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8 Locations Where Once Upon A Time in Hollywood Was Filmed

8 Locations Where Once Upon A Time in Hollywood Was Filmed

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is set in 1960s Hollywood and many filming locations are real-life places you can visit.

Palig Dzadourian


4 min read

May 03, 2022

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, a story-driven by cultural nostalgia and a tribute to the classic age of Hollywood movies. Taking place in the 1960s, Quentin Tarantino ties a number of events of the era to create a very entertaining and aesthetically pleasing movie. The main focus of the film is to shed light on the Hollywood movie industry that struggles to stay afoot with the changing times, and Tarantino does so by presenting the main characters Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth’s dwindling acting careers. Paired with exceptional acting, Tarantino’s signature razor-sharp dialogue, and great visuals, this movie is sure to keep you engaged in one way or another.

Where was Once Upon A Time in Hollywood filmed?

An aesthetic and beautiful city, Los Angeles has seen an endless amount of cameras.

When does Once Upon A Time in Hollywood take place exactly? The answer is 1969 when Old Hollywood was shifting and major changes were occurring at the time. 

Set in a specific timeline, the Once Upon A Time in Hollywood filming locations stayed true to the setting of the film and were shot in today’s Los Angeles. Tarantino, not being a fan of CGI, preferred using props and relied on recreations to disguise the modern sites and give them their original ’60s flair. As the name suggests, however, these locations are real, the Hollywood of the past portrayed in the movie itself is an exaggerated and fairytale-like version of itself, kind of like an alternate Hollywood.

1. The Musso & Frank Grill

Being the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, The Musso and Frank Grill was definitely on the list of locations to shoot some scenes in. Having been around since 1919 with little to no renovations made, the inside of the restaurant remains the same as it was, according to production set designer Barbara Ling. This is where the movie starts setting in its story, it’s where we learn that Rick Dalton’s (Leonardo Di Caprio) acting career is dangerously close to its end when Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) offers him a chance to revive it by starring in Spaghetti Westerns in Rome. The Musso and Frank Grill restaurant played a big role in the Once Upon A Time in Hollywood year set.

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2. Corriganville Park

Arguably the most ominous yet intriguing part of the movie is when we are introduced to the folks of Spahn Ranch, where Booth (Brad Pitt) is led by Pussycat (Margaret Qualley) to meet or possibly even join their family. This scene and set are a reference to the Charles Manson family that took shelter in the ghost town of Spahn Ranch, once used as a Hollywood filming set for TV and Western movies. While the Spahn Ranch itself was a real place, the changes it underwent throughout the years made it almost unrecognizable, so it wasn’t a very optimal choice to shoot in. Instead, the crew decided to shoot these scenes in Simi Valley’s Corriganville Park, formerly known as Corrigan Movie Ranch. According to Tarantino, the set designers did a very good job of turning the area into an anxiety-inducing place, where you probably don’t want to stay for longer than a few minutes.

3. LAX

The airport scenes were filmed at the LAX, where some mosaics give off a 1960s feel.

The few short scenes where we see Rick Dalton with his new wife and Cliff Booth at the airport are actually shot in LAX. The mosaics on the wall can be found in terminals 3, 4, and 6. They have also made an appearance in one of Tarantino’s older movies called Jackie Brown.

4. Rick Dalton’s house

As seen in the movie, Rick Dalton used to be a very successful actor, living in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods of the time, Cielo Drive. This is the part where things get a little fictional because Rick Dalton isn’t an actual person nor based on someone, he is however an amalgamation of personalities from the 1960s Hollywood movie scenes. The relationship between Rick and Cliff however is in fact based on a real actor/stuntman duo.

The scenes that happen at Rick Dalton’s house don’t really take place in the actual Cielo Drive, but instead were shot at a residential house in Studio City that’s frequently used for shooting. The only instances where the actual street was filmed are during driving scenes, where Tarantino used the intersections of the real Cielo Drive, one of the most famous streets in California.

5. Regency Bruin Theater

The movie theater where The Wrecking Crew premiered, one of the most entertaining scenes in the film (Karen/Wikimedia Commons).

Sharone Tate (Margot Robbie) decides to visit the Regency Bruin Theater for a screening of The Wrecking Crew that she starred in, a Dean Martin comedy filmed in 1969. She first parks her car in the Fox Village Theater parking lot, now known as Regency Village Theater, then walks over to then named Fox Bruin Theater, now changed to Regency Bruin Theater. Both of these theaters have been designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments.

6. Casa Vega    

The Casa Vega restaurant continues to be a favorite among celebrities, it even has a drink named after Tarantino. Located on Ventura Boulevard, this is the place where Booth and Dalton go in honor of so many years of working together. If you want to get the full Casa Vega Once Upon A Time in Hollywood experience you can ask for table C6, as it was the table where the main characters have their celebratory moments.

7. El Coyote

While Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth are having a toast in the name of their companionship, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and her friends head on over to El Coyote for dinner. This is an actual event that took place on that fateful night of 1969 when Sharon and co had their last meal together before the tragic events followed. Contrary to real events, however, Sharon Tate’s fate was kinder in the movie. The El Coyote scene in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood really adds a level of sadness and emotion, as we are presented with an alternate ending to these people’s lives, a what could have been.

8. Western Street

The Universal Studios set is frequently used for many films sets.

When Rick Dalton gets offered a role in the pilot episode of a western TV show called Lancer, the crew head over to Universal Studios to film the pretend shooting of said TV show. The Melody Ranch in the Western Street of Universal Studios was nothing new to Tarantino, as he had used the set for another widely known movie of his, Django Unchained. Fans were quick to draw parallels between the two movies, most likely serving as a  little easter egg.

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