Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991

Director

James Cameron

Cast

visit the film locations

Los Angeles: Flights: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Trivia

Well if you haven't already seen it, there’s the original Terminator.

Not quite in the same league, Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines continues the saga.

And fans of the Santa Monica Place Mall, Broadway at Third Street, can see it as ‘Ridgemont Mall’ in Fast Times at Ridgemont High).

Terminator 2: Judgment Day location: Bayside Parkway, Fremont, central California

Terminator 2: Judgment Day location: The ‘Cyberdyne HQ’: Bayside Parkway, Fremont, central California

Some years on from The Terminator, and future resistance hero John Connor (Edward Furlong) is an eleven-year-old, farmed out to foster parents in the northern Los Angeles suburb of Reseda (don’t go looking for ‘South Almond Avenue’ – it’s fictitious), while Mom Sarah (Linda Hamilton) is banged up in a maximum security asylum.

At $94 million, T2 was the most expensive movie ever (the original Terminator, came in at a neat $6 million). But that was before Titanic. James Cameron took the opportunity to revisit ideas from the first Terminator movie on a grander scale.

The opening ‘future war’ is reprised, using the ruins of a demolished steel plant at Fontana, on the outskirts of San Bernardino, Route 10 east of Los Angeles. With a sense of thrift that would gladden his old mentor (Cameron is a graduate of the Roger Corman school of moviemaking – at age 23 he handled the special effects on the Corman-produced Battle Beyond The Stars), the twisted bikes, burned-out cars and blackened cinders used as dressing are charred debris from the Universal Studio fire of 1989, when a disgruntled security guard torched the famous backlot.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day location: Phoenix Academy, San Fernando Valley

Terminator 2: Judgment Day location: ‘Pescadero State Hospital for the Criminally Insane’: Phoenix Academy, San Fernando Valley

The ‘Pescadero State Hospital for the Criminally Insane’, where Sarah Connor is incarcerated, has nothing to do with Pescadero, which is a small California fishing town between San Francisco and Santa Cruz. The institution of the movie is closer to Los Angeles. It’s the Phoenix Academy (previously the Lake View Medical Center), 11600 Eldridge at Kagel Canyon, off Foothill Boulevard to the north of Hansen Dam Park in the San Fernando Valley. Built as a medical facility in the early Seventies, it was closed, either due to earthquake damage or lack of funding, according to which story you buy, and started a new career as a movie location, but now seems to be back on course.

The new user-friendly T-800 Terminator, by another stroke of luck, finds himself naked in the San Fernando Valley at biker hangout, The Corral Bar, which stood at 12002 Osborne Street, Lakeview Terrace, where he gets himself not only a leather jacket, but a cool bike, shades, and a large gun as well. Don't plan a night out at the bar. It's long gone, and a library now stands on the site.

Meanwhile, the T-1000 upgrade liquid metal Terminator (Robert Patrick) fetches up beneath the Sixth Street Bridge (featured in the climax of S.W.A.T.),, downtown Los Angeles, and has soon tracked young Connor down to Reseda. The shopping mall chase and confrontation between the two Terminators wasn’t filmed in Reseda, though. The exterior is nearby, the Northridge Mall, 9301 Tampa Avenue, Northridge, though the interior is on the coast at Santa Monica, in the 162-store Santa Monica Place Mall, Broadway at Third Street (which became ‘Ridgemont Mall’ in Fast Times at Ridgemont High).

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