Film / Entertainment Location
The Ambassador Hotel, torn down in 2007, was a legendary urban resort built on Wilshire Boulevard in 1921, with over 600 rooms and 13 acres of floor space. For a few decades it was a popular place for celebrities, from Hollywood stars to politicians, to wine, dine, and mingle. The Academy Awards...
An aviation parts yard, with an unusual collection of aircraft hulks and fuselages, used primarily by the movie industry. Pieces from this yard have been trucked all over the country and used in over 300 feature films, including Speed and Hero. This 15-acre site is Aviation Parts Warehouse Inc.'s...
The Sidewinder Cafe was renamed the Bagdad Cafe after it served as the principal shooting location for the 1987 film Bagdad Cafe.
The old Bank of America building, downtown at 7th and Spring, was the Los Angeles headquarters for the bank from 1930 to 1972. The upstairs offices are now used by the Los Angeles Department of Engineering, while the grand bank lobby, with vaulted ceilings, has been vacant since 1988, and has been...
This is an independently owned “movie ranch,” in southern California, surrounded by hundreds of acres of open space, north of the tract homes of Valencia. Several town sets are here, including a Mexican town, a Middle Eastern urban square, an American 1950s town, an Army camp set, a New England...

Club Ed is one of several motel/gas station/diner film sets in the area. It was built from scratch for a Dennis Hopper film (Eye of the Storm) in 1990. Instead of striking the set after filming was completed, the set was bought and has been used as a desert location and production services center...
In 1954, a dust-filled movie called "The Conqueror", starring John Wayne as Genghis Kahn, was shot in this valley, on ground that had been recently subjected to fallout from a series of nuclear tests at the nearby Nevada Test Site (especially dirty at this time was the 1953 above-ground test code-...
The large substation in Eagle Rock is owned by Southern California Edison, but only plays an industrial site on TV and Film. Production credits include the features Face/Off, Ed Wood, and Demolition Man. Edison is hoping to attract another large production to the site, so that they can afford to...
The Fillmore and Western Railway, an hour north of Los Angeles, once connected Ventura and Castaic, serving the citrus groves and packing houses of the Santa Clara Valley, as well as tourists at the turn of the century, seeking the romantic "Mission Era" California landscape much touted a hundred...
The Four Aces is a film set on a public road in the desert north of Los Angeles. It is a lonely desert gas station/cafe/motel, and appears in film, television, and advertising. It is one of a few of these romantic desert gas station oasis type places, sometimes referred to as "Last Chance Cafes"...
Productions filmed at this 700-acre movie and television ranch include "Zorro," "Little House on the Prairie," and "Swiss Family Robinson." It has been owned by the Disney company since the 1950's, and is one of several movie ranches in the Santa Clarita Valley area. Most of the old west town has...
Graystone Mansion is probably the most-filmed mansion in the world, largely because it is vacant, and owned by the City of Beverly Hills, which encourages shooting there. It is also a rare case of an authentic-looking old world English mansion, unlike so many of the Mediterranean mansions in the...
The Herald Examiner building has been used nearly exclusively as a film location since the notorious Los Angeles newspaper, once owned by William Randolph Hearst, closed down in 1989. This landmark building was built by Julia Morgan, who so impressed Hearst with the design that he commissioned her...
One of the most visible of the classic diners in Los Angeles is Johnie's Coffee Shop, located in the heart of the Miracle Mile corridor of Wilshire Boulevard. Johnie's was built by the googie architecture firm of Armet and Davis in 1955. It ceased serving food in late 2000, and the...
A former prison, owned by the City of Los Angeles, and a frequent prison filming location. Filming in active prisons is generally not permitted for obvious reasons, and as a result, prison sets are built in soundstages, back lots, and inside other locations. A few old prisons in Los Angeles are...
The former Linda Vista Community Hospital in Boyle Heights was built in 1937 as a hospital for Santa Fe Railroad employees, and ceased hospital operations in 1990. Since 1991, the art-deco building has been used exclusively as a hospital filming location. A tiled room in the basement was used in...
The old Unocal building escaped the implosion that it once was destined for, because of its use as a filming location. The 12-story building, which looms above the freeway just north of downtown, was the headquarters for worldwide operations of Unocal for almost 40 years. It was built by the...
The Los Angeles Theatre is one of twelve large and ornate movie palaces along Broadway, in downtown LA, that sit in various states of reuse and disuse. In the 1930's these elaborate baroque theaters hosted the premieres and galas of that era's Hollywood. Today, instead of screening films, many of...
Melody Ranch is a classic Western Movie Ranch, located outside Valencia. It opened in 1915, and was sold to Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, in 1952. Hundreds of production were shot here, including many of the films starring John Wayne, Roy Rodgers, Gary Cooper, etc. In 1962, the ranch was severly...
Orion Avenue in Van Nuys is one of the the most-filmed residential streets in Los Angeles (therefore possibly the world), according to the Entertainment Industry Development Corporation, the entity responsible for issuing film permits in the city. For one block, the ranch-style homes have uniform...
Paramount Studios operated a movie ranch on this site from 1927 to 1952, filming many of the old westerns on the 2,700 acres owned by the studio and the sets built on the grounds. In 1980, the property was transferred to the National Park Service as part of the Santa Monica Mountains National...
The Park Plaza Hotel, overlooking MacArthur Park near downtown Los Angeles, has been mostly vacant for years, and is used frequently as a film location. It was built in 1925 as an Elks Club, and is an elegant structure with murals and vaulted ceilings in the lobby, three ballroom-type halls, and...
Pioneertown, located in the hills above Morongo Valley, was built as a movie set in the 1950s, and was used for many Gene Autry western TV shows. Though it is rarely used as a location these days, as the golden days of Westerns ended some time ago, Pioneertown is notable as people began moving into...
The small town of Piru was founded over 100 years ago as a Christian agrarian utopia, in the orange groves of the Santa Clara River Valley, down the road from the "Home of Ramona," the legendary character of a romantic novel that captured the imagination of the public and helped the turn of the...
With the closure of Navy yards at Long Beach, business at Southwest Marine, a ship-repair facility on Terminal Island in the Port of Los Angeles, has diminished (once with 1,000 workers, there are now less than 200). Though it is still active, the owners accommodate filming between ship repair...
Under the sand in the Nipomo dune field is the Egyptian set from Cecil B. DeMille's epic movie "The Ten Commandments," dynamited and buried there by the crew after shooting ended in 1923. 1,600 workers were employed to build the plaster and wood set for the month-long shoot, a set which included an...
Perhaps the epitome of the Desert Gas Station/Diner/Motel in the Middle of "Nowhere", Roy's Diner, and its surrounding structures that make up the town of Amboy, may exist now primarily to fulfill the romantic version of itself to the tourists and filmmakers that visit it.
Tropico is an abandoned mining town from the early 1900s, located on a hill north of Lancaster in the Antelope Valley. Though it once was open as a sort of museum, it is privately owned and fenced off, and is being marketed as a film location. Some productions that have been shot around the old...
The first use of Union Station, before it even opened to the public, was for a promotional event for a Hollywood movie called Union Pacific. Since the beginning, special events and filming seem to overshadow the structure's use as a train station. It was built as the main Los Angeles passenger...
This is a major independently owned “movie ranch” in southern California, surrounded by open space, north of the tract homes of Valencia. It has a Mexican/Spanish/European/Middle Eastern town, a Wild West town, a Mid American Main Street, and  a “last chance” gas station. Hundreds of...