The Laundromat (2019)

The 2019 Steven Soderbergh film “The Laundromat,” which tells the story about the Panama Papers scandal, was filmed in numerous locations, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles and the Florida Keys. After a boat capsizes, Ellen Martin, played by Meryl Streep, finds she is unable to get compensation from the accident, as the insurance company has been bought out by a mysterious company in Nevis, a small island in the Caribbean Sea.

When Ellen’s attempts to contact the Nevis-based company are unsuccessful, she travels there to confront manager Malchus Boncamper, played by Jeffrey Wright. These scenes were actually filmed in Key West, Florida. The area is first seen in a dream sequence as Ellen crosses this street.

LOCATION: 109 Fitzpatrick St, Key West, FL 33040

As Ellen approaches the area, named Hunkins Waterfront Plaza in the film and Kino Plaza in reality, it becomes a CGI composite of a couple different locations. We first see this strip of the actual plaza.

As the camera continues to pan over, a massive building is shown. This is actually the Sunkist Headquarters building in Sherman Oaks, California. The building has been featured in several films, such as 2004’s “Paparazzi” and 2017’s “The Hero.” It has also been seen in such TV series as “Too Old To Die Young,” “Alias,” “Knight Rider” and more.

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LOCATION: 14130 Riverside Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Back at Kino Plaza in Key West, the scene plays again, this time no longer a dream as Ellen approaches the plaza. However, it is again modified, this time with a facade set built over part of the plaza. Here is what the area actually looks like without the facade.

Ellen bumps into Malchus, not knowing who he is, and asks questions about his firm’s location. Malchus lies to her and walks away. This area is mostly the same, but the wall is depicted with dozens of PO boxes lining a brick facade. Here is how it actually appears.

The view of the plaza as Ellen and Malchus speak is relatively unchanged.

Jürgen Mossack, played by Gary Oldman, becomes concerned when he hears one of his clients has been arrested. The film then cuts to a scene in Mexico with Will Forte and Chris Parnell, credited as Doomed Gringo #1 and #2, drinking at a bar. These scenes were filmed at the Melody Ranch Studio Backlot in Santa Clarita, California, also commonly known as the Veluzat Movie Ranch. The ranch, which is available for tours, has been featured in countless films, such as “3 From Hell,” “Dante’s Peak,” “Friday The 13th Part III,” “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter,” “Last Man Standing,” “Chaplin,” and many more.  It was also featured in the TV show “Westworld” as the Mexican town of “Las Mudas.”

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LOCATION: Melody Ranch Studio Backlot (a.k.a. Veluzat Movie Ranch), Forest Rte 5N28, Santa Clarita, CA 91390 (GPS coordinates: 34°29’03.5″N 118°30’25.1″W)

The interior of the bar the men drink at is the same building seen in the above shot, on the right side.

Forte’s character makes the mistake of going to what he thinks is the bathroom, but turns out to be a private office space of some criminals in the middle of business.

Jürgen and Ramón Fonseca, played by Antonio Banderas, speak to the camera about privacy and secrecy while shopping at Fields Market in Canoga Park, California.  The store is a staple of film and television, appearing in such films as “Bird Box,” “Lady Bird,” “Matchstick Men” and “Birds Of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn,” as well as such television shows as “Desperate Housewives,” “American Horror Story” and dozens more.  It has also been seen in countless commercials and music videos.

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LOCATION: 23221 Saticoy St, Canoga Park, CA 91304

Gu Kailai, played by Rosalind Chao, tells a story of a Chinese police chief targeting a Falun Gong temple, where people engage in a spiritual practice deemed illegal. The temple is supposedly located in China, but was actually filmed at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.

LOCATION: 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, CA 91108

The Huntington Library is a very popular filming location, with hundreds of productions shot around the vast, kaleidoscopic grounds. We can’t name them all, but “Mank,” “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “A Cinderella Story” are just a few among them.

Related articles: The Limey (1999), Erin Brockovich (2000), Traffic (2000), Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Magic Mike (2012)

3 From Hell (2019)

Rob Zombie’s “3 From Hell,” the follow up to “The Devil’s Rejects” and “House Of 1000 Corpses,” was filmed entirely in Southern California.  Some minor spoilers are contained in this article.

Prison scenes were filmed at the Sybil Brand Institute, a former women’s prison in Los Angeles. It was here that Manson Family member Susan Atkins confessed to a cell mate named Virginia Graham about the Tate Murders. Graham in turn shared what Atkins had told her, which eventually helped lead to the capture of Charles Manson. The prison shut down in 1997, but today the grounds are still owned by the Los Angeles sherrif’s office, where it’s used by warehouse companies and for filming purposes.  Another film featuring Sid Haig, 1997’s “Jackie Brown” also filmed at this location. Here is the front of the former prison, although it is never seen from this angle in the film.

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LOCATION: 4500 City Terrace Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90063

Much of the film is set in the town of Durango, Mexico.  These scenes were actually filmed on the Melody Ranch Studio Backlot in Santa Clarita, California.

Many people know the lot as the Veluzat Movie Ranch and it is still commonly referred to by that name.  However, the ranch has since changed its name to the Melody Ranch Studio Backlot.  If you make it to the ranch in person, you’ll see a sign at the gates, referring to it as the Melody Ranch Studio Backlot.  The lot is owned by the Veluzats, who also own Melody Ranch in Newhall, California.  To make matters more confusing, right next to the Veluzat Backlot in Santa Clarita sits the Diamond V Movie Ranch.  This is owned by other members of the Velutats, but not the same ones as those who own Melody Ranch and the Melody Backlot (a.k.a. Veluzat Movie Ranch).  People often mistake Diamond V and Veluzat Ranch as being one in the same, but they are two separate properties with different ownership.

While perhaps not quite as well known as Melody Ranch in Newhall, the Melody Backlot is actually larger.  To get to the ranch, you make a turn from Copper Hill Drive.  There is a very unassuming dirt road there (GPS coordinates: 34°27’36.5″N 118°30’32.0″W).  You would never guess from that road what lies at the end of that dirt road, but if you follow the long dirt road, you’ll sure enough arrive at the ranches.  However, a locked fence is at the entrance and you can proceed no further without permission of the owners.  The good news, however, is that the ranch is available for public tours.  You must book by appointment only and if productions are in active progress, that may inhibit their availability, but the Melody Ranch owners are very generous in that they offer tours at all, because most movie ranches do not.

The main attraction of the ranch is the full scale Mexican town set, which is of course featured prominently in this film.  There are a few other sets there as well.  The ranch was also featured in Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses,” as well as such films as “Dante’s Peak,” “Friday The 13th Part III,” “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter,” “Last Man Standing,” “Chaplin,” “The Laundromat” and many more.  It was also featured in the TV show “Westworld” as the Mexican town of “Las Mudas.”

Here is the establishing shot of the town square.

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LOCATION: Melody Ranch Studio Backlot (a.k.a. Veluzat Movie Ranch), Forest Rte 5N28, Santa Clarita, CA 91390 (GPS coordinates: 34°29’03.5″N 118°30’25.1″W)

The “three from hell “look down on the town from this hilltop before entering.

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They make their way down into the town through these gates.

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Here is another view of the hill they drive down entering the town.

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They then pass through this arched gate toward the main town square.

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Baby, played by Sheri Moon Zombie, sees company approaching near the Estrella del Motel.

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Baby and Winslow Foxworth Coltrane, played by Richard Brake, sit on this fountain.

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Otis Driftwood, played by Bill Moseley, emerges from this church for a showdown.

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Related articles: The Devil’s Rejects (2005), House Of 1000 Corpses (2003), Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009)