California locations where 1994's "Speed"
(Special thanks to Chas Demster for
tracking down many of these locations.)
The movie begins at a high-rise
building, where office workers are trapped
in an out-of-control elevator, after
a madman wires it with explosives.
That building (the blue one,
seen on the right in the photo above) is actually the Gas Company Tower at 555 W. 5th Street,
in downtown Los Angeles.
Built in 1991, the 52 floor office building rises at 749 feet high,
and is the 5th-tallest building in Los Angeles.
It's bordered by 5th Street (on the southwest), Grand Avenue (on the northwest),
4th Street (on the northeast) and Olive Street (on the southeast)
(The white tower seen on the left, is the US Bank
tower, which, at 73 floors
and 1018 feet high, is the tallest building west of the Mississippi.)
The entrance seen below
is at the west corner of 5th Street
& Grand Avenue.
After the elevator rescue,
we see the two policemen (Keanu Reeves
& Jeff Daniels)
being honored at a ceremony where they
are given medals for heroism.
Those scenes were shot in the
City Council Chambers at Los Angeles
which is located at 200 N Spring Street,
in downtown L.A.
Next, we see the same cops
at a party, getting smashed and celebrating
their success - and their survival.
Those party scenes were shot
at The Derby, a popular nightclub
located at 4500 Los Feliz Blvd, just south of
Griffith Park, at the southwest corner
of Los Feliz & Hillhurst (3 miles east of Hollywood).
The Derby building has
quite a history of its own. Built in 1928, it is the last of
the famous Brown Derby restaurants (the one shaped like a hat was
on Wilshire). In its heyday, it was owned by Cecil B. DeMille. It later
became Michael's restaurant, and then The Derby nightclub
was featured prominently in the hit film "Swingers").
In real life, the building
was proclaimed an Historic-Cultural Monument by the
same L.A. City Council that meets in our last location.
Next, we see a bus driver ('Bob')
park his bus and walk across the street to a
bright red cafe for a cup of coffee. Inside, he meets Keanu (who has stopped
for coffee and a muffin), and Bob tells Keanu he saw him on TV last night.
is real. It's The Firehouse,
located at 213 Rose Ave, in Venice,
(on the border with Santa Monica). That's at the northeast corner of
Main Street & Rose Avenue.
The bright red, barn-like building
used to be a real firehouse. Now they
serve a healthy fare favored by the bodybuilders from the nearby Gold's
As the bus driver gets back
into his bus, the camera shows us a brief
glimpse of "The
Ballerina Clown", a bizarre landmark in Venice (a
ballerina's body topped with the head of a hobo clown).
is parked at the northwest corner ofMain Street & Rose
(right across from The Firehouse), and you'll find the Ballerina Clown hovering above that very same corner.
The bus leaves, and just as
Keanu is coming out of The Firehouse, the bus
suddenly explodes. The bus is heading south on
Main Street, hence, that explosion takes place just
south of the corner of Main & Rose., near the Santa Monica / Venice border.
( In both photos, we're looking south down
Next, we see Sandra
Bullock running for a bus (a bus she'll be sorry she caught,
as it turns out). The driver eventually stops and lets her on.
This scene was shot just off Main Street,
at the southeast corner of Main Street & Ocean Park Blvd,
in Santa Monica. (That's the same Main
where the first bus exploded, but this is spot about half a mile
to the north.)
(In the photo above, the bus
and Sandra are heading east on
Ocean Park Blvd.)
The mural you see on the wall behind
Sandra (below) is titled Ocean Park Pier,
and was painted in 1976 by Jane Golden. It depicts a crowded beach &
from the turn of the century. It's located on the south
Ocean Park Blvd., just east of Main
Street, in Santa Monica.
Locations marked by an asterisk (*) may
be located in high-crime areas.
Exercise reasonable caution.