Speed: Filming Locations - part 5


Actual Southern California locations where 1994's
"Speed" was filmed.

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 airport.

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 just
harmlessly circle around the airport indefinitely (at 50 MPH) without worrying about
running into obstacles or traffic jams.

They indeed shot these circling scenes at LAX, mostly n the southwest side
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
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 the bomb.

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.

The 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 area.

[ 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 house
(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, taking the
people off the bus via a gangplank between the bus and a police truck driving alongside.

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 corner
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 & Sandra
have escaped from the bus (after jamming the gas pedal), and the empty bus continues
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 Building.

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 building).

The hanger the bus drives through is just west of that blue AA maintenance building.
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 of fire.

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 Airport.

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 chain.

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 Airport Blvd.,
in the desert city of Mojave, CA. The official address is 1434 Flight Line Mojave, CA.

Compare the white control tower (visible in the photo below) to
this shot of the Mojave tower at http://www.briandunning.com

( The Speed location is confirmed by the airport's website: http://www.mojaveairport.com )

*  Locations marked by an asterisk (*) may be located in high-crime areas.
Exercise reasonable caution.

More Speed locations!


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Most of photos on this page are stills from the DVD of "Speed"
(which you can buy by clicking here) and are copyright 20th Century Fox.

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