Los Angeles

Los Angeles Through the Lens of Tarantino Movies

Kevin Ma takes a tour of Los Angeles through locations that made memorable cameos in various Tarantino movies – from True Romance to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino has set many of his films in and around the City of Angels, where he spent his formative years. With his ninth film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood playing onboard this month, we’re exploring the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area to trace some of the most memorable locations in the Tarantino universe.

Pat & Lorraine’s Coffee Shop

Credit: AF archive/Alamy Stock Photo

Tarantino’s directorial career started with Reservoir Dogs, a thriller about a heist gone terribly wrong. In the film’s seven-minute opening scene, the group of would-be robbers talk about music and tipping over breakfast in Pat & Lorraines Coffee Shop, earning it a guaranteed place on any movie buff’s list of recommended restaurants.

4720 Eagle Rock Boulevard

Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio

©️2012 Columbia Pictures Industires,Inc., All Rights Reserved

In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Rick Dalton (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) spends a day filming a western TV series at real-life Hollywood studio Melody Ranch, owned by ‘the Singing Cowboy’ Gene Autry. The studio – which served as the set for TV series Deadwood and Westworld – was also used in another Tarantino movie, Django Unchained. You can visit the studio and museum of film memorabilia by booking a VIP tour.

24715 Oak Creek, Newhall

Sanctuary Adventist Church

Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Tarantino movies are known for their over-the-top violence. The bloody massacre that kicks off the entire Kill Bill saga was filmed at the Spanish-style Sanctuary Adventist Church out in the Mojave desert. The structure was originally built as a community hall before church decor was added for the 1981 film True Confessions. For Kill Bill, a wooden porch was added and the interior was completely reworked into its current form. It remains an active church today.

19809 East Avenue G, Lancaster

Safari Inn

Tarantino’s reputation as an up-and-coming talent was further elevated with his screenplay for True Romance. One of the most memorable locations in this violent romantic fairy tale is the Safari Inn motel, in which Alabama (played by Patricia Arquette) faces off against the gangster played by James Gandolfini. Built in 1955, the motel has appeared in numerous films and TV series, including Apollo 13 and Six Feet Under.

1911 West Olive Avenue, Burbank

Bruin Theatre

Bruin Theatre Los Angeles Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Quentin Tarantino

In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie) scores a free ticket to see her own performance in The Wrecking Crew at the Bruin Theatre in Los Angeles’ Westwood neighbourhood. Tarantino said that he tried to do the same when his self-penned movie True Romance was playing at the theatre in 1993. It only worked when the manager saw fans of Reservoir Dogs approach Tarantino for autographs.

948 Broxton Avenue

New Beverly Cinema

Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Also in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Tate spots a cinema hosting an adult film premiere before going to a restaurant with her friends. That cinema eventually became the New Beverly Cinema. In 2007, Tarantino bought the building to save it from redevelopment, before taking over in 2014 as its head programmer. The cinema now screens Tarantino movies (projected on film, of course) and prints of classic films from his personal archive.

7165 Beverly Boulevard

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