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Sunday October 21st 2018

Pretty In Pink | 1986

Pretty In Pink location: Hope Street, Pasadena, Los Angeles
Pretty In Pink location: Andie’s house on the wrong side of the tracks: Hope Street, Pasadena, Los Angeles

This seems such an archetypal John Hughes movie that it's easy to forget it was actually directed by Howard Deutch, until you remember that none of it was filmed in Chicago.

Nominally set in the Windy City’s northwestern suburb, 'Elgin, Illinois', the film was made entirely around Los Angeles.

Pretty In Pink location: Third Street at Broadway, Santa Monica, Los Angeles
Pretty In Pink location: Andie meets Blaine at the ‘Trax’ record store: Third Street at Broadway, Santa Monica, Los Angeles

'Trax', the record store where rich boy Blaine (Andrew McCarthy) buys a groovy Steve Lawrence album, and ends up dating shop assistant Andie (Molly Ringwald), is in Santa Monica, at the Third Street Promenade. You won’t be able to pop in to find that classic Eighties vinyl, though. It’s now the Broadway Bar and Grill, 1460 Third Street, at Broadway (directly opposite the Broadway Deli, where Robert De Niro meets Amy Brenneman in Heat).

Pretty In Pink location: John Marshall High School, Tracy Street, Silverlake
Pretty In Pink location: ‘Meadowbrook High School’: John Marshall High School, Tracy Street, Silverlake

The exterior of Andie’s ‘Meadowbrook High School’, is John Marshall High School, 3939 Tracy Street, Silverlake, seen also in the original film of Buffy The Vampire Slayer along with John Frankenheimer’s Fifties juve delinquent melodrama The Young Stranger, Eighties bodyswap farce Like Father, Like Son and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Its playing fields were seen in Grease.

‘Meadowbrook’ interiors, though, were filmed in Burroughs Junior High, 600 South McCadden Place, Hancock Park.

Pretty In Pink location: Hope Street, Pasadena, Los Angeles
Pretty In Pink location: Steff’s party mansion: June Street, Hancock Park, Los Angeles

Just a block north of Burroughs Middle School, you’ll find the mansion of smugly swanky Steff (James Spader), where Andie has such a bad time at the rich kids’ party. It’s 366 South June Street at West 4th Street in, naturally, Hancock Park.

Although Andie comes from the wrong side of the tracks, the tracks in question run not through a grungy area of Illinois, but through the leafy suburb of Pasadena, carrying the Metro Gold Line from East LA to Sierra Madre. The ramshackle-looking home she shares with her unemployed dad (Harry Dean Stanton) is 1010 Hope Street, at Magnolia Lane, South Pasadena (not far from Mission Station).

Pretty In Pink location: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, South Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles
Pretty In Pink location: the prom: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, South Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles

When all seems lost, the lovestruck Duckie (Jon Cryer) turns up for Andie at the prom in the often-seen Crystal Ballroom of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles.

But he doesn’t get the happy ending the script seemed to be working towards. Re-shoots changed track and paired off Andie with Blaine.


• Many thanks to Woody at Houses of Hancock Park for help with this section.