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Showing posts with label Hollywood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hollywood. Show all posts

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Back To The Future Day

A bolt of lighting. Unfortunately you never know when or where it's ever gonna strike.

Location: Universal City, California, USA
Address: 100 Universal City Plaza
Date: May 2012
Website: www.universalstudioshollywood.com

  When Marty McFly went into the future he chose the date of October 21st 2015.  He arrived in a world of hoverboards and flying cars as part of the imagined future of Back To The Future II.  By the time you are reading this post that date may have already arrived.  The future is here!  When we visited Universal Studios some 27 years after the first movie, part of our plan was to go back to where Back To The Future was filmed.
  Courthouse Square on the Universal Studios back lot is where most of the action takes place.  To visit this area you need to take the studio's popular tram tour.  As we walked through the park heading to our tour we noticed Doc Brown's Chicken which has nothing to do with the movies except that it uses the character of Dr. Emmett Brown.

Great Scott ! This is good chicken !

   What we really wanted to see was the square from the first movie of the trilogy.  In the movie, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) time travels from 1985 back to the year 1955.  The square is changed to reflect the town of Hill Valley in both of those years.  In the sequel, Back To The Future II, he goes forward 30 years to the year 2015 and the town has changed again. Unfortunately, Universal has also undergone some changes and many of the buildings are not the same as they were during filming in the 1980s.  Some were changed on purpose and others were lost during a fire in 2008.  Anyways, on with the tour!
 
Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Think, McFly

  As the tram rounded the first corner and entered the square there was a gas station on our right.  We remember the Texaco gas station from the movie, but this is not it.  If it is the same gas station it is no longer where it used to be. This gas station is actually standing where Lou's Cafe was in 1955 and where the gymnastics studio was in 1985.  It was inside Lou's Cafe where Marty encounters his father George for the first time.  In the sequel when Marty goes to the year 2015 it has become a cafe again.  It has become a retro cafe called Cafe 80's.  Across the courtyard in the picture above you can see a little pointed rooftop.  This was a movie theatre and in 2015 it was playing Jaws 19.

Are you gonna order something kid? Give me a Tab.  I can't give you a tab unless you order something.
Alright, give me a Pepsi- Free.  You want a Pepsi pal you're gonna pay for it.  Just give me something without any sugar.

  Since we were busy filming the gas station we missed out on getting a picture of one of the most important streets. Once we realized the courthouse was behind us we turned around, but it was too late.  The street on the left side of the courthouse is where Marty speeds down trying to reach 88 miles per hour at the exact moment a bolt of lightning hits the town clock tower.  You can see a tiny bit of the street where he enters the square on the right hand side of the picture above.  You can also see a tiny bit of the buildings and street on the left hand side of the picture below.  This part of the street would be where Doc had hung wires across hoping to harness the lightning's power.  Sadly, the end of this street was lost in the 2008 studio fire.  That means there is no longer another movie theatre down there for Marty to crash into after returning to the present, or for a theatre full of gremlins to enjoy a showing of Snow White.

Save The Clock Tower.
  At the top of this post is a picture of the courthouse as it looked when we visited.  It is not looking quite the same as it was in the Back To The Future movies and the clock was missing.  Still it was nice to go back in time and visit a place where one of our favourite movies was created.  We wish we could go back in time and get a better picture of the DeLorean DMC-12  below. Who knows? Maybe tomorrow someone will invent a time machine or hoverboards or flying cars, or maybe they are still 30 years away in an unknown future.

Are you telling me that you built a time machine out of a DeLorean?


See more locations from the Universal Studios Backlot.

Map of Our World
Universal Studios (Courthouse Square)

Post # 76

Friday, 10 April 2015

Deagle / Seaver House

Deagle, Deagle, Deagle!

Location: Burbank, California, USA
Address: 3400 West Riverside Drive
Date: Feb 2014
Website:  vipstudiotour.warnerbros.com

  While taking the Warner Brothers VIP Studio Tour our golf cart stopped right in front of the last house on Midwest Street.  Our guide let us know that this house was featured in the movie Gremlins, as well as on the TV show Growing Pains.  The house has changed a bit through the years as the extended front porch has been removed.  In Gremlins, the house belonged to mean Mrs. Deagle.  Mrs. Deagle was the owner of the Kingston Falls bank and was generally disliked.  Gremlins arrive at her front door and sing her some Christmas carols while one of them sabotages her electric stair chair.  She climbs into her chair and it runs out of control, speeds up the stairs and hurls her out the top floor window.

My God Frye. That was Mrs. Deagle.

  According to our Official Collector's Edition Gremlins Magazine, Bob MacDonald Sr. (Special Effects Supervisor) explains the troubles they encountered filming the scene.  "The first time we fired it, the dummy went clear across the street and landed on the porch of the house across the street".  That means the fake Mrs. Deagle ended up in front of this house (below), where a few years later Ross would almost take Rachel to the prom.

Here comes your knight in shining.....

  Gremlins hit theatres in June of 1984 and the following year Growing Pains first appeared on TV in September.  So it would have been just over a year from the time Mrs. Deagle abruptly moved out and the Seaver family moved in.  The house was only really featured during the Growing Pains opening credits when the family stands out front for a group shot and then they all turn and head inside.  Alan Thicke stays out front the longest as he enjoys being on camera.

Show me that smile again. Show me that smile.

  Anther appearance of this home is in The Lost Boys.  The two Coreys (Haim and Feldman) ride their bikes past as they head to church to get some holy water for their vampire problem.  The little white church is also situated on the Warner Brothers back lot.  The photo below was taken from just outside of what we affectionately refer to as the Deagle / Seaver house.

Little white church.


See more locations from the Warner Bros. Studio Backlot.

Map of Our World
Deagle / Seaver House

Post # 45

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Warner Bros Studio VIP Tour

What's up Doc? How you doin'?

Location: Burbank, California, USA
Address: 3400 West Riverside Drive
Date: Feb 2014
Website:  vipstudiotour.warnerbros.com

 The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is a must for any TV or movie fan.  Since we are both big TV and movie fans we had to pay the studios a visit.  We went on a Sunday afternoon and not much was happening as far as productions on the lot, but we had the opportunity to see many of the places from productions in the past.

Warner Bros. Tour cart.

  You go around the studios in small groups riding in a cart like the one pictured above.  The tour guides don't follow any set pattern around the grounds so they can customize the tour based on your group's interests.  Be sure to talk to them and let them know what you like.  The highlights of our tour included a trip around the Backlot, some time to explore the Warner Museum and Picture Car Collection, a visit to the retired Central Perk set from Friends, a drive through The Mill and a visit to The Big Bang Theory and Pretty Little Liars sets.

I don't think anybody is home.

  You get a glimpse of just how fake everything is, because movies are always just concerned with what you see on screen.   Our guide was telling us how they use pull ties to put branches on the trees depending on what season they need it to be.  It is interesting to see how this all comes together in the finished product.  Even more exciting is knowing that you have been in the same exact spot where your favourite shows and films were created.

To see more of our trip to Warner Brothers, check out this permanent page of
Productions filmed on the Warner Bros. Backlot.

The Warner Brothers Water Tower.


Map of Our World
Warner Bros Studio VIP Tour

Post # 14

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Cathedral Mausoleum (Talking Bad)

Respect the Chemistry


Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Address: 6000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Date: Feb 2014
Website: www.hollywoodforever.com

Breaking Bad is one of the greatest television dramas of all time.  During its final season there was an after show where celebrities and cast members would discuss the episode they had just watched.  This show was called Talking Bad.  The final Breaking Bad episode was aired before fans and then the final Talking Bad installment took place at the Cathedral Mausoleum in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  Hollywood Forever is an unusual cemetery that often holds movie screenings and concerts on its grounds.

 Check out more about Hollywood Forever Cemetery


Map of Our World
Cathedral Mausoleum

Post # 5

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Bronson Caves (aka The Batcave)


Bronson Caves

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Address: Canyon Dr., Griffith Park
Date: Feb 2014


"Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed."
"Roger. Ready to move out."

  Fans of the 60s TV show Batman will want to see this location when visiting Griffith Park.  It is located not on any road that leads to the Griffith Observatory but further (Adam) West on Canyon Road.  We parked in a gravel parking lot and then entered the trail heading south.  We did notice the sign warning that there were rattlesnakes in the area but we had no intention of running off into the bushes or turning over rocks.  We stayed on the dirt road that was wide enough to drive a truck full of camera gear or a Batmobile through.

Holy hole in a donut.

  Just a short way up the trail and there on the left we spotted it.  In fact we looked straight through it.  It was missing some vegetation and there was no little red and white road barrier, but we knew we had reached our destination.  The caves had been created by a quarry that operated in the early 1900's and since then many film and television productions have used the site.  None has done so quite as famously as the Batman television series.
Now how do we get back from here?  I believe it is about 14 miles to Gotham City.

The Batcave


Map of Our World
Bronson Caves

Post # 2

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Forever Peacocks

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Address: 6000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Date: Feb 2014
Website: www.hollywoodforever.com

Right in the middle of Hollywood is a cemetery that is worth visiting.  The beautifully maintained grounds are a great place for a relaxing stroll.  There are many famous people who have chosen this as their final resting place.  A few notables we visited were Don Adams of Get Smart fame, and Johnny Ramone of The Ramones, whose bust rises out of his gravestone to forever strum away.

Rock n Roll Grave Stone
Would You Believe...

 One grave we had planned to visit was that of Mel Blanc, best known for being just about every voice you hear in the Looney Tunes cartoons.  We had expected to find him in "The Garden of Legends" so we wandered around the pond checking each grave in hopes the next was his.  Eventually we gave in and asked a groundskeeper for assistance.  He did not know where to find Mel, but did let us know that the flower shop has maps available.  Off to the flower shop where just a quick look at a map and we were on to plot #34.

Garden Of Legends

This took us back to "The Garden of Legends" which was still looking lovely with the sun shining and geese swimming in the waters.  Some time passed and again it was back to the flower shop, where maps cost $5.00. G. Mel Blanc resides in plot #84 (you see how that happened?) and has a simple gravestone that states That's All Folks.

That's All Folks

 We also had to say goodbye to the peacocks and the palm trees and headed out the cemetery gates straight towards the Hollywood sign.

Hollywood Forever


Map of Our World
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Mel Blanc , Johnny Ramone , Don Adams

Post # 1