The Terminator, 1984
visit the film locations
Los Angeles: Flights: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Griffith Observatory, 2800 East Observatory Road, in Griffith Park
Enjoy a burger and fries at Carrows Restaurant, 815 South Fremont Avenue at Mission Street, South Pasadena
Tiki Motel, 7301 Santa Fe Avenue, Huntington Park (tel: 323.582.5261)
Griffith Observatory is a movie star in its own right. It is famously featured in Rebel Without a Cause, and there’s a bust of star James Dean in the Observatory’s grounds. Its sleek deco lines can also be seen in the spoofy 80s film of Dragnet (with Tom Hanks), cultish musical Earth Girls are Easy, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, the remake of The House on Haunted Hill, and even sneaks its way into LA Confidential, perched on the hillside above Pierce Patchett’s luxurious home.
The Terminator location: The Terminator materialises: Griffith Observatory, Griffith Park, Los Angeles
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the cyborg sent back from 2029AD to terminate future heroine Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), first materialises in a flurry of animated lightning at the Griffith Observatory, 2800 East Observatory Road, in Griffith Park, where he rips the hearts out of a couple of punks and takes their clothes (while thanking God he didn’t land in a convent). The scene features some stunning nighttime views over the great flat expanse of Los Angeles.
The Terminator location: ‘Big Buns’: Carrows Restaurant, South Fremont Avenue, Pasadena
Connor is working as a waitress in ‘Big Buns’ cafe, which is actually Carrows Restaurant, 815 South Fremont Avenue at Mission Street, South Pasadena. You can still get a great burger here.
The Terminator location: ‘Alamo Gunshop’: Victory Boulevard, Van Nuys, San Fernando Valley
Newly kitted out, the Terminator gets tooled up at the ‘Alamo Gun Shop’, which is now, and has been for the last ten years, Mexico Auto Sales, 14329 Victory Boulevard at Tyrone Avenue, Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley.
The Terminator location: Sarah Connor learns survival skills: Tiki Motel, Santa Fe Avenue, Huntington Park, Los Angeles
The motel, where Reese teaches Connor survival skills and where, presumably, John Connor is conceived, is the Tiki Motel, 7301 Santa Fe Avenue, Huntington Park. Be aware that this is not five-star accommodation.
The car chase is around downtown Los Angeles, on Sixth and Seventh Streets and Broadway, leading to a shootout in the huge indoor parking lot of the Department of Power and Water, 111 North Hope Street. The tunnel chase, with the Terminator’s bike dodging home-made bombs, was filmed in the Second Street Tunnel, which dives underground between Hill Street and Figueroa Street, also downtown.
The final confrontation, with the Terminator reduced to a metal skeleton before being crushed in the jaws of a metal press, was filmed at Kern’s of California, 13010 East Temple Avenue, down in City of Industry, southeast Los Angeles.
Before disappearing into the ‘Mexican’ desert, Connor gets her picture taken at the remote gas station in Sun Valley in the Mojave Desert (Joshua Trees are a dead giveaway), outskirts of Palmdale, north of Los Angeles.