The Aviator, 2004


Martin Scorsese


visit the film locations

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

Grauman's Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard (Hollywood/Highland, Metro Red Line)

Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard (tel: 323.468.1770). This grand old picture palace now houses live Broadway musicals (Hollywood/Vine, Metro Red Line)

The Queen Mary 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach (tel: 562.435.3511)

San Bernardino International Airport, 294 South Leland Norton Way, San Bernardino (tel: 909.382.4100), east of Los Angeles


See the old Bullock’s entrance again as a ‘Connecticut’ hotel in the 1937 comedy Topper

Grauman's Chinese is seen in Blazing Saddles and the 1937 A Star is Born

See the exterior of Pantages in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, and its interior in The Bodyguard (the Oscar ceremony) and Species (as the decadent ‘Id’ club)

San Bernardino International Airport has hosted filming for Congo, Volcano, The X-Files, Bad Boys, The Fast and the Furious and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

The Aviator location: Romaine Street, Hollywood, Los Angeles

The Aviator: Howard Hughes’ HQ, where Hell’s Angels was edited: Romaine Street, Hollywood, Los Angeles

Mystery Mesa, a remote area south of Vasquez Canyon Road between Sierra Highway and Bouqet Canyon Road at Santa Clarita northwest of Los Angeles, was peppered with bi-planes to become the desert set of Hell’s Angels. The same location has been seen in The Scorpion King, Hidalgo, Spider-Man, and hosted battle scenes for Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds.

At San Bernardino, east of Los Angeles, a hangar of San Bernardino International Airport, 294 South Leland Norton Way was emblazoned with the ‘Hughes’ name on one side, and rival TWA on the other for airport scenes. The Lockheed Constellation was borrowed from the Airline History Museum, Hangar 9, 201 NW Lou Holland Drive, Kansas City (tel: 816.421.3401).

A little east of the Ambassador Hotel site on Wilshire Boulevard is the location which doubled as the ‘Beverly Hills’ nightclub, outside which an irate Faith Domergue rams Hughes’ car. It's not a nightclub at all, but the rear of the old Bullock’s department store. This is a venerable old filming location. The same entrance, which was intended for those swanky customers arriving by car, became Connecticut’s ‘Sea Breeze Hotel’ in the 1937 supernatural comedy Topper, with Cary Grant and Constance Bennett. The store is long closed, but the magnificent deco building has been restored to become the Southwestern Law School, 3050 Wilshire Boulevard, midtown Los Angeles.

Hughes meets Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) when he comes ashore by the jetty at 72nd Place in Long Beach. Woodland Hills Golf Course, 21150 Dumetz Road, Woodland Hills (tel: 818.347.1476) stands in for the ‘Wilshire Country Club’, where Hughes and Hepburn play a round or two. Note that this is an exclusive club.

The wrap party for Hell’s Angels, and the celebration as Hughes announces his plans to build the biggest seaplane ever, were both filmed in the exquisite deco lounges of the Queen Mary 1126 Queens Highway in Long Beach.

Authentic Los Angeles locations include Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard (previously seen in Species, Batman Forever, Ed Wood and The Bodyguard), where Hughes attends a premiere with Hepburn; Hughes’ headquarters, where Hell’s Angels and The Outlaw were edited, at 7000 Romaine Street in West Hollywood; and Hughes’ seven-bedroom house at 211 Muirfield Road, Hancock Park, alongside his favourite Wilshire Country Club golf course. The interiors of both HQ and home were recreated in the studio.

The Aviator location: Sowden House Franklin Avenue, Los Feliz, Los Angeles

The Aviator: the house of ‘Ava Gardner’ in the movie: the Sowden House Franklin Avenue, Los Feliz, Los Angeles

The house of Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale) is the astonishing 1926 Sowden House 5121 Franklin Avenue, between Western and Normandie Avenues, Los Feliz, east of Hollywood. Its striking design, looking like a set of prehistoric jaws emerging from a jungle, is the work of Lloyd Wright (son of innovative architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose Ennis Brown House itself featured on-screen as the original The House on Haunted Hill). Please note that this is a private residence and do not disturb the occupants.

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