Small Soldiers (1998)

In the 1998 Joe Dante film “Small Soldiers,” Alan’s house was not actually a real house, rather a set constructed on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The set was built specifically for the film, but remains standing to this day and has since been used for other productions, including “Pleasantville” and the TV series “Pushing Daisies.”

This Warner Bros. Ranch is separate from the main Warner backlot and unfortunately not open to public tours at this time.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Another set from the film, The Inner Child toy store, is located over on the main studio lot of Warner Bros. and can in fact be seen on their studio tour.  The building was famously later used as the coffee shop where Emma Stone works in “La La Land.”

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Related articles: Matinee (1993), The ‘Burbs (1989)

The Partridge Family

The house from the 1970s sitcom “The Partridge Family” can be found on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank. This studio lot is separate from the main Warner backlot and unfortunately not open to public tours at this time.  The house has since changed a bit in appearance, due to being used for an explosion during the filming of “Lethal Weapon.”  The same house can be seen in “The Monster Squad.”

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Bewitched

The house from the classic TV series “Bewitched” can be found at the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is a small lot located apart from the main studio lot and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  However, the design of this house is actually based on a real home, located at 267 18th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402, with the layout simply reversed for the ranch set.  While the Santa Monica home was never used on screen, it’s the closest version visible to the public.  The house set at the Warner Bros. Ranch was also used in the TV series “Gidget” and “The Geena Davis Show.”

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Lethal Weapon (1987)

The tower where the woman falls to her death in the opening of the 1987’s “Lethal Weapon” was filmed at the International Tower Condos in Long Beach, California.

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LOCATION: 700 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802

Roger Murtaugh, played by Danny Glover, shows up in front of the same tower to investigate.  The Villa Riviera condos can be seen in the distance.

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Murtaugh’s house, seen in much of the film, is not a real house.  It’s a set on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is offsite from the main Warner Studio lot and is unfortunately not available for public tours.  The house has been used in countless productions, including the home of the Griswold’s angry neighbors in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” the Colonel’s house in “American Beauty” and many, many more.  It has the most complete interiors of any set on the ranch, much of which was seen in the film.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The building where Martin Riggs, played by Mel Gibson, uses his unique methods to neutralize a potential suicide jumper was filmed at the Emser Tile building in West Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 8431 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (some GPS systems alternately list the location as 8431 CA-2, Los Angeles, CA 90069)

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Riggs and Murtaugh grab hotdogs at the corner of Western Ave and Wilshire Blvd, with The Wiltern music venue in the background.

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LOCATION: Western Ave / Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

For the 1989 sequel “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” most of the story is set in Chicago, Illinois, but production took place primarily in Burbank, California, with a few exteriors filmed in Chicago and Colorado.  The Griswold house is not a real house, rather a set on the Warner Bros. Ranch.  The ranch is located separate from the main Warner Bros. Studio lot and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  The house has since changed a bit, but still bears some resemblance.  The same house can be seen in “American Beauty,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Small Soldiers,” “Pleasantville” and more.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Just next to the Griswold house is the neighbors’ house of Todd and Margo, played by Nicholas Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  It too is a set, but of all the houses on the ranch, it has the most functional interior, having been used in many productions.  The house is mostly shown from side angles or close-ups, likely due to having been used in another popular film series at that time, “Lethal Weapon,” where it served as Danny Glover’s house.  Known as the Lindsay house, it has also appeared in “American Beauty“, The Three Stooges serials, “Pushing Daisies,” “The Middle” and many more.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Clark flirts with an attractive woman working at a department store, before his son busts him.  This was filmed at Bullocks Wilshire, a famous art deco building on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.  Once a luxury department store, the building now operates as a law school.  The building is only seen from interior views in the film.  While the inside is typically closed to the public, there are occasional public tour opportunities.  The building has also been seen in the films “The Aviator” and “Dunston Checks In,” the TV series “Moonlighting” and Areosmith’s music video for “Love in an Elevator,” as well many other productions.

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LOCATION: 3050 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Later in the film, Clark fantasizes about the same department store woman, undressing at a pool in his back yard.  The pool is also located at the Warner Bros Ranch.  While it is located fairly close to the Griswold house, it’s actually on the opposite side of the street (known as Blondie St), not in back of the house as depicted in the film.  If not for the trees in the background of the photo below, you could see the Griswold house in the distance.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Near the end of the film, Cousin Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, abducts Clark’s boss from his home after he stiffs his staff of their Christmas bonuses.  This was filmed at the Mattison Boyd Jones house in Glendale, California.  The house can be a bit tricky to see from the road, as the front of the property has a long fence with high shrubs and the driveway is gated.  However, from the right angle you can still catch a view.  Currently a private residence, the house has been seen in many television shows, primarily from the 70s and 80s, including “Flamingo Road,” “Columbo,” “Knight Rider” and “Emerald Point N.A.S.”

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LOCATION: 727 W Kenneth Rd, Glendale, CA 91202

Related articles: National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

The Monster Squad (1987)

The cult 1980s film “The Monster Squad” shot mostly on studio lots, but there are a couple real world locations.  One of those more memorable locations was the house of the “Scary German Guy.”  It could be found in Santa Monica, but as is often the case around Southern California, new owners came along, demolished the property and built a more modern house in it’s place.  Below is what it looked like before it was destroyed.

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LOCATION: 229 12th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402 (now demolished)

Sean’s house was a facade, located on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank.  This studio lot is separate from the main Warner backlot and unfortunately not open to public tours.  The appearance has since changed a bit, but the house still bears some resemblance to how it appeared in the film.  The same house was used in the 1970s TV series “The Partridge Family.”

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The climactic battle against the monsters was filmed on the main Warner backlot, which is of course open to tours.  The boys make their way to this church, which was also seen in another 1980s horror classic, “The Lost Boys.”

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Here is a wider view of the town square, which was also famously used as the fictional town of “Stars Hollow” in the TV show “Gilmore Girls.”

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Dracula stands in front of this house, which is another facade on the Warner lot.  The same home was seen in “Gremlins” and the TV series “Growing Pains.”

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Seeing the locations of “The Monster Squad” is a tricky proposition, as it involves a mixture of studio and real world locations, not all of which we covered here.  Whether you’re a nostalgic fan from the film’s initial release, or a new fan just discovering it for the first time, “The Monster Squad” continues to have an undeniable cult following.

American Beauty (1999)

It is common practice in Hollywood to film exteriors of homes on location, while filming interiors on studio lots.  For the 1999 Sam Mendes film, “American Beauty,” an unusual approach was taken to film the exteriors on a studio lot and the interiors in real locations.

Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, lives at this house, the exterior of which is located on the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, California.  The ranch is a small lot located apart from the main studio lot, and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  The house is also well known for having been used as the Griswold home in 1989’s “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”  It has also appeared in the films “Hocus Pocus,” “Small Soldiers,” “Pleasantville” and more.  As is often the case with houses on studio lots, the outer facade has since changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

The interiors of Lester’s home were filmed at this house, located in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 11388 Homedale St, Los Angeles, CA 90049

To the right of the Bernham house at the Warner Bros. Ranch is the exterior of the Colonel’s house.  This house is most well known for being Danny Glover’s home in the “Lethal Weapon” films.  Known as the Lindsay house, it has also appeared in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” The Three Stooges serials, “Pushing Daisies,” “The Middle” and many more.  Once again, the outer facade has changed a bit from how it appeared in the film.  The interior of the Colonel’s house was filmed at 330 S Windsor Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90020.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

To the left of the Burnham house is the house of the two Jims, played by Scott Bakula and Sam Robards.  To stand on Blondie Street at the Warner Bros Ranch, where all three of the house exteriors are located, it really does feel like you’re standing in a real neighborhood.  It’s only when you approach up close that the facades begin to show.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Lester takes a job at a fast food restaurant, where his wife unknowingly visits him at the drive through.

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LOCATION: 20105 Saticoy St, Winnetka, CA 91306

Friends

The opening to the hit show “Friends” was not filmed in New York, but rather in Burbank, California.  The fountain seen in the show is located on “Park Blvd” at the Warner Bros. Ranch, a small property that sits off-site from the main Warner Bros. Studios lot.  The ranch is unfortunately not open to public visitation.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505 (closed to public)

What is open to the public is a recreation of the “Central Perk” cafe, which can be found on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour over at the main lot.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

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