California Filming Locations #1: Terminator Special

Arnold Schwarzenegger first appears in ‘The Terminator’ (1984) at Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park on his mission to terminate Sarah Connor. This place was also used in ‘Rebel Without A Cause’, ‘Dragnet’, ‘Earth Girls Are Easy’, ‘The House On Haunted Hill’, ‘LA Confidential’ and ‘Charlies Angels: Full Throttle’. Unlike the cyborg sent back from 2029 myself and Ethan were clothed and actually saw it as a “nice night for a walk”. It was here that Arnie’s character duffs up a trio of punks as he wants their clothes. He also rips the heart out of one of them.


The restaurant where Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) works is Carrows Restaurant at 815 South Fremont Avenue in Pasadena. It was ‘Big Buns’ in the film and I only just noticed this place by chance in passing as we made our way round many locations.


The place where John Connor is conceived is the very run-down Tiki Motel at 7301 Santa Fe Avenue, Huntington Park.


Amazingly the room where it all happened was open and I couldn’t resist poking my head in (well I did a bit more than that actually!) and seeing what was perhaps the most pivotal moment in the Terminator franchise.


This was actually our first port of call and provided many match-ups in terms of the check-in window, the dog barking as the terminator arrives and busts through room 9 and fires his gun before giving chase to Sarah and Kyle Reese.


We only did one location from ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ (1991) but it was an exciting one (well it was in the movie anyway!) and was where the very exciting chase took place with the T-1000 hot on the heels of John Connor. It’s a case of 18-wheel truck versus motorbike at the junction of Plummer and Hayvernhurst (the latter of which can be seen written on the bridge in that scene).

   Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 10.23.24    Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 10.20.48 

‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ (2003) may not be so universally loved but I’m still a fan of it and in this one we see the female terminator drive through Jim’s Burgers at 1901 E. 1st Street and shoot one of her victims at the drive-thru window. According to this site “the director added the colourful cut-outs and the atomic touches.”


The cemetry where the T-101 (Schwarzenegger) shows John Connor his mother’s coffin, which is full of weapons, is Rose Hills Memorial Park at 3888 Workman Mill Road in Whittier. It should be noted that the ensuing car chase when the Terminatrix arrives was filmed down in Long Beach. This place was huge and weirdly enough was full of families playing around and treating the place as if it was a park which is a bit un-nerving.


Not really a location but I need to include it somewhere so below is the entrance to the ‘Terminator 2: 3D’ attraction at Universal Studios which is still good though probably a bit outdated now given the growing popularity of the 3D format in the last couple of years.


Schwarzenegger’s motorcycle is outside this ride which had a huge line but thankfully I got my photo taken on it nine years ago so I include that below instead.

Many thanks go to the following sites: thearnoldfans and onthesetofterminator

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
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