been inspired by another mansion; the The Razor House in La Jolla (9826 La Jolla Farms Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037), near San Diego.  The gated access and high cliff walls do not make for convenient photography of the Razor House, however.

colorofnight3

LOCATION: Point Dume, Cliffside Dr / Birdview Ave, Malibu, CA 90265

More CGI trickery was used with the Stark Industries building.  The main building is the Masimo headquarters, formerly known as the Nikken Building, in Irvine.  However, the wider shot is a composite of other streets and buildings, including portions of Shoreline Drive in Long Beach.  The Masimo building has been used in many other productions, including “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” and “You, Me and Dupree.”

dodgeball1

LOCATION: 52 Discovery, Irvine, CA 92618

Tony attends a charity ball at the Walt Disney Concert Hall near downtown Los Angeles.  The unmistakable design is the work of legendary architect Frank Gehry.

ironman3

LOCATION: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tony first conceives the Iron Man suit after he is captured by terrorists.  Once he escapes and builds the suit, he returns to do battle with the Gulmira terrorists.  The bombed out ruins where he makes short work of his enemies was actually a set located on the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita.  As is always the case with movie ranches, the sets are often changed around to meet the needs of the latest productions, but several portions of the Iron Man set still remain recognizable.

ironman4

LOCATION: 20019 Blue Cloud Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

Some additional views of the area where Iron Man battles the terrorists.

ironman5

ironman6

Here is the spot where Iron Man blows up the tank and walks away, as famously featured in the film’s trailer.  It was dressed heavily by the production to look more war-torn.

ironman7

In 2019, the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles held a limited exhibition called “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy,” which featured Tony’s 1932 Ford Flathead Roadster from the film.

ironman14

LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Not far from Alabama Hills in Lone Pine is the excellent Lone Pine Film History Museum.  Props and memorabilia from the many films shot in Lone Pine can be found there, with their primary focus on classic westerns.  They even have a small section of the museum dedicated to Iron Man.  Here are some of the items on display.

ironman8

LOCATION: 701 S Main St, Lone Pine, CA 93545

Some merchandise promoting the film.

ironman9

Some posters and prop recreations.

ironman10

ironman11

ironman12

This is the suit worn by Robert Downey, Jr. during his “Jericho” missile scenes, filmed in Lone Pine.

ironman13

Natural Born Killers (1994)

Oliver Stone’s 1994 film “Natural Born Killers” was filmed in quite a few different locations, including Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois and Indiana, as the story depicts two killers on a cross-country mass murder spree.

In the opening scenes of the film, Micky and Mallory, played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis respectively, visit a restaurant on a desert road known as the “5 To 2 Cafe.”  After some unwanted advances and rude remarks from some locals, things quickly turn violent.

The building still stands all these years later, although it is long since boarded up and closed down.  The former diner can be found on AZ-99, along an isolated stretch on the outskirts of Winslow, Arizona.  To visit in person, it feels quite remote.  However, in reality, it’s only a few miles from Interstate 40, between the highway and the town of Leupp.  The exact location of the building is 35°06’54.8″N, 110°52’20.3″W.

naturalbornkillers4

LOCATION: AZ-99, Winslow, AZ 86047 (between Interstate 40 and Indian Rte 15, Leupp) (GPS coordinates: 35°06’54.8″N, 110°52’20.3″W)

The property is fenced off from the sides and there is a residence next door, so be careful not to trespass or disturb the tenants.

naturalbornkillers5

These distinct circular windows can still be seen on the sides of the building.  The windows are seen in the film behind Juliette Lewis, as she dances in front of the jukebox.

naturalbornkillers6

The overheating truck pulls up in front.

naturalbornkillers7

For those wondering, the “5 To 2 Cafe” sign out front near the road is long since gone.

naturalbornkillers8

Later in the film, Micky and Mallory are finally captured at the “Drug Zone” after being bitten by rattlesnakes and in need of medicine.  The building is currently a crafts store and can be found in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Aside from the sign and some changes to the front entrance, the building otherwise still resembles how it appeared in the film.

naturalbornkillers1

LOCATION: 9350 Eagle Ranch Rd NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114

A standoff between Micky and the cops ensues out front and after surrendering, Micky is then beaten by the police, as they try to prevent a film crew from capturing it.

naturalbornkillers2

Here’s a look from inside the store, in the general area where Micky exits and surrenders.

naturalbornkillers3

Related articles: U Turn (1997)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man finally took center stage as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”  While set in Queens, New York, most of the film was shot around Atlanta, Georgia.

Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, returns a stolen bike in front of the Rainbow store in downtown Atlanta.

spidermanhomecoming1

LOCATION: 62 Peachtree St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Peter discovers Adrian Toomes, played by Michael Keaton, is selling weapons to Aaron Davis, played by Donald Glover, underneath the Park Drive Bridge in Piedmont Park.

spidermanhomecoming2

LOCATION: Underneath Park Drive Bridge, Park Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Liz lives with her family at this unique glass house in the Ansley Park Sherwood Forest neighborhood of Atlanta.  Alex’s house from “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” can be found in the same neighborhood.

spidermanhomecoming3

LOCATION: 229 Little John Trail NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

 

Randy’s Donuts

Arguably the most famous donut shop in movies, Randy’s Donuts has been featured in countless television shows and films.  Robert Downey Jr. famously sat inside the building’s giant donut hole in “Iron Man 2.”  Even “The Simpsons” famously depicted a donut shop in their fictional town of Springfield, which strongly resembled Randy’s Donuts.

There are actually several donut shops which use the giant donut atop a drive-thru, however Randy’s is by far the most well-known of the bunch.  The building was built in 1953 and has been going strong since.  It’s been seen in such films as “Get Shorty,” “2012,” “Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles,” “Dope” and “The Golden Child,” as well as television shows such as “Californication,” “Arrested Development,” “Entourage” and many more.  It’s worth mentioning as well that their donuts are quite good!

randysdonuts

LOCATION: 805 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

Wonder Boys (2000)

Curtis Hanson’s excellent, overlooked 2000 film “Wonder Boys” takes place within the literary circles of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the film was also shot.  The film ranks among Hanson’s finest works and features an impressive, ensemble cast.  We highly recommend it if you’ve never seen it.

This house is where Michael Douglas’ character lives in the film, disheveled and struggling to finish writing his second book.

wonderboys1

LOCATION: 359 S Atlantic Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Later in the film, the confrontation with “Vernon Hardapple” takes place in the parking lot of this bowling alley.  The bowling alley is also seen in the Farrelly Brothers comedy “Kingpin,” where Woody Harrelson’s character loses his hand.

wonderboys2

LOCATION: 25 New York Ave, Rochester, PA 15074