Part Four

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  • The final big battle was mostly shot on the streets of downtown L.A. (mixed in with Universal Studio street shots), centered around Broadway between 6th & 9th Street.

    During the lengthy battle, we can see quite a few L.A. landmarks & businesses in the background, including:

  • The Broadway Bar: at 830 S. Broadway. (In the shot above, the camera is looking north up Broadway, midway between 8th & 9th Streets.)

   

  • The Orpheum Theatre and the Rialto Theatre. Both old theatres are part of the Broadway theatre district in downtown L.A. The Orpheum is located at 842 S. Broadway (adjacent to the Broadway Bar), while the Rialto is located at 812 S. Broadway. (In the shot above, the camera is looking south down Broadway, north of 9th Street.)

   

  • The Tower Theatre: In the photo above, a Transformer stands atop the tower of the Tower theatre, at 802 S. Broadway - the southeast corner of Broadway and 8th Street. (The camera is looking east/northeast, up from Broadway.)

   

  • The Spanish Gothic tower atop the old United Artists Theatre building: at 933 S. Broadway. One of the Decepticons (Blackout) lands on top of the United Artists tower during the battle, sporting helicopter-like blades. In the shot above, the camera is looking south/southwest down Broadway, between 9th Street & Olympic Blvd - from near the Eastern Columbia building. (The old United Artists building now houses a church founded by the late Dr. Gene Scott.)

   





  • In the big finale, Sam takes the Allspark cube and climbs to the roof of a building (topped by statues), pursued by Megatron. Sam ends up clinging to a statue on the roof (before Megatron smashes it).

    Tracking down this location was a bit tricky, since they used a different building front as an establishing shot. But the actual roof used in the rooftop scenes was that of the old May Company flagship department store, at 801 S. Broadway, in downtown L.A.  That's on the west side of Broadway. The building is bordered by Hill Street on the west, 8th Street on the north and Broadway on the east. (In the photo above, the camera is looking north/northeast.)

    In the photo above, the camera is looking northeast.

    The statues lining the roof aren't really part of the building, of course. They were additions... props for the movie.

    In the photo below, the camera is looking east.

    The building was originally built back in 1907 as "Hamburger's Department Store", which boasted that it was the largest department store west of Chicago. In the 1920's, they sold out to May Co. That is where Jack Benny met his wife Mary, when she was working in the store's lingerie department (the meeting was a running gag on Jack's show). Sadly, the classic building now houses a motley group of garment vendors/manufacturers called the Broadway Trade Center. The modern addresses (for the bottom floor) are 801 to 829 S. Broadway, and (on the west side) 300 to 332 W. 8th Street.

       

    Part of the exterior that same Broadway Trade Center building can be seen on the right side of the photo below. (On the left side is 834 Broadway, the same building that houses the Orpheum Theatre.)  The camera is looking south down Broadway, from just south of 8th Street.




Note that they used another building's exterior for the establishing shot of these rooftop scenes.

Although the actual roof was in Los Angeles, the Beaux-Arts building which we see Sam enter (before he climbs to the roof) - with its empty, church-like interior - was really located in Detroit.

That building was the old Detroit train station (Michigan Central Station), located south of Michigan Avenue, about six blocks southwest of the old Tiger Stadium. Built in 1913, the once beautiful building is now abandoned, and has been vandalized over the years.

(After showing Sam enter this Detroit station, they then cut to the rooftop shots that were filmed atop the old May Company building in Los Angeles.)  



  • During the rooftop chase, an army helicopter pulls up alongside the roof of the building and tries to rescue Sam, but Megatron, standing atop a tower in the distance, fires a missile that brings down the copter.

    That 13-story high tower is actually the Eastern Columbia Building, located at 849 S. Broadway (at Broadway & 9th Street), in downtown. It's situated just south of the May Company rooftop. In the photo above, we are looking south/southeast from the southwest corner of the Broadway rooftop. (On the left, you can also see part of the neon sign for the Orpheum theatre.)

       



  • In one battle scene, a soldier slides between the legs of a giant Decepticon, firing up as he goes, to bring the robot down. This shot (seen below) was filmed on 6th Street (in downtown L.A.), looking east towards Spring Street. The marquee on the right (north) is The Hotel Hayward: at 601 S. Spring Street. Once a beautiful hotel, now rather dilapidated, Hayward Manor is just around the corner from (east of) Broadway, at the southwest corner of 6th & Spring.


  • It's here, on 6th Street, in front of The Hotel Hayward (just west of the intersection of Spring & 6th Street) that Megatron & Optimus Prime battle to the death.

    In the photo above, the camera is looking west down 6th Street, from just east of Spring Street. The brick building on the left is the Hayward, while the white building across the street is the old Los Angeles Trust & Savings bank building (at 215 W. 6th Street). The white building closest to the camera (on the right) is now the S.B. Lofts (new condos at 548 S. Spring Street).

   

  • That same Los Angeles Trust & Savings bank building can be seen behind Megatron in the photo above, and in the final victorious shot below. That's 215 W. 6th Street, at the northwest corner of 6th & Spring.

    That bank building has recently been converted into
    Mercury Liquors, a sophisticated bar/speakeasy, incorporating the old bank vault doors into the decor.





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