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



1987




( Part 3 )

[ Click here for an interactive map of all the filming locations. ]




  • Mel & Danny are tortured by the bad guys in the back room of a nightclub/bar. They finally manage to escape, and as they shoot up the bar, 'Mr. Joshua' (Gary Busey) runs out of the club, onto Hollywood Blvd.
  • The interior of the nightclub may (or may not) have been just a studio set, but when they emerge from the nightclub, they actually come out of the front door of what was (back in 1987) the Pussycat Theatre, a porn theatre that was located at 6656 Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood - just west of Cherokee Ave. (In the photo below, you can see the theatre's concession counter on the right side as they run out.)

    The Pussycat theatre in Hollywood ran a single movie, "Deep Throat" for almost ten years, and closed in the early 90's. Before the Pussycat moved in, it was originally built in 1939, and has been known as the New View Theatre, The Newsreel theatre and The Ritz theatre. (The basement at one time was a punk rock club known as The Masque.) In recent years, it has been home to a Mexican church. The theatre's marquee now shelters a popular hot dog stand called Skooby's.




    This stretch of Hollywood Boulevard, just west of Cherokee Ave., is the scene of much of the ensuing street battle.
    Since the movie takes place at Christmas time, the boulevard was strung with Christmas lights, even though it was actually long before Christmas.

    Some of the action seen on the boulevard includes:

    • Busey runs out into the middle of Hollywood Blvd and hijacks a car from a woman (who was heading west); this again, is just west of Cherokee Ave.

      Across the street, on the north side of the boulevard, you can see the marquee of the Vogue theatre (located at 6675 Hollywood Blvd, and the adjacent Musso & Frank Grill (the oldest restaurant in Hollywood) located at 6667 Hollywood Blvd.

      (The Vogue theatre is now closed and is reportedly haunted, but its marquee can still be seen. The Musso & Frank Grill is still going strong.)


    • Mel & Danny chase him out onto the boulevard. You can see the stars on the sidewalk at their feet, part of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Two of the stars the include Raymond Burr ("Perry Mason") and singer Ertha Kitt.)


    • When Busey opens fires on them (from his hijacked car), we see Mel & Danny Glover drop to the street and takes shelter behind a parked car, right under the bright marquee of the Pussycat theatre (which was showing a double feature of "Debbie Does Em All" and "Star Angel").

    • Mel runs out to the middle of Hollywood Blvd and fires at Busey's car as it drives away west down the boulevard.

      The photo below shows the view of Hollywood Blvd behind Busey, looking back
      east as he flees. You can see the marquee of The Vogue theatre as well as the Musso & Frank sign on the left (north), as well as the oval Pussycat sign & marquee on the right.(south).



    • Busey's car speeds west up Hollywood Blvd, then makes a screeching right turn, north up Las Palmas Ave.

    • Danny yells to Mel that Busey is heading for the freeway, and urges him to take a shortcut by using "the 3rd Street Bridge". ( Which is odd, since there is no 3rd Street Bridge" in the area. ) Gun in hand, Mel takes off running on foot east down Hollywood Blvd.

    • When the bad guys try to run down Danny, he fires into the car and kills the driver, but the second guy in the car steers the out-of-control car out onto the street where it is hit head-on by a bus. The car is flipped upside down, and eventually explodes.

      In that scene, the car comes from the south, heading north out out of Cherokee Avenue onto Hollywood Blvd., where it turns left (west) on the boulevard, and is hit by the bus right between the Vogue Theatre and Musso & Frank. The upside down car is knocked a few yards east by the bus impact, to the intersection of Hollywood & Cherokee, where it explodes. Mel comes running east down the crowded sidewalk on the south side of Hollywood Blvd and meets Danny at the bus accident scene.



    • After the Boulevard battle, Mel & Danny get back in the car (headed to Danny’s house) and head west on Hollywood Blvd, turning right (north) on Orchid Ave.

      This is ironic, because
      Orchid Avenue no longer exists (at least not the south end that once intersected with Hollywood Blvd). The new, giant Hollywood & Highland center was built on top of Orchid Avenue, so Mel & Danny are driving where the Kodak Theatre (home of the Oscar Awards show) is today.


  • Click here  for a map showing some of these key locations on the Boulevard.




  • In the middle of this Hollywood Boulevard battle, the producers take an odd geographical detour, as the location suddenly leaps four miles to the southeast.

    When Gary Busey drives away from Hollywood Boulevard, Mel chases after him on foot, trying to stop him before he reaches the freeway. Now, the last time we saw Busey, he was turning north up Las Palmas. In real life, he would just have to take Franklin Avenue and Cuhuenga Blvd less than a mile to the onramp of the Hollywood Freeway. Or, he could have just headed straight east on Hollywood Blvd for just over a mile, to another entrance to the same freeway, . Either way, it would be impossible for Mel, running on foot, to overtake him.

    But in this movie, the action shifts to an area just south of the Hollywood Freeway, but
    four miles southeast of Hollywood Blvd
    , at the intersection of Temple Street and Silver Lake Blvd (near Echo Park).

    Here's how the action plays out in this Mel/Busey chase scene:

    • We see Busey make a screeching left turn. When he does that, he's actually heading south on Hoover Street as he turns left (southeast) onto Temple Street. (Moments later, we see Mel follow the same route on foot.)

    • Busey continues to drive southeast on Temple Street as it crosses over Silver Lake Blvd (which, at this point, is sunken, below Temple). As soon as he passes Silver Lake Blvd, he turns right (southwest), this time onto an offramp - going the wrong way.

      ( We're supposed to believe that he turned onto a freeway offramp, but actually, it's an unusual
      street offramp leading up (northeast) from (the sunken) Silver Lake Blvd to Temple Street above. Busey drives the wrong way, southwest, down the ramp, but doesn't get very far... )

    • At this point, Mel shows up (on foot), runs across the street to an overpass, spots Busey's car below, and opens fire on him. The car is hit, crashes down the dirt slope of the onramp and bursts into flames.

      In this scene, Mel stands on top of the Temple Street overpass (at the west end of that bridge) and fires down (south) on Busey, who is heading down the Silver Lake to Temple onramp. Busey's car skids down the slope, bursts into flames, and smashes into a bus bench below on Silver Lake Blvd, but he keeps going.

    • Busey then drives (in flames) northeast on Silver Lake Blvd back under the Temple Street overpass and out the other side, and continues on Silver Lake Blvd (about 150 yards) where he smashes into a telephone pole, then abandons the car.

    • Wanting to get down to Silver Lake Blvd himself, Mel runs back (northeast) across Temple Street and to the other side of Temple, and jumps down onto Silver Lake, where he confronts Busey.

    • There is a running gun fight between the two on Silver Lake Blvd. But Busey hijacks another car and escapes, heading northeast on Silver Lake.

      (In the photo above, you are looking northeast up Silver Lake just before it passes under the Hollywood Freeway. You can see the actual overpass to the Hollywood Freeway behind Busey, as well as a sign on Silver Lake pointing out an onramp.)

    • The action then cuts back to Hollywood Blvd (four miles away), where Danny is shooting the bad guy's car and sending it into the bus. Mel miraculously shows up (still on foot), and they are off to their final battle.

    Click here  for a map showing some of this scene's key locations. *





  • The final battle is a bruising, one-on-one fist fight to the death between Mel Gibson and Gary Busey. It takes place on the lawn of Danny's family home, which takes us back around to that fake house at the Warner Ranch in Burbank.





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



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