Discover "Blade Runner" Locations in Los Angeles


 

LOS ANGELES: NOVEMBER, 2019

As the stunning images unfold for Blade Runner, the pulse of any movie-loving Angeleno quickens. 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 LA, from its real-deal locations to inspired-by settings and events.

The street scenes in "Blade Runner" were filmed at Warner Bros. Studio | Photo: Warner Bros.

The street scenes in "Blade Runner" were filmed at Warner Bros. Studio | Photo: Warner Bros.

On the Lot



Much of the film was shot on the famed Warner Bros. Studio backlot, with sets built to approximate the dystopian Downtown L.A. in the film. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is one of the best behind-the-scenes experiences in Los Angeles, offering an insider’s view of the workings of big budget moviemaking. Ridley Scott and his team shot Blade Runner on stages 4, 24, and 25. The tour culminates at Stage 48: Script to Screen, which boasts exhibits of past and current production elements, costumes, storyboards, interactive experiences and more, including signature items from the original Blade Runner

Rick Deckard and Gaff at the White Dragon Noodle Bar in Blade Runner (1982) | Photo: "Blade Runner 2049," Facebook

Rick Deckard and Gaff at the White Dragon Noodle Bar in Blade Runner (1982) | Photo: "Blade Runner 2049," Facebook

"Are You For Real?"



If you’re looking for a street scene to match Harrison Ford’s Deckard running down Joanna Cassidy’s sultry replicant Zhora, Santee Alley is the spot. Located in the Fashion District, Santee Alley is a packed panoply of shops offering all manner of affordable knick knacks, sneakers, clothing and more. You can probably even score a reasonable facsimile of Zhora’s see-through rain coat, if you look hard enough.

Continue your bazaar experience at the landmark Grand Central Market about a mile north. Great eats, fresh produce and meat, and hot coffee squarely in the heart of the zone where Ridley Scott shot many of the film’s key moments.

Live Like a Replicant!



The home stretch of Blade Runner goes down at South Broadway at Third Street. That’s where you’ll find the iconic Bradbury Building, a local treasure and national historic landmark. This one-of-a-kind office tower served as genetic designer J.F. Sebastian’s dilapidated apartment, where Deckard battles replicants Roy Batty and Pris. Enter on Broadway and gaze upward at the central atrium, lit from above by skylights. It’s a working office building - no running up and down the stairs - but the ground floor is open to the public and the view of the beautifully restored iron work is dazzling. The Los Angeles Conservancy includes the building on its walking tours.

Just across the street, you’ll find the historic Pan American Building - christened “The Yukon Hotel” in the film - where Pris spied on Deckard as he visited Sebastian. If you’re interested, you can look into renting a loft space and live like a replicant!

 

Million Dollar Theatre

Like a Million Bucks



Steps away from the Bradbury and Pan American, the Million Dollar Theatre stands as one of the most iconic venues on the historic Broadway row of movie houses. It is used to dazzling effect in several shots in the film - its marquee glistens as brightly as anything else onscreen. Though the theater is closed for most of the year, there are several screenings and events here through the year. The Los Angeles Conservancy’s annual Last Remaining Seats program offers cinephiles and history buffs the opportunity to watch classic movies here and in other well-preserved celluloid palaces.

Grand Waiting Room at Union Station

Grand Waiting Room at Union Station

Union Station



Our crown jewel of rail transit, Union Station appeared as the police station of the future in Blade Runner. Office sets were constructed in the Ticket Concourse - they're long gone now, of course. Built in 1939, Union Station’s eclectic Mission Moderne style is the very essence of L.A.’s design heritage, which the film mines to intoxicating effect. Park your spinner outside, then board a Metro, Metrolink or Amtrak train.

2nd Street Tunnel

2nd Street Tunnel



The 2nd Street Tunnel has been featured in numerous films and in seemingly every car commercial over the past 30 years, but it remains most closely tied to Ridley Scott's future Downtown L.A. No other filmmaker has used it as effectively. (Credit director of photography Jordan Cronenweth's masterly use of light and shadow, true to the film's noir flavor.) The tunnel's glazed white tile lining creates an otherworldly effect when hit by the spinner's headlights. This century-old landmark running between Figueroa and Hill remains L.A.'s most beloved underground attraction. Sorry, Red Line.

Ennis House | Photo: Scott Beale, Flickr

Ennis House | Photo: Scott Beale, Flickr

Nice Digs

The Ennis House, Frank Lloyd Wright’s stunning 1924 Mayan-inspired residential structure located in Los Feliz, appears briefly in the film as the exterior of Deckard’s home. Nice digs - and on a cop’s salary! No tours are offered, but you can gawk from the street.