Demolition Man (1993)

The 1993 action film “Demolition Man,” starring Sylvester Stallone as John Spartan and Wesley Snipes as Simon Phoenix, is set in the futuristic “San Angeles,” where San Diego and Los Angeles have become one giant metropolis.  The production likewise filmed scenes in both cities.

The opening shot depicts a burning Hollywood sign from behind.  There is a public hiking trail that goes up to and behind the sign.  The sign itself is heavily monitored by security.

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LOCATION: Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, CA 90068 (GPS coordinates: 34.134118, -118.321540)

The SAPD police headquarters can be found in Westlake Village, near Thousand Oaks.

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LOCATION: 1 Baxter Way, Westlake Village, CA 91362

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The Los Angeles Convention Center was composited into a futuristic view of Cocteau’s office.  This particular view is at the corner of S Figueroa St and Pico Blvd.

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LOCATION: 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (seen from intersection of S Figueroa St and Pico Blvd)

As John Spartan and Lenina Huxley, played by Sandra Bullock, drive to an upscale Taco Bell restaurant, they drive past this building, which is actually the San Diego Convention Center.  The Convention Center famously hosts the annual San Diego Comic-Con.  In 2018, as part of the Comic-Con there was a pop-up Taco Bell celebrating the film by recreating the set, as well as featuring props from the film.

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LOCATION: 111 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

After a brief encounter with Egdar Friendly, played by Dennis Leary, Spartan and Huxley drive down the The America Plaza Trolley Station, located at the intersection of Kettner Blvd and W Broadway in San Diego.  Spartan apologizes to Huxley as they drive.

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LOCATION: America Plaza Trolley Station, San Diego, CA 92101

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The Pacific Design Center served as the apartment of Huxley.  Many films have shot here, including “Bowfinger” and “Her.”  The interiors were also featured in the TV series “Westworld.”

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LOCATION: 8687 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Spartan, Huxley and Garcia, played by Benjamin Bratt, go looking for Phoenix in the underground by entering through a manhole at this business park.  Despite being a common business area with many pedestrians, located on one of the busiest roads in Los Angeles, security has very alarmist reactions to even casual photography.  There are no “private property” or “no trespassing” signs anywhere to be seen, but they are confrontational if you attempt to take a photo.

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LOCATION: 5750 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Simon Phoenix later emerges from the underground in the same area.

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John Spartan and Huxley emerge from the San Diego Innovation Center, driving past the pyramid in front.

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LOCATION: 7310 Miramar Rd, San Diego, CA 92126

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Spartan and Huxley pursue Phoenix in a car chase into the Second Street Tunnel in Downtown L.A.  This is a popular filming location, appearing in such films as “Kill Bill,” “The Terminator,” “Blade Runner,” “Con Air,” “Independence Day” and many more.

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LOCATION: 620 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (facing S Figueroa St)

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The car chase continues down Grand Lower in Downtown L.A.  This is another popular area for both filming and photography.  It has been featured in countless films, including “The Terminator,” “Cobra,” “Batman Forever,” “Repo Man” and many more.  It was also featured in the TV series “Westworld.”

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LOCATION: Grand Lower, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The Cryo-Penitentiary where the final confrontation takes place was filmed at a real jail in Downtown Los Angeles; the Metropolitan Detention Center.  This courtyard area seen in the film sits between several buildings on the block and is open to the public.

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LOCATION: 535 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Here is another angle seen in the film of the same building, this time facing Alameda St.

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The fully automated police cruiser driven by Spartan and Huxley in the film was featured on display at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, as part of an exhibit entitled “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles Of Science Fiction and Fantasy” from May 2019 through May 2020.  The vehicle was a 1992 General Motors Ultralite.

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

Bring It On (2000)

The 2000 cheerleader comedy “Bring It On” was set around the greater San Diego area and the production likewise took place there.  Torrance, played by Kirsten Dunst, lives in this home, located in a cul-de-sac in the town of Cardiff, California.

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LOCATION: 2002 Bruceala Ct, Cardiff, CA 92007

Missy and Cliff, played by Eliza Dushku and Jesse Bradford respectively, live at this home in La Jolla.

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LOCATION: 7762 Starlight Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037

Top Gun (1986)

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 is now underway for the block, but the “Top Gun” house drives tourism to Oceanside, so rather than demolition, the house was relocated about a block away and a restoration is now planned (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.

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LOCATION: 102 N Pacific St, Oceanside, CA 92054

Here is a front facing view of the house, where you can see a poster for the film over one of the boarded up windows.

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For scenes set at the back of the house, a completely different location stood in, behind the medical building of Paramount Studios.

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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.

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LOCATION: 600 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

The piano itself has been relocated to a different room in the restaurant.

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The walls are adorned with tons of imagery and promotional items from the film.

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In a later scene, Maverick sits at this bar.

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They even have a neon sign for the film in the front windows.

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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.

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Some Like It Hot (1959)

The classic Billy Wilder comedy, “Some Like It Hot,” starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, filmed at the Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, California, just across the San Diego Bay.  The Victorian beach resort opened in 1888 and still goes strong today.  The cast and crew made their way down from Los Angeles to film at the resort, where they also stayed as guests during the production.

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LOCATION: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118