Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were Shot (on Location)
last Hollywood film "TOUCH OF EVIL"
(1958) was supposed to be set in a Mexican border town. But when you see
star Charlton Heston running across
the bridge, he's really crossing one of the canals of Venice,
California. Orson Welles also drowns
in one of the canals at the end of the movie.
The 1957 film"SAYONARA"
(starring Marlon Brando) was shot at
the famous Yamashiro Sky Room
restaurant, which resembles an oriental palace. It is located in the hills
right above Grauman's Chinese Theatre (at 1999 N. Sycamore Avenue)
Do you remember "THEM!,"
a 1954 science fiction/horror epic about giant ants threatening to take
over the world? Well, the scenes of the final battle were actually shot
just east of downtown L.A., at the viaduct which spans the Los Angeles
River at Sixth Street. *
The Los Angeles City Hall
(200 N. Spring Street) in downtown Los Angeles was destroyed by hostile
flying saucers, who blew it away in the originalmovie version of1953's"WAR OF THE WORLDS"
starring Gene Barry.
Speaking of "WAR OF
THE WORLDS," remember the final scene, where the desperate
people of Los Angeles gathered to pray inside a large church, while just
outside the Martian ships blasted their way through the streets of L.A.?
Well, those scenes were shot inside an actual church, St.
Brendans Catholic Church (310 S. Van Ness Avenue), located near
the Hancock Park district, at the southwest corner of Van Ness and
3rd Street (just about two and a half miles east of Farmers Market).
United Methodist Church(at 6817 Franklin Avenue, just above
Hollywood Boulevard), is often misidentified as the "WAR OF THE
WORLDS" church. In fact, this large church is often used for Hollywood
auditions, and it served as the location of several hit movies, including
"BACK TO THE FUTURE,"
"SISTER ACT" and "THAT THING YOU DO."
Griffith Park Observatory
is situated atop a hill in Griffith Park (2800 Observatory Road),
with a great view of the city below. It was here that a naked Arnold
Schwarzenegger stood and looked out over the city in the original
(1984). And almost 30 years earlier, James Dean
shot the knife fight scene of the classic 1955 film "REBEL WITHOUT
A CAUSE" in
the observatory's parking lot. (In recognition, there's a large bust
of James Dean on the west side of the Observatory.) The park itself has
been used as a backdrop for hundreds of films, including "JURASSIC
PARK" and 1991's "THE ROCKETEER."
And speaking of "REBEL
WITHOUT A CAUSE," the rebellious teenagers from that 1955
film attended "Dawson High," which was supposed to be located
at "University & 10th." In fact, the campus was reallySanta Monica High School,
located at Pico Boulevard & 4th Street in Santa Monica.
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