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Monday July 15th 2024

Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines | 2003

Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines filming location: Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines filming location: the terminatrix materialises in a shop window: Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

The third movie is always a problem (Godfather Part III, Spider-Man 3...), and without James Cameron at the helm, T3 doesn’t buck the trend.

Whereas male Terminators materialise in tough areas such as LA’s scuzzy downtown or the California desert, the T-X Terminatrix (Kristanna Loken) goes all girlie, and materialises in a Rodeo Drive shop window, at the glitzy complex, Two Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills.

But it’s not glitz all the way. In Culver City, she takes the cop’s gun, and her mission to wipe out John Connor’s future lieutenants takes her across downtown to the somewhat less glamorous Boyle Heights.

The fast food bar where she shoots the hapless burger-flipper is Jim’s, 1901 East First Street at State Street, Boyle Heights, east of downtown Los Angeles.

The clunky old T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) materialises in the Valley again, conveniently close to Ladies’ Night at the ‘Desert Star’. In reality, the raucous bar, where the Terminator takes the leathers of the male stripper is the Cowboy Palace Saloon, 21635 Devonshire Street at Owensmouth Avenue, Chatsworth, up in the northwest of the Valley.

The bar, which has also been seen in Deep Impact, Twins and La Bamba, is the place – so it’s claimed – where you might find William Shatner line-dancing. Steady on, there.

The real John Connor (Nick Stahl), when not working on a building site alongside the Harbor Freeway at Wilshire Boulevard, downtown, is moping about on the First Street Bridge over the LA River, to the east.

But when he feels the need for drugs, he heads way north, to the San Fernando Valley. The ‘Emery Animal Hospital’, and the adjoining ‘United Rentals’ branch, were sets built on the 7500 block of Foothill Boulevard, Sunland, close to the filming locations for much of Christopher Nolan’s Memento.

The road chase with the giant crane, though, is back downtown, roaring north from Boyle Heights, across the Sixth Street Bridge (seen in S.W.A.T. and beneath which the T-1000 appeared in Terminator 2, but since demolished). The spectacular destruction is a dizzying mix of CGI, real streets in the industrial area east of downtown, and a street set built at the old – recently demolished – Rockwell Defense Plant, at Bellflower and Imperial Highway in Downey, where sets for Spider-Man were constructed. The film’s ‘Skynet’ complex was  also built.

The stash of guns is discovered in Sarah Connor’s coffin at the mausoleum in Rose Hills Cemetery, 3888 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, southeast of LA, but the subsequent hearse chase was filmed in that reliable old standby, LA’s Griffith Park, before moving on to Antelope Valley, north of the city.