Ten Amazing Real Reel Places

As Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony shows, movies still have a strong power to transport us to places like mid-19th Century America in 12 Years a Slave, late 1970s New York and New Jersey in American Hustle, outer space in Gravity, and a near-future Los Angeles in Her. As impressive as those movies are in creating the past, the (literally) out-of-this-world, and the future, there are real places in movies that are still memorable, even if they don’t require painstaking historical research or a computer to produce.

In honor of the end of the film awards season, I have assembled a list, in order from north to south, of my favorite West Coast urban places and small towns in the movies:

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Hover over the picture to see the text.


1.  Stadium High School, Tacoma, Washington:

2.  Astoria-Megler Bridge (U.S. Highway 101), Oregon-Washington:

3.  Mendocino, California:

4.  Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael, California:

5.  The Streets of San Francisco:

6.  Mission San Juan Bautista, San Juan Bautista, California:

7.  The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles:

8.  Urban Light, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles:

9.  The Canals of Venice, Los Angeles:

10.  Balboa Park, San Diego:

One Response

  1. Jean B.
    Jean B. March 5, 2014 at 6:15 am | | Reply

    Totally agree that we can “travel” via movies and pictures of downtowns/urban areas. Who would have thought pictures of a mission (San Juan Bautista) and the Weston, LA could “go so well, together?” Thanks! JB

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