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Thursday July 19th 2018

Species | 1995

Species film location: Saharan Motor Hotel, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood
Species film location: Sil checks into the LA motel: Saharan Motor Hotel, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood

Enjoyably daft monster movie, with visuals by HR Giger, designer of Alien. Scientist Xavier Fitch (Ben Kingsley) combines alien and human DNA to produce a speed-growing supermodel who, in the space of a few days, learns language, reading, dress sense and how to follow the instructions on a bottle of hair dye.

Species location: Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico
Species location: alien messages received at the radio telescope: Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico | Photograph: iStockphoto / TexPhoto

Alien messages are first received at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto , about ten miles south of Arecibo in Puerto Rico, a familiar movie star seen in GoldenEye and Contact. You can visit the observatory’s Angel Ramos Visitor Center, Wednesday to Sunday.

Species film location: the old railway station: Brigham City, Utah
Species film location: the old railway station: Brigham City, Utah

The escape of young alien Sil (Natasha Henstridge) filmed at the Tooele Army Depot, Tooele, about 30 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, northern Utah. The Victorian railway station is Brigham City, also Utah.

She arrives, grown up and with an urge to mate, conveniently in Los Angeles, at Union Station, 800 North Alameda Street. Heading into the heart of downtown, Sil picks up a little something to wear from a bridal store at the intersection of Fifth Street and Broadway.

Species film location: Saharan Motor Hotel, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood
Species film location: Sil checks into the LA motel: Saharan Motor Hotel, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood

And where would a new arrival in LA head to next but Hollywood. The motel Sil checks into is the Saharan Motor Hotel, 7212 Sunset Boulevard at Alta Vista Boulevard, which is also where the body of the murdered prostitute is discovered in Michael Mann’s LA Takedown, his TV dry-run for Heat and the motel to which Ben Sanderson (Nicolas Cage) takes a hooker before leaving LA in Leaving Las Vegas.

Species filming location: Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood
Species filming location: Sil chooses a partner at the ‘Id Club’: lobby of the Pantages Theater, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood

You won’t be able to pick up at the ‘Id Club’, to which Sil is directed in search of a man, as it’s a fictional venue. You can see the elaborately decorated location though. It’s the foyer of the Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, a movie palace now turned musical showcase, and frequent location seen in seen in Batman Forever, The Bodyguard and Tim Burton’s Ed Wood.

Species filming location: Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood
Species filming location: the entrance to the ‘Id Club’: rear of the Pantages Theater, Hollywood

The entrance to the Id uses the building’s rear entrance on Yucca Street – that’s the striking blue-and-white frontage of the Hollywood Palace Theater and the base of the Capitol Records Tower in the background.

Species filming location: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, South Grand Avenue, Downtown Los Angeles
Species filming location: the specialists' hotel: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, South Grand Avenue, Downtown Los Angeles

The team of oddball specialists on Sil’s tail, almost literally, are based in the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, downtown LA – a frequent location, seen in loads of films, including Beverly Hills Cop.

Species filming location: Blue Jay Way, Beverly Hills
Species filming location: Sil is taken back to the fancy pad: Blue Jay Way, Beverly Hills

Sil's search for a partner to mate with sees her leaving the Id Club with a studly pick-up who takes her back to his swanky home. This is 1500 Blue Jay Way in the Bird Streets area of Beverly Hills. This is the very fancy area above the Sunset Strip where the streets have names such as Oriole, Thrasher and Nightingale, and home to plenty of celebs.

Beatles fans may recognise the name from George Harrison's song Blue Jay Way on the 1967 Magical Mystery Tour EP:

"There's a fog upon L.A.
And my friends have lost their way…
Soon will be the break of day
Sitting here in Blue Jay Way"

The car park where Sil is knocked down, and picked up by her next victim, is on Appia Avenue at Seaview Terrace, in Santa Monica alongside the Santa Monica Pier. The lavish house he takes her to is just to the north in Pacific Palisades.

The car and helicopter chase was filmed in the hills near Elysian Park just above the Dodger Stadium and alongside railroad yards at Union Station.