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7 Popular Hollywood Shooting Locations

Kavon Zamanian

Ever get a sense of déjà vu in the movie theater? There’s a reason. These visually distinct locations have been featured in more movies than you might realize.

Top image: Back to the Future III in Monument Valley, via Universal

Throughout the history of cinema, much of the world has been captured for the big screen. Hollywood has come to favor some of the more unique shooting locations, either famous already, or later recognized for their cinematic significance. Here are some of the most popular shooting locations that you might not have realized were reused.


1. Redwood National and State Parks

The redwood forest in Northern California, known for hosting the tallest trees on Earth, has seen its fair share of screen time. Its most well-known appearance was as the forest moon of Endor in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Popular Hollywood Shooting Locations: RedwoodsImage via Shutterstock Premier

The redwoods have also been featured in The Lost World: Jurassic ParkOutbreakand Need for Speedamong many others.


2. Monument Valley

While this iconic desert landmark in Utah is a bit more noticeably familiar than others on this list, it is possible you may have missed it. Monument Valley is synonymous with the classic Western, featured in the film that led John Wayne to success, Stagecoachand much of John Ford’s other work.

Popular Hollywood Shooting Locations: Monument ValleyImage via Shutterstock Premier

Ford was arguably the most fond of the place, shooting there ten times throughout his career. A popular lookout point in Monument Valley was actually later named John Ford’s Point.” Many others have included the unique landscape in their movies, such as Once Upon a Time in the West, Forrest Gumpand even 2001: A Space Odyssey.


3. Bourne Wood

The Bourne Wood, located south of Surrey, England, saw its first on-screen appearance in 2000 with Gladiator

Popular Hollywood Shooting Locations: Bourne WoodImage via WikiMedia

While this remains its most famous use, the coniferous forest has since been used in over a dozen Hollywood productions, such as Children of Men, Band of Brothers, Captain America: The First Avengerand the Harry Potter series.


4. Quality Cafe

Quality Cafe, a classic diner in Los Angeles, has been featured in so many TV shows and movies that — whether or not you noticed it — you’ve probably seen it quite a few times.

Popular Hollywood Shooting Locations: Quality CafeImage: (500) Days of Summer via Fox Searchlight Pictures

Catch Me If You Can, Gone in 60 Seconds, Se7en, Million Dollar Baby, Old Schooland Mad Men, to name a few, have all featured the Quality Cafe for a scene, though usually brief. While the restaurant is no longer in operation, it is still regularly used as a shooting set for exchanges of dialogue.


5. Hatfield House

Serving as a generic but clearly authentic mansion, this estate in Hertfordshire, England, is perhaps most well-known for serving as Wayne Manor in Batman.

Popular Hollywood Shooting Locations: Hatfield HouseImage via BestEvent

Select parts of the building have been used in other films such as X-Men: First ClassSherlock Holmesand Get Him to the Greek.


6. Bradbury Building

The Bradbury Building, though used as a shooting location since the 1940s, became an icon of science fiction culture after its use in Blade Runner.

Popular Hollywood Shooting Locations: Bradbury BuildingImage: Blade Runner via Warner Bros

Normally the building is surprisingly different in appearance from the dim, grimy look it had in the Ridley Scott classic. It has since been used in films such as Lethal Weapon 4 and (500) Days of Summer.


7. Greystone Mansion

Greystone Mansion, located in Beverly Hills, California, has hosted scenes in quite a few films. These include There Will Be BloodX-Menthe Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, The Social Network, Eraserheadand The Big Lebowski.

Popular Hollywood Shooting Locations: Greystone MansionImage via GreystoneMansion.org

Known for its signature checkered floors and overall grandeur, this symbol of wealth will surely see plenty more screen time in the future.


Hopefully your newfound awareness of these common shooting locations doesn’t distract you too much from your cinematic immersion.

What are your favorite locations used in film production? Let us know in the comments below.