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.

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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.

Falling Down (1993)

In Joel Schumacher’s 1993 film “Falling Down,” Michael Douglas plays the central character, referred to only as “D-Fens,” which is his license plate number.  The film follows D-Fens as he makes his was from Los Angeles to Venice Beach.  For the most part, the locations actually do follow this path, with a few exceptions.

The opening traffic jam is set at the 101 interchange of the 110 freeway.  The traffic pileup is in the southbound lane to the left, while D-Fens abandons his car and takes the northbound lane to the right on foot.

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LOCATION: Interchange of I-110 / I-101, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Beth, the estranged wife of D-Fens, played by Barbara Hershey, lives just off the Venice boardwalk.  This view next to her house, facing towards the beach, is seen multiple times in the film.

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LOCATION: 201 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291

Beth’s house was unfortunately completely remodeled and looks nothing like it did in the film.

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LOCATION: 18 Ozone Ave, Venice, CA 90291

The police station where Detective Prendergast, played by Robert Duvall, works was a set built at Warner Bros. Studios (4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91522).

D-Fens makes his was to the market of Mr. Lee, where the first outburst of violence occurs over an overpriced can of soda.  This location is right next to the 101 freeway, making it a logical stop along the path of D-Fens.  The market has since been demolished and a park (Madison West Park) now exists in it’s place.

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LOCATION: 458 N Madison Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Later in the film, Prendergast makes his way to the market and climbs this embankment.  After spotting a billboard, he correctly places the proximity to the abandoned car and identifies D-Fens as his suspect.  A note to those interested in visiting, this dead end next to the park is not a very safe area, serving as a makeshift homeless community.

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As D-Fens makes his way through East L.A., he sits to rest and is approached by two gang members demanding his briefcase.  D-Fens refuses and things quickly turn violent.  The hilltop where the scene was shot has been converted in to a park, Vista Hermosa Natural Park, but the skyline of downtown Los Angeles still matches up.

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LOCATION: 100 N Toluca St, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Looking for retribution, the gang members spot D-Fens in front of a theater, where they attempt to ambush him with a drive-by shooting.  The theater has since been demolished, but the surrounding buildings where the car rolls up still match.

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LOCATION: 2524 East Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033 (looking down from N Fickett St)

After hitting everyone in sight except D-Fens, their car turns off East Ceasar E Chavez Ave onto N Ficket St and crashes in front of this building.  D-Fens walks up and takes their bag of weapons.

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LOCATION: 2600 East Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033 (at N Fickett St)

D-Fens is standing next to a children’s playground in MacArthur Park, when a beggar starts asking him for a handout.  The playground has since been moved to another section of the park, but the structure to the left, seen in the film, still stands at the original spot.

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LOCATION: 2230 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

The beggar follows D-Fens through this tunnel, making up a sob story, which is quickly exposed as a lie.  MacArthur Park is not the safest of areas in general.  We wouldn’t recommend tourism here. This pedestrian walkway is one of several locations rumored to be the bridge that served as the inspiration for the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Under the Bridge,” but singer Anthony Kiedis has never confirmed the true location.

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On the other side of the tunnel, the D-Fens gives the beggar his briefcase.  The lake in the background is also seen in the movie “Drive,” where Ryan Gosling’s character makes a deal with some criminals.

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After discovering the briefcase only contains some lunch food, the disappointed beggar throws the apple at D-Fens, who kicks the apple and continues up the stairs to the left.

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The “Whammyburger” in the film is the biggest departure from the true path of Los Angeles to Venice Beach.  The restaurant, Angelo’s Burgers, is located much further south in Lynwood, California.  It still bears a strong resemblance to how it appeared in the film, aside from the fictitious Whammyburger set dressing.  Angelo’s was in fact the same restaurant at the time of filming.  It has not changed ownership.  The burgers there are quite good as well.

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LOCATION: 10990 Atlantic Ave, Lynwood, CA 90262

A view inside the Whammyburger.

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A poster for the film can be found inside, noting that filming took place on May 12, 1992.

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Celebrating his last day, Prendergast eats lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

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LOCATION: 4067 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

In one of the more poignant scenes in the film, D-Fens sees a man protesting, because he has been denied a loan and was determined to be “not economically viable.”  The building is now a post office.

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LOCATION: 5350 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The scene where D-Fens shoots up a phone booth was shot over on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, right along the iconic Sunset Strip.  The El Pollo Loco restaurant to the left was seen in the film, although most of the other businesses in the plaza have since changed.

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LOCATION: 8148 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

The army surplus store where D-Fens meets a Nazi store owner can be found back towards East L.A.  The building really is a surplus store and still operates today.  The real owners are nothing like the eccentric man in the film and are very welcoming to visitors.

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LOCATION: 3828 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

A view of the front counter, which is brimming with quite a bit more merchandise than seen in the film.

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Some of the rocket mortar props seen in the film are still found in the store, albeit a bit tucked away.

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The back of the surplus store, where more violence occurs, was actually a set construced at Warner Bros. Studios (4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91522).

The construction scene, where D-Fens fires a bazooka, faces towards the 110 and 105 freeway interchange.  The same interchange can be seen in the films “Speed” and “La La Land,” the latter of which also opens with a traffic jam, albeit to much different results.

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LOCATION: Intersection of S Broadway / W 112th St, Los Angeles, CA 90061

This church can be seen in the background of a few shots during the construction scene.

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Near the end of the film, D-Fens finally finds his family at the Venice Fishing Pier.  The pier had long been closed at the time of filming and was once set for demolition, but after community backlash, was ultimately saved and restored.  The building at the end of the pier is no longer there, but otherwise the area looks the same for the most part.

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LOCATION: Venice Fishing Pier, Los Angeles, CA 90292

Prendergast approaches and finally meets D-Fens.

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Prendergast and D-Fens have a standoff in the film’s climactic scene.

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There are quite a few locations to this film, some demolished or remodeled, others still standing.  Other than a few slightly unsafe areas, if you’re a fan of visiting filming locations, most of them are worth a visit.  “Falling Down” has grown in stature in the years since the film’s release and it has rightly taken it’s place among the the most iconic Los Angeles-based films.

Batman (1966)

The classic 1966 “Batman” TV series, starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin, remains as popular now as ever.  Even decades later, some of the locations can still be seen.

Bronson Cave, also known as the “Bat Cave,” can be found in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California.  A very popular hiking spot, simply take the Bronson Cave Trail for about a quarter of a mile and the caves are on the left.  Although the walk is uphill, it’s so short that anyone without medical issues should be able to handle it with ease.  The cave is a bit larger than it appears here.  Those who walk through it will also be treated to a nice view of the Hollywood sign on the other side.

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LOCATION: 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068 (the trailhead can be found at 2950 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068)

The Gotham City Police Headquarters was a set and still stands on the Warner Bros. backlot.  It can be seen as part of their studio tour.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

This “Batcycle,” a 1966 Yamaha, was seen in the 1966 “Batman” feature film based on the TV series.  It can be seen at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

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

Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice (2016)

Several costumes and props from the 2016 film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” can be found on display at Warner Bros. Studios, as part of their studio tour.  First up is Ben Affleck’s take on The Caped Crusader.

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Here is Henry Cavill’s Superman costume.

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Arguably general audiences’ favorite character in the film; Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.

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Batman’s desert strike outfit.

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The Batmobile from the film.

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Some kryptonite from Lex Luthor’s Lexcorp.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Spider-Man (2002)

In Sam Raimi’s original 2002 “Spider-Man” film, Peter Parker, played by Tobey Maguire, works at the Daily Bugle as a freelance photographer who has an uncanny ability to capture photos of Spider-Man.  Famous for it’s triangular shape, the Flatiron Building in Manhattan is one of the more iconic skyscrapers in New York City.

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

Norman Osborn’s Manhattan rooftop home isn’t in Manhattan, or New York at all.  It’s the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

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LOCATION: Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Norman stands on the stairs and talks to his son, Harry Osborn, played by James Franco.

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The scene where Mary Jane Watson, played by Kirsten Dunst, kisses an upside down Spider-Man in the rain wasn’t filmed in New York City either.  It was filmed on the Warner Bros. Lot in Burbank, California.  Designed to look like New York alley, this facade can be seen as part of their studio tour.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Batman Returns (1992)

One of the original Catwoman costumes, worn by Michelle Pfeiffer in Tim Burton’s 1992 sequel “Batman Returns” can be found at the Batman exhibit as part of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

A prop of one of The Penguin’s armed penguin soldiers can be found on display at Planet Hollywood, Florida.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Gravity (2013)

On the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, you can find these props and costumes from the film “Gravity.”  First is one of the original capsules used in the film.

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Here is one of the light boxes from the film, which was used to perfectly simulate light, shadow and reflection in a way unobtainable via traditional green screen.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

The Mask (1994)

Much of the 1994 Jim Carrey comedy “The Mask” filmed around the Warner Bros. Studio Lot in Burbank, California.  After Carrey first tries on the mask, a startled neighbor pulls a gun on him and he leaps out of a window from this building on the Warner Lot, where he falls to the street and like a cartoon character, flattens like a pancake, before peeling himself back up.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

La La Land (2016)

Perhaps no movie has inspired more interest in it’s filming locations over the past several years than the love letter to the City of Los Angeles, “La La Land.”  The 2016 musical, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, filmed at a wide variety of locations all over the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas.  There are so many locations, in fact, one would be challenged to see them all in a single day.

Mia, played by Emma Stone, works in a coffee shop on the Warner Bros. Studio lot.  The real building is indeed located on the Warner lot, however, it is not actually a coffee shop.  Rather it is just a building facade, used for any number of settings for productions.  After the success of the film, however, Warner Bros. did decorate the building again to make it appear as it did in the film, for a few select weeks.  The building can be seen as part of their studio tour.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

Mia lives at this pink apartment building in Long Beach, known as El Cordova.

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LOCATION: 1728 E 3rd St, Long Beach, CA 90802

The production filmed inside of unit 16.

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Mia exits through the courtyard to join her roommates for a dance number.

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She and her roommates then dance on E 3rd Street in front of her apartment.

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Later in the film, Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, visits the apartment and picks up Mia at this back entrance to the building.

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They then drive down this back alley.

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Mia is walking alone past this famous mural in Hollywood, known as the “You Are A Star” mural, when she hears music inside.  She enters to find Sebastian playing piano.  The mural can be found at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Wilcox Ave.

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LOCATION: 1648 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

After reconnecting at a party, Sebastian walks with Mia along Mt Hollywood Drive towards the viewpoint where the film’s most famous scene takes place; the dance sequence over the night skyline.

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A lot of creative license was used by the filmmakers here, as to get to the dance spot, the characters would’ve had to hike nearly an hour.  The spot is known as “Cathy’s Corner” in Griffith Park and it requires a bit of commitment if you wish to see it in person.

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LOCATION: Cathy’s Corner, Mt Hollywood Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

There’s surprisingly little information online about how to accurately reach Cathy’s Corner.  Here we’ll attempt to detail that.  First and foremost, the spot is completely inaccessible by vehicle.  It is found along a fully paved road, but the road is gated off in all directions from motor vehicles.  Aside from park rangers, the road is primarily used by hikers and bicyclists.  Many GPS systems will offer different routes to drive to Cathy’s Corner, but rest assured, you’ll only get so far before you’ll encounter signs or gates preventing you from proceeding any further by car.

The viewpoint is accessible a couple different ways on foot, but the best way to do it is by parking at the Griffith Observatory.  The lot at the Observatory itself is almost always full.  You’re unlikely to find a spot in the actual lot.  However, you can park along East or West Observatory Road.  Unfortunately, these are now paid parking spaces.  There are a few free auxiliary lots, but those fill up quickly as well, plus they get you pretty far away from where you need to be to get to Cathy’s Corner.  You shouldn’t have a difficult time finding a paid parking space on Observatory Road, unless you’re arriving at peak evening hours.  Your best bet is to arrive early.

The easiest way to spot the trail head to reach Cathy’s Corner is to look for the tunnel when approaching Griffith Observatory.  Most traffic to reach the Observatory passes through it.  The tunnel was famously seen in Back To The Future Part 2, when Biff and Marty McFly (riding a hoverboard) fight over a sports almanac.  The very first road on your right, once you pass through the tunnel, is where you will need to hike.  It will either be gated off, or if the gates are open, a guard will be parked there, making sure no motorists attempt to drive up it.  The road is freely accessible to pedestrians on foot or bike, however, and you’ll likely see a lot of both.  You simply take that road for 2.2 miles to reach Cathy’s Corner.

It is a moderate hike.  Much of it is uphill, but considering you can walk a paved road the entire way, as well as the fact that there are resting spots and a water fountain along the way, it’s certainly manageable for most.  A couple bottles of water should suffice, unless it’s an extremely hot day.

If you use GPS for walking, it should be accurate from Griffith Observatory to Cathy’s Corner.  The hike takes anywhere from 90 minutes to a couple hours round trip, depending on your foot speed.  Cathy’s Corner can be found along a winding corner of Mt Hollywood Drive and should be distinct from all other corners for it’s skyline view.  Contrary to some information online, you do not likely need to worry about traffic, snakes or mountain lions.  It’s a heavily used trail on a paved road.  Your biggest challenge will be to simply bring adequate hydration and know where you are headed.  You can visit there at sunset or night, but you’ll likely have a difficult time finding a parking space.

Taking a closer look at the viewpoint, Sebastian hangs from a lamppost here, which was added by the production.

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Sebastian and Mia then sit at a bench, which was located here.  The bench was likewise added by the production.

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After their famous dance routine, Sebastian walks Mia to her car, which is also located at Cathy’s Corner, simply looking the opposite direction as the scenic view.  The production added cars and lampposts all along the road.

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Excited about their budding romance, Sebastian sneaks onto the Warner Bros lot to visit Mai at her workplace and the two take a stroll together down the studio backlot.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

The pair then go see a jazz show at the Lighthouse Cafe, near the Hermosa Pier in Hermosa Beach.  The Lighthouse Cafe really is a jazz bar.

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LOCATION: 30 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Right next to The Lighthouse Cafe is the Hermosa Beach Pier, where Sebastian does a dance at sunset.  Lampposts were added along the pier by the production.  After the success of the film, the City of Hermosa Beach began hosting occasional special events at the pier celebrating the film, where they add temporary lampposts.

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LOCATION: 1 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

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The two watch “Rebel Without A Cause” at the Rialto Theater in South Pasadena.  The theater has appeared in numerous other films, including “Scream 2” and “The Player.”

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LOCATION: 1023 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

After watching the movie, the couple makes an impromptu trip to the Griffith Observatory to check out the filming locations.

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LOCATION: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Sebastian drives his convertible, with Mia in tow, down the sidewalk on the right.

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They then dance around this pendulum inside the Observatory.

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The two gaze up at this mural inside.

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They also pause to take a look at this Tesla Coil.

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During a romantic “summer” montage, the two can be seen walking along the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena.

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LOCATION: 504 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105

The pair can also be seen visiting the Watts Towers.

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LOCATION: 1727 E 107th St, Los Angeles, CA 90002

Sebastian and Mia can also be seen riding up Angels Flight in downtown Los Angeles.  They dance together briefly at the top.

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LOCATION: 50 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Directly across the street from Angels Flight is the Grand Central Market, where another scene in the montage takes place.

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LOCATION: 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Later in the film, Mia, now a successful actress, can be seen staying at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 8221 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Near the end of the film, Mia accidentally stumbles upon Sebastian, who has opened his own jazz bar, called Seb’s.  In reality, Seb’s was a combination of two film locations.  The exterior is a Los Angeles bar known simply as Black.

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LOCATION: 6202 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Here is the angle from the sidewalk seen in the film.

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The interior is a bar far from Los Angeles, located in Long Beach, known as The Blind Donkey.  After the success of the film, The Blind Donkey hosted an evening based around the film, where they once again dressed the space to appear as it did in the film.

Here is the stairway Mia walks down to enter the bar.

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Here is the stage where Sebastian played his piano.  In the actual bar, it’s just an enclosed seating area.

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LOCATION: 149 Linden Ave Ste. B100, Long Beach, CA 90802

As many locations as we’ve covered here, there are still countless more seen in the film.  We hope we have covered most of the highlights.