David takes us on a drive to some very famous film locations … Get the camera ready!
Mention movie making and for most people, Hollywood springs to mind. Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. And fair enough too. Most visitors there want to see some evidence of the world of celluloid, and a great percentage of residents are there because they are involved in movie-making one way or another.
This sprawling city has been attracting hopefuls for more than 100 years most go back home without the stars in their eyes, but those who make it can become legends.
Hawkers selling maps or tours to movie stars' homes have been around for a long time. However, the latest thing is Hollywood by Location, a guide to movie locations on the Internet.
Rodeo Drive is like a movie set in itself, exuding fame, fortune and fashion. It runs through Beverly Hills and is the place for expensive shopping, eating, drinking, five-star hotels and cruising in convertibles which cost ludicrous amounts of money.
Think of an expensive designer and they will have a swank store on Rodeo. The Beverly Hills Hotel stands guard at one end and the Regent Beverly Wilshire the other. That is where Richard Gere was staying when he met Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. The more downmarket Las Palmas Hotel was used as the building where Julia lived.
Andy Warhol compared Rodeo Drive to a giant butterscotch sundae the ultimate cure for boredom. Julia had wonderful success spending Richard Gere's money along Rodeo, and it was also used in A Civil Action and Indecent Proposal.
Just around the corner is All Saints Episcopal Church where Dudley Moore first set eyes on Bo Derek in 10. Lomitas Avenue, two blocks west is where Nick Nolte, Richard Dreyfuss and Bette Midler formed an odd trio in Down and Out in Beverly Hills.
Once you've finished star-spotting on Rodeo, it's a pleasant drive to Long Beach. The Cowboy Country Bar had a name change to Silver Bullet bar in Thelma and Louise. It is where Susan Sarandon shot dead the amorous cowboy making advances towards Geena Davis.
On Queens Highway you will see the Queen Mary which was built in 1936. It's not just a grand old ship it is a hotel with 365 staterooms, a wedding chapel, several restaurants and 18 art deco reception salons. It has been the site for many successful movies: Pearl Harbor, LA Confidential, Someone to Watch Over Me, Chaplin, Batman Forever, Poseidon Adventure, What Women Want, AI and Being John Malkovich.
Khoury's Restaurant in Long Beach was used as a Baltimore restaurant in As Good as it Gets with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.
A drive to Seal Beach gets you to the house used in Top Gun with Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. Forty-five minutes away is Miramar, the Marine Corps Air Station, home of the original Top Gun School and still a fully operational military base. American Pie II was filmed on Main Street at Seal Beach.
On the road to San Diego you will see Kansas City Barbecue where Maverick, Goose and Iceman used to hang out in Top Gun. The bar is the same as it was when the movie was made.
On location in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Long Beach and San Diego
Qantas flies daily to Los Angeles starting at $1840 from Melbourne, $1842 from Brisbane, $1854 from Sydney, $2237 from Adelaide, $2624 from Darwin and $2691 from Perth, per person.
Prices include charges/taxes and are current at time of writing but may vary at time of booking. Seasonal surcharges and conditions apply.
Las Palmas Hotel
1738 Las Palmas Ave, Hollywood 90028
1126 Queens Highway, Lond Beach 90802
Ph: 0011 1 562 435 3511 www.queenmary.com
Cowboy Country Bar & Nightclub
3321 South Street, Long Beach 90805
Kansas City Barbecue
610 West Market Street, San Diego 92101
Miramar Air Base
Miramar Way & Interstate 15, San Diego 92145
110 N Marina Drive, Long Beach
Ph: 0011 1 562 598 6800
Top Gun House
102 Pacific Street, Oceansidewww.seeing-stars.com/Locations/1999Locations