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5 film locations in Downtown L.A.

5 film locations in Downtown LA

Are you planning a visit to Los Angeles? Considering visiting the downtown / civic center area? Do you like seeing film locations when you visit? In our research to develop a Tourist Scavenger Hunt in Downtown L.A., we came across a lot of information. Some we use exclusively in the actual scavenger hunt, but there are others we’d like to share with you.

As part of that research, we came across many locations where film and television series have been shot publicly. You can see these locations as you do the scavenger hunt. To enumerate, here are 5 film locations in Downtown L.A.

Article updated 8 August 2019

5 film locations in Downtown L.A.

  1. Union StationUnion Station

    • Located at 800 N. Alameda St., Union Station is Los Angeles’ is the main railway station in Los Angeles and the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States. Union Station opened in 1939. It not only services Amtrak but local Metrolink commuter trains and several Metro rail subway lines. It is located steps away from this historical city center, where Los Angeles was but a town way back when.
    • A number of films and TV series have significant scenes shot here at Union Station : The Dark Knight Rises, Blade Runner, Pearl Harbor, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Mentalist, Catch Me If You Can, Charlie’s Angel: Full Throttle, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Drag Me To Hell, 24, The Replacement Killers and X-Men 2.
  2. Pico House

    • Located across the street from Union Station around Los Angeles Plaza Park, Pico House served in the TV show The Mentalist. Built by the last Mexican Governor of Alta California before the end of the American-Mexican War, this historical landmark opened in 1869. The Pico House dates back to LA’s days as a small town in Southern California.
  3. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

    • This building, behind the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Mark Taper Forum, has been featured in many films and television shows among which are Chinatown (1974) and Inception (2010).
  4. Bradbury Building

    • The Bradbury building at 304 S.Broadway isn’t very impressive on the outside. However, stepping inside the Bradbury Building lets one discover its steampunk ironwork and wood-paneled interior. Inspired by a science fiction book, construction ended in 1893. The ground floor is easily accessible. However, beyond that, access is restricted.
    • The interior has played a role in many films over the years, including some science fiction: Blade Runner (1982), Chinatown (1974), Wolf (1994), Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), Pay It Forward (2000) and The Artist (2011). It has also played a central role in many television series among which include Mission Impossible (1966-73), Quantum Leap (1989), Pushing Daisies (2007), CSI NY (2010).
    • Many music videos for Heart, Janet Jackson, Earth Wind and Fire, and Genesis also feature this unique architecture.
  5. Los Angeles City Hall

    • Built in 1928, Los Angeles’ City Hall was the tallest building in the city until the 1960s.
    • Entrance is free, but there are metal detectors. You can explore on your own with the self-guided tour materials available at the information desk on the 3rd Floor. We encourage you to see the observation deck on the 27th floor for a wonderful view of the surrounding area.
    • The iconic City Hall tower has appeared as itself and stood in for other locations in dozens of TV shows and movies such as Dragnet, Gattaca, X2, The Bodyguard, Torchwood, The West Wing, Beverly Hills Cop, L.A. Confidential, Eraser, The Green Hornet, Barto, Fink, and Speed.

We invite you to try our Downtown L.A. Tourist Scavenger Hunt. It is a 2-hour guided walking tour throughout the downtown core of Los Angeles you do on your mobile phone (how it works).  It only costs $30 for your entire group. Moreover, you will enjoy seeing the sights and hidden gems you might have missed otherwise. All this while completing challenges and learning about Downtown L.A.’s history.

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