Armageddon, 1998


Michael Bay


visit the film locations

Los Angeles: Flights: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (tel: 321.449.4444), east of Orlando, Florida. Open every day of the year, except December 25 and certain launch days. Current operating hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Launch Information


The RR Blacker House is featured in Back To The Future.

St Brendan’s is seen in the 1953 War of the Worlds and crops up again in Fight Club.

The Los Angeles Theatre is a screen veteran – appearing in Batman Forever, Richard Attenborough's biopic Chaplin, Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York, Charlie's Angels, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and even as ‘the Vatican’ in End of Days.

Armageddon location: RR Blacker House, Pasadena

Armageddon location: Bruce Willis says goodbye: RR Blacker House, Pasadena

The saving grace of Michael Bay’s gung-ho epic, as an asteroid the size of Texas threatens total oblivion, is the ragtag line-up of quirky characters whose price tag for saving the world is never to pay taxes again – ever. The Space Shuttle launch is for real, filmed at the Kennedy Space Center, east of Orlando, in Florida (seen, naturally, in Apollo 13).

Filming also took place at NASA’s six million-gallon neutral buoyancy tank at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.

It's a global threat – so establishing reaction shots were taken in New York, Washington DC and at Pilot Point, Aubrey and Denton, Texas.

The surface of the asteroid, where the shuttles Independence and Freedom crash-land, was filmed at the Barry Barber Ranch near the tiny town of Interior, off I-90 east of Rapid City, in the Badlands National Park, South Dakota. The same location had previously featured as the surface of ‘Tango Urilla’ in Paul Verhoeven’s 1997 Starship Troopers.

Director Bay also used Edwards Air Force Base, north of Los Angeles; the Shrine Auditorium, 665 West Jefferson Boulevard (seen in the original 1933 King Kong); the Very Large Array National Radio Astronomy Observatory near Magdalena in New Mexico (seen in the Jodie Foster sci-fi epic Contact) and the Fletcher Oil Refinery, 24721 Main Street, Carson between Sepulveda and Lomita Boulevard.

The lively nightclub, from which Rockhound (Steve Buscemi) and Oscar Choi (Owen Wilson) get ejected after celebrating their last night on earth, is the lobby of the wildly elaborate Los Angeles Theatre, 615 South Broadway, downtown Los Angeles (a very popular location, seen Chaplin and Charlie's Angels among many other films). Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) visits his ageing dad (Lawrence Tierney) to say goodbye at the RR Blacker House,1177 Hillcrest Avenue, Oak Knoll, Pasadena.(which was previously used as the interior of Doc Emmett”s house in Back to the Future) – though you need to watch the restored Director’s Cut on DVD to catch this scene.

Armageddon location: Grand Central Station, New York

Armageddon location: the meteor shower on Grand Central Station, New York...

More global atmosphere shots were filmed in San Michele, France; the Blue Mosque and Ortakoy, Istanbul, Turkey; at the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort, India and in Shanghai, China.

The opening meteor shower blitzing ‘53rd Street, New York’ was actually filmed in downtown Los Angeles, around Fourth Street and Main Street, by the old Barclay Hotel (a locale often standing in for New York, in films as diverse as As Good As It Gets and Godzilla, finally appearing as LA in (500) Days Of Summer).

Armageddon location: Fourth and Main Street, downtown Los Angeles

Armageddon location: ...which lands on Fourth and Main Street, downtown Los Angeles

The church where Grace Stamper (Liv Tyler) and AJ Frost (Ben Affleck) get hitched at the end of the movie is St Brendan’s, 310 South Van Ness Avenue at Third Street, Hancock Park, midtown Los Angeles, which may (or may not) be a nod to classic 50s sci-fi War of the Worlds, which also filmed at the church.

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