Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were Shot (on Location)
1993 (Part 1)
Remember the scene from 1993's "THE BODYGUARD,"
where Whitney Houston appeared
on stage at a crowded dance club and almost caused a riot, before Kevin Costner
carried her off to safety? That scene was shot at the Mayan Theatre,
a nightclub located at 1038 Hill Street, in downtown Los Angeles (right
across the street from the TransAmerica tower).
Also in "THE BODYGUARD"
: the romantic scene in which Kevin Costner
and Whitney Houston danced
in a working-class bar was filmed inside an actual Long Beach tavern called
"Joe Jost's". It was
also seen in the 2004 comedy, "WIN A DATE
WITH TAD HAMILTON" (where it was called "The Little
Dickens"). The 75 -year-old bar is located at 2803 E. Anaheim Street,
Long Beach. (It even has its own website, at www.joejosts.com)
the exciting climax to 1993's "IN THE LINE OF FIRE,"
Secret Service agent Clint Eastwood
tries to stop an assassin (played by John Malkovich)
from killing the President at a Los Angeles hotel; Clint ends up trapped
with the assassin in a glass elevator going up the side of the futuristic
hotel. Those scenes were shot at the Bonaventure Hotel
(404 S. Figueroa Street) in downtown L.A.
The hotel has appeared in a number of other movies,
including 1995's "NICK OF TIME,"
1983's "BLUE THUNDER"
and 1988's "RAINMAN," to
name but a few, as well as the TV series "It's a Living."
1993's "RISING SUN," while
investigating a murder case, Sean Connery
and Wesley Snipes visit the headquarters
of Hamaguri, a futuristic, hi-tech research lab, which they believe may
have altered an incriminating video disk. These scenes were actually shot
in the San Fernando Valley, at The Japanese Garden
in Van Nuys, CA. The "lab" and garden are actually
part of the Donald Tillman water reclamation
plant (at 6100 Woodley Avenue).
The glass office building at the garden served as the exterior of the biodome
in the 1996 comedy "BIO-DOME"
(starring Pauly Shore), and several
episodes of "STAR TREK"
were also shot here
Tours of the garden are available to the public.
Remember the fight scene in the restaurant between
Ike and Tina Turner in the 1993 movie "WHAT'S LOVE
GOT TO DO WITH IT?." Well, that scene was shot at a modest
little diner in the city of Downey, called Johnie's Broiler,
which has been featured in a surprising number of recent movies.
In Robert Altman's 1994 film, "SHORTCUTS," Lily Tomlin played
a waitress who worked at the same Johnie's Broiler.
This Downey café was also the scene of the 1995 Diane
Keaton film, "UNSTRUNG HEROES,"
starring Michael ("Kramer") Richards
& Andie MacDowell, as well as for
1994's "REALITY BITES" (starring
Winona Ryder & Ethan
Hawke). In 1999, the diner posed as a bus station for an episode
of TV's "The X-Files." In 2000, it appeared as itself
in the romance "BOUNCE" (with
Gwyneth Paltrow & Ben
Johnie's Broiler was located at 7447
Firestone Blvd, in Downey.
However, the restaurant closed, and re-opened as
a used car lot! Despite that, the city of Downey refused to issue
a permit allowing the demolition of the historic diner. But in January
of 2007, the new owners tore most of it down anyway, amid cries of foul
play from outraged preservationists.
But there's good news. In 2009, the property was
acquired by Bob's Big Boy, who rebuilt the diner, using the diner's original
1958 plans and some of the materials salvaged from Johnie's, so the
new Bob's Big Boy closely resembles the original Googie-style restaurant.
It even has its own website, at bobsbigboybroiler.com.
And they are once again using it as a filming location, for productions
such as "Mad Men".