So many films are made in Los Angeles that it's easy to get a feeling of deja vu after you've been there a while. In fact, you could hardly go more than a few miles without passing the spot there something-or-other was filmed. This list focuses on places that have been used in many films you may have seen.
This grand old downtown hotel shows up in Ghostbusters as the fictional Sedgewick Hotel as well as in Vertigo, The Sting, Chinatown, Beverly Hills Cop (I and III), Bugsy, Rocky III, and Wedding Crashers.
506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
Of course, there's the classic Chinatown starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. Others made here include Lethal Weapon 4, Rush Hour starring Jackie Chan, and Made of Honor.
Near Downtown Los Angeles
One of its most famous film appearances was the climactic shoot-out scene in the James Dean film Rebel Without a Cause, but it's far from the only one. In fact, imdb.com lists more than forty films and television episodes made here. Among others, the classic observatory has appeared in The Rocketeer, Steve Martin's Hollywood satire Bowfinger, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, the 1987 film spoof of television show Dragnet, The Terminator, and Jurassic Park.
2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles
Los Angeles River
You know the scenes where the cars get down in the cement-banked, nearly dry riverbed? The Los Angeles River was the victim of some pretty undignified straightening, deepening and concrete paving in an effort to keep it periodic floods from wreaking havoc on the city. In the process, they created a good place to film chase scenes.
Among the ones we can document as having been filmed here include The Italian Job, To Live and Die in L. A., Grease, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Built in 1936 and docked in Long Beach since 1967, the Queen Mary isn't just a ship. It's also a hotel and has a wedding chapel, restaurants and 18 art deco reception salons.
It stood in for the ill-fated cruise ship in the original Poseidon Adventure and shows up in Pearl Harbor, L.A. Confidential, Someone to Watch Over Me, Chaplin, Batman Forever, and The Aviator.
1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach
Beverly Hills, near the intersection of Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards
Who can forget those great scenes from Pretty Woman, where Julia Roberts' character Vivian Ward spent Edward Lewis' money shopping on Rodeo Drive? Other films made along this famous shopping street include Gere's breakout film American Gigolo, Beverly Hills Cop, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, and Shampoo.
Perhaps the most famous film made at the Santa Monica Pier was the 1973 classic The Sting. The carousel scenes were filmed here. Other film appearances for the pier include Forrest Gump, Fletch, Thank You for Smoking, Beverly Hills Cop III, The Net, and They Shoot Horses Don't They?
I-10 and CA Hwy 1
If it was set in a train station, it may have been filmed in the structure some call the "last great railway station." The 1950 William Holden-Nancy Olson film Union Station carries its name, but it also shows up in Pearl Harbor, The Way We Were, Blade Runner, Speed, Star Trek: First Contact, Silver Streak, and The Italian Job.
The old ticket windows stood in for Miami National Bank in the Leonardo DiCaprio-Tom Hanks caper Catch Me if You Can.
800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles
The odd rock formations in this county park have stood in for locations both terrestrial and extraterrestrial over the years. You've seen them in more than fifty television programs as well as feature films such as Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, The Flintstones movie, Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, Short Circuit, and The Scorpion King.
10700 W. Escondido Canyon Rd., Agua Dulce, CA