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Monday August 20th 2018

The Wedding Singer | 1998

The Wedding Singer: Topeka Street, Pasadena
The Wedding Singer: Wedding singer Robbie lives in his sister's basement: Topeka Street, Pasadena

Bouncy, Eighties-set feelgood romcom, set in ‘Ridgefield’, one of those movie anytowns which looks an awful lot like the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles.

‘Ridgefield Banquet Hall’, where Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) serenades the various receptions, was the ballroom of the old Ambassador Hotel, which stood at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, midtown LA. Unused as a hotel for years, it was a screen regular – among the hundreds of films shot here are The Graduate, Se7en, Rocky, S.W.A.T., Apollo 13 and Old School. Despite an outcry, it was finally demolished in 2006.

Robbie lives in the basement of his sister’s house at 1075 East Topeka Street in North Pasadena, toward Altadena. As you can see in the film, his address is 1075 1/2.

The Wedding Singer: Sierra Place, Sierra Madre
The Wedding Singer: the home of waitress Rosie: Sierra Place, Sierra Madre

His waitress co-worker, Julia (Drew Barrymore) lives a little further east, in the Tucker House, an old converted schoolhouse at 43 Sierra Place, Sierra Madre, just south of Sierra Madre Boulevard.

The Wedding Singer: North Orange Grove Avenue, West Hollywood
The Wedding Singer: Rosie hands out meatballs for singing lessons: North Orange Grove Avenue, West Hollywood

The cutesy home of frisky old lady Rosie (Ellen Albertini Dow), where Robbie gives her singing lessons in return for handfuls of meatballs, is surprisingly in the heart of West Hollywood. It’s 1425 North Orange Grove Avenue, south of Sunset Boulevard. If the address sounds a tad familiar, that's because it’s just across Sunset Boulevard from the Halloween houses – a film which coincidentally also merges West Hollywood and Pasadena into a single town.

The Wedding Singer film location: Bank Building, 650 South Spring Street, downtown Los Angeles
The Wedding Singer location: Robbie pleads for a job at the bank: Bank Building, 650 South Spring Street, downtown Los Angeles

The bank, where Robbie – a big fan of money – pleads desperately for a job, is an old favourite. It’s the old disused Bank of America building at 650 South Spring Street, seen also as a bank in The Mask and Ghost, as well as having appeared in films as diverse as John Schlesinger’s Marathon Man, Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, Spider-Man 2, Prizzi’s Honor and St Elmo’s Fire. More recently, you might recognise the premises as the exterior of ‘Belle en Blanc’, the impossibly posh bridal store from Bridesmaids or as the archive which gets blown up in Star Trek Into Darkness.

The bar in which Robbie drowns his sorrows after falling out with Julia is Avignone’s, 2321 Honolulu Avenue, off Ocean View Boulevard in Montrose, a few miles northwest of Pasadena. Outside the bar, by the Olde Towne Sandwich Shop next door, Robbie gets his lights punched out by the obnoxious Glenn (Matthew Glave).

Robbie’s ill-fated wedding to Linda is due to be celebrated at that all-purpose outdoor celebration venue, The Huntington Library & Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, in San Marino. The grounds were also used for the nuptials in American Wedding, and the estate can also be seen in Indecent Proposal, The Nutty Professor (1996), Memoirs of a Geisha and Serenity. It’s hardly a spoiler to reveal that the production revisits the Huntington towards the end of the film.