The Actual Southern California Locations
where 2003's "S.W.A.T." was filmed.
The historic Ambassador
Hotel (which has since been torn down) is the location for the training exercise in which the trainees
slide down ropes from helicopters
and storm a series of rooms. Look closely, and you'll see that they enter
the red awning of the legendary "Cocoanut Grove"
night club (featured in
"The Aviator"). The Ambassador Hotel was located at 3400
just west of downtown Los Angeles. It is now the site of a new school.
The SWAT team has another simulation aboard
an old jet airliner, in which they attempt
to rescue "hostages" from "hijackers". That strange
area (housing 350 old airliners) is actually
the "Airport Graveyard" in
the Mojave desert (near Edwards Air Force Base)
about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. (map
to Edwards AFB)
After their victory in the airliner simulation,
the SWAT team parties at a BBQ
(They sing the "SWAT" theme, and one of the guys pulls up his
shirt and shows his abs.)
That scene was shot at an actual BBQ shack called "Leo's
BBQ", located at 2619 Crenshaw Blvd., in South
Central Los Angeles.
(Alas, after after
48 years in business, Leo's closed its doors in May of 2004,
about a year after this film was made. But the building now houses Phillips’
After the BBQ party, Chris (Michelle Rodriguez)
is reluctant to call it a night,
and tries unsuccessfully to convince the guys to go out for drinks.
The gang disperses, however, Street goes with her to a bar.
bar scenes were filmed inside an actual dive bar, named the Hinano Cafe, located at 15 Washington
Blvd, in Venice, CA.
(This same bar was used for
a scene in the Showtime series, "Dexter".)
After Street gets into a confrontation with
a former partner, he and Chris leave the bar.
The scene switches to an exterior shot. As we watch the couple walk
towards their car,
we are looking north/northeast, up
Washington Blvd, from around
7 Washington (roughly about in front of the Terrace Cafe).
Their car is parked in the beach parking
lot at the far west end of Washington Blvd.
While the police are moving the villain in
a prison bus, a group of Montel's men take over the bus . This leads to a
shoot-out with SWAT, and the escape attempt fails.
This filmed was shot at the corner of Hollywood
Boulevard and Wilcox Avenue.
You will notice a large mural on the wall of one building,
on the southeast side
of this corner. That mural is titled "You
Are the Star," and was
painted by Tom Suriya.
(*) designates what could be a high-crime area. Exercise reasonable
More SWAT Locations! Just click the arrow below.
The photos on this page are
stills from the DVD of "S.W.A.T. "
(which you can buy by clicking
here) and are copyright Columbia Pictures.