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Thursday February 22nd 2024

Iron Man 3 | 2013

Iron Man 3 location: Villa Vizcaya, Miami, Florida
Iron Man 3 location: Iron Man 3 location: the Florida mansion of Aldrich Killian: Villa Vizcaya, Miami, Florida| Photograph: Wikimedia

The locations for Iron Man 3 can mostly be found in North Carolina, where the production was based at the EUE/Screen Gems Studios, 1223 23rd Street North, in Wilmington, the largest production facility in the US outside California.

Nevertheless, it’s seemingly set in Los Angeles, where the enviable home of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) still appears to overlook the Malibu coastline.

The 1999 prologue, with an arrogant Stark fatefully snubbing the nerdish Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) at a New Year’s Eve party in ‘Bern, Switzerland’, uses the stately Neoclassical architecture of the Cape Fear Club, 206 Chestnut Street at North 2nd Street (the Cape Fear river runs through Wilmington), a private gentlemen’s club based on the classy West End establishments of London.

The HQ of ‘Stark Industries’ is the office of Epic Games, 620 Crossroads Boulevard, off I-40 in Cary, Southwest Raleigh, way to the north of the state.

The bar in which Rhodes (Don Cheadle) tells Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) about The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), and where Stark subsequently suffers an anxiety attack, is supposedly Neptune’s Net in Malibu. Actually, the famed biker/surfer hangout was recreated for the film. You can see the real Neptune’s Net, 42505 Pacific Coast Highway in The Fast And The Furious and Point Break.

Iron Man 3 film location: Neptune's Net, Malibu
Iron Man 3: Tony Stark suffers a panic attack: the real Neptune’s Net, Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu

There’s a good chance Neptune’s Net would indeed be Stark’s local – though the address he gives to provoke The Mandarin, ‘10880 Malibu Point’, is of course fictitious, his home is, as in the previous two films, a CGI confection superimposed on the bluff above Point Dume in Malibu

Iron Man 3 location: Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Iron Man 3 location: The premiere of Hell’s Angels: Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles

There is a little filming in Los Angeles, as Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) tangles with one of Killian’s henchmen in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, and there’s another in a series of mysterious explosions.

With a little prompting from Jarvis (Paul Bettany), the Iron Man suit whizzes Tony Stark off to ‘Rose Hill, Tennessee’. This really is the town of Rose Hill, though it’s not in Tennessee but in North Carolina about 40 miles north of Wilmington.

Vacant stores on East Church Street at Railroad Street were transformed into ‘The Rocky Top’ restaurant and ‘Walker’s Bar’, where Stark discovers the dead soldier’s mother. The shrine surrounding the crater where the soldier was blown up, was built on Mallard Alley (over which the still-standing water tower looms), opposite the Trading Co. of Rose Hill, 112 East Church Street.

The ‘Miss Chattanooga Christmas Pageant’, where Stark commandeers the TV outside broadcast van, is held at the Kenan Memorial Auditorium, 437 North Main Street in Kenansville, a further ten miles north of Rose Hill.

Killian’s Miami mansion really is in Florida. It’s Villa Vizcaya, 3251 South Miami Avenue at 32nd Road in Coconut Grove on the coast of South Miami. Built in 1916 as the winter home of magazine founder James Deering, you might recognise the Italianate mansion from appearances in Ace Ventura – Pet Detective, Absence of Malice, as the mansion of James Stewart in Airport ’77 and as the site of the mayor's bash in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday.

But it’s soon back to North Carolina, as the fake ‘Iron Patriot’ boards Air Force One at Wilmington NC International Airport, 1740 Airport Boulevard, Wilmington.

It’s in the skies above Oak Island, about 30 miles to the south, that Iron Man gathers together the passengers plummeting from the stricken plane.

The climactic dockside battle takes place in Wilmington itself, among the towering cranes of the Port of Wilmington, 2202 Burnett Boulevard on the Cape Fear River.