Beverly Hills Cop | 1984
Beverly Hills, it says, but the film’s locations are all over Los Angeles. And – briefly – Detroit, too, as Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) helps out the Motortown economy by writing off any number of cars in the opening chase.
It's not all Detroit though. Foley's unauthorised 'sting' operation which kicks off the chase, using a truckful of cigarettes, was filmed in an alleyway off the familiar Palmetto Street, the old industrial area of Downtown LA new being redeveloped as the Arts District, so there've been some changes. Palmetto has since been seen in 2006's Crank, with Jason Statham and as a view of 'Stygian Street' in the original Saw (2004).
Foley's apartment, where his buddy Mikey (James Russo) gets killed, is 685 Witmer Street off 7th Street, in the Westlake district, across the Harbor Freeway from Downtown. It looks far less 'Detroity' today, behind a dense coverage of ivy.
Following his own agenda to investigate Mike's killing, Foley takes some leave and heads down to LA and – Beverly Hills.
Once in Beverly Hills we get the establishing tourist shots of the Beverly Hills Hotel and Rodeo Drive, before Foley bullshits his way into the fictional ‘Beverly Palms Hotel’, supposedly on 'Wilshire Boulevard'.
But you'll find this hotel back in the heart of Downtown. It's the 700-room Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, a smart Spanish-Italian Renaissance landmark, not in Beverly Hills at all but downtown Los Angeles. The 'lobby' seen in the film is now the hotel's grand Rendezvous Court.
Built in 1923, it’s been a frequent movie location over the years (Beverly Hills Cop III returns to the Biltmore), from The Sting and Ghostbusters to In The Line Of Fire, New York, New York, Splash, Independence Day, Species and Daredevil. It hosted the Oscars, too, during the Thirties. Foley pulls off the banana-in-the-exhaust-pipe gag opposite the Biltmore, on Pershing Square.
Being Beverly Hills, the cop station is no ordinary precinct, but the splendid 1932 Spanish-Baroque Beverly Hills City Hall, North Crescent Drive at Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills.
The exclusive club, in which Foley embarrasses drug lord Maitland (wickedly scene-stealing Steven Berkoff), is the Athenaeum, the dining club of the California Institute of Technology, at 551 South Hill Avenue in Pasadena, seen in plenty of other movies including The X-Files and True Romance.
estate: East Channel Road, Santa Monica Canyon, Santa Monica
Maitland’s estate, site of the shoot-out finale, is a private property at 609 East Channel Road in the Santa Monica Canyon. You might recognise its gate as the entrance to the 'Banzai Institute' from cult favourite The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension.