With the critically acclaimed Hollywood film set to hit Aussie cinema screens on 15th August, Los Angeles Tourism takes a look at the different iconic locations featured in the star-studded film that Aussies can visit when they are next in the City of Angels.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the ninth film from writer-director Quentin Tarrantino and is what he describes as his most personal film yet. In an interview with Esquire, Tarantino said that the film is his "love letter to L.A." and he thinks of it as his "memory piece."
Filming took place in Los Angeles from June to November 2018. Instagram and Twitter were flooded with fan photos of Hollywood Boulevard, which was transported back to 1969 by the film crew. Many of the film's locations are iconic L.A. landmarks, with Tarantino making use of the city's many theatres which pay homage to the golden age of film and theatre in Hollywood.
"Bounty Law" + "The F.B.I." (Puerco Canyon)
The 703-acre Cameron Nature Preserve in Puerco Canyon (3501 Puerco Canyon Rd., Malibu) is part of a contiguous block of public parkland that stretches from Corral Canyon Park at Pacific Coast Highway inland to Malibu Creek State Park. The parkland offers ocean views and miles of trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians, a highlight for when visiting Los Angeles.
Tarantino gives the audience a glimpse of Bounty Law, a fictional 1950s TV Western that starred Rick Dalton at the height of his career. (In fact, to prepare for Once Upon a Time, Tarantino wrote five half-hour episodes and wants to direct them). Years later, Dalton guest stars on an episode of The F.B.I., which ran on ABC from 1965 to 1974. According to American Cinematographer, the sequence was filmed at Puerco Canyon in Malibu. Gaffer Ian Kincaid explains that footage of DiCaprio was inserted into an actual episode - "... the location, truck and weather all had to match the scene shot 50 years prior."
Dalton and Booth get a drink at Casa Vega (13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks 91423), the Valley institution founded by Rafael "Ray" Garcia in 1956. Casa Vega continues to be a celebrity favourite thanks to second-generation proprietor Christina "Christy" Vega Fowler, who respects her famous guests' privacy and accommodates special requests like discretely entering and exiting the landmark restaurant. Not to mention, the lighting is so low an incognito meal is practically guaranteed. As they have for more than six decades, diners slide into red leather banquettes and tuck into classic House Combinations or specialty dishes like the Vega Ribeye and the Casa Vega Molcajete with sliced flank steak, chicken breast, tiger shrimp and grilled chile relleno. The Cantina offers numerous Margarita variations and an extensive tequila selection. Pro tip: for a truly authentic Once Upon a Time in Hollywood experience, ask for table C6.
Los Angeles is host to many iconic theatres, but Pacific Theatres' Cinerama Dome (6360 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood 90028) is the first and only theatre of its kind in the world. It opened on Nov. 7, 1963 with the premiere of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and has hosted more than five decades of premieres and blockbusters, even being declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in December 1998. For Once Upon a Time, Tarantino's favourite movie theatre was dressed for the premiere of the disaster film Krakatoa, East of Java which was released on May 14, 1969.
The Dome was renovated and reopened in March 2002 with state-of-the-art projection and sound as part of ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood. The signature marquee and portico on Sunset Boulevard, the 316 hexagons in the famous geodesic dome, and the deeply curved screen (32 x 86 feet!) were all restored to their original specs. The Dome seats more than 800 guests per showing and has maintained the historic loge seating - a favourite of moviegoers over the years.
El Coyote Mexican Café
Opened in March 1931, El Coyote Mexican Cafe moved to its current location (7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles 90036) in 1951. A favourite amongst local Angelenos and those visiting L.A., generations of guests have dined on authentic Mexican cuisine and sipped the famous Margaritas in El Coyote's lively, colourful setting. Autographed photos of Hollywood stars line one wall, while Christmas lights brighten up the dining room all year.
Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Abigail Folger ate their last meal at El Coyote on Aug. 8, 1969. Along with 18-year-old Steven Parent, the group was murdered later that night by members of the Manson Family at 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon. The house was rented by Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, who was in Europe at the time. Musician Trent Reznor rented the house in 1992 and set up a recording studio there before moving out a year later. Owner Rudolph Altobelli demolished the house in 1994 and built a replacement home called Villa Bella - the street address was changed to 10066 Cielo Drive.
Fox Bruin Theatre + Fox Village Theatre
Located near UCLA at the corner of Broxton and Weyburn in Westwood, the Regency Bruin Theatre (948 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles 90024) opened in December 1937. In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Sharon Tate stops by the Bruin to watch herself in The Wrecking Crew, the 1969 film starring Dean Martin. ("I play Miss Carlson, the klutz.") Featuring a wraparound Streamline Moderne marquee, the theatre was designed by noted architect S. Charles Lee, who also designed the Los Angeles Theatre, the Tower Theatre, the Hollywood Melrose Hotel (now the Hollywood Historic Hotel), the Max Factor Building (home of the Hollywood Museum), the Hollywood & Western Building (aka The Mayer Building), and the Fox Wilshire Theatre (Saban Theatre). The Bruin was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in June 1988.
Across from the Bruin, the Regency Village Theatre (961 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles) opened as the Fox Village Theatre in August 1931. The theatre has hosted Hollywood movie premieres for decades and was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1988. The theatre's most famous architectural feature is the iconic 170-foot white Spanish Revival/Moderne tower, which is topped by a blue and white Art Deco "FOX" sign. At night, the illuminated tower and sign create a beacon for Westwood Village.
Italian Restaurant, Cicada
Cicada, the stunning Art Deco restaurant and special event venue located in Downtown L.A.'s historic Oviatt Building (617 S. Olive St. Los Angeles 90014). Once Upon a Time in Hollywood isn't the only movie appearance there - nearly 30 years since Pretty Woman was released, Cicada is still called the "Pretty Woman restaurant", which was known as the Rex Il Ristorante back then. On select nights, the restaurant transforms into Cicada Club, a classy evening of dinner and dancing with nostalgic music performed by swing and jazz bands.
"Lancer" (Western Street - Universal Studios Hollywood)
Rick Dalton guest stars as a bad guy on an episode of the Western TV series Lancer directed by Sam Wanamaker (Nicholas Hammond). During the shoot, Dalton gets into a philosophical discussion about acting with his co-star, an 8-year-old method actress. Lancer was an actual series that aired on CBS from 1968-70 - Wanamaker directed the debut episode, "The High Riders."
In the August 2019's issue of American Cinematographer, gaffer Ian Kincaid says that the Lancer scenes were filmed at the Western Street set on the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood.