Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were Shot (on Location)
1998 remake of "MIGHTY JOE YOUNG"
features a climatic scene where the giant gorilla rescues a young boy from
a burning ferris wheel, at a fictitious "Palisades Ocean Park."
This park is supposed to be near the Santa Monica Pier, but since the producers
burned the carnival
to the ground in this scene, they simply built a new "park" near
the ocean. It was actually located along the south side of Shoreline Drive
(at the southern end of the 710 Freeway),
between the Aquarium of the Pacific and Shoreline
Village in Long Beach.
(Click the photo
above to see a QuickTime trailer of the movie.)
1998's"PRIMARY COLORS"(starring John Travolta and Billy
Bob Thorton) was shot at various locations throughout the South
Bay, including the colonial Banning Mansion,
located in Banning Park, at at 401 E. "M" Street) in Wilmington,
CA. When producers go out looking for a Civil War-period southern mansion,
they often turn to the Banning Mansion This
stately home was built in 1864 (the year before Lincoln was shot), and
has been used as a backdrop for numerous films and TV shows. In the 1992
movie "RUBY," for instance,
Jack Ruby receives a phone call telling him to go to Cuba; the man making
the call is speaking from within the Banning Mansion.
The campaign scenes for "PRIMARY COLORS"
were shot on the streets of nearby San Pedro. In order to make sunny
San Pedro look like the East Coast, the producers brought in fake snow
and plastered campaign posters in the windows of vacant buildings along
the 600 block of Pacific Avenue. Later, for a scene where John
Travolta campaigns in the rain, they set up sprinklers on an
overhead boom to simulate the downpour. The scenes in the beauty shop were
actually shot at auto service garages at 1509 & 1525 Pacific Ave. And
the "Stanton For President" campaign headquarters was actually
the British European Auto showroom at 1525 W. Pacific Ave., in San
Pedro. (A large cardboard cutout of Travolta - as Stanton - still stands
in the auto dealer's showroom.)
key scene from "LETHAL WEAPON 4"(1998, with Mel Gibson and Danny
Glover) was shot in downtown Long Beach,
at the corner of First Street & Elm Avenue.
It involved a terrorist brandishing a flame-thrower, who causes a gas tanker
truck and a filling station to explode in a spectacular fireball.
producers built a fake Unocal gas station at the northeast corner of First
& Elm then blew it up, sending the tanker truck crashing into the middle
of First Street. The earlier scenes of the madman scorching trees, cars
and awnings were shot along First Street.
(* This location is only a couple
of blocks away from the circular tower
used in the suicide jump scene that opened the original "Lethal
Speaking of "Lethal Weapon
4, " many of its scenes were filmed in L.A.'s Chinatown,
located just north of downtown Los Angeles, on North Broadway. You
may remember Mel Gibson dangling from some of Chinatown Plaza's ornate
facades, as well as a number of chase scenes through its narrow streets.
(The final scenes of the movie "Chinatown"
were also filmed here.)
The 1998 comedy "THE BIG LEBOWSKI,"
starring Jeff Bridges and John
Goodman, features several scenes set in bowling alleys. Those
bowling scenes were shot at Hollywood Star
Lanes, 5227 Santa Monica Blvd., in West Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, Hollywood Star Lanes closed and was
torn down in 2002. It will replaced by an elementary school. However, some
of the vintage neon signs and retro decor from that Hollywood landmark
have found a new home at Lucky Strikes,
a brand new bowling alley which opened recently at the new Hollywood & Highland
center. The new alley's wooden bar top is actually made from the original
lane 16 at Star Lanes. [Buy
Click the poster below
to see locations from "The Wedding Singer":
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