king kong, 1933
visit the film locations
Los Angeles: Flights: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
New York: Flights: JFK Airport
The Shrine Auditorium provided the opening and closing scenes of George Cukor's magnificent 1954 A Star Is Born, with Judy Garland and James Mason. It became the interior of the San Francisco Opera House in 1978 comedy thriller Foul Play and the site of the climactic awards ceremony in Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
King Kong location: Kong exhibited in ‘New York’: Shrine Auditorium, West Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles
Even after seeing Peter Jackson’s hi-tech remake, you’ll still be knocked out by the 1933 original and marvel at the technical achievement.
The landing on ‘Skull Island’ was filmed at San Pedro, near to Los Angeles Harbor, south Los Angeles near Long Beach – the mountains were painted on glass.
Several leftover sets were used by penny-pinching RKO Studios, including the native village (from King Vidor’s 1932 Bird of Paradise, and the giant wall from Cecil B DeMille’s 1927 King of Kings) on the lot at the Culver Studios, 9336 Washington Boulevard in Culver City, Los Angeles.
In turn, the giant ‘Skull Island’ gates were reused for Gone With the Wind, where – bizarrely – you can clearly see them during the burning of ‘Atlanta’.
‘Skull Island’ itself was filmed in Hollywood’s own wilderness, the caves at Bronson Canyon, about a quarter of a mile from the end of Canyon Drive in Griffith Park.
It occasionally hosted the Oscars (before the move to the purpose-built Kodak Theatre in Hollywood), and it was the site of the disastrous awards show climaxing The Naked Gun 33 1/3. It was also here that, at the 1998 Oscars, James Cameron crowned himself King of the World.
The pic, taken the day before the ceremony in March 1998, shows the Shrine gussied up for the big bash.
King Kong location: Kong climbs the Empire State Building: Empire State Building, Fifth Avenue, New York