Rocky | 1976
- Locations |
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
- Los Angeles, California
- DIRECTOR |
- John G Avildsen
In the year of Taxi Driver, All The President’s Men and Network, this old fashioned fairytale of the underdog coming out on top took Oscars for Best Film and Best Director.
The main location you’ll want to see is, of course, the flight of 68 steps on which Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) trains.
They're northwest of downtown, and lead up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. From the top of the steps, look back along Benjamin Franklin Parkway to view the downtown skyline – with a few more highrises than were apparent in 1976.
If you want to see the art gallery’s interior, see Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill, where the gallery stands in for ‘New York’s’ Metropolitan Museum of Art, or in M Night Shyamalan's 2016 Split.
But although Rocky is set in Philadelphia, the film’s locations are split between the City of Brotherly Love and Los Angeles.
Rocky’s neighbourhood is Kensington, north Philadelphia, where his apartment is 1818 East Tusculum Street. During training for his big break he runs past Philadelphia City Hall and through the Italian Market, Ninth Street between Federal and Christian Streets.
The opening boxing match, though, with the religious mural overlooking the ring, is in Los Angeles. It’s the Oscar de la Hoya Boxing Youth Center, 1114 South Lorena Street in East Los Angeles.
The press conference is held in the, since demolished, Ambassador Hotel, which stood at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard. Closed and shuttered for many years, it was used in its later years exclusively as a film set.
Rocky works out by pounding sides of beef at Shamrock Meats Inc, 3461 East Vernon Avenue at Alcoa Avenue, just south of the Los Angeles River in Vernon, southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
The climactic fight itself, against Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), is also in Los Angeles, at the Olympic Auditorium, 1801 South Grand Avenue at Olympic Boulevard, downtown. Built for the 1932 Olympics, the auditorium was used also for boxing scenes in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby and wrestling matches in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood and Man on the Moon, with Jim Carrey as subversive comic Andy Kaufman.