Part 1

 Actual Southern California locations where "Back to the Future" was filmed.
.[ Click here for an interactive MAP of all B.T.T.F. locations!].

"Back to the Future" opens with 'Marty McFly' (Michael J. Fox) trying out his
guitar in 'Doc Brown's garage/lab. When Marty leaves and gets on his skateboard,
we see what is supposed to be Doc's garage/lab behind him. However, it's merely a
temporary facade they put up (next to the Burger King) that resembles a beat-up version
of the actual garage (see below) next to the Gamble House, the historic Craftsman home
in Pasadena, which served as Doc Brown's 1955 home in the movie.

Here's a photo (below) of that same parking lot as it looks in 2009 - minus the
temporary garage facade, of course. (Courtesy of Steve Mynott.)
Note the center diagonal stripe in the lot in both photos.

Marty skateboards past a Burger King restaurant, then hitches a tow off the back of a passing truck.

That Burger King was real, and better yet, it's still there! It's located in Burbank, the city
which is home to NBC Studios, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros Studios.
The address is 535 N. Victory Blvd., in Burbank (just north of W. Cypress Ave.)

When we see the truck tow him up the adjacent street, they are heading north on Victory Blvd.

Below is a photo of that same Burger King, in 2009. (Courtesy of Steve Mynott.)

Victory Blvd is one of the few real streets you'll see in "Back to the Future". During the
skateboarding scene, the movie abruptly switches to a fake street in 'Hill Valley' (above),
which is really large outdoor set on the back lot of a nearby movie studio. That set is
now nicknamed "Courthouse Square".

(They made the 'town' look dingy and run-down for 1985, then spruced it up for 1955.)

The good news is that even though the neighborhood isn't real, you can still visit it!
Courthouse Square is one of the large, permanent street sets at Universal Studios Hollywood,
and you can see it up close when you take the Universal studios tram tour (which is free with
admission to the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park). Over the years, it has been used
as a small town set for many movies. (On my 2006 visit to USH, the Courthouse had been
given a very different look for the TV series "The Ghost Whisperer".)

The shot below is from later in the film, when Marty returns to 1955 Hill Valley,
when the town is newer and cleaner. Same set. Note the brighter colors and the blue sky..

Marty then heads to school. "Hill Valley High School" is an actual high school,
but it's located about 30 miles away from the Burbank/Universal area. In reality,
it's Whittier High School, located at 12417 E. Philadelphia St., in Whittier, CA.

(Whittier may be best known as home to former President Richard Nixon.
He attended this high school from 1928 to 1930 - some 25 years before Marty's visit.)

And here's how the school looks today, in 2009 (thanks to Steve again).

We see Marty and his group ("The Pinheads") try out at an audition for a "Battle of the Bands".
(They are too much or the adult judges, who pronounce them "Just too loud.")

This scene was shot not far from the Burger King, at McCambridge Recreation Center
in McCambridge Park, at 1515 Glenoaks Blvd, in Burbank.

More "Back to the Future" Locations!

Page 1   -   Page 2   -   Page 3

The photos on this page are stills from the DVD of "Back to the Future"
(which you can buy by clicking here) and are copyright Universal Pictures.

The rest of the page is copyright Gary J. Wayne - 2006 /