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Tuesday November 20th 2018

True Romance | 1993

True Romance location: the Safari Inn, Olive Boulevard, Burbank, San Fernando Valley
True Romance location: Clarence and Alabama hide out: the Safari Inn, Olive Boulevard, Burbank, San Fernando Valley

Tony Scott’s film of Quentin Tarantino’s script shamelessly rips off the musical style and flat narrative voiceover of Terrence Malick’s Badlands. Well, if you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

The movie opens in Detroit, and indeed this is where you’ll find Clifford Worley’s (Dennis Hopper) trailer park, on the Detroit River.

True Romance location: 1300 Beaubien Street, Detroit
True Romance location: the police station: 1300 Beaubien Street, Detroit

Clifford works at the Packard Plant, East Grand Boulevard at Mount Elliott, and the cop station is at 1300 Beaubien Street at Clinton Street, just northeast of downtown Detroit.

True Romance location: Wayne County Building, 600 Randolph Street, Detroit
True Romance location: Clarence and Alabama get married: Wayne County Building, 600 Randolph Street, Detroit

Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) and Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) marry at the Wayne County Building, 600 Randolph Street – more recently, the site of the disrupted hearing in Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

But the Sonny Chiba Street Fighter triple bill, where Clarence and Alabama first meet, is in Los Angeles, at the beautifully-restored Vista Theater, 4473 Sunset Drive, Hollywood, which stood in for the interior of Pasadena’s Rialto for Scream 2, and Santa Monica’s Aero Theater for Get Shorty, as well as being seen in Christopher Guest’s underrated The Big Picture (1989).

True Romance location: Vista Theater, Sunset Drive, Hollywood, Los Angeles
True Romance location: Clarence and Alabama at the ‘Detroit’ cinema: Vista Theater, Sunset Drive, Hollywood, Los Angeles

The exterior of the theatre is Spanish Revival, but its 1922 construction coincided with the hysteria surrounding the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, and the interior is wonderfully kitschy Egyptian.

Also in Los Angeles is the diner, where the couple eat pie afterwards: the Fifties-style Rae’s Restaurant, 2901 Pico Boulevard, at the corner of 29th Street in Santa Monica, seen also in the Eddie Murphy-Steve Martin satire Bowfinger, in 2004’s Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! and in Lords of Dogtown.

True Romance location: Rae's Restaurant, Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, Los Angeles
True Romance location: Clarence and Alabama enjoy pie: Rae’s Restaurant, Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, Los Angeles

Other locations include mansions in Pasadena; Hollywood bungalows; downtown Los Angeles; the beach at Malibu and the desert at Palmdale. The construction site is alongside the landing strips of Los Angeles International Airport .

The roller-coaster is the Viper, at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Magic Mountain Parkway, off I-5, Valencia, north of Los Angeles.

Movie producer Lee Donowitz’s lavish ‘Beverly Ambassador’ suite filmed in the old (now demolished) Ambassador Hotel, which stood at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, midtown Los Angeles (seen in many, many films including appearing as the ‘Taft Hotel’ in The Graduate).

True Romance location: Ambassador Hotel, Wilshire Boulevard, midtown Los Angeles
True Romance location: the ‘Beverly Ambassador’ hotel: Ambassador Hotel, Wilshire Boulevard, midtown Los Angeles

The fabulously kitsch motel, where Clarence and Alabama hide out, is The Safari Inn, 1911 Olive Boulevard, near Buena Vista, just north of the Disney Studios in Burbank – though the leopardskin interior isn’t for real. You can also see the Safari in Ron Howard’s Apollo 13.

There was also filming at the Athenaeum, the dining club of the California Institute of Technology, at 551 South Hill Avenue in Pasadena, previously seen in the original Beverly Hills Cop.