Leave It To Beaver

The house from the 1950s television show “Leave It to Beaver” can be found on the Universal Studios backlot on Colonial Street.  The house was later incorporated into the neighborhood that became known as Wisteria Lane for the TV drama “Desperate Housewives.”  The house can be seen as part of the Universal Studios Hollywood Tour.

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LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

The Munsters

Though it has changed quite a bit over the years, the house from the classic 1960s TV series “The Munsters” can still be seen today.  Located on the Universal Studios Backlot, the house has since been used for a variety of productions, including the television series “Coach,” “Dragnet,” and “Desperate Housewives.”  As often happens with studio backlots, depending on the style of the production, the facade was remodeled to fit their needs.  However, the basic structure still loosely resembles how it appeared on the show.  The house can be found on Colonial Street as part of the Universal Studios Hollywood Tour.

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LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

War Of The Worlds (2005)

One of the most interesting things to see on the Universal Studios Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood is the plane crash set from the 2005 Steven Spielberg film “War Of The Worlds.”  It is a very intricate set, with lots of full-scale, realistic wreckage.  Cars, ambulances and even an actual, out of use, Boeing 747 were all used for film.  Universal made it an interactive exhibition, with fires and smoke as you pass through.

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LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

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One tip for those perhaps not interested in paying the full price for admission into Universal Studios Hollywood, this set can actually be seen free of charge from a hilltop behind the studio.  Just head up to the 3400 block of Blair Dr in Los Angeles for a view of the crash set.  It’s obviously not as good as viewing it up close from ground level, but if you’ve got some time to spare, it’s still an interesting sight.

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LOCATION: 3400 block of Blair Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

The ‘Burbs (1989)

The 1989 Joe Dante film “The ‘Burbs” is set in the fictional town of Hinkley Hills, which, judging by the opening zoom, would place it somewhere in Iowa.  The story unfolds on Mayfield Place, a cul-de-sac road in Hinkley Hills.  In reality, the entire neighborhood was a facade, filmed on a studio backlot.

Known as Colonial Street at Universal Studios, the houses and streets have changed significantly over the years.  Once used for television classics such as “The Munsters” and “Leave It To Beaver,” the neighborhood was significantly remodeled in 1988 for the production of “The ‘Burbs.”

LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

In the years that followed, as new productions came along, the neighborhood and the homes began to resemble the film less and less.  Some houses were relocated, others heavily redesigned, while others still were demolished altogether.  Eventually the neighborhood became known as Wisteria Lane on the TV drama “Desperate Housewives.”

To complicate matters further, several of the houses in “The ‘Burbs” were deliberately shot in close-ups, rarely seen in wide shots.  Combined with all of the changes over the years, it makes piecing the neighborhood back together a difficult endeavor.

The centerpiece of the film is of course the Klopek house, which is owned by a creepy family that rarely shows themselves, much to the intrigue of all of the surrounding neighbors.  Sadly, the home no longer exists.  Portions, however, were said to have been reused and incorporated in the design of this house, which later became Bree Van de Kamp’s house on “Desperate Housewives.”

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The Peterson house, where Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher live, was also unfortunately demolished and replaced with a different facade.

The house that most closely resembles how it appeared in the film is that of Walter, the old man with the small, white dog.  Aside from a paint job and some stairs being added, the house looks pretty much the same.

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Ricky Butler, played by Corey Feldman, lives at this house, which was once the home used for “The Munsters,” though it has since been heavily remodeled from how it appeared on the TV series.  Likely looking to avoid comparisons to the show, this house was only ever seen in close-up shots of the porch in “The ‘Burbs.”

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Colonial Street can be seen as part of the Universal Studios Hollywood Tour and even though the neighborhood has significantly changed and continues to change, movie and television lovers are still sure to appreciate a look around the historic, fictional neighborhood.

Related articles: Matinee (1993)

Back To The Future (1985)

We’ll be the first to admit, with a film having as rabid of a fanbase the 1985 Robert Zemeckis classic “Back To The Future,” there are far more comprehensive websites than ours available to break down the filming sites.  Having said that, that doesn’t stop us from taking a look at some of our favorite spots.

Marty McFly’s house can be found in the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles, in the town of Pacoima, California.

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LOCATION: 9303 Roslyndale Ave, Pacoima, CA 91331

Doc Brown’s house can be found over in Pasadena.  It’s the Gamble House, a National Historic Landmark and museum, which is open to public tours.  However, only the exterior was used for Doc’s house in the film.  The interior was shot at 1777 Hillcrest Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106, which is a private residence.

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LOCATION: 4 Westmoreland Pl, Pasadena, CA 91103

The Burger King where Mary hitches a ride on his skateboard, grabbing onto the back of a truck, is still operational and going strong.  You can find it in Burbank, California.

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LOCATION: 535 N Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91502

The Twin Pines Mall is actually the Puente Hills Mall in City of Industry.  The mall occasionally hosts events in celebration of the film.

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LOCATION: Puente Hills Mall, 1600 S Azusa Ave, City of Industry, CA 91748

Inside the mall, you can even find this replica sign for the Twin Pines Mall.  Sometimes when there are special events surrounding the film, they will place this sign outside, as it appeared in the film.

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Few movie cars are as famous than the Delorean, with many fans building their own replicas.  There were in fact seven vehicles built for use in the original trilogy, with only three still known to exist.  Below is the first of those three, which appeared throughout the original film and in both sequels.  After spending 25 years as part of Universal Studio’s Hollywood Tour, the car had begun showing signs of wearing and many key pieces had been removed, including the famed flux capacitor.  A team was hired to meticulously restore the car back to it’s original form and the vehicle is now on permanent display at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California.  The second Delorean is on display at Universal Studios Florida, while the third is privately owned.

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

A look inside the restored vehicle.

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Here is the restored flux capacitor.

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One vehicle from the original film which can still be seen on the Universal Studios Hollywood Tour is Biff Tannen’s 1946 Ford Convertible.  Some vehicles from the sequels can also be seen there, but here we’ll strictly focus on the first film.

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LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

George McFly’s house can be found in South Pasadena.

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LOCATION: 1711 Bushnell Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

Marty’s mother Lorainne lives at this house, located on the same street, just a few doors down from George’s house.  This house was also used in another Michael J. Fox film, “Teen Wolf.”

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LOCATION: 1727 Bushnell Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

The courthouse square and clock tower can be found on the Universal Studios Lot in Hollywood.  The building has been used in countless other films, including “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “Gremlins” and “Bruce Almighty.”  In 2008, a fire destroyed much of the building, but Universal restored and reopened it in 2009.  Today, it can be seen once again as part of the Universal Studios Tour, but be warned, this area frequently hosts productions and the site is routinely closed off from the tours.  If you’re adamant about seeing the tower, it’s perhaps best to call ahead and find out if it’s showing on a given day.

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LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Psycho (1960)

The house from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 horror classic, “Psycho,” can be found on the Universal Studios lot, as part of their studio tour.  It is indeed the actual house from the film, although the back part of the house, not seen on camera in the film, was added later on by the studio, after the film had been released.  There is also a Bates Motel set on the tour, but that set is actually from the sequel film, not the original.

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LOCATION: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Another view of the side of the house.

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This was Alfred Hitchcock’s office on the Universal lot, which is commemorated with a drawing of the director’s famous silhouette.

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