Inception - Filming Locations (part 1)

Part 1

 The Southern California locations where
"Inception" was filmed.

At the start of the film, Leo washes up on a rocky shore, and is brought into a Japanese palace.

That Japanese Palace was a set built on the beach at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park,
5970 Palos Verdes Drive South, in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

That's about midway between of the old Marineland site (and Point Vicente Lighthouse) and the
Trump National Golf Course, at the foot of the rolling hills between Redondo Beach and San Pedro

(The rocky beach itself was probably Leo Carillo, where they filmed the later beach scenes.)

Here's a Google StreetView of Abalone Cove.)


Early on, as Leo and his crew are plotting out their Inception scheme, they visit a street corner and
discuss the steps/levels to the con, with one guy listing the ideas they hope to plant in the victim's mind:
"I will not follow in my father's footsteps", "I will create something for myself", and
"My father doesn't want me to be him."


This is actually the corner of Wilshire Blvd and Hope Street, in downtown Los Angeles.
The camera looking at the southeast corner. The striped building with the "
Famima !!" sign,
seen behind them, is at
727 Wilshire Blvd. (It's a convenience store.)

(Here is a Google StreetView panorama of the same corner.)


Several scenes are shot inside the modern hotel lobby you see below, including where they plan
and initiate the subconscious sting against Fischer.  Leo meets the mark in the lobby bar,
and convinces him that he's dreaming, but to trust him as his dream security.

Given that circular concierge desk, at first I assumed it was actually a hotel.

But this isn't a hotel at all.  It's the lobby of the new CAA building (AKA "the Death Star"),
the headquarters of Hollywood's most powerful agency: Creative Artists Agency;
located at 2000 Avenue of the Stars, in Century City (Los Angeles).

(They've filmed here a lot lately.  It was the Daily Sentinel in "The Green Hornet".)

Here is a Google StreetView panorama of the building.  Take a close look
and you can see the striped floor inside, and part of that circular desk.

[ Thanks to Tony Hoffarth for letting me know about this location. ]


In a dream sequence, Leo and Ellen Page emerge from an elevator to find themselves on
rocky beach, where Leo sees his children playing in the sand.

This scene was shot on Leo Carrillo State Beach,
32100 Pacific Coast Highway, in Malibu, CA.

(That's a good 60 miles northwest of that original beach in Palos Verdes.)

Here is a Google StreetView panorama of nearby rocks at Leo Carillo.


One of Leo's crew waits for him in the rain, on a city street.  (It's part of a dream)

This buildings seen are on the 600 block of Wilshire Blvd - between Grand & Hope.

He is standing in the crosswalk at the northeast corner of Wilshire & Hope,
( right across the street from that "
Famima !!"store we saw before ), with
camera looking east down Wilshire (away from Hope, towards Grand).

Here's a matching  Google StreetView) for the screenshot above.


Here's a matching Google StreetView for the screenshot below.

The waiting man is picked up by car (driven by Leo, and with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in it).
Leo rear-ends a taxicab. The taxi driver gets out to argue, but Leo pulls a gun
on him and tells him to walk away, then steals the taxi.

In the shot below (with the taxi), they
driving east on Wilshire, between Grand & Hope,
just a few yards east of the street corner where the man was waiting.

Here's a matching Google StreetView of the screencap below.

After stealing the
taxicab, Leo stops and picks up his unsuspecting victim, at a street corner.
One inside, they draw guns, and the taxi pickup turns into a

Don't look now, but we're back where we started, at the same intersection of Wilshire Blvd & Hope St.,
in downtown L.A. That's the same intersection where they picked up the waiting man in the rain,
and the same intersection where we saw that "
Famima !!" store earlier.

They just keep switching corners, but remain at that same intersection.

"Famima !!" was on the southeast corner, the waiting man was on the northeast corner, and this
taxi kidnapping scene was shot on the northwest corner of Wilshire & Hope, at 707 Wilshire Blvd.


Here is a Google StreetView of the screencap above.

Next, Leo stops and picks up Ellen Page in the rain, just before the train appears.

That doorway you see behind her is a mini-mart at the southeast corner of S. Spring & W. 7th Street,
one of several storefronts on the bottom floor of the building at
704 S. Spring Street.

Here's a matching Google StreetView - of the screenshot above.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a train appears and roars down the middle of the street, smashing cars out of its way.
(Naturally, this is part of a dream sequence.)

This scene was shot on S. Spring Street, in downtown Los Angeles. The train is heading north up Spring
as it first barrels through the
intersection of Spring and 7th Street.

(This wasn't CGI. They actually built a locomotive, put it on wheels, and drove it down 7th Street.)

In the shot above, the camera is looking southwest from the northeast corner of Spring & 7th.
Here's a matching Google StreetView of the screenshot above.


In the shot below, those awnings are on the west side of Spring Street, just north of Spring.
Here's a matching Google StreetView of the screenshot below.

More Inception locations!


The photos on this page are stills from "Inception"
(which you can buy by clicking here) and are copyright Warner Bros.

The rest of the page is Copyright  1999-2024-Gary Wayne /