patient while the page loads - the many location photos make it load slowly.]
Actual Southern California locations
where 1994's "Speed"
Just then, Keanu realizes that
they are near the airport, and tells Sandra to make a
quick move onto a freeway offramp leading to the
For once, this scene was shot
where you would expect - near the airport, on the westbound
Century (105) Freeway, just west
of Sepulveda Blvd, at the Imperial Highway/Airport exit.
Note the tower in front of them (in the photo above)... that makes the
spot easy to identify.
The next shot (below)
shows us the famous LAX Theme Building in
the distance, as the
bus arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.
( The Theme Building houses the
popular, space-aged themed Encounter
Restaurant. Its glass walls provide a
panoramic view of the airport. )
Keanu realizes that with all of the space
on the huge LAX runways, the bus can
harmlessly circle around the airport indefinitely (at 50 MPH) without worrying
running into obstacles or traffic jams.
They indeed shot these circling
scenes at LAX, mostly n the southwest
of the airport, just north of Imperial Highway.
In the photo below,
notice the two red & white-striped smokestacks
in the background.
Those smokestacks are located more than a mile southwest of the airport,
at the northeast
corner of Vista
Del Mar & Grand Avenue,
just off Dockweiler State Beach.
While they are circling the
airport runways, Keanu manages to talk the bad guy into letting
him off the bus. He soon returns, lying on his back on a wheeled
dolly/sled, (pulled by
a truck), and rolls under the bus, where he tries, unsuccessfully, to disarm
In the photo above, that white
building seen behind Keanu
is LAX’s Administration West building,
located at 7301 World Way West.
That's about a mile west of the airport's well-known Theme Building.
Meanwhile, the police have
discovered the identity of the bad guy (Dennis
Hopper). So a
SWAT team, led by Keanu's friend (Jeff Daniels),
storms his house. Unfortunately, the
villain anticipates their assault, and is not only gone when they arrive,
he leaves a bomb
behind as a booby-trap which blows up the house,
killing Jeff Daniels' character.
villain's house was located in a residential
neighborhood just north of LAX, at the east corner of Redlands
Street & Trask Avenue,
in the Playa Del Rey / Westchester
[ The current house on that corner does not resemble
the house that was blown up in the movie.
Either the moviemakers erected a facade that covered the front of the real
(so they could blow it up), or else the house has been rebuilt. ]
Meanwhile, back on the bus at
LAX, Keanu realizes that the bad guy has hidden a remote camera on board the bus, which is how
he has been keeping track of their movements.
So, the police patch in a generic loop-video of the bus interior, so that
the bad guy will think
he is watching a live video feed from the bus, when he's just actually
watching a tape.
Once the bad guy is "blinded"
to their real movements, they evacuate the bus,
people off the bus via a gangplank between the bus and a police truck driving
This scene was shot at LAX,
with the camera looking west, with
the bus moving east.
( In the background, You can see the hill-like embankments that stand at
the west end
of the airport, which are designed to minimize the effects of a plane crash.
They appear to have shot this
scene on an oval-shaped road at the far southwest
of the airport. Note the palm
trees in the background and the painted stripes on the road.
(Click on the map link below for an aerial photo of the area.)
Next, we see the villain in
his apartment, and we are given a look outside his place,
revealing that he is across the street from L.A.'s Pershing Square,
a public park
that takes up an entire block in downtown L.A.
Pershing Square (which doesn't look much like a conventional
park) is between 5th St.& 6th St.,
bounded by Grand Ave. & Olive St.
( The Biltmore Hotel is right across Olive Street
from the park. )
In the photo above,
looking north, you can see the southeast corner of Pershing Square
in the lower left corner of the photo. The bad guy tells the police to
drop off his ransom
money in a trash can on that corner.
The bad guy eventually figures
out that he is being fooled (by the video loop), but by then
it is too late. The passengers have been rescued, and the bus is
empty. But, since
his live camera feed has been stopped, he doesn't know that. By then, Keanu
have escaped from the bus (after jamming the gas pedal), and the empty
to careens on its own across the LAX runways.
In the photo above,
the unloaded, empty bus moves towards a hanger.
This scene was shot at central
LAX, between runways, west of the Theme
The low, blue building (and white tanks) is an American
Airlines aircraft maintenance
facility located at 7000-7100 World Way West
(which is about 700 yards
east/southeast of the aforementioned Administration
The hanger the bus drives through is just west of that blue AA maintenance
The camera is looking east (in the
photo above), as the bus moves north.
The bus continues through the
hanger, then smashes into an empty jumbo jet plane
being towed across the runway, exploding both bus & plane in a ball
But as soon as the bus passes
through the hanger, the movie makes a wild leap to a
completely different location - 100 miles away from Los Angeles International
Take a look at those mountains in the
above photos, and you'll notice that they
aren't the familiar Santa Monica mountains, or any other local mountain
Why the sudden change of location?
Because they needed to blow up the bus and an airplane -
and they couldn't do that at LAX. But they did need an airport,
with runways and planes.
On the DVD, the director says
it was "out in the desert, on an old runway".
I did some research and found out that the big
explosion was actually filmed
at Mojave Airport, in Kern County,
about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
You'll find the airport north
of the Mojave-Barstow Highway (58), at
in the desert city of Mojave, CA. The official address is 1434
Flight Line Mojave, CA.