Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987)

The 1980s film “Some Kind of Wonderful,” written by John Hughes, was filmed entirely around Southern California.  Amanda, played by Lea Thompson, lives at this house located in Wilmington.

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LOCATION: 1319 W E St, Wilmington, CA 90744

Here is another view of the home.

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Keith, played by Eric Stoltz, lives at this home, also located in Wilmington.

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LOCATION: 1441 W I St, Wilmington, CA 90744

The high school scenes were filmed at the San Pedro High School.

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LOCATION: 1001 W 15th St, San Pedro, CA 90731

Related articles: Pretty In Pink (1986)

Primary Colors (1998)

In the 1998 film “Primary Colors,” John Travolta plays Governor Jack Stanton, a Southern politician with many similarities to Bill Clinton.  Stanton serves Thanksgiving dinner on the front lawn with his wife, played by Emma Thompson, at the Banning House in Wilmington, California.  Built in 1863, the property was also seen in the 1992 Danny Aiello film “Ruby,” as well as the TV shows “Quantum Leap” and “Bronk.”  The house currently operates as a museum and is open the the public.

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LOCATION: 401 E M St, Wilmington, CA 90744

Late in the film, Stanton visits the home of Governor Fred Picker.  Picker’s house was filmed at the Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana.  The plantation is likewise open to public tours.  This house and its distinct row of trees can actually be seen from the road of LA-18.  However, you might find it difficult to stop and get a photo, as there is no parking along the street.  The plantation was also famously used in the film “Interview With The Vampire.”

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LOCATION: 3645 LA-18, Vacherie, LA 70090

Fight Club (1999)

David Fincher’s 1999 film “Fight Club” was shot primarily around Los Angeles, California.  Early in the film, the unnamed narrator, played by Edward Norton, attends support groups for diseases he does not have.  He visits the St. Brendan Catholic Church, which has appeared in numerous productions, including “Spider-Man 3,” “Armageddon” and the Guns N’ Roses music video for “November Rain.”

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LOCATION: 310 S Van Ness Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90020

After meeting Marla Singer, played by Helena Bonham Carter, he follows her to this laundromat, where she takes clothes that don’t belong to her.  The laundromat is still in business.

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LOCATION: 4371 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

The vintage clothing store where she sells the clothes was located just across the street.

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LOCATION: 4314 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

The narrator’s apartment can be found near downtown Los Angeles.  It’s located just across from the 2nd Street Tunnel, a popular filming location seen in such films as “Blade Runner,” “Kill Bill,” “The Terminator” and many more.  Known as the Promenade Towers, the property consists of two main towers.  The one seen in the film is closest to the W 1st St overpass.  He calls Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt, from a phone booth at the front entrance between the two towers.

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LOCATION: 123 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Fight Club begins at Lou’s Tavern.  The building was a real bar, located near Wilmington.  It had closed by the time the production came along, which added the neon signs.  Not long after filming completed, the building was demolished altogether.  It’s now just some empty land at the corner of S Figueroa St and W Harry Bridges Blvd.

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LOCATION: S Figueroa St / W Harry Bridges Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90731 (now demolished)

The building where Tyler holds a man at gunpoint and urges him to go back to school was also filmed at a nearby liquor store at 1109 W Harry Bridges Blvd, Wilmington, CA 90744, but was also demolished.

Tyler’s house, supposedly located on Paper Street, was a set built by the production on Neptune Ave in Wilmington.  It was removed at the completion of filming and is likewise now just empty land.

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LOCATION: 240 N Neptune Ave, Wilmington, CA 90744 (now demolished)

As Fight Club begins to expand, the club begins taking on homework assignments by trying to start fights with the public.  A man sprays a preacher with a hose as he walks by this tire shop.

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LOCATION: 505 N Avalon Blvd, Wilmington, CA 90744

Another public fight takes place in front of these geometric art pieces, found in the Citigroup Center in Downtown Los Angeles.  The same area was used as the exterior of the bank in “Heat.”

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LOCATION: 444 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

The car dealership fight was filmed at 5151 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, but the building has since been demolished, with a new building standing in its place.

As the assignments escalate, things go wrong when the space monkeys try to destroy a piece of corporate art.  This was filmed at Two California Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles.  There is no actual ball or fountain there.  To get to this area, look for signs for the Water Court from S Grand Ave.

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LOCATION: 350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Three scenes were filmed at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.  The first is where Tyler appears in a corporate video, welcoming the narrator to his hotel room.  The second is when Tyler works in a hotel restaurant where he defiles the food.  This was filmed in the hotel’s Emerald Room.  In a third scene, Tyler threatens to cut off the police commissioner’s balls in the men’s restroom of the Regency Room.

LOCATION: 506 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Marla lives in the Hotel Bristol, also in Downtown L.A.

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LOCATION: 423 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

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A computer store gets blown up in Downtown L.A., near the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

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LOCATION: 501 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Video tapes are erased with magnets at a former video store on Wilshire Blvd.

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LOCATION: 6340 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Marla is put on a bus at the corner of S Broadway and W 8th St in Los Angeles.  The narrator is then seen walking towards the former Olympic Theater.

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LOCATION: 313 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

The final scenes with the buildings collapsing were a CGI composite.

It’s unfortunate that some of the most iconic locations from the film were either sets, CGI or since demolished.  However, if you’re a fan of the film, there’s still a lot of locations to be seen.

Related articles: Seven (1995), The Game (1997), Panic Room (2002), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008), The Social Network (2010)

Jackie Brown (1997)

Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 Elmore Leonard adaptation was shot primarily in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County, where the director also lived for much of his youth.  In the 20 years since the film was released, many of the locations have long since been remodeled or demolished, but many still stand as well.

In the opening scenes, Jackie Brown, played by Pam Grier, is seen hurrying through LAX Airport.  The opening titles play over the wall tiles of Terminal 3.  These tiles can be found along the pedestrian tunnel in the lower level and are only accessible to airline passengers and staff, as they make their way to baggage claim or the exits.  Tarantino returned to this area for a scene in “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood.”

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LOCATION: Terminal 3, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (lower level, arrivals area)

Jackie is seen passing this area, which is at Terminal 5 in the departure level.  This area too is only accessible to airline passengers and staff.  It’s since been remodeled a bit from how it appeared in the film.

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LOCATION: Terminal 5, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045 (departures level)

Another section of Terminal 5 Jackie is seen walking through.

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As we’re introduced to the rest of the cast, we meet a beach bunny named Melanie, played by Bridget Fonda.  Several scenes were filmed at Melanie’s apartment, which was actually a composite of two different locations.  The interior, where most of the scenes take place, can be found at this beachfront property in Hermosa Beach.  The second level balcony can also been seen in the film, when Jackie has an argument with Ordell, played by Samuel L. Jackson.

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LOCATION: 6403 Ocean Front Walk, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

Aside from the patio, the outside of Melanie’s apartment, where Jackie and Ordell walk down a long corridor talking, was actually filmed at the building right across the street, which was much larger.  Together the two buildings create what you see in the film.

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LOCATION: 6309 Ocean Front Walk, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

Ordell finds himself in need of a bail bondsman and meets Max Cherry, played by Robert Forster.  Cherry Bail Bonds was filmed at Carson Bail Bonds in Carson, California.  Unfortunately it was demolished around 2009 and replaced by some apartment buildings.

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LOCATION: 724 E Carson St, Carson, CA 90745 (now demolished)

Ordell makes his way to the apartment of Beaumont, who he has just bailed out of jail.  In the film, the apartment is said to be located in “Hollywood, two blocks up from Hollywood Blvd and Western.”  In reality, it’s nowhere near there.  The real apartment can be found in Wilmington, California.  Beaumont’s apartment was unit #16, which is the same unit number seen in the film.  Today, the building is no longer accessible to the public.

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LOCATION: 1030 Lakme Ave, Wilmington, CA 90744

After Ordell convinces Beaumont to tag along as backup while he sells some guns, the two make their way down the stairs.

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Ordell explains the situation as they talk at the front entrance of the building.

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After Ordell convinces Beaumont to hide in his trunk and slams it shut, he drives a very short distance into a vacant lot and kills Beaumont.  The vacant lot was located exactly across the street from Beaumont’s apartment location in Wilmington.  This scene was done as a single take with a crane shot.  This vacant area has since been filled with numerous homes.  This is what the area looks like today from the street.

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In the shot, you can see a church with a long steeple in the distance.  That church is still there, known as the Calvary Light Christian Center.  Here’s a closer view of the church, seen as Ordell turns left down Denni Street.

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LOCATION: Lakme Ave and Denni St, Wilmington, CA 90744

Right across the street from the church is this small parking lot, which is about the closest remnant to what the area looked like in the film.

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Max Cherry picks up Jackie from jail at the Sybil Brand Institute, which at the time of filming, was a real, operational 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.  Walking the grounds in person, however, it still very much feels like you’re at a prison.

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

Here’s a wider view of the premises, though it’s never seen from this angle in the film.

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Max and Jackie grab a drink at the Cockatoo Inn in Hawthorne.  Sadly the location closed down in 1996 and the building has since been so heavily remodeled, it no longer appears anything like it did in the film.  The property, now a Comfort Inn, can be found at 11500 Acacia Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250.

Max drops Jackie off at her apartment, where Ordell soon pays her a visit.  The apartment can be found in Torrence.

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LOCATION: 17575 Yukon Ave, Torrance, CA 90504

Much of the film takes place at the Del Amo Mall in Torrence, which is correctly stated as such in the film.

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LOCATION: 3525 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90503

A couple scenes take place in the food court, including when Max runs into Jackie and when Jackie does the trial run for the money exchange.  The mall has since been heavily remodeled and the food court not only looks nothing like how it appeared in the film, it’s actually now located in a completely different section of the mall.  However, we photographed the original food court years ago, back when it still appeared similar to how it did in the film.

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At the start of the second, “for real this time,” money exchange, Jackie is seen entering the mall in front of these distinctive blue bricks of what was formerly a Marshall’s store on W Carson St (the building had no separate address from the mall).  Marshall’s relocated to a new location at the mall in 2018 and these blue bricks were sadly removed in 2019, due to remodeling.

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Melanie and Louis, played by Robert De Niro, meet up with Jackie for the money exchange at the fictional Billingsley Department Store in the mall, which was actually a Macy’s store.  While Macy’s is still there, the store has changed quite a bit over the two decades since filming, so things don’t appear as they did back then.  This is the approximate area where Jackie goes into the dressing room, which is located on the third floor of Macy’s.

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Here is the approximate area where Louis and Melanie observe what’s happening and argue.

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Max Cherry arrives outside of the store on the upper level.  A prop Billingsley sign was mounted over the Macy’s sign.

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While the exchange goes down, Ordell keeps himself far away from the eyes of the A.T.F. by going to a strip club.  The same bar, Sam’s Hofbrau, a real topless bar, would appear again in Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” where Budd works as a bouncer.

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LOCATION: 1751 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Late in the film, Max meets up with the very angry and suspicious Ordell, over at Raynelle’s house.  This is right around the corner from Beaumont’s apartment location.

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LOCATION: 348 E Opp St, Wilmington, CA 90744

Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Kill Bill (2003), Django Unchained (2012), Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood (2019)