Something is filming almost every day in Pasadena and environs, from a commercial to a big-budget feature film. See those hand-lettered cardboard signs taped to lampposts, with such cryptic messages as “Fish” or “Wagon”? That’s code for the crew, and the arrow on the sign is pointing toward the filming location.
Here are some of the most famed locations around town. Most are public places and/or businesses, but a few are private homes. Check ‘em out, but please do not trespass on private property or disrupt businesses.
1315 S. El Molino Dr. This grand estate was Faye Dunaway’s mansion in the L.A. noir classic Chinatown.
380 S. San Rafael. You can’t see it very well from the street, but this was Wayne Manor in the TV show “Batman.” The nearby brick mansion that burned down in 2005 was often erroneously called “The Batman House.” This is the real Batman house.
675 Arden Rd. Filming continues on a regular basis at this handsome colonial—it’s the Draper’s home in Mad Men.
843 S. El Molino Ave. This colonial was Steve Martin and Diane Keaton’s house in both Father of the Bride movies.
All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid St. It was the Harvard quad in Legally Blonde and is one of the most popular locations in town; Cruel Intentions, The Other Sister and many other movies have been set here.
Caltech campus, 1200 California Blvd. Legally Blonde was shot here, and the Athenaeum served as the posh club in the funniest scene in Beverly Hills Cop. The Athenaeum is also seen in The Wedding Planner, Orange County and “The West Wing.”
Castle Green, 99 S. Raymond. Scenes from Bugsy were shot here (and see if you can find the house on Grand Ave. that was his house). The Man with Two Brains, The Sting and many episodes of “Murder She Wrote” were also filmed here.
Church of the Angels, 1100 Ave. 64. Aston Kutcher got married here in Just Married, and it was the location for the “Hellbound” episode of the “X-Files.” It’s one of the prettiest church settings in California.
City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave. This landmark is a notable character in Beverly Hills Cop, Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (it is Hynkel’s Palace), A Walk in the Clouds, Butterfield 8 and recently in “Parks and Recreation,” along with the Planning Office across the street.
Colorado Street Bridge (Suicide Bridge). Watch closely and you’ll see this bridge often in movies, TV shows and commercials. It appeared in one of our faves, Being John Malkovich; in Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 film The Kid, the Little Tramp stops a suicidal young woman from jumping off the bridge.
Cravens Estate, 430 Madeline Dr. This grand brick estate, now the headquarters of the American Red Cross, is the “J.A.G.” headquarters and has been in many movies, including Enemy of the State and Traffic.
Fenyes Mansion, 470 W. Walnut. This was the White House in Eleanor & Franklin and was a key location for Being There. Now run by the Pasadena Museum of History, it is open for public tours.
The Gamble House, 3 Westmoreland Ave. This was Doc Brown’s house in Back to the Future.
Kendall Alley. Scenes from Pulp Fiction, The Sting, Paper Moon and many others have been shot in this atmospheric Old Town alley. Read a story about The Sting filming here.
Mayfield Senior School, 500 Bellefontaine. Scenes in Devil in a Blue Dress, The Nutty Professor and Lost World: Jurassic Park were shot on this gorgeous campus, and it served as the hospital in which Roald Dahl’s Matilda was born.
Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St. This was the law library in Legally Blonde.
Prospect Blvd., Pasadena. Many houses on this street have been film locations, and the tree-lined street is beloved by directors of car commercials.
The Raymond Theatre, 129 N. Raymond Ave. This now-shuttered theater was the setting for many movies, from This is Spinal Tap to Pulp Fiction.
The once-world-famous Busch Gardens (a 30-acre garden in the lower Arroyo Seco developed by beer tycoon Adolphus Busch) was a public attraction from 1905 to 1937; among the many movies filmed there were Adventures of Robin Hood and Gone With the Wind.
1675 E. Altadena Dr . The Walsh family of “Beverly Hills 90210” lived in this house in the 91001 zip code.
Altadena Town & Country Club, at Mendocino and Holliston, is a popular filming location. Our favorites are the country-club scenes from HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
The house on Rubio Canyon at Maiden Lane was Tom Cruise’s house in Risky Business. It’s one of the most popular locations in town, having also appeared in Can’t Hardly Wait, The Babysitter’s Club, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and many others.
L.A. County Arboretum. The Arboretum has provided jungles for countless films and TV shows, including The African Queen, lots of Tarzan movies (including old Johnny Weissmuller ones), the classic TV show “Fantasy Island,” the modern TV show “Invasion” and, of course, 1960’s Attack of the Giant Leeches. Meet the Fockers also used it as a location.
Santa Anita Racetrack. Much of Seabiscuit was shot at this historic racetrack, as were the Marx Brothers’ A Day at the Races and the great Hitchcock’s film Notorious, starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains.
Occidental College, 1600 Campus Rd.. Films shot here include Jurassic Park III and the Marx Brothers’ Horse Feathers; it also served as the college in “Beverly Hills 90210” and the high school in Clueless. Most recently it was the college campus in The Kids Are All Right.
329 Melrose Ave. This was the house in the movie The House. Mask was also filmed in Monrovia.
Huntington Library, Art Gallery & Gardens, 1151 Oxford Rd. Robert Redford lived here in Indecent Proposal. It was also used for the prom scene in The Hot Chick and the statue mishap scene in The Wedding Planer.
Sierra Madre’s town square, at Baldwin and Sierra Madre, was the town square in the 1956 classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
1848 Oxley St. Pee-wee lived here in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure; the neighborhood was his movie neighborhood, too.
The Rialto Theatre, 1023 S. Fair Oaks. This was the murder site in The Player.
The horror classic Halloween was filmed all around town in 1978– the Myers house was moved and sits behind Buster’s (on Mission), South Pas High served as Haddonfield High, and the Strode House is at 1115 Oxley.
1711 and 1727 Bushnell Ave. 1711 was Michael J. Fox’s house in Teen Wolf as well as Marty’s mother Lorraine’s teenage house in Back to the Future. (Remember George McFly falling out of the tree?) George’s house was just down the street at 1727. Bushnell Ave. has been a location for many productions.