Fight Club, 1999
visit the film locations
Los Angeles: Flights: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue at Pershing Square, downtown (tel: 213.624.1011)
Fight Club location: Marla’s digs: Hotel Bristol, West Eighth Street, downtown Los Angeles
As in Se7en, David Fincher turns the normally sunny environs of Los Angeles into a dank, grim nightmare for this blacker-than-pitch adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s satirical novel, nominally set in ‘Wilmington, Delaware’.
The luxurious ‘Pearson Towers’ condo, in which unnamed narrator Ed Norton indulges his IKEA nesting instinct (slogan: ‘A Place to be Somebody’) is Promenade Towers, 123 South Figueroa Street, between First and Second Streets, downtown Los Angeles.
Fight Club location: Ed Norton’s ‘Pearson Towers’ condo: Promenade Towers, South Figueroa Street, downtown Los Angeles
When it’s blown to bits, he moves into he dismal squat of anarchic Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). There’s nothing to see: the house on ‘Paper Street’ (a Wilmington address) was nothing more than a temporary set constructed down in the San Pedro harbour area of Los Angeles, and the nearby ‘Lou’s Tavern’ – though a real bar – has since been demolished.
Fight Club location: Marla nicks clothes from the launderette: Melrose Avenue, East Hollywood
The film, coincidentally, shares a couple of locations with the 1953 War of the Worlds. One of these is the ‘St Francis of Assisi Religious Center’, where Norton’s support group evenings are disrupted by the chain-smoking Marla Singer (Helena Bonham-Carter), which is St Brendan’s Church, 310 South Van Ness Avenue at Third Street, south of Hollywood.
Fight Club location: Marla sells the stolen clothes at the thrift store: Melrose Avenue, East Hollywood
Further east, across the Hollywood Freeway toward Silverlake, you’ll find the launderette from which Marla helps herself to – somebody else’s – clothes. It’s Launderland Coin Laundry, 4371 Melrose Avenue at North Edgemont Street , east Hollywood.
And about a block to the east is the thrift store, where she sells the clothes. It was flower shop Potter’s, 4314 Melrose Avenue – but it’s since been incorporated into the next door Glamour Hair Studio.
Fight Club location: something in the mushroom soup: Millennium Biltmore, 506 South Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles
On to the restaurant of the ‘luxurious Pressman Hotel’, where Durden does something unspeakable to the cream of mushroom soup, which is the Emerald Ballroom of the familiar Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, a hotel seen in dozens of films including Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, The Bodyguard, Speed, Daredevil and many more. Look out for a glimpse of Tyler Durden in the same location, among the hotel staff on the corporate video welcoming Norton to his hotel room. Just for the record – the hotel’s soup is perfectly fine.
Also downtown Los Angeles, but slightly less classy, Marla’s digs was the 1906 Bristol Hotel, 423 West Eighth Street. During filming, cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth was hospitalised after being hit on the head by a beer-bottle flung down by a disgruntled resident. Trust me, you wouldn’t have wanted to stay there in those days. The hotel closed in 2003 but, after years of accusations of illegal eviction and legal wrangling over its use, it’s been renovated and opened at the end of 2010 as affordable housing units.
Fight Club location: starting a fight: South Flower Street, downtown Los Angeles
During the ‘homework assignment’, to start a fight with a complete stranger, you’ll probably recognise the forecourt with the geometric metal sculptures as 444 South Flower Street at Fifth Street, downtown: the ‘bank’ robbed by Robert De Niro’s crew in Heat.
Fight Club location: blowing up the computer store: Sixth Street at Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles
The computer store blown up by Durden’s ‘Project Mayhem’ space monkeys is on the south corner of West Sixth Street at Grand Avenue, southwest of Pershing Square, downtown Los Angeles.
Fight Club location: The exterior of ‘Clifton’s’: West Eighth Street, downtown Los Angeles
The exterior, where he puts her on the bus, is faked at 325 West Eighth Street, not far from the Bristol. This is the downtown section of street down which Gene Barry seems constantly to be running in – once again – the 1953 War of the Worlds.