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Saturday June 3rd 2023

Gone In 60 Seconds | 2000

Gone In 60 Seconds filming location: Quality Coffee Shop, West Seventh Street, downtown Los Angeles
Gone In 60 Seconds location: Memphis Raines consults his mum at the cafe: Quality Coffee Shop, West Seventh Street, downtown Los Angeles

There’s little in common with HB Halicki’s 1974 Gone In 60 Seconds except for the ‘shopping list’ concept, the scene where the exhaust blows drugs away, a delight in smashing up cars – oh, and a couple of filming locations.

When Kip Raines (Giovanni Ribisi) bungles a job for the fearsome Calitri “The Carpenter” (Christopher Eccleston), it’s up to his older brother, Memphis (Nicolas Cage), to step in and bail him out by stealing 50 top-of-the-range motors in four days.

Retired master-thief Memphis is contacted while he’s eking out a living teaching kiddies Go-Kart Racing in the town of Independence, on I-395 about 40 miles south of Bishop in Central California. Against a great backdrop of Mount Whitney and the Sierras, Raines’s business is a lot of set-dressing added to an abandoned garage on the north corner of South Edwards Street and East Payne Street.

He leaves his quiet smalltown existence for Los Angeles, to stay with his brother in San Pedro, at 714 West 32nd Street on the northwest corner of South Peck Avenue.

The cafe, where Memphis consults their mum and lets her know what’s going on, is the Quality Coffee Shop, 1238 West Seventh Street, downtown. You can’t get a coffee there any more, it’s closed, but it lives on as a familiar location – look for it in Se7en, Training Day, Mr & Mrs Smith and Ghost World.

Starting to assemble a team, he calls Donny Astricky, who’s running a driving school at 343 East 1st Street at North Central Avenue in Little Tokyo.

The bar, in which Sway (Angelina Jolie) works to make ends meet, is another location you’ve probably already seen. It’s Joe Jost’s, 2803 East Anaheim Street at Temple Avenue in Long Beach, where Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner enjoyed a drink in The Bodyguard.

On the case are Detectives Castlebeck and Drycoff (Delroy Lindo and Timothy Olyphant), who operate out of the ‘Governor’s Regional Auto Theft Bureau’, which is the south side of downtown apartment block Metro 417, 417 South Hill Street at West 4th Street.

Gone In 60 Seconds location: Bob's Frolic Room, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Gone In 60 Seconds location: Shannon is stolen on Hollywood Boulevard: Bob’s Frolic Room, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles

As the classic vehicles begin to disappear from the streets all over Los Angeles, it starts to seem that Memphis and his crew are closet movie location buffs. Shannon is stolen from outside Bob’s Frolic Room, 6245 Hollywood Boulevard, a Thirties neon-fronted dive bar with a great jukebox, alongside the Pantages Theater, in Hollywood. The bar itself is the hangout of ambitious cop Kevin Spacey in LA Confidential.

Gone In 60 Seconds location: Johnie's, Wilshire Boulevard, midtown Los Angeles
Gone In 60 Seconds location: Stacy is taken from midtown LA: Johnie’s, Wilshire Boulevard, midtown Los Angeles

Along with Sway, Memphis steals Stacy from outside another screen star, Johnie’s Coffee Shop, Wilshire Boulevard, opposite the golden cylinder of the old Macy’s department store at Fairfax Avenue in Midtown. Like the Quality Cafe, Johnie’s is nowadays used only as a film set – having appeared in Reservoir Dogs, American History X and Miracle Mile.

Gone In 60 Seconds location: Yamashiro Restaurant, North Sycamore Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Gone In 60 Seconds location: the fake valet parker adds another vehicle to the haul: Yamashiro Restaurant, North Sycamore Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles

A fake valet whisks away another classic set of wheels from outside Japanese restaurant Yamashiro, 1999 North Sycamore Avenue, overlooking Hollywood. Its extravagant eastern style has been a boon to location managers, most famously appearing as the ‘American Officers’ Club’ in 1957’s Sayonara, with Marlon Brando, but also supplying the ‘mountain hideaway’ of evil mastermind Dr Klahn in John Landis’s Kentucky Fried Movie. After being closed for several years, I'm happy to report that Yamashiro has been relaunched.

With the law staking out the operation, Donny is warned off (“The ladies are dirty”) outside the 1994 neon deco of the Hollywood Park Casino, 3883 West Century Boulevard, in Inglewood, to the south of LA. The Casino is still in operation although the famous Hollywood Park Racetrack closed down and was demolished in 2015.

In the guise of a bratty rock star and his driver, a couple of the gang audaciously drive away another target from the entrance to the Omni Los Angeles Hotel, 251 South Olive Street, downtown.

Gone In 60 Seconds film location: International Tower, Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, Los Angeles
Gone In 60 Seconds location: Eleanor, the 1973 Mustang, is stolen from the garage – again: International Tower, Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, Los Angeles

As a nod to the 1974 original, Eleanor – now a ’67 Mustang – is again parked beneath the  International Towers Apartments, Long Beach, though the subsequent chase is through the backstreets of downtown LA, many miles north.

Slipping out of the apartments’ underground parking space, Memphis is suddenly roaring along West 7th Street, in front of the imposing arched entrance to 818 West 7th Street, being chased by the law into Lebanon Street, and causing major traffic mayhem by shooting out of St Vincent’s Court back onto West 7th Street.

Just as suddenly, he’s south of the city again, with the police in pursuit along the concrete channel of the Los Angeles River toward the workshop of Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall) beneath the Sixth Street Bridge, a standard scruffy industrial location seen in countless films and TV shows, demolished in 2016 to make way for a new structure.

Eleanor makes a spectacular leap over the cop cars on the Vincent Thomas Bridge – another nod to the Seventies original – which is also featured in Charlie’s Angels and To Live And Die In LA.

The chase finally climaxes in the old Naval Shipyard at Long Beach.