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Monday August 19th 2019

Travel – Los Angeles: Westside & Malibu 5


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Rock Walk, Guitar Center, 7425 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood's answer to Grauman's forecourt – the Rock Walk

It’s on the bluff of Point Dume that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) builds his higher-than-hi tech home in the Iron Man films. Yes, of course, it was all CGI.

Continuing west, Leo Carrillo State Beach, 35000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265 (tel: 310.457.8143), is named after Leo Carrillo, the actor whose career stretched back to silent films but is best remembered as Pancho – sidekick to The Cisco Kid on US TV in the early 50s. He was also a conservationist and longtime member of the California Beach and Parks Commission – hence the honour.

Films shot here include the original 1984 The Karate Kid, Clint Eastwood’s Letters From Iwo Jima (as – guess where? – Iwo Jima) and Kathryn Bigelow's 1991 Point Break. If the tide is out, clamber down the rocks to find the only sea cave on this stretch of coast, which inevitably became the hangout of every 50s sea creature in need of a hideout. With rubber monsters currently out of fashion, it’s found new fame as the cave in which Fenster (Benicio del Toro) is disposed of in The Usual Suspects.

Even further west, Point Mugu State Park, 9000 West Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265 (tel: 310.457.8143), is home to Sycamore Cove, where Charlie’s house and the ‘Hawaiian’ beach scene that winds up Charlie’s Angels were shot.

Rock Walk, Guitar Center, 7425 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood's answer to Grauman's forecourt – the Rock Walk

Shake the sand from your shoes and relax at Neptune’s Net, 42505 Pacific Coast Highway, about ten miles west of Point Dume, the seafood restaurant at which Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) stop off in The Fast and the Furious.

Neptune’s Net appears to be the hangout for local resident Tony Stark in Iron Man 3, but this time the eaterie was recreated in North Carolina, where the production was based.

As a footnote, turning inland, countless films have been shot in the scrubland of the Santa Monica Mountains, at what was the old Fox Ranch (as in 20th Century Fox), now part of the Malibu Creek State Park, Las Virgenes Road, in Calabasas, including M*A*S*H, the original Planet of the Apes and Pleasantville.

Just south of the Park entrance at 1925 Las Virgenes Road, off Crags Road, the house now used as park administrative offices is the one built in for the 1948 comedy Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House, with Cary Grant.

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