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    The film locations on the outskirts of Los Angeles

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    Martí Micolau

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    The endless valleys, the manicured cities, the mighty mountains and the suggestive deserts that surround Los Angeles, have contributed, for their extraordinary nature, to make special some of the greatest Hollywood productions including Back to the Future, Kill Bill, Beverly Hills 90210 and many others.

    We have already explored the film locations of Los Angeles city and also those of the coast, with this article we focus instead on the suburbs.


    • Route map
    • The Location of Pasadena
    • The Locations of the San Fernando Valley
    • Le Location of the Mojave Desert
    • Long Beach Locations

    Route map

    The Location of Pasadena

    Among the many films set in the orderly and lush city of Pasadena, north of Los Angeles, the legendary trilogy by Robert Zemeckis, "Back to the FutureIs perhaps the best identified. (1) Bushnell Avenue, in particular, it is a residential street, in which there are three houses of some of the protagonists of the saga.

    Al civic 1127, there is the villa of the young Lorraine Baines (Lea Thompson), future mother of the protagonist Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), and her family. The young and awkward George McFly (Crispin Glover), already in love with his schoolmate, usually spies on her with binoculars placed on the branch of the large tree that, still today, stands on the opposite side of the road.

    Marty's future dad, instead, lives at civic 1711, also used for another Michael J. Fox hit, "Desire to Win"(1985). Finally, the story's crude antagonist, Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson), lives with his grandmother in the civic 1809.

    Many other sequences in the trilogy (especially the first and second chapter) were shot in the quiet Californian city that often lends its forms to represent a Los Angeles of the past years. In fact, when Marty returns for the first time in 1955, he looks for his friend and scientist Emmett L. "Doc" Brown (Christopher Lloyd), at his home located right in the vicinity of Old Pasadena, the current and beautiful downtown.

    Gamble House

    Doc lives in the beautiful (5) Gamble House, at 4 Westmoreland Place. The historic house was built by famous architects Greene, commissioned by Cincinnati tycoon David Berry Gamble, son of the founder of the Procter & Gamble empire.

    Not far from Bushnell Avenue, stands, al 5500 on Atlas Street, the particular (2) Vernita Green cottage (Vivica A. Fox), in the evergreen pulp "Kill Bill – Volume 1"(2003) by Quentin Tarantino.

    The assassin Black Mamba, aka Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman), visits her old colleague to finally consummate her tremendous revenge. After a long battle, the protagonist manages to get the better of her rival, not realizing however that, following the bloody scene, there is little Nikki, daughter of Vernita.

    Addressing the child, Beatrix states: “It was not my intention to do it in front of you. And this I'm sorry. But you can take my word for it: your mother was looking for it. When you grow up, if it still burns you and you want to take revenge, I will wait for you ”.

    In the horror-comedy sequel, "Scream 2”(1997), during the film premiere of the events that took place the previous year in Woodsboro, the masked killer returns to claim victims. The cinema where the killing sequences take place is the (3) Rialto Theatre, at 1023 Fair Oaks Avenue, South Pasadena.

    Rialto Theatre

    In the famous TV Show "Beverly Hills, 90210"Aired from 1990 to 1999, one of the major protagonists Brandon Walsh (Jason Presley), to maintain a certain economic independence, worked as a waiter at the (4) Peach Pit. Obviously, the interiors of the nice Nat Bussichio (Joe E. Tata) diner were created specifically for the series. The external structure, however, is still standing at 45 South Fair Oaks Avenue; however, having recently been a traditional Mongolian restaurant, today the place is vacant.

    La (7) House of the Walshs, a family composed not only by Brandon but also by his twin sister Brenda (Shannen Doherty), his father Jim (James Eckhouse) and his mother Cindy (Carol Potter), is located at 1675 East Altadena Drive, in Altadena, a small independent municipality immediately north of Pasadena.

    Another location to report in the area, ad Arcadia, on the eastern border of Pasadena, the (6) Queen Anne Cottage, historic Victorian structure within the botanical park Los Angeles County Arboretum. This large mansion was used to represent the Florida mansion of the Fockers family, in "Will you introduce me to yours?"(2004).

    Queen Anne Cottage

    In this green context, the respective families of the protagonists, headed by patriarchs Bernard “Bernie” Focker (Dustin Hoffman) and Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), meet for the first time. Other historic houses are also part of the site, such as the Coach Barn, Reid-Baldwin Adobe and the old station of Santa Anita Depot. Graceful Balwin Lake remains at the center of marvelous botanical gardens, immortalized, since 1930, also in many other Hollywood productions.

    A further detour east from Pasadena leads to the legendary (8) United Methodist Church, at 3205 of the D Street of La Verne. The popularity of this church is mainly due to its use in the vibrant and touching closing sequences of "The bachelor"(1967), in which, the protagonist, Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), to express all his opposition about the wedding that is being celebrated under his eyes, goes up to the upper floor of the church, and cheerfully clapping both hands against the stained glass windows, shouts ferociously, sixteen times, the name of the bride and her beloved: “Elaine! Elaine! Elaine! Elaine! (...) ".

    The two boys barely manage to escape by catching a passing bus along D street, thus setting off towards an uncertain future. As famous film critic David Sterritt wrote: “Their life will never be the same. And not even the cinema ". Mike Nichols' film marked Dustin Hoffman's career; masterful, eclectic and omnipotent deity of Hollywood Olympus.

    The Locations of the San Fernando Valley

    Nestled between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Malibu Mountains, northwest of Los Angeles, lies the populous San Fernando Valley. Made up of many small autonomous municipalities, it is not a particularly exciting area from a tourist point of view, but numerous films have been shot in this area as well.

    Today's restaurant (9) Carl’s Jr., located at 20105 on Saticoy Street in Winnetka, lent its external profile to the fast-food "Mr. Smileys", In which Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey), in the Oscar-winning film,"American Beauty”(1999), he starts working after leaving his profession. Founded in 1941, Carl's Jr. is known for flavorful grilled burgers. Today it is an international chain with more than 1.000 locations in the United States and 28 other countries around the world.

    About the aforementioned and legendary saga of "Back to the Future”, The (10) McFly home, in the year 1985, is located at 9303 Roslyndale Avenue in Pacoima. Many key story sequences were shot inside and outside this typical American prefab. There DeLorean DMC-12, used by the protagonists to travel through time, darted both on the asphalt of Roslyndale Avenue and just above its skies ...

    With fiery red eyes, the young werewolf Marty Howard (Michael J. Fox) communicates with absolute firmness to the owner of the (11) Quick Stop Liquor: “Give me a keg of beer”. Terrified, the unpleasant trader fulfills the desire of the minor protagonist of the fantasy film "Desire to Win"(1985). This liquor store is still in business today, and is located at 6670 Foothill Boulvard in the town of Tujunga. In the same municipality, at number 7121 of Lonzo Street, stands the (12) House of “ET - The Alien” (1982), famous science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg.

    Leaving the San Fernado Valley, towards Santa Clarita Valley, you can decide to go the (13) Little Tujunga Canyon Road, winding mountain road along which, in 1968, part of the last race of the reckless beetle Herbie, star of "A completely crazy Beetle". The road is very pleasant to travel and the surrounding mountain panorama is truly special.

    Vasquez Rocks

    Beyond the San Gabriel Mountains, you find yourself in a semi-hilly and desert area; there Sierra Pelona Mountains. Overall the (14) Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, many films have been set. The particular and pointed rock formations smoothed by the wind, appeared in "Cars"(2006),"The Flinstones"(1994),"Little Miss Sunshine"(2006),"Short circuit"(1986),"Star Trek”(1986) and many other films.

    Le Location of the Mojave Desert

    The San Gabriel Mountains protect the Los Angeles conurbation from the fiery Mojave Desert. The desert area stretches for miles between California and Nevada, and includes many areas of tourist interest, such as, for example, Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park or Mojave National Preserve.

    Power Lines

    In the vicinity of the great Californian city is the city of Lancaster, on whose borders there are two very iconic locations. The (15) Power Lines located approximately at 44545 of 95th Street West, are the backdrop to the final scene of "Seven”, A 1995 thriller directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey. At 19809 on East Ave G, you can instead visit (16) Kill Bill Church, the small church where the infamous "massacre at the Two Pines Chapel" took place, in Quentin Tarantino's legendary "Kill Bill".

    Kill Bill Church

    The missing Motel (17) Budget Inn of Mojave, appears in two highly successful films: in Robert Rodriguez's horror film, "From sunset to dawn"(1996), disguises himself as" Dew Drop Motel ", while in the most recent and thrilling thriller,"Nocturnal Animals”(2016), by Tom Ford, is immortalized with his real name. This comfortable and spotless Motel is located in the town of Mojave at 16698 of the Sierra Highway.

    Emma Jeans Holland Burger Cafe

    In Victorville, a town located in San Bernardino County, stands the famous (18) Emma Jean’s Holland Burger Cafe, precisely at 17143 North D Street. The diner opened its doors in 1947, and has since served hot meals to hungry travelers on the old Route 66 track. a guarantee of quality for all customers who are lucky enough to stumble upon its rich breakfasts, succulent burgers or delicious sandwiches.

    However, there are also those, like Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman), in "Kill Bill: volume 2"(2004), after having lived an experience as anguished as it is tiring, she sits down exhausted at the bar only to ask:" Could I have a glass of water please? "

    Long Beach Locations

    Long Beach is a self-contained municipality that extends south of Los Angeles and also faces the Pacific. In Long Beach you can meet some important places of cinematic interest. In the now cult-movie "Donnie Darko” (2001), the (19) house of the homonymous protagonist, played by a young and talented Jake Gyllenhaal, is located at 4225 Country Club Drive, right in Long Beach.

    The famous (20) George’s 50’S Diner, at 4390 Atlantic Avenue, appears briefly at the beginning of the film "Zodiac”(2007), in the scene where Mike Mageau and his girlfriend Darlene Ferrin drive to the diner. Noticing the crowding outside the club, they unfortunately decide to go to a quieter place ... the killer Zodiac will visit them a few minutes later. The food in the restaurant is amazing, especially the fries, and the retro atmosphere makes the place truly unique; even the hosts, George and Helen, couldn't be more kind and polite than they show.

    Last location in review, the amazing live music venue (21) Cowboy Country, which appears at the beginning of the journey of Thelma & Louise, in the 1991 masterpiece of the same name, directed by Ridley Scott. The two women decide to stop for a drink in a bar along the road, not knowing that that stop would forever change their weekend and their destiny.

    Located at 3321 South Street, the Cowboy Country is an unmissable place: Country music, played by the most popular bands of the genre, involves the passionate clientele who unleashed in very funny group dances. Most of the patrons are used to the runway, trodden by cowboy-style boots in thousands of colors, shapes, styles, and sparkling accessories!

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