Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were Shot (on Location)
1995 (part 1)
Tarentino's 1995's "PULP FICTION"
begins and ends with hit-men John Travolta
and Samuel L. Jackson dining
in a booth at a small coffee shop, when a young couple try to rob the place.
That coffee shop was actually the "Hawthorne Grill";
it was at 13763 S. Hawthorne Blvd. (at 137th Street ), in the city
of Hawthorne, less than two miles north of the San Diego (405) Freeway.
Unfortunately, the restaurant was recently torn down; in in its place now
stands an "Auto Zone" shop.* [Buy the Movie.]
of the action in the 1995 movie "THE USUAL SUSPECTS"
(starring Stephen Baldwin, Kevin
Spacey and Gabriel Byrne)
was set in city of San Pedro, near the L.A. Harbor. Two key scenes took
place atop a hill, next to what appeared to be an ornate Japanese temple.
This is actually "The Korean
Friendship Bell," a gift to America from the people of
South Korea. You can find this giant bell atop the hill in Angel's Gate
Park, near the south end of Gaffey Street (at 3601 Gaffey Street, in San
[Buy the Movie.]
In the 1995 thriller, "THE NET,"
computer hacker Sandra Bullock
is chased through an indoor carousel by an assassin. That scene was shot
at thehistoric merry-go-round on the
Santa Monica Pier, at the west end of
Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.
A scene from 1994's "CLEAN SLATE"
was also shot there (when Dana Carvey
follows Valeria Golino to
the carousel and eavesdrops on her conversation).
[Buy the Movie.]
to the Queen Mary ocean liner in Long
Beach is a giant 180'-tall geodesic dome, originally built to house
the Howard Hughes' huge airplane, the Spruce Goose.
When the Spruce Goose left for new lodgings
in Seattle, the empty interior of this enormous dome
was turned into a massive movie set.
In 1995's "BATMAN FOREVER,"
Gotham City, the 60-foot-tall Bat Cave, the interior of Wayne Manor,
and Two Face's hideout were all built inside the giant dome.
The movie's final scenes, involving the Batboat, were also filmed nearby,
in the harbor waters near the Queen Mary.
In fact, hundreds of tourists walking the decks of the Queen Mary
stopped to watch the shooting. (In fact, the Bat Cave set was preserved
inside the dome, and re-used for the next Batman movie.) [Buy the Movie.]
As soon as "BATMAN FOREVER"
was finished filming, another studio moved into the same dome and began
building the 52'-high virtual-reality simulator for the 1995 movie "VIRTUOSITY,"
starring Denzel Washington.
In 1996, Warner Bros. returned to film the sequel
"BATMAN & ROBIN"
1998 saw the filming of the holiday snowman fantasy
"JACK FROST" at the
dome (starring Michael Keaton and Kelly
In 1999, DreamWorks built an extremely elaborate
set inside the dome to film "THE HAUNTING."
starring Liam Neeson, and Catherine
Zeta-Jones. (They built a "Great Hall" set with
marble floors and stone columns.)
And in 2000, they worked on Steven Spielberg's
sci-fi epic, "A.I. :Artificial Intelligence"
inside the dome (the Gondola and Flesh Fair sequences). [Buy the Movie.]
Also, parts of the 2001 movie "JOY RIDE"
(which was being called "Squelch" when it filmed there), 2001's
"VANILLA SKY" (with
Tom Cruise), and "PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN"
(with Johnny Depp).
The ship & the dome are located at the south
end of the Long Beach (710) Freeway in Long Beach.
Speaking of "THE HAUNTING,"
you can see its gothic sets in a rather unlikely place today: the
offices of an architecture firm, Bastien and Associates
offices in Orange County, at 2961 Edinger
Ave, in Tustin, CA. They
bought the elaborate movie sets (for the Grand Hallway and Cleo's Bedroom)
from DreamWorks and installed them in their office building! If you'd like
to see them, the sets are visible when you first walk in.
If the Pasadena City Hall
looks familiar, it's because it has been used in a number of films.
Most recently, the ornate building appeared in the 1995 wine country romance,
"A Walk In The Clouds,"
starring Keanu Reeves.
The same Pasadena City Hall was used some 55 years
earlier by Charlie Chaplin, in
his 1940 classic satire "The Great Dictator."
The building played the role of Hitler's ("Hynkel's") palace.
In 1960, the building appeared once again in the
drama "Butterfield 8";
Elizabeth Taylor won an Oscar for this one.
[Buy the Movie.]