If you've been to see the movie La La Land, you know the movie was filmed in so many Los Angeles locations it could almost serve as a travel brochure for anyone planning a visit to L.A. The producers chose iconic locations that would be great destinations for any visitor wanting to get a true taste of L.A. and the Southland.
La La Land is a love story about Mia and Sebastian, young people hoping to make it big in Los Angeles. If you want to follow in their footsteps here are several of the real locations they used for filming the movie:
105/110 freeway interchange — The movie starts out with a long, continuous shot of a rousing dance number performed, of all places, on a freeway ramp with Los Angeles in the background. If you were wondering just where that is located, it's where the 105 and 110 freeways meet. It was shot over two long days with dozens of cars and dancers all up on the overpass performing for a camera on a huge crane.
Mt. Hollywood Drive — The iconic promo photo used to promote the film -- the one featuring the two lead actors dancing with the view of L.A. in the background -- was filmed at a place called Cathy's Corner, which is actually in Griffith Park. The actors dance their way through a song called "A Lovely Night" and you, too, can have a lovely night if you just drive up Hollywood Drive to catch the sunset.
Warner Bros. Studios — The plot includes the fact that Mia works at a coffee shop in a movie studio but you may be wondering which one. It's the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank and, if you've been there, you'll recognize the main street building facades that you are able to see on their studio tour. The shop itself was fake, but it's shown in the movie to be opposite the window actually used in the filming of Casablanca. There's even a line in the movie pointing that out.
Smoke House Restaurant — Right across from Warner Bros. is the Smoke House Restaurant, where Sebastian is frustrated when he is asked to play Christmas tunes on the piano rather than his true love, jazz. The scene was shot entirely using the restaurant's interior.
Rialto Theatre — In the movie, Mia drives by the Rialto Theatre several times and Mia and Sebastian actually watch Rebel Without a Cause there. The theater has actually been closed since 2007, but it's a historic place in the entertainment business. Built in 1925, vaudeville acts were once staged there and the decorations are quite ornate. The theater is located at 1023 Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena.
Griffith Observatory —The planetarium at this observatory was the scene for a beautiful dance number with Mia and Sebastian floating among the stars and planets. The observatory is the centerpiece of Griffith Park and an iconic location for locals and visitors alike. It has a commanding view of Los Angeles and is well worth a visit.
Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historical Park — That strange scrap metal monument that Mia and Sebastian see during their exploration of L.A. is part of Simon Rodia State Historic Park. It's a famous monument made from scrap metal, concrete, tile and glass.
Colorado Street Bridge — That stunning bridge that Mia and Sebastian come across is a huge landmark spanning 1,500 feet. It was built in 1913 and is an iconic SoCal bridge located in Pasadena.
Angels Flight Railway — If you were wondering why you can't ride the short downtown railway depicted in the film, the Angels Flight railway actually stopped operations in 2013 for safety reasons. It had been used to ferry passengers up and down Bunker Hill starting in 1901. It was rebuilt and relocated in 1996 before it was eventually shut down. The railway, located at 351 S. Hill Street, was operating again just for the movie shoot.
Chateau Marmont — Mia shows she has reached the Big Time by booking an expensive room at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. But alas, the interior shots were actually filmed inside Orcutt Ranch, a popular wedding venue in Canoga Park.
Blind Donkey — If you want to visit Seb's, the jazz club Sebastian eventually opens for business, head to the Blind Donkey at 149 Linden Avenue in downtown Long Beach, where the Seb's interior shots were filmed.