As the stunning images unfold for Blade Runner: 2049, the pulse of any movie-loving Angeleno quickens. Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s mind-blowing original that stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, outlived its ho-hum box office returns and rose to classic status. The 1982 sci-fi film is among the most defining works of art ever created about our city - no other modern film uses the backdrop of our city with as much as imagination and flair.
Blade Runner's futuristic megalopolis - set in a DayGlo-tinged noir dreamscape of Los Angeles in 2019 - is a thing of inspiring (and often troubling) beauty. Law enforcement and the city’s upper crust pilot their airborne spinner cars to avoid the traffic jams and lowlifes on the street, elegantly soaring past kaijū-scale electronic billboards. Punishing storms batter the city. And many of the citizenry may not even be human.
We may not have flying cars - yet - but there are plenty of places in Los Angeles that will make you feel like you've stepped into that dystopian world. Here’s a guide to recreating the Blade Runner experience in L.A., from its real-deal locations to inspired-by settings and events.
Fans around the world will be celebrating Michael Jackson’s birthday on August 29. Born in Gary, Indiana, the legendary pop star, who passed away at age 50 on June 25, 2009, spent most of his life in Los Angeles. Read on for a list of ten L.A. spots where you can re-live magical moments from the King of Pop’s all too short life and honor the prolific legacy he left behind.
Star Trek is turning 50! The franchise’s first export, The Original Series (TOS), first hit the small screen on Thursday, Sept. 8, 1966. It continued for three seasons, airing 79 episodes, before proceeding to launch a prolific legacy that includes six spin-offs (the latest, Star Trek: Discovery, premieres in 2017) and 13 feature films, most of which were shot in and around Los Angeles. Read on for a list of ten spots from the franchise, all of them tourist-friendly, easily accessible and inviting you to boldly go where Star Trek crews have gone before.
Los Angeles has long had ties to the Summer Olympics, hosting the games in 1932 and 1984. The City of Angels is in the running to once again host the summer games - L.A. is one of the four candidate cities vying to host the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad in 2024. The Los Angeles Olympic Bid proposes to utilize many of the city’s existing sports arenas. From baseball fields to football stadiums and ice rinks, L.A. is filled with world-class athletic venues. Not only have the spaces been the site of countless baskets, touchdowns, home runs and goals over the years, but virtually all of them have also appeared onscreen. Read on for a list of ten of the city’s most iconic athletic venues and the movies and television shows in which they have appeared.
“Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!” The immortal words, spoken by President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman) before the climactic fight sequence at the end of Independence Day, rally his ragtag group of troops to save the world from alien invaders. In July, we not only celebrate our real life Independence Day, but also the film’s anniversary - the blockbuster movie hit the big screen on July 3, 1996, breaking several box office records in the process. Though it employed heavy special effects and elaborate sets, many of the locations that were featured are real. Shot across the U.S. in cities such as New York, New York and Wendover, Utah, several L.A. spots also made an appearance. Read on for eight Los Angeles locations from Independence Day.
John Hughes’ iconic tale of truant teen Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) originally hit theatres on June 11, 1986. Though it's set and largely filmed in Hughes’ beloved Illinois, the movie also made use of several Los Angeles locales. Read on for a list of 12 L.A. filming locations for Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
A special thank you to Michael Amundson and Owen Lockwood, who provided invaluable help in tracking down many of these locations.
In the early 1900s, lavish theatres and movie palaces began popping up across Los Angeles. Though a large number of them have been transformed, altered or razed over the years, several of the historic venues remain in operation and in pristine condition. While the opulent sites are not always open to the public, they can be accessed a number of ways, such as the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Broadway Historic Theatre and Commercial District Walking Tour, and the Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats film series program.
Because the theatres are regularly used for filming, you can also catch a glimpse of them onscreen. Read on for a list of ten historic venues and the productions they have appeared in.