"Back to the Future" opens with
'Marty McFly' (Michael J. Fox) trying out
his electric 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
However, in real life it was merely a temporary facade they put up
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
original 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
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
Walt Disney Studios and Warner
The address is 535 N. Victory Blvd.,
in Burbank (just north of W. Cypress
When we see the truck tow him up the 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
Valley' (above), which is really a 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 its younger version in 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,
and ofen changes its look from production to production.
The shot above is of 1985 Hill Valley. Note the smog and duller colors.
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 (with a fake name),
but it's located about 30 miles away from the Burbank/Universal area
reality, it's Whittier High School, located
12417 E. Philadelphia St., in Whittier,
(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
And here's how the school looks today,
(thanks to Steve again)
We see Marty and his group ("The
Pinheads") try out at an audition
a "Battle of the Bands".
(Their performance is too much for the adult judges,
who pronounce them "Just too
This scene was shot not far
from the Burger King, at
Recreation Center in McCambridge Park,
at 1515 Glenoaks Blvd,
"Back to the Future" Locations!
- Page 2 - Page
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 - 2016 / Seeing-Stars.com