0:16:51: Not yet realizing that his new fare, Vincent, is a contract killer, Max drives Vincent to an
apartment house, the home of Vincent's first victim, an informant named Ramone Ayala.
Vincent gets out of the cab in front of the apartment house, and tells
Max to meet him around back, in an alley behind the house
When he goes to the alley, Max is shocked when Ramone's dead body comes crashing out
of the rear window and smashes down onto the top of his taxi. It's then that Max learns
that Vincent is a hit-man, and that he has been recruited to be Vincent's unwilling
driver for the night, while the assassin hunts down the five names on his hit-list.
This simple scene should have been filmed at just one location: an apartment house.
|But instead, the director opted to use three different locations,
stiched together to create the one fictional apartment house for the film:
1. One location for the front of Ramone's apartment house:
2. A second location for the alley that is supposed to run
behind Ramone's apartment house:
3. And a third location for the shots of the apartment's broken window
(that Ramone fell through):
Here is where to find those three different locations:
0:16:51: For the initial shot of Max and
Vincent arriving at the front of Ramone's place...
They used an apartment house at 1039 S. Union
Avenue (between Olympic Blvd & 11th Street).
They also used this
same apartment building for the later scene, at 0:22:52,
where Detective Ray Fanning arrives at
Ramone's place and climbs the stairs:
It's just three blocks west of the Staples
Center, just southwest of downtown L.A.,
northwest of the intersection of the 110 (Harbor) and 10 Freeways.
Here is a matching Google StreetView of that apartment building.
0:17:58: But when Vincent tells Max to wait for him in the alley behind the apartment building,
and when Max drives to that alley, the filmmakers switch locations.
The alley we see is not really behind 1039 S. Union Avenue.
The shot we see above was actually filmed in an alley running directly
behind (southwest of) 1666 W. 2nd Street, between S. Union Ave & Union Place.
( It's about a mile northeast of the first apartment house location.)
That is where Ramone's body comes crashing down, where Vincent forces Max to
help him load the dead body into the trunk, and where the police later
(0:37:06) show up to investigate the apparent murder.
Here is a matching Google StreetView of the alley.
0:23:58: But when we return to Ramone's apartment house, as Detective Ray Fanning
walks into the bedroom of his (now-deceased) informant, they used a third location,
for the shots of Ramone's broken window, both interior and exterior:
We see the exterior of the window twice: when Detective Fanning arrives at Ramone's apartment
and looks out onto the alleyway, and again during the police investigation in the alley, when
they look up at Ramone's apartment window (seen below).
The layout of those windows, and the view from one of them,
don't match either of the previous two locations.
That's because they shot these window scenes on the rear (west-facing) side of yet
another apartment building, this one at 1033 Beacon Avenue.
( It's just one street west of the original exterior location, which was at 1039 S. Union. )
The view seen out the window, when Fanning looks out the window from inside Ramone's
apartment, also perfectly matches the view from this Beacon Avenue apartment house.
There's no StreetView in that alley, but this Google Earth view
shows the match-up of the windows.
So there you have it: three different filming locations,
stiched together to create one fictional location for the film.
Here is a map showing all three locations:
(click on it to bring up a bigger map)
1. Ramone's house (front view).
2. Alley behind Ramone's house.
3. Ramone's window.