Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were
Shot (on Location)
hit 2001 movie about street racers was shot almost exclusively in and
to the actual filming locations where the film was shot, from
in Echo Park to "Little Saigon" in Westminster, complete
with street addresses and maps.
• Dominic Toretto's
(Vin Diesel) white
woodframe house, and the brown wood & brick
house next door, are real homes, actually located in the Echo Park
of L.A., just northwest of downtown, at 718, 720 and 722 N.
Road. The dilapidated white garage in between isn't
really there -
to have been a temporary creation for the movie. Remember,
this is a private home, so don't disturb the residents.
(The house is just one
of the Victorian home seen in the TV series "Charmed.") *
• Toretto’s market
is nearby - it's located just a few hundred yards south of Toretto's
house in Echo Park.
In the film, Toretto's is owned by Vin
his sister; it's where they first meet Paul Walker when he’s
a tuna sandwich - and it's where a fight breaks out nearby between
In real life, Toretto's is actually "Bob's Market".
It's a simple mom & pop market located on the west side of a
triangle of streets, at the corner of Kensington Road
& Bellevue Ave, at 1234 Bellevue
"The Racer’s Edge",
the auto parts store with
the race car on the roof (where Paul Walker works in the
is located in Hollywood on Orange Drive, at the southeast
corner of of Santa Monica Blvd and Orange Drive,
of Melrose Ave. While the building's address actually faces Santa
Blvd., the filmmakers shot the west side of the building,
faces Orange Drive.
The race car is no longer on the roof, of
and the signs are down, so it's now a rather plain-looking
building. It is immediately north of a brick building (which is also
in the film) - the address of that brick building is 1046
N. Orange Drive.
• The Asian
scenes were shot in an area of Orange County known as "Little Saigon"
(because of the many Vietnamese immigrants there), in the city of Westminster,
The scenes set in a temple-like area with
marble statues were filmed at the Vietnamese Cultural Court,
located behind the 99 Ranch
at 9221 Bolsa Avenue, in
- across the street from the Asian Garden mall. (The homes seen behind
the statues in these photos were built there after the movie
• The large Asian
they drive under in Little Saigon is not in exactly the same
as the marble statues (although the movie would lead you to believe it
was) - it's a few blocks down the road to the east, at 9631 Bolsa Ave,
in Westminster, on the south side of the street. (Unfortunately, they
already begun to repaint the sign on the archway when I shot this
The movie starts out with a scene of Brian Spilner
testing out his green Eclipse race car in the empty
lot of Dodger Stadium,
located just northwest of downtown Los Angeles, at 1000 Elysian Park
• The first big
& street scene, where Paul Walker challenges Vin Diesel
to a race and loses his car, is staged as a party between two giant
This was actually shot at the L.A. Produce Market,
is at 761 Terminal Street in
or more generally, around 7th Street,
Terminal Street to Alameda Street. *
- But the race itself
loses his car) was held on Prairie
Avenue in the city of Hawthorne, a good 15 miles southwest
the Produce Market. The street runs north and south, past the western
of the Hawthorne Airport. They were racing north on Prairie, starting
Prairie and 120th Street, and finishing at Prairie and 118th Street
south of the 105 Freeway).They also filmed some of the pre & post
scenes south of 120th.
A shot by
shot breakdown of
the first "Fast & Furious" race scene:
- The first shot
of the starting
line is looking south down Prairie Avenue. The white building on
right side of the street, which in the movie has a sign reading "UAS
Tires & Wheels", actually is just that, located at 12087
That's on the west side of Prairie, just south of 120th. The cars at
are pointed north. As the crowds cheer, the cars move slowly north to the
on Prairie at 120th.
- However, as they
hit the gas, they
cut to a shot of the crowd cheering, and what appears to be an airplane
tailfin is seen behind them. That would be the airfield on the east
of Prairie, south of 120th. The cars are heading north up Prairie.
- After a close up
of the Paul's face,
the first identifiable shot is of a yellow square sign above what
to be a used car lot (with pennants strung on lines over the lot). That
sign is still there (as is the car lot), north of 120th (it is seen in
a telephoto shot, though, so the cars probably haven't reached it yet)
It appears to be "Repossess Auto Sales", at 11916 Prairie,
between 119th Street & 119th Place.
- After an aerial
shot, they're seen
zooming past this car lot, heading north on Prairie.
- There's an
in-car shot with Paul,
and they pass the car lot again (or the one just beyond it) in a blur.
- Right after
Edwin (Ja Rule) yells
something, there is a shot of Vin Diesel's red car with flames on the
coming at the camera. This shot was taken on Prairie, just north of
The French-looking awnings over windows on the building on the right
are on the Air-Sea Packing building, at 11965 Prairie,
is at the northwest corner of Prairie & 120th. (The large, tilted
pole also matches.) The camera is looking back south towards 120th, and
the cars are headed north (although they have magically moved backward
to just past the starting line). Part of the tallest sign on the other
(left) side of the street is missing now, but the windows on its
- The camera
swings around to follow
them, and you get a blurred glimpse of the Repossess Auto Sales sign
- Paul hits his
nitro button, and a
blurry shot reveals (what else), he's passing that Repossess Auto lot
on his right, so he's heading north again. (They must have shot this
scene over a zillion times from different angles and/or had countless
- As Paul
high-speed zooms past everyone
else, right after he looks at his speedometer, we catch sight of the
sign (on his right side), which is on the commercial building at 11953
Prairie, which is on the west side. At this point, interestingly
they are actually heading south on Prairie, passing W. 119th
- There's a blurry
travel shot that's
hard to see.
- As Vin Diesel
hits his nitro and roars
past Paul, we see a tattered sign reading "Special Discount Furniture"
on a squared-off corner building. It doesn't look like the kind of
that would have stayed around very long. And it didn't. The sign has
but the female silhouettes next to the doorway are still there . This
the southeast corner of Prairie and 118th. The camera is
looking east as the cars roar by heading north.
- The next shot is
a low one, as the
cars head north past (once again) the car lot and that building at
- Paul's green car
spins out and
comes to rest on Prairie between two rounded "quonset hut" type
buildings just north of 118th Street. The one on the right is now
"Sofa Warehouse", and is at 11846 Prairie, on the east
side of Prairie.
- The post-race
shot, shown immediately
after Paul spins out (and we see him inside the car, breathing hard) is
taken looking north from Prairie and 120th, with the cars
passing south through that intersection and coming to
a stop at the crosswalk
there, exactly where they began.
- The final
shot (as they hear
the cops are coming and scatter) is an aerial shot of the
of Prairie and 120th, looking west/northwest. (The
on the northwest corner had me fooled for a while, because it's changed
a lot. It used to be two buildings, one blue and one tan. But today
one big tan building called "Las Vegas Kitchen Cabinets & Doors",
at 12003 Prairie.)
- They then fake
to a shot
faraway on Union Ave in downtown Los Angeles, where Vin Deisel
the cops by pulling into an underground parking garage beneath the
at the northwest corner of W. 7th Street & S. Union Ave...
• When Vin Diesel's sister Mia (Jordana
out on a date with Paul Walker (in part, to spite Vince), they go to a restaurant called "Cha Cha Cha".
Cha Cha Cha is an actual L.A. restaurant
(and a quite
popular one), serving Caribbean food in a colorful atmosphere. It's
at 656 N. Virgil Avenue,
questionable neighborhood at the east end of Melrose Ave., in the Silver Lake area of L.A. *
• Another real restaurant (but about 45
from the Cha Cha Cha) is Neptune’s Net.
ocean view, outdoor beach cafe
where Vin Diesel and Paul Walker stop (after they have outraced the
rich guy in his Ferrari on PCH) and where Paul tries to get Diesel to
how he secretly makes the big bucks. Neptune’s Net
is located at 42505 Pacific Coast Highway
in a somewhat remote section of Malibu,
miles west of Point Dume.
The final race with a train takes
down by the Los Angeles harbor in San
or to be exact, across the Vincent Thomas Bridge on Terminal Island.
The moment of near-impact takes place on the railroad tracks at Terminal Way
& Earle Street (the tracks run parallel to
Street and cross Terminal Way).
The train is heading north on these tracks.
cars are heading east on Terminal Way, starting around Cannery Street
racing east past the railroad tracks at Earle Street. Paul
Walker and Vin Diesel wind up (after the truck accident) out of their
on the east end of Terminal Way, near Ferry Street, where you can see
large pipe which (in real life) transports coal and coke to
ships. (For a photo of these pipes, click
You can also catch a glimpse of the Vincent Thomas
Bridge in the background during the race. This towering
bridge links mainland San Pedro with Terminal Island; it has been seen
in other movies, including "Charlie's Angels" and "To Live
& Die in L.A." *
• After the Asian gang members attack Vin
house with machine guns (almost killing Jesse) and speed off on
Paul Walker chases them in his car, up and down the hilly streets,
gunfire. The very steep hill they
racing down is Micheltorena Street,
Blvd and Lucille Ave., in the Silver Lake/Echo Park area.
• The leader of the Asian gang, Rick
Yune, is shot from his bike and killed by Paul Walker
in a scene shot on Glendale Blvd.,
between Alvarado Street (on the north) & Park Ave (on the south),
north of the actual Echo Park. It's just a few blocks northwest of Vin
Diesel's home in the film. *
• The first (successful) truck
hijacking at the beginning of the movie takes place on the
border of Wilmington and Long Beach, a rough, deserted area
down by the docks. The boundaries of the shooting area are Henry
Ford Avenue, Alameda Street, Pacific Coast Highway
and the Terminal Island (103) Freeway.
(You can see the Texaco refinery in the background.) *
• The final truck
scene, a disastrous failure, has Vin Diesel and his cohorts
trying to hijack another truck but being surprised when when the truck
driver opens fire with a shotgun; Vince gets lashed to the truck’s side
and needs to be rescued. That truck scene was shot way out in the hills
of Hemet, California, a remote
of the world located about 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
• The huge desert "Race Wars"
rally was held out at the San Bernardino
International Airport (which the director says is mostly
by the fire department today. He also says it was 120 degrees that
It’s located at E. 3rd Street &
Del Rosa Drive, in San Bernardino,
about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.
• The spot where Paul
"arrested" by the police (the scene where it’s
first revealed that he’s really an undercover cop), is west of
just past the corner of 7th St. &
St., which is east of MacArthur Park and south of Wilshire
• Finally, the circular Hollywood house with
pool, where Paul's cop buddies have set up a temporary police HQ
(and which they mention is "the house Eddie Fisher built for Elizabeth
Taylor"), was at 1261 Angelo Drive,
"was", because Ryan Geftman-Gold emailed me to say that
the house no longer exists - in fact, he watched it being torn
around 2001, after he and the Modern Committee of the
had tried to save the home.
an asterisk may be located in high crime areas, so exercise