Catch Me If You Can (2002)

In Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can,” Frank Abagnale Jr., played by Leonardo DiCaprio, lives at this home early in the film. Supposedly located in New York, the real home can be found in Studio City, California. It is located next door to the house from “My Stepmother Is An Alien.”

LOCATION: 12075 Valleyheart Dr, Studio City, CA 91604

Frank Abagnale Sr, played by Christopher Walken, reads a letter from his son as he walks into the Abagnale Stationers store, which can be found in San Pedro.

LOCATION: 421 W 6th St, San Pedro, CA 90731

After posing as an airline pilot, Frank begins forging payroll checks at the former Ambassador Hotel. The hotel was a staple of film and television, appearing in such films as “The Graduate,” “Forrest Gump,” “Seven,” “Bobby,” “True Lies,” “L.A. Story,” “True Romance,” “The Mask” and dozens more. The hotel has since been demolished, with only this post and statue from the original building remaining.

LOCATION: 3400 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (now demolished)

Carl, played by Tom Hanks, is on the hunt for Frank, who stays at the Tropicana Motel in Hollywood.  While the Tropicana was a real motel at one time, it was demolished in 1988.  Instead, the Hollywood Roosevelt was used.  It’s actually the rear of the Roosevelt building that is seen in the film.

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LOCATION: 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (rear of the building on Hawthorn Ave)

Carl eats at a diner, where a waitress tips him off that the alias Frank has been using is the name of “The Flash” in the comic books, cluing him in that his suspect may be younger than he originally thought.

This was filmed at the former Quality Cafe in downtown Los Angeles.  The diner was a one-time staple of films, appearing in “Seven” “Training Day,” “Ghost World,” “Another Day In Paradise,” “(500) Days Of Summer” “Million Dollar Baby,” “The Heartbreak Kid” and dozens more.  However, it was not an actual restaurant open to the public.  Instead it was used solely for filming.  Sadly, it ceased to function as a filming location and was completely renovated in 2014.  The interior of the property no longer bears any resemblance inside to how it appeared in so many films.

LOCATION: 1238 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017 (since closed and remodeled)

The Miami Airport where Frank slips past the FBI by surrounding himself with attractive flight attendants was actually filmed at the Ontario Airport in Ontario, California.  This particular terminal is not in active use and has popped up in countless other films, including “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Zodiac,” “Blow,” “Argo” and many more.

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LOCATION: 1940 Moore Way, Ontario, CA 91761

Another view of the same airport, depicted as the baggage claim terminal in the film.

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Later in the film, Frank takes his father to an upscale restaurant, where he tells him he bought him a Cadillac.  The actual location is not a restaurant at all.  It’s the famous “Pompeian Room” of the Doheny Mansion, located on the campus of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles.  While the mansion does offer occasional tours to the public, some of the guides can be strict about allowing photos inside.  Many films have shot at the mansion, including “The Princess Diaries,” “Drag Me To Hell,” “Flowers In The Attic,” “The Three Amigos” and more.

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LOCATION: 10 Chester Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The bank scenes were filmed at Union Station, a train station in downtown Los Angeles.  It has featured in many films as well, such as “Blade Runner,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Species,” “Bugsy,” “Pearl Harbor” and more.

LOCATION: 800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Frank strikes up a romance with Brenda, played by Amy Adams, who brings him to the house of her father, played by Martin Sheen.  Frank has to make an abrupt departure with the FBI hot on his heels.  The house used in the film can be found in Pasadena.  The address is on E Crary St, but the back of the house faces that direction and the perimeter is surrounded by a wall, so you won’t see much from there.  The front side of the house is actually around the block on Layton St, which dead-ends into the driveway of the home.  The same house has also been seen in the films “Matilda,” “Hocus Pocus” and “Scream 2.”  Unfortunately, the property owners have since posted no trespassing signs near the end of Ladyton St, making it much more difficult for pedestrians to see the house anymore.

LOCATION: 2186 E Crary St, Pasadena, CA 91104 (front of the home faces Ladyton St)

Frank is arrested in front of his mother’s house, which can be found in Pasadena. The same location appears in the film “Disturbia.”

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LOCATION: 3077 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

Late in the film, Frank passes this store and stops as he sees a pilot’s uniform on display. This can be found just a few buildings up from the Abagnale Stationers store seen early in the film.

LOCATION: 446 W 6th St, San Pedro, CA 90731

Face/Off (1997)

John Travolta plays FBI Agent Sean Archer in John Woo’s 1997 action film “Face/Off.”  Archer lives with his family at this Pacific Palisades home, right near the ocean.  Later in the film, Nicolas Cage’s villainous character, Castor Troy, bearing the face of Sean Archer, comes to his home and begins role-playing as husband and father.

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LOCATION: 326 N Swarthmore Ave, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

The hospital where Eve Archer, played by Joan Allen, works can be found in Baldwin Park.  This entrance sits closest to Dalewood Street.  A different area of the same facility was seen in the movie “Starship Troopers.”

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LOCATION: 1011 Baldwin Park Blvd, Baldwin Park, CA 91706 (near Dalewood St)

Caster Troy and his brother plant an explosive at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  This particular section is near the intersection of S Figueroa St and W Pico Blvd.  The same building was seen in the film “Demolition Man.”

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LOCATION: 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (near the intersection of S Figueroa St / W Pico Blvd)

Near the climax of the film, Victor Lazarro’s funeral takes place at the Cabrillo Beach Bath House in San Pedro.  The Adam Sandler comedy “50 First Dates” also notably shot at the same location.

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LOCATION: 3800 Stephen M White Dr, San Pedro, CA 90731

Archer’s daughter is dropped off outside at the entrance to the building.

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Inside, an epic John Woo gunfight takes place, featuring his signature use of doves and slow motion.  Thankfully, the staff is quite friendly and welcoming and allows visitors inside.  Here are some areas where the shootout takes place.

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The gunfight spills out to this area, with Archer’s daughter trapped in the crossfire.

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Archer’s daughter runs down these stairs to the lower level.

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As the fight spills outside, Archer’s daughter is taken hostage in this area.

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Castor Troy flees and runs to a boat.

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Inherent Vice (2014)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2014 adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel, “Inherent Vice,” shot all over Southern California.  Much of it is set in the fictional town of Gordita Beach.  These scenes were actually shot in Manhattan Beach, which is worth checking out if you’re interested in beautiful ocean views, without the crowds of such places as Santa Monica or Venice Beach.

This shot, seen at both the beginning, as well the end of the film, is overlooking Manhattan Beach and a scenic walkway called The Strand.  However, the shot is actually taken from Ocean Drive, one block up, at the intersection of Seaview Street.

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LOCATION: 4210 The Strand, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (this exact shot is from behind the house, on Ocean Drive at Seaview Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, looking out towards the water)

Doc, played by Joaquin Phoenix, lives in this house,  which is close to the above shot.  The house was mostly used for interiors in the film, but the exterior can also briefly be seen.

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LOCATION: 214 El Porto St, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

This cafe in San Pedro pops up a couple times in the film. First, Doc sits outside reading a newspaper about real estate developments. The interior is seen later in the film, albeit dressed heavily to appear as a Japanese restaurant, as Bigfoot, played by Josh Brolin, delivers the immortal lines, “Motto panukeiku, motto panukeiku.” The same cafe appeared in the films “Chinatown,” “Gods and Monsters” and “Lovesick,” as well as such TV shows as “T.J. Hooker” and the 2020 version of “Perry Mason.”

LOCATION: 700 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731

Doc follows leads on the mysterious Golden Fang boat, which is believed to bring in drugs, as well as having carried Shasta, played by Katherine Waterston, on board the last time it sailed.  The schooner is seen in darkness, off in the distance in the film.  The actual boat is the Tallship American Pride, which can be found at the Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California.  The boat is located at Dock 3, though it does sometimes set sail into the waters.  If you’re unfamiliar with this area of Long Beach, just search for Gladstone’s Restaurant (330 S Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802) or Toyko Wako (310 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802) at the Long Beach Pike.  The pier and the boat are located directly behind them.

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LOCATION: Rainbow Harbor, Dock 3, Long Beach, CA 90802

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Later in the film, Doc pays a visit to Bigfoot at the old Los Angeles Police Department in downtown Los Angeles.  As he’s approaching the building, an officer bumps into him, knocking him to the ground. The building has since been demolished.

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LOCATION: 150 N Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (now demolished)

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is a flashback sequence, when Doc and Shasta get caught in the rain, while Neil Young’s “Journey Through the Past” plays.  This song was a major inspiration for the film and Doc’s look was even modeled after a 1970s photograph of Neil Young.  The scene was shot in Pomona, Californa, about an hour east of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 406 W 2nd St, Pomona, CA 91766

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Related articles: Hard Eight (1996)Boogie Nights (1997)Magnolia (1999)Punch-Drunk Love (2002)There Will Be Blood (2007)The Master (2012), Licorice Pizza (2021)

The Usual Suspects (1995)

The 1995 film “The Usual Suspects” was filmed mostly in Southern California, with a few scenes shot in New York City.

Keaton, played by Gabriel Byrne, needs to catch a flight from New York to California. At the Flatiron Building in Manhattan, he wants to tell his attorney girlfriend goodbye, but Verbal Kint, played by Kevin Spacey, pushes him to leave without doing so, as they are running late. The building has appeared in countless films, such as “Spider-Man,” “As Good As It Gets” and many more.

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LOCATION: 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

The suspects meet up with Redfoot at the Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro, California.  Perched right in front of a spectacular ocean view, it’s a great place to visit, even if you’re not a fan of the film. The bell was given as a gift by South Korea to celebrate the U.S. bicentennial in 1978.

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LOCATION: 3601 Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731

The flashback scenes of Keyser Söze’s Turkish home, where his family is attacked, were actually filmed at the McNally House in Altadena. The home has been featured in such films as “Elizabethtown,” “Beautiful Boy” and “Kingdom Come,” as well as such TV shows as “Entourage,” “Ghost Whisperer” and more. The house is only seen from interior views in the film.

LOCATION: 654 E Mariposa St, Altadena, CA 91001

The police station seen in the film is the San Pedro Municipal Building. The same building appeared in the film “C.H.U.D. II: Bud the Chud.”

LOCATION: 638 S Beacon St, San Pedro, CA 90731

Near the end of the film, after he posts bail, Verbal Kint walks down this sidewalk out front.

Dave Kujan, played by Chazz Palminteri, just misses a vehicle as it turns down W 6th St in San Pedro.

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

The film also shot some scenes in Southern California. The house of Jade Angelou, played by Claire Forlani, can be found in San Pedro.

LOCATION: 611 W 37th St, San Pedro, CA 90731

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