Quentin Tarantino’s "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" turns the clock back 50 years, interspersing real people, movies, TV shows, places, and events with fictional ones, to tell an entertainment industry fairytale about aging actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), the rising starlet next door Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), and cult leader Charles Manson (Damon Herriman).
With false facades, meticulously made set dressings, detailed costumes, and rebuilt locations lost to time, the director and his team successfully recreated LA in 1969, a year and place personally important to him. “Alfonso [Cuarón] had Mexico City, 1970. I had L.A. 1969,” he told Esquire. “This is me. This is the year that formed me. I was 6. This is my world. I think of it [as] my memory piece.”
He also smartly took advantage of landmark locations and businesses that still exist. Whether you’re interested in true crime tales, Hollywood history, or architecture, or simply loved the movie, this list can guide you from silver screen scenes to 15 real-life sites.
Producer Marvin Schwarzs (Al Pacino) tells it to Rick straight — his career is circling the drain — during a meeting at this 100-year-old Hollywood power den while Cliff slurps cocktails at the bar. From 1935 to 1954, they served stirred, never shaken martinis (and sidecars) in the exclusive Back Room. When the lease expired, they relocated the bar, light fixtures, and furniture to the New Room, where they are still used today. The menu hasn’t changed much since 1969 either. The restaurant was also seen in "Mad Men," "Ocean's Eleven," and "La La Land."
The quaint French Normandy-style chateau at the end of a cul-de-sac was razed in 1994, unable to escape the attention stemming from the gruesome atrocities committed there by Manson acolytes on August 9, 1969. The owner even changed the address of the murder house from 10050 Cielo Drive to 10066. However Benedict Canyon and the street obviously still exist and anyone can drive the winding roads and take dicey turns just like Cliff, Sharon, and Roman do. The area is also one of the stops on Dearly Departed’s Helter Skelter tour. Side note: The home, built in 1941, had a long history of famous renters including Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon, Candice Bergen (who lived there with her music producer boyfriend Terry Melcher who Manson comes looking for in the film), and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor (who recorded "The Downward Spiral" album there in 1992).
According to the website Curbed, the production used two Studio City homes as stand-ins for Tate’s rental and Rick Dalton’s mid-century home, 10974 and 10969 Alta View Drive respectively.
Established in 1931, Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski went to this still-open Mexican mainstay at 8 p.m. on August 8, 1969. Tarantino shot in the exact booth where the quartet ate what ended up being their last meal.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Hollywood Hills, Rick and Cliff also go for Mexican food at the San Fernando Valley institution Casa Vega. Its red leather booths are still run by the family that opened it in 1956.
Tate heads to the home of UCLA via the Wilshire Corridor to purchase a rare book for her husband. She walks past the Fox Westwood Village Theater (currently the Regency Village), which still sports the original neon marquee and tall white tower. She eventually pops across the street to the Village Theater (now the Regency Bruin) for an impromptu viewing of "The Wrecking Crew," her 1969 spy comedy with Dean Martin. As she chats with the woman in the ticket booth, the Corner Shoppe bakery comes into view behind her. The name evolved into Stan’s Donuts (after Corner’s founder) but the family’s still pumping out pastries on the corner of Weyburn and Broxton. Sadly the Hamburger Hamlet, also visible in that scene, closed many moons ago.
Cliff drives past the iconic Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard, which is playing the Maximilian Schell disaster movie "Krakatoa, East of Java." The round movie theater, beloved by Tarantino, is now part of the ArcLight Hollywood complex and was where you could catch the 70mm print of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."
Other retro movie theaters make appearances like the Chinese Theatre (although it was recreated in downtown because it hasn’t been flanked by the era-appropriate parking lot since the construction of the Hollywood & Highland complex), The Egyptian, and the Vine (despite now being a for-hire screening room, the old signage remains). The adult movie palace, The Pussycat, was recreated for Hollywood driving montages.
Tate and Roman Polanski attend a party with Steve McQueen, Mama Cass, and a bunch of bunnies at the Holmby Hills party pad owned by the late Hugh Hefner. While you can’t tour the property or its notorious pool grotto, you can drive by for a quick peep at 10236 Charing Cross Road. It was sold in 2016 to the heir of the Hostess fortune who signed a permanent protection covenant.
In "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," Cliff picks up hitchhiker Pussycat (Margaret Qualley) in front of a still-operating greasy spoon in Burbank famous for its U-shaped counter.
This 55-acre ranch in Chatsworth was often used to shoot movies and TV shows like "The Outlaw" and "Bonanza." After Westerns became passé, owner George Spahn, who was elderly and going blind, allowed the Manson Family to take up residence in exchange for taking tourists on horseback rides and working the rural property. Cliff ferries Pussycat back to the ranch and encounters real-life members of the Manson Family: Squeaky Fromme, Tex Watson, Gypsy, and Clem. Unfortunately, a 1970 wildfire burned the ranch’s sets. A portion of the ranch is part of Santa Susana Pass Historic Park, which offers great hiking. Tarantino had Spahn rebuilt in Corriganville Park in Simi Valley, which had also been a movie ranch and burned down in the 1970s. It features same rugged landscape with big boulders as Spahn did. Not long after Tarantino filmed there, the park was caught in the 2018 Woolsey Fire.
Celebrities, they’re just like us. They too have to fly in and out of Los Angeles International Airport. The film shows Tate and Polanski return from Europe and walk out to baggage claim via the rainbow mosaic tiled tunnel in terminal six. To increase your chances of walking in their footsteps, fly Alaska or Air Canada.
While you can’t groove like Tate or hop over to Italy to film a spaghetti Western like Rick on a vintage Boeing 747, you can get the first class treatment at the Pan Am Experience, an immersive dinner that includes cocktails and a meal aboard with uniformed flight attendants and branded dishware. The pricey experience is held at Air Hollywood – sound stages in Pacoima that house a collection of planes, airline paraphernalia, and recreations of airport gates and security stations that productions, including "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," almost always use when scripts are set in the friendly skies or at airports. After a shrimp cocktail, take the tour of sets used in "Lost," "Bridesmaids," and another DiCaprio drama, "The Wolf Of Wall Street."
In a flashback that explains why Cliff chauffeurs Rick around town, the alcoholic’s car is crashed onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the bar with the standout neon sign. It’s next door to the Pantages Theatre and down the street from the Capitol Records Building (both of which are seen in the film). The first star (Stanley Kramer) was laid into the walk in 1960 about a block away near the intersection with Gower.
Catch a first-run feature the old-fashioned way at this South LA spot. It doubles for the Van Nuys Drive-In, which was demolished in the late 1990s. Cliff lives behind it with his beloved dog.
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Manson members are seen dumpster diving at this Highland Park grocery store, which was also where Lady Gaga first sang "Shallow" in "A Star Is Born."
Take the backlot tram tour at the theme park in Universal City to see the Wild West town where Luke Perry, Timothy Olyphant, and DiCaprio film a fake episode of a real TV show called "Lancer." When Cliff retrieves Rick at the end of the day, he’s standing on the side of the Sony Pictures Entertainment studio lot, which offers public tours during the week, in Culver City.
Rick’s guest-starring role in a fake episode of the real ABC series "F.B.I." takes him to this 703-acre park in Malibu, according to Fandango, that was donated by director James Cameron to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.