The Rock (1996)

The majority of Micheal Bay’s 1996 action film “The Rock” was shot on location at Alcatraz Island. You can read our separate article on Alcatraz here, which has many more photos.

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LOCATION: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA 94133

Near the end of the film, Sean Connery’s character is apprehended at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

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LOCATION: 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco, CA 94123

Alcatraz

Sometimes a location itself overshadows any of the films that shot there, as is the case with Alcatraz Island.  Located just over a mile offshore from San Fransisco, the island is most well known for it’s decommissioned federal prison, which operated from 1934 until 1963. During it’s 29 years of activity, the prison was known for housing “the worst of the worst” criminals.  The list included Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the “Birdman of Alcatraz”), “Machine Gun” Kelly, James “Whitey” Bulger and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, amongst others. The penitentiary famously claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. Due to the high operational costs, as well as salt water erosion to the buildings, the prison was shut down in 1963. Today, the island is operated by the National Parks Services and public tours are available.

The prison island has been seen in many films, such as “The Rock,” “Murder in the First,” “Escape from Alcatraz,” “Birdman of Alcatraz” and many more.  Here we’ll take a closer look at the notorious island.

LOCATION: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, CA 94133

The island view from San Francisco.

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Island view from the opposite side, where visitors dock.

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Utility house and power plant chimney.

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A guard tower.

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The water tower, which still has a message from a Native American occupation of the island, which lasted from 1969 to 1971.

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The lighthouse tower.

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Some of the prison cell blocks.

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One of the typical prison cells.

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A solitary confinement cell.

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A cell where the most famous escape attempt was made, by widening a vent at the bottom of the cell.

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The prison yard.

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The gun gallery, where guards watched down over the prisoners. During one daring escape attempt, prisoners climbed up into this area and attacked the guards.

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A view of San Francisco from Alcatraz.

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Mythbusters

The Mythbusters may be no more, but you can still see the famed M5 Industries if you make it up to the Bay Area.  Founded by former Mythbuster Jamie Hyneman in 1996, the building has served as a research and development lab, custom build shop, movie effects house and host to a variety of unusual projects, which were so famously documented during the run of Mythbusters.  M5 served as the show’s primary headquarters, with Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman and the team occasionally attempting experiments in front of the building.  Since the conclusion of the series in 2016, the shop is still operational, continuing to handle research and development for outside companies.

To visit the location in person, two things are striking.  First, the building is quite small.  The Mythbusters teams did in fact utilize other buildings at times during the run of the show, which may lead viewers to assuming M5 was much larger than it is.  Secondly, the building is very inconspicuous.  Even if you’re a fan of the show, unless you’re specifically looking for it, you could drive right by and not even notice it.

LOCATION: 1268 Missouri St., San Francisco, CA 94107

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