25 Cool Movie Locations...

...And How To Visit Them In Google Street View

 

1. The Firehouse - Ghostbusters (1984)

In the film: The ruined Lower Manhattan derelict that the start-up Busters make their home. Egon worries about the metal fatigue, substandard wiring and neighborhood "like a demilitarized zone." Ray, not so much ("You gotta try this pole!")
 

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The Google view: In reality, the Tribeca firehouse at 14 North Moore Street is still operational, and home to 8 Hook And Ladder. It also made an appearance in Hitch - obviously it's got a pull on those shambolic hero types.

 

2. The Palantine Rally - Taxi Driver (1976)

In the film: His simmering rage having finally boiled over ("Here is a man who would not take it anymore..."), this is where Travis fluffs his big moment, ducking out of the assassination he's planned and fleeing the packed political rally in shame.



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The Google view: Columbus Circus, located on the southwest edge of Central Park. It's quite the star location, having also appeared in Ghostbusters, I Am Legend and Die Hard With A Vengeance.

Next: Blue Velvet, Die Hard[page-break]

 

3. Dorothy's Apartment - Blue Velvet (1986)

In the film: Jeffrey and his girl Sandy stare at the square apartment building that's home to troubled Dorothy. Somewhere in there, something awful is probably going on. Well, this is a David Lynch movie...



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The Google view: Daylight flushes out the sense of menace from the redbrick, but a winking traffic light is a Lynchian trademark at any time.

 

4. The Nakatomi Plaza - Die Hard (1988)

In the film: The stylish skyscraper staging ground for Bruce Willis' one-man scrap against theving Euro-terrorists. The roof looks as intricately angular as a piece of origami, and it crumples like paper thanks to nasty Hans' explosives.



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The Google view: Actually, it’s the much less exotic-sounding Fox Plaza, corporate home of the studio behind the film. The fancy angles are real enough if you crimp your neck to get a look from street level.

Next: The Conversation, Children Of Men[page-break]

 

5. Recording The Conversation - The Conversation (1974)

In the film: Francis Coppola's sweaty, anxious '70s surveillance thriller begins with a tightly orchestrated bugging, beginning with a long zoom into this San Francisco park.



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The Google view: It's Union Sqaure in the city centre, and thanks to the wonder of Street View, you can glide over the park playing the spy yourself.

Slide over to the corner of Geary and Stockton to see the spot where Harry Caul's crew park their van.

 

6. The Coffee Shop Explosion - Children Of Men (2006)

In the film: In a recognisable but grim-looking future London, Clive Owen grabs a coffee and heads into the open just in time to avoid being splattered over the street by a bomb blast.


 
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The google view: The old home of the British press, London's Fleet Street. In the movie it's transformed by subtle CGI, but scroll past the banks and greystones and you get a Clive’s-eye view of St Paul’s Cathedral. 

Next: The Big Lebowski, E.T.[page-break]

 

7. Picking Up Walter - The Big Lebowksi (1998)

In the film: The anonymous liquor store front somewhere in the sprawl of suburban L.A. where the Dude picks up Walter before their ransom drop.

 


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The Google view: Well, it's an anonymous liquor store front somewhere in the sprawl of suburban L.A. where nothing exciting has ever happened, save for when the Coens came calling.

 

8. Elliott's house - E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

In the film: The impossibly cosy all-American neighbourhood home in which the tale of the universe's friendliest alien unfolds.



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The Google view: So suburban it's not even been visited by the Street View truck yet. This is a quiet street in Tujunga, California. Don't mean to be creepy with the overhead spy stuff, but since when did Elliott have a pool?

Next: The Goonies, Shaun Of The Dead[page-break]

 

9. The Pirate Museum - The Goonies (1985)

In the film: Museums are the gateway to adventure! No, they really are. In The Goonies, anyway.

This is where Mikey's dad works, and it's the gang's last stop before embarking on their treaure hunt.


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The Google view: The eerily ornate building is the Captain George Flavel House Museum – a petrified example of late 19th Century lifestyle. A big tourist spot, as it looks just like it does in the movie.

 

10. The Winchester - Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

In the film: The perfect spot to grab a pint, eat some peanuts and see out the zombie invasion. When the zombie-oacalypse hits, this is the only hiding place Shaun and his fellow survivors can think of. 



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The Google view: The Street View van caught The Duke Of Albany (the Winchester’s original) just as it was getting stripped down, so you’ve missed your chance of a drink in Shaun’s original snug.

Next: Scarface, Robocop[page-break]

 

11. The Chainsaw Apartment - Scarface (1983)

In the film: The white stucco ocean front setting for the film's most notorious scene, with Tony Montana staring down a chainsaw in a yayo switch gone all kinds of wrong. 



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The Google view: The Miami Beach address has been totally redeveloped since it was featured in De Palma's movie. There's even a Hard Rock Café – well, this is America, after all. The world is yours...

 

12. OCP Headquarters - Robocop (1987)

In the film: The imposing headquarters of OCP, the sinister mega-corporation that muscles into private policing in Verhoeven's trashy but ace tech-noir thriller.



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The Google view: It's the architecturally distinctive City Hall in Dallas, Texas.

Incredibly, it really does look like that, although a few storeys shorter (extra floors were added to turn a looming effigy of authority into a gigantic totem of all-out brutality).

Next: Boogie Nights, Donnie Darko[page-break]

 

13. The Disco - Boogie Nights (1997)

In the film: 'Hot Traxx' Disco, home of hedonism, roller-whoring and ambitious young busboys like Dirk Diggler, waiting for a chance to grab their big break in Hollywood.

 


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The Google view: Head to the dusty intersection in Reseda, California now and you’ll find the Iglesia Cristiana Nuevo Empezar – a Latino church which probably offers a bit less in the way of casual sex and coke.

 

14. Donnie's School - Donnie Darko (2001)

In the film: Donnie's school, as introduced by a breathtaking montage of wailing Simple Minds, warping slow/fast time and woozy camera zooms.



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The Google view: Loyola High School in Los Angeles, which was so perfectly suited to the film's '80s feel that it's almost surprising to find out that it's still there now and hasn't been hacked to bits by souvenir hunters.

Next: The Graduate, Home Alone[page-break]

 

15. The Church - The Graduate (1967)

In the film: Benjamin’s desperate journey to reach Elaine climaxes at this deco-ish church, and that plate glass-beating declaration of love that spawned a thousand satires.



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The Google view:  The Methodist Church of La Verne in L.A. It’s also shown up in Bubble Boy and Wayne’s World 2 – both times in homage to the original scene.

 

16. The McCallister's Place - Home Alone (1990)

In the film: The big, empty McAllister house. Empty, that is, except for one small, heavily mugging child actor and a pair of mean crooks.



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The Google view: The house on Lincoln Avenue in Illinois is a perfect slice of leafy suburbia. Wonder what kind of security they have over the holidays?

Next: The Matrix, Superman[page-break]

 

17. Neo's Final Call - The Matrix (1999)

In the film: Fully transcended and Zion-like, Neo dials the machine central from a phone box, puts on his shades then whooshes into the air to look down on a green circuit-board city.



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The Google view: Sydney lends its streetplan to the Wachowski’s digital metropolis. It's even from roughly the same angle - check out the circular tower building to get your bearings.

 

18. High-rise Helicopter Rescue - Superman (1978)

In the film: Daily Planet, workplace of Clark Kent and potential deathtrap to Lois Lane, who’s dangling from the power cables in a helicopter, waiting for Supes to rescue her.



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The Google view: The building on 42nd Street in Manhattan really was a newspaper office, previously headquarters to the Daily News. Though the paper’s moved on, the skyscraper is still known as the News Building.

Next: True Romance, Hot Fuzz[page-break]

 

19. Street Fighter Cinema - True Romance (1993)

In the film: The sleazy cinema where Clarence and Alabama have their first date is a fantasia of harsh neon in the gloom, and a typical hangout for writer Quentin Tarantino.



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The Google view: The Sunset Drive original is a movie theatre too, but looks considerably less tawdry in the daylight. Well, it would do, except that it’s showing Superbad.

 

20. The Town Square - Hot Fuzz (2007)

In the film: PC Pegg hits the market square of pastoral 'Sandford', armed and ready to take down all the Wicker Man-worshipping grandees of the backward West Country town.



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The Google view: Wells in Somerset is only a little way behind its fictional twin in the well-manicured Little England stakes, although they probably don’t rely on human sacrifice to keep the flower boxes in good order.

Predicatably, the Google van hasn't yet found the place. It may never do. And if it does, it'll never leave...

Next: Get Carter, Manhattan[page-break]

 

21. The Concrete Meeting Spot - Get Carter (1971)

In the film: The brutally ugly and half-finished multi-storey car park where Jack meets corrupt local Mr Big Brumsby and later throws him to a sticky death.

 


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The Google view: The Trinity Multistorey car park in Gateshead, which became internationally famous after the film's release.

If you're planning a Carter pilgrimage, get there soon, though - it's currently scheduled for demolition.

 

22. The Queensborough Bridge - Manhattan (1978)

In the film: A delirious all-day date between Woody Allen's Isaac and Diane Keaton's Mary ends with this beautiful black-and-white bench shot.


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The Google view: The scene was filmed here, in Sutton Place off 58th Street in Manhattan's Upper East side, looking out over the Queensboro Bridge.

Want to impress a movie-loving first date? Two tickets to NYC. Head here for a sunset late lunch...

Next: Office Space, Radio On[page-break]

 

23. Initech's Offices - Office Space (1999)

In the film: The deathly dull office home to tedious software outfit Initech, where disaffected IT nobody Peter decides he's had enough of the corporate merry-go-round.

 


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The google view: A nondescript office building on Freidrich Lane in Austin, Texas. Probably home to some tedious little software outfit.

 

24. Bristol Hostel - Radio On (1980)

In the film: The brooding, stark and curvaceous art deco hotel and concrete flyover that greets DJ Robert when he arrives in Bristol to investigate his brother's suicide.



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The Google view: A white shell in the extensively redeveloped area around Temple Meads station.

The flyover’s long gone, replaced by wider roads and tall trees which might fix the sense of urban decay, but can’t match up to the 1970s grubby glamour.

Next: Trainspotting[page-break]

 

25. Runaway Renton - Trainspotting (1996)

In the film: The greystone archway where Renton is nabbed during the film's breathless shoplifting and sprint getaway opening.


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The Google view: The Carlton Street Bridge in Edinburgh, which really is just a few hundred yards away from Princes Street, where the footchase begins.

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Comments

    • BenCh

      May 21st 2009, 16:10

      nice feature

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    • SCQ47

      May 22nd 2009, 3:49

      Thanks for the feature. My only question is why you went with the liquor store instead of the bowling alley from Big Lebowski. I'll be visiting most of these spots next week.

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    • avoidz

      May 24th 2009, 9:00

      The E.T. house makes a brief appearance in the Charlie's Angels movie. Drew Barrymore's character rolls down a hill naked and drops into the backyard, to the surprise of two boys. (An E.T. poster can be seen above the television they are playing a game on.)

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    • leeloo77

      May 27th 2009, 17:30

      Its not Simple Minds playing in the scene you brought up for 'Donnie Darko' it is Tears for Fears.

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    • torsloke

      May 27th 2009, 18:55

      @SCQ47 - it's because the dear departed Hollywood Star Lanes was torn down and is now an elementary or middle school. Hollywood Star Lanes also appears in the eminently less watchable Family Man. I used to bowl in a league there during the filming of both movies. It was the best bowling alley, only made better by its connection to the Dude. It is sorely missed. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=5201+Santa+Monica+Blvd+Los+Angeles,+CA+90038&sll=34.092313,-118.303442&sspn=0.008565,0.019312&gl=us&ie=UTF8&ll=34.090803,-118.303227&spn=0.008565,0.019312&t=h&z=16&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=34.090806,-118.303341&panoid=J1ohxfaq4z5TCFzefSZY6w&cbp=12,45.9,,0,4

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    • mattrix33

      Jun 9th 2009, 21:25

      Cool feature. I live in Bristol and didn`t even know that the Grovsner Hotel had even been in a film

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    • dalebiskit

      Oct 12th 2009, 14:56

      I made a pilgrimage to the manhattan spot but couldn't get very close to recreating the shot so I assumed that they'd built over it. I hate it when I'm right.

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    • sforsythe

      Dec 23rd 2009, 5:39

      During the short time I was living in Manhattan, I went to find the spot as the Queensboro bridge was only a few blocks away. The bench is in fact still there, and it's an awesome sight to see. Just follow 58th street ALL the way to the east until it ends, and you will find it. The google maps shot was taken from FDR drive. A road that runs beneath where the bench is.

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