Oscar Winning Movie Locations in LA
The Oscars have come and gone but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the great movies that have both ben nominated – and won! – for years to come. One way we get to do this in LA is by checking filming locations of some of these celebrated movies. Here are 5 of our favorites!
Beverly House (Hearst Mansion, Beverly Hills)
The Godfather (Oscar Winner, Best Picture 1973)
Boasting 36 bathrooms (yes, 36), the Beverly House was once considered the most expensive private home in the United States. 36 bathrooms aside (yes, we said it again), the home (located on 3.7 acres) also has 29 bedrooms, 3 swimming pools, tennis courts, its own cinema and a nightclub. Owned by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and silent film star Marion Davies, legend has it that John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier spent part of their 1953 honeymoon at the property and they watched their first film together as a married couple in the mansion’s cinema. It was a Hearst-produced film from the 1920s (of course!). The mansion was also supposedly used as the West Coast headquarters for the Kennedy Presidential Campaign in the 1960’s. Perhaps most famously, however, the production team of the Oscar winning movie “The Godfather” made the owners an offer they couldn’t refuse because the house was used in the scene depicting the severed head of a horse in the bed of a film producer. It was also featured in the movie “The Bodyguard”. It went on the market in 2014 for $135 million dollars. You can see this house and many others on one of our tours.
Cabo Cantina (The Source)
Annie Hall (Oscar Winner, Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director & Best Actress 1978)
When you drive along Sunset Strip, you see a ton of iconic clubs and restaurants that are famous for their patronage and history. One of these is Cabo Catina. Now a popular Mexican food restaurant that serves up big margaritas and good food (did we say asada fries?!?) it was once a restaurant called The Source. Owned by the founder of The Source Family cult Father Yod, it was an incredibly popular organic & vegetarian eatery. It was also where Woody Allen proposed to Diane Keaton over a plate of alfalfa sprouts and mashed yeast in “Annie Hall”. This celebrity hot was sold when Yod began to fear that the apocalypse was imminent and fled to Hawaii. Today, the space houses Cabo Cantina, but it’s still very recognizable from its onscreen appearance in the comedy classic. You can see it while we are traveling through Sunset Strip on one of our many tours.
The Sting (Oscar Winner, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing 1974)
Like most movie magic, “The Sting” took some liberties in their location shooting. It was set in Chicago in the 1930’s, but one of the biggest locations they used was right here in LA. Specifically the Santa Monica Pier. Grifter Henry Gondorff (played by Paul Newman) and his girlfriend Billie (played by Eileen Brennan) worked at a Carousel that is housed inside the Looff Hippodrome. Artist Albert Whitlock superimposed a matte painting of the Chicago skyline behind the 2 story structure to make it look like it was in Chicago. Located adjacent to the pier, three different carousels have called the hippodrome home. Currently, it houses a 1922 Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #22. Kids love the carousel ride AND the ice cream stand located next to it. Parents love the easy walk to 3rd Street Promenade and, of course, the famous pier where there are a lot of restaurants and, of course, Pacific Park. You can check out the pier and the Looff Hippodrome and all of Santa Monica on our All LA in a Day or Teens & Tweeners Tour.
Point Dume at Zuma Beach
Planet of the Apes (Oscar, best make-up 1969)
It is where Captain Tony Nelson met Jeannie in “I Dream of Jeannie” and where the famous last scene of “Planet of the Apes” was filmed. It is also where you could find Tony Stark’s cliffside abode in “Iron Man”. Point Dume is a special filming location because of its proximity to the highway along with its secluded nature. A 63 acre spread of both sand and water, a lot of the land is labeled as a State Nature Preserve. You can hike up to the highest point of the beach and take a look at sweeping views of the ocean. On a clear day you can even see seals and migrating whales during peak season. While dogs are not allowed on the beach due to it’s already high volume of wildlife animals, you can find people hanging out on the beach all year long. You might even recognize the beach from scenes of “Baywatch”, “Modern Family” and some of your favorite commercials. You can also try your hand at rock climbing along the high walls if you feel like you want to do more than just enjoy the beach.
Bronson Cave – Griffith Park
Julius Caesar (Oscar, Best Set Design 1954)
We have talked a lot about Griffith Park in our past blogs. This is probably because we love it so much. In 2014, Griffith Park topped the list of the most popular filming locations in Los Angeles, with over 300 production days in the last year alone. This huge park nestled with in the city that houses a great museum, an incredible observatory and the LA Zoo has it all. It also has been the back drop for many TV and film shoots. Besides the Observatory, Griffith Park also houses the Bronson Cave which is notably used in the 1960’s TV series “Batman” as “the batcave”. It was also used in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “Julius Caesar”. The park is also routinely used for such shows as “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Criminal Minds”. The reason? The location has so many, well, locations to use from forests, caves, back roads, play areas and the huge carousel, you can film virtually anything there. It’s no wonder that it is truly a star among the big stars in and around LA. You can spend the day there and just get lost in its beauty while hiking among its many trails. If you are looking for family fun there is the zoo, the pony and train rides as well as the aforementioned carousel and several playgrounds. We can also take you there on one of our many tours of Los Angeles.
You can see these infamous filming locations and many more on one of our tours. Call or email us today to book!
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The Kozars, Lethbridge, Canada
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A big thank you to Scott for our fantastic LA tour!! We got all the sights in, in one day including a last minute shop @ Dash!! Scott was full of information and my family including my 3 year old had a fantastic day!! Highly recommend !!