Rain Man, 1988
visit the film locations
Flights: Greater Cincinnati International Airport (though the airport is actually across the Ohio River in Kentucky)
Visit: Pompilio’s Bar and Restaurant, 600 Washington Avenue, Newport (tel: 859.581.3065)
Visit: El Reno, on I-40 about 15 miles west of Oklahoma City
Las Vegas: Flights: McCarran International Airport, 5757 Wayne Newton Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South (tel: 877.427.7243)
Los Angeles: Flights: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Stay at: Westin Bonaventure Hotel, 404 South Figueroa Street, downtown (tel: 213.624.1000)
Eat at: Blue Bamboo, 359 North La Cienega Boulevard (tel: 310.854.0622)
Rain Man location: the custody battle: Wattles Mansion, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Charlie’s childhood home is the Tudor-style mansion at 2 Beech Crest Lane, off Madison Road in Cincinnati’s East Walnut Hills district, on the Ohio River’s northern shore, northeast of downtown.
The ‘Cincinnati Trust’, where Charlie charms the desk clerk to divulge the whereabouts of the $3 million trust fund, is the lobby of the Dixie Terminal, 120 East Fourth Street at Walnut Street, downtown Cincinnati.
If ‘Wallbrook’, the home where he finds brother Raymond, looks a bit religiose, with statues of the virgin in the walls, that’s because it’s St Anne’s Convent, 1000 Saint Anne Drive, Melbourne, just to the southeast of Cincinnati over the Ohio River on Route 8, Kentucky. Built 1919 by architect Howard McClorey, it now houses a Montessori school.
Charlie’s father’s funeral was filmed at Evergreen Cemetery, 25 Alexandria Pike, Southgate, just south of Newport, also in Kentucky.
The bridge Charlie and Raymond cross leaving town is the John A Roebling Suspension Bridge, a prototype for the designer’s later Brooklyn Bridge in New York (you can see it from the window of the Dixie Terminal Building).
Rain Man location: the first night: Vernon Manor Hotel, Oak Street, Newport
Photograph: Flickr © Nancy Badertscher
The first night away from ‘Wallbrook’ is spent at the Vernon Manor Hotel, 400 Oak Street, Cincinnati, a 1924 landmark in the historic uptown district, loosely modelled on much-used movie location Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, in the UK. Unfortunately, the hotel finally closed its doors in March 2009.
Rain Man location: counting toothpicks: Pompilio’s, Washington Avenue, Newport
Photograph: Flickr © Jenniferrt66
And it’s back to Newport for the café where Raymond reveals his numerical skills by remembering the waitress’s phone number and counting scattered toothpicks. It’s Pompilio’s Bar and Restaurant, 600 Washington Avenue. A southern Italian restaurant, built in 1933, Pompilio’s was granted one of the US’s first post-Prohibition liquor licences.
Serving Cincinnati, though across the border in Kentucky, it’s off to Greater Cincinnati International Airport, where Raymond quotes a few useful statistics, decides that road travel is preferable and the two take the highway, I-275, which happens to be the ring road around Cincinnati.
Rain Man location: the ‘Amarillo, Texas’ motel: DeLuxe Inn, El Reno, Oklahoma
Photograph: Flickr © Jenniferrt66
The film’s crew was based in Oklahoma City for the cross-States journey. The motel in ‘Amarillo, Texas’, where Charlie realises that Raymond was his imaginary friend, ‘the Rain Man’, was the Big 8$ Motel, 1705 East 66th Highway, El Reno, on I-40 about 15 miles west of Oklahoma City. It later became the DeLuxe Inn, but has since been demolished.
Rain Man location: the motel in its heyday: Big 8$ Motel, El Reno, Oklahoma
The sign, ‘Amarillo’s Finest’, was added for the movie, and, much to the confusion of passing motorists, was retained as a feature of the motel. The brothers’ room was 117.
Rain Man location: making a phone call at the gas station: Cogar, Oklahoma
Photograph: Flickr © GuyB v3.0
The gas station, where the pair stops to make a phone call, is a disused, and now once again dilapidated W.S. Kelly Gas Station and Store, at Cogar, Caddo County, Oklahoma, about ten miles south of El Reno over the South Canadian River.
Twenty miles west of El Reno, south of I-40, is the town of Hinton, where Raymond gets to watch Judge Wapner on the farmhouse TV. Way up about twenty miles north of Oklahoma City, on I-35, is the town of Guthrie, where Charlie takes Raymond to see the doctor at the Guthrie Clinic, on the corner of Oklahoma Street and Division Street.
Rain Man location: counting cards: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas
Photograph: Flickr © cayusa
More road filming took place in south Nevada, en route to Las Vegas. Raymond demonstrates his skill with cards and Charlie teaches him to dance in Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South. The complex has been enlarged since filming.
Rain Man location: the offer from Dr Bruner: Westin Bonaventure Hotel, South Figueroa, downtown Los Angeles
Charlie, reborn as a caring brother, turns down a $250,000 offer from Dr Bruner poolside in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, 404 South Figueroa Street, downtown. Its cylindrical glass towers can also be seen in This Is Spinal Tap, True Lies, In The Line of Fire, Jim McBride’s 1983 remake of Breathless (with Richard Gere), Strange Days and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
He takes Raymond for pancakes at the Pink Cadillac Cafe (you can’t do the same – the pancake house is now Blue Bamboo, 359 North La Cienega Boulevard, serving up Asian fusion fare), before battling it out with the medical profession (a cameo from director Barry Levinson) for custody of Raymond.
The meeting takes place in the Wattles Mansion, 1824 North Curson Avenue on the south end of Runyon Canyon Park in Hollywood, a 1905 house and gardens built as the winter residence of an Omaha businessman. It’s now the HQ of Hollywood Heritage and, though you can’t visit, you can hire it for your party, wedding – or as a film location.
Charlie finally sees Raymond off back to ‘Wallbrook’ at Santa Ana Train Station, 2800 North Main Street, Santa Ana, southeast of Los Angeles.