Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were Shot (on Location)


In the hit 2002 film "SPIDER-MAN," a key scene takes place in New York's Times Square - or so it seems.

In the scene, news photographer Peter Parker (Tobey McGuire) is covering a "World Unity Festival" in Times Square, and Macy Gray is performing, when the crowd is attacked by the villainous Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), who has also endangered Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). Spidy springs into action, and a battle between the wallcrawler and the Green Goblin ensues.

Some of the broader shots were taken in the actual Times Square, but most of the "World Unity Festival" scenes were actually shot on a huge replica of Times Square, an open-air set constructed right here in the L.A. area.

The location was the old Rockwell/Boeing/NASA Defense plant, at Bellflower & Imperial Highway, in Downey, CA, a 160-acre property with a long history. It was here, in real life, where the Apollo command & service module was built (for the mission to the moon), and where the Space Shuttle components were constructed. The now-empty parcel is bordered by Bellflower Blvd on the east, Lakewood Blvd on the west, Imperial Highway on the south and Stewart & Gray Road on the north. The city of Downey is located to the east of Los Angeles, and about four miles north of the city of Lakewood.

(Unfortunately, a member of the crew was killed in a tragic accident on this set (on March 6, 2001) when when a crane carrying metal framework toppled and he was hit by the falling debris, during the shoot in Downey.)

Some of the scenes in the 2002 movie "Clockstoppers" were also shot on the same Boeing property.

Also in "Spider-Man", Peter Parker and his friends attend Midtown High School, supposedly in Queens, New York. But much of the filming was actually done at a high school in South Central Los Angeles. It was Dorsey High School, located at 3757 Farmdale Avenue. *

Although the exteriors of the real Columbia University in New York were used for the field trip scene, the interior shots (where Peter shoot photos of Mary Jane and is bitten by the spider) were actually filmed in the eastern rotunda of the Museum of Natural History at 900 Exposition Blvd., in Exposition Park. They used a giant microscope to cover the statues which are normally in the center of the rotunda. *

Other scenes in "Spider-Man" (which appear to be New York City) were shot in downtown Los Angeles, mainly on 5th Street, 4th Street, Spring Street, Mateo Street and Grand Avenue. (During the Grand Avenue shoot, extras on the sidewalks were asked to look up, as if they were watching Spidy swining by overhead.) Click here to see a map of downtown with the streets where the filming took place highlighted in purple.*

ln the 2002 thriller "Enough", Jennifer Lopez and Juliette Lewis
worked in a restaurant called "The Red Car Diner".

Those scenes were filmed at an 50's actual diner, right down to the juke box
machines at each booth - but it's real name is "Edie's Diner" located next to
the water at 4211 Admiralty Way, in Marina Del Rey, CA.

( The diner was also seen in a 2007 episode of the TV series "Dexter",
and in the
2003 drama "Matchstick Men", starring Nicolas Cage. )

. Update: in 2012, the location became the home of a new restaurant called
Killer Shrimp, a popular spot in the Marina which, as of 2020, is still around.

1920's - 1930's - 1940's - 1950's - 1960's - 1970's - 1980's - 1990 - 1991 - 1992 - 1993 - 1994 - 1995 - 1996
1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007- 2008

2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013


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

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