A Nightmare On Elm Street | 1984
Wes Craven’s surreal, reality-shifting movie, elmstreets ahead of the stalk’n’slashers with which it’s usually bracketed – and launching the phenomenon that is Freddy Krueger – was filmed on real locations around Los Angeles.
The school is John Marshall High School, 3939 Tracy Street in Silverlake, which numbers Leonardo DiCaprio among its ex-pupils. A regular screen star, with a resumé stretching back to the Fifties, and two dramas of teenage angst: John Frankenheimer’s 1957 The Young Stranger and Nicholas Ray’s 1955 James Dean classic, Rebel Without a Cause. Since then, it’s featured in 80s romance Pretty In Pink, bodyswap comedy Like Father, Like Son, the original big-screen film of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Grosse Point Blank, and its playing fields hosted the carnival at the end of Grease.
Many interiors, particularly the school’s gloomy boiler room, were shot inside the old Lincoln Heights Jail, 421 North Avenue 19, Lincoln Heights, near downtown Los Angeles, a frequent movie location, seen in George Cukor’s 1954 A Star Is Born as the ‘drunk tank’ in which Norman Maine (James Mason) is held after falling off the wagon. Wes Craven himself returned to Lincoln Heights Jail to film scenes for Shocker.
This is not the jail exterior that’s seen in the film, though. The ‘5th Precinct’, to which Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) is mysteriously drawn in the night, is the 1916 Cahuenga Branch Library, 4591 Santa Monica Boulevard, at North Madison Avenue in East Hollywood. Closed and renovated in the 1990s, the building has been designated a Historic-Cultural Monument.
Nancy’s home, where she’s stalked by Freddie Krueger, is 1428 North Genessee Avenue, between Fountain Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood. And just over the road at 1419 North Genessee Avenue, is the house where boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp in his movie début) gets liquidised.
Nancy is taken for tests to the ‘Katja Institute for the Study of Sleep Disorders’, which is the American Jewish University, 15600 Mulholland Drive, at Casiano Road, by the San Diego Freeway north of Bel-Air. But she does come away with a hat.