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    The most important film locations in the city of Los Angeles

    Who I am
    Martí Micolau

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    Los Angeles condenses the core values ​​of which the American dream it nourishes itself: the best life, the freedom to fulfill oneself and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of the state of birth. Even with all the contradictions that, more generally, the social and economic system of the United States represents, in the Californian megalopolis the mild climate, the abundance of raw materials, the boundless space, the ocean and the concrete job opportunities have always offered a solid guarantee to the succession of generations of pioneers.

    Tourism, the agricultural, chemical, aeronautical and electrical industries employ a large number of people; so too the publishing, television and cinema sectors offer jobs in abundance. In fact, among the many cities that make up the urban agglomeration, there is Hollywood, the stainless temple of world cinema which, thanks to a careful succession of advertisements, articles and scandals, has increased the myth by creating a real "Star System".

    Hence the large film companies (Universal, Fox, Paramount, etc.) control production, distribution and operation, generating a huge economic result. The large white sign with the Hollywood sign, installed on Mount Lee, is one of the symbols of the States and represents the Mecca for all those who, for passion, dedicate themselves to acting.


    • Map of film locations
    • The locations of Downtown and surroundings
    • Le location del Griffith Observatory
    • The locations of Hollywood and Beverly Hills

    Map of film locations

    The locations of Downtown and surroundings

    Downtown Los Angeles, the financial and commercial center, stands next to the original nucleus of the first city of all Mexican origin and expression; in the old pueblo the main attractions are the delightful pedestrian street of Olvera Street and (1) The Square, focal point of the neighborhood. The square, which annually hosts music festivals and public celebrations of various kinds, appears in the third chapter, of 1992, of the glorious saga of "Lethal Weapon"; after yet another intemperance, detectives Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are temporarily downgraded to the rank of simple agents to deal with city traffic in that area.

    In the historic building (2) Bradbury Building, located at 304 South Broadway, numerous sequences of various film productions, music videos and television shows have been shot. The most emblematic film, shot in the belly of the structure designed by architects George Wyman and Sumner Hunt, is perhaps Ridley Scott's masterpiece, "Blade Runner"(1982).

    In the Bradbury Building, where the final and most exciting scenes of the film were shot, is the setting, gloomy and lonely, home of JF Sebastian (William Sanderson), who, in offering a safe haven to the charming replicant Pris ( Daryl Hannah), exposes his private and professional passion: “I make friends. Toys. My friends are toys. I make them myself. It is a hobby. I am a genetic designer. ".

    Even in the brilliant comedy "500 days together”(2009), set completely in Los Angeles, and multiple sequences rotating downtown, the epilogue of the film takes place inside the same famous building.

    Regarding Marc Webb's film, as the narrator anticipates, it is good to specify that: “This is the story of a he and a she. But it's worth clarifying immediately: it's not a love story. ". The male lead's favorite seat, Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), is there (3) Bench by Angels Knoll, a small garden located on a low hill from which you can observe a fine view of some of the buildings in downtown Los Angeles.

    Tom, an architect temporarily employed at a company that creates phrases for anniversary cards, loves observing those buildings whose history and peculiarities he knows. At 316 West 2nd Street, stands the infamous (4) The Redwood Bar & Grill, a corsair-themed club, in which Sole (Zooey Deschanel), the female protagonist, performs discreetly at karaoke with a cover of “Sugartown”, a song by Nancy Sinatra.

    The fire station (5) Fire Station 23, located at 225 East 5th Street, was used for the interior scenes of "Ghostbusters”(1984), in their portrayal of their base of operations: this is where Ray (Dan Aykroyd) gets electrified like a child after testing the emergency call pole. The external facade of the same abandoned barracks, but, evidently still very popular as a film location, was used in "The Mask”(1994) as the workshop where the weak, shy and clumsy banker Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) takes his car to be repaired.

    Not everyone knows that, even in Los Angeles, a river flows and that, in the past, the waterway of the same name served as the main water source for the rapidly expanding city. After causing numerous floods, the municipality decided to artificially channel its waters into a concrete bed, draining it for most of the year. And this is how the viaduct of the (6) Los Angeles River, has been an emblematic cinematic location for many films.

    Among the most famous we can remember: "Grease"(1978), in which, in the crazy race called" Thunder Road Race ", the legendary Ford De Luxe Convertible cars, driven by Denny Zucco (John Travolta), compete against the Mercury Series 9CM, driven by Leo (Dennis Cleveland Stewart); "Terminator 2 - Judgment day”(1991), in which the protagonist John Connor (Edward Furlong), tries to escape from the new generation Terminator, aboard his motorcycle; "Drive”(2011), in which Ryan Gosling gives a lift to a woman and her son by crossing the river in an almost idyllic scene; "Break Point”(1991), in which FBI agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) runs after the bank robber disguised as Ronald Regan.

    In the legendary road movie "Thelma e Louise"(1991), the Motel where the couple of friends (played respectively by Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon) meets the stallion JD (Brad Pitt), is not located in the wide spaces of the mid-west, but just south of Downtown Los Angeles. This is the (7) Vagabond Inn, popular motel with swimming pool, located at 3101 South Figueroa Street near the campus of the University of Southern California.

    This prestigious private university, thanks to its strategic position, has often lent various internal structures to major Hollywood productions. The work is very recognizable (8) Alumni Park Memorial Fountain, on which, a very young Dustin Hoffman, in the role of the confused Benjamin Braddock, sits on its edge patiently awaiting the arrival of Elain Robinson (Katharine Ross), a student at the University of “Berkeley”.

    In Mike Nichols' masterpiece, "The bachelor"(1967), Ben, having successfully completed his university career, during his first outing with the girl falls in love with her so madly that he opens up intimately and confides to her that:" I've been feeling this way since I came back ... it's a continuous impulse to be rude, do you understand me yes? You see, it's like playing a game with rules that don't make sense to me… because the wrong people made them. No on the contrary ... nobody does them, it seems that they do it themselves. ".

    "Forrest Gump”(1994), by Robert Zemeckis, is another masterpiece that certainly needs no introduction. Also in this film, the university that Jenny attends (Robin Wright) is actually USC. In fact, the "Margaret Mitchell Hall", Jenny's dormitory facility that appears in the film, is actually the (9) Marks Hall, located at 631 Childs Way, on the University campus. Forrest (Tom Hanks), during a surprise visit to his childhood friend, ignited by jealousy, turns off the enthusiasm of her boyfriend, guilty of trying to have a fleeting sexual relationship right in front of the bench on which, Forrest, he waits late at night for "his" Jenny to return home.

    In the Lynwood area, at 10990 Atlantic Avenue, there is a fast-food restaurant (10) Angelo’s Burgers, aka "Whammyburger" in the 1993 drama, "A day of ordinary madness". The protagonist, William Foster (Michael Douglas), is an ordinary man who entered the war, due to exhaustion, with the daily reality made up of noise, violence and injustice. Having now passed "the point of no return", he tries to order a breakfast at the fast-food restaurant, but, due to the time, he is offered only the menu available for lunch. The disappointment generates heavy disagreements towards employees and patrons.

    Moving instead to Inglewood, a city district not far from the airport, you can order a donut at the famous (11) Randy’s Donuts, located at 805 West Manchester Boulevard. This place, an icon of Los Angeles due to the giant donut installed on the top of the structure, appears in the comedy "The girls of the Earth are easy" (1989) and in the more recent "Iron Man 2"(2010).

    “There are a hundred thousand streets in this city. You don't need to know them. Give me a place and an hour and I'll give you five minutes. Whatever happens in those five minutes, I'll take care of it. But I warn you: if you do something wrong a minute before or after, you will be on your own. All clear? You will not find me again at this number. ".

    This is the incipit of the now cult film, "Drive"(2011), in which, throughout the film, the name of the" Driver ", the protagonist, played by the talented Ryan Gosling, is never revealed. L'(12) Driver and Irene's apartment (Carey Mulligan), is located in the complex located at 607 South Park View Street; from the upper floors of the structure, you can enjoy a splendid view of Downtown and the neighbor (13) MacArthur Park. Right in this park, Driver meets Irene's husband, a delinquent, and Blanche (Christina Hendricks), his accomplice. Built in 1880 and named after General Douglas MacArthur, the homonymous green space is listed among the Historic Cultural Monuments of Los Angeles.

    Happy to have recovered the watch of his father, Butch (Bruce Willis), one of the protagonists of the amazing, incomparable and brilliant "Pulp Fiction"(1994) by Quentin Tarantino, he stops humming at the traffic lights on the(14) intersection of Fletcher Drive & Atwater Avenue, in the Atwater Village neighborhood. Among the pedestrians crossing the strips, however, he encounters the menacing gaze of Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames), the dangerous boss who came in pursuit of him.

    The dispute between the two opens the previous evening, when the boxer Butch blows up the agreement made with the mala to go to the mat at a given resumption. Butch wins the match and makes Marsellus lose a mountain of money, although the latter had previously warned him with a clear recommendation: "On the night of the fight, maybe you will feel a small pang: it is pride that it blocks your brain and puts it in your ass. You put it in his ass. Pride only hurts. It never helps! Overcome certain crap. ".

    Remaining in the cinematic cosmos of the creative and prolific director of Italian origins, in the debut film "Reservoir Dogs”(1992), the group of robbers find themselves at the diner (15) Pat & Lorraines Coffee Shop, at 4720 Eagle Rock Boulevard. The restaurant is still in full operation and serves really super breakfasts!

    Le location del Griffith Observatory

    Il (16) Griffith Observatory, completed in the first half of the last century, it has become a true symbol of the city and, from the top of the southern slope of Mount Hollywood, offers visitors a harmonious blend of entertainment and culture. In cinematography, the art deco style structure has been portrayed in numerous films, such as, for example, the musical "La La Land"(2016), where Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling) and Mia Dolan (Emma Stone) dance together a waltz under a starry sky and"Terminator”(1984), in which the killer cyborg from the future (Arnold Schwarzenegger) wakes up naked on the panoramic terrace of the tourist complex and sets out on his mission.

    Among the hills behind the astronomical observatory, one encounters the (17) Mt. Hollywood Drive Tunnel, whose end represents the gateway to the fantastic world of Cartoonia, the animated city where the cartoons reside in the funny comedy "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"(1988). In this fantastic city the shorts work as actors and, as RK Maroon (Alan Tilvern) reminds Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins): "The best thing is that they work for a handful of peanuts!" (throwing a handful of the same to the elephant Dumbo).

    In the second chapter of the trilogy of the mythical "Back to the Future", From 1989, the long sequence in which Marty Mcfly (Michael J. Fox), hidden in the back seat of the Ford of Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) desperately tries to recover the indispensable sports almanac, ends right inside the tunnel.

    Finally, how can we forget the legendary film Wasted Youth with James Dean from 1955, who set one of the most famous scenes in this area. This event is still remembered today by a statue dedicated to the actor.

    The locations of Hollywood and Beverly Hills

    Hollywood: Los Angeles

    Moving to Hollywood, on the famous "Hollywood walk of fame" street, the pavement of which is strewn with stars bearing the names of the most important actors and actresses of world cinema, you can find, on the corner with Wilcox Avenue, the gigantic murals (18) You are the star, which appears in the aforementioned "La La Land"(2016).

    The ironic wall painting, created by Thomas Suriya in 1983, depicts famous Hollywood stars, from Charlie Chaplin to Marilyn Monroe, all seated in the stalls of a theater with their gaze turned to the stage and to the observer.

    In Quentin Tarantino's latest film "Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood”(2019), western genre star Rick Dalton (Leonardo di Caprio), realizes, after the cancellation of a previously scheduled film, that his career could be in decline. In the heart of Hollywood, at the restaurant (19) Musso & Frank Grill, at 6667 on Hollywood Boulevard, his agent Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) evaluates the terrifying prospect of making commercial spaghetti westerns for the big screens of overseas cinemas.

    Opened in 1919, Musso & Frank Grill is the oldest surviving restaurant in Hollywood and, since then, the high ceilings, dark wood paneling and comfortable booths have remained virtually unchanged. The waiters and bartenders still wear the same red uniforms they wore when regulars like Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo were served in the venue.

    La (22) Rick Dalton's mansion it is located in the San Fernando Valley, beyond the Hollywood Hills, at 10969 Alta View Drive. His neighbor is the already established director Roman Polański who lives together with the beautiful Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). Stuntman Cliff Boothpassa (Brad Pitt), after taking Rick home in an elegant '66 Cadillac Coupé de Ville, gets behind the wheel of his battered blue '64 Karmann Ghia, back to his home.

    At 1738 North Las Palmas Avenue, stands the (20) Las Palmas Hotel, whose structure has played the role of the house of Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts), protagonist of the timeless "Pretty Woman”(1990) by Garry Marshall.

    The film definitely launched the actress's career, whose acclaimed portrayal of the young prostitute earned her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The "office" of Vivian and her colleague and roommate Kit De Luca (Laura San Giacomo) is right along Hollywood Boulevard, precisely, along the stretch of competence that goes from the star of Bob Hope to that of Ella Fitzgerald among the (21) numbers 6753 and 6757.

    Beverly Wilshire Hotel

    And it is precisely on this stretch of road that the Lotus, driven by the wealthy and discreetly handsome Edward Lewis (Richard Gere), stops to ask for directions on how to get to the (28) Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the luxurious Beverly Hills hotel (at number 9500 in Wilshire Bouleverd), where he must stay the rest of the week in Los Angeles.

    Contrary to what was told in the eleven seasons of "Happy Days"(1974-1984), entered the television stations all over the world thanks to the sympathy and genuineness of all its characters, the legendary (23) House of the Cunninghams, is not located in Milwaukee, but at 565 North Cahuenga Boulevard.

    Along Sunset Boulevard, in its most animated and rich in history section (the so-called Sunset Strip), stands, at number 8901, the (24) Whisky a Go Go, a venue that appears in Jim Morrison's biopic, "The Doors"(1991). The infamous stage of this structure has hosted, during its long history, many important artists such as, in addition to The Doors, also Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Blondie, The Talking Heads, and many others. .

    From the Sunset Strip, going up Doheny Road, you will arrive at the (25) Greystone Mansion, immense and prestigious villa extremely film-friendly. This opulent mansion has in fact hosted more than a dozen famous films, including, the 1998 cult movie "The Big Lebowski" starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, in which the structure appears as the mansion of the tycoon Jeffrey Lebowski, namesake of the protagonist, and "Bodyguard", a 1992 film with Kevin Costner: here Greystone Mansion is the home of successful singer Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston), whose life is in danger.

    The famous resort of Beverly Hills is, in reality, an autonomous city, enclosed in the extensive urban agglomeration of LA, which starts from Santa Monica Blvd and extends towards the hills. Many movie stars live here, of course, protected by high walls that surround their beautiful mansions. One of these villas belongs, in the epic film "The bachelor"(1967), to the Robinson family. There (26) Mrs. Robinson's house (Anne Bancroft), Elaine's rich and bored wife and mother, is located in the residential heart of Beverly Hills at 607 North Palm Drive. Right here, the embarrassed Ben (Dustin Hoffman) finds himself rejecting the first bold advances of the charming mature woman.

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