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Oppenheimer Filming Locations in California

Oppenheimer Filming Locations in California

California is a hotbed for summer blockbusters. Check out the Oppenheimer filming locations that brought Christopher Nolan's vision to life. Team


1 min read

July 17, 2023

Christopher Nolan’s summer exploration of one of the most consequential times in history has a deep connection with California, including having been filmed in the Golden State. “Oppenheimer” is the famed director’s most recent film that looks at Robert Oppenheimer, an infamous physicist that shaped the history of the world through his work developing the atomic bomb.

The real-life Oppenheimer spent a considerable amount of time in California as an academic. He taught at UC Berkeley and Caltech, the former in which he rose to prominence and got the opportunity to work on the Manhattan Project.

UC Berkeley is a top-end research university that Robert Oppenheimer taught at for years.

Nolan takes pride in the art of filmmaking and using practical effects as much as possible in his films. This was seen in the fascinating hallway fight scene in “Inception” or the large-scale battlefields of “Dunkirk.” While “Oppenheimer” isn’t a mind-bending film or a sprawling war flick, his adherence to authenticity extends to “Oppenheimer.”

The film was partially filmed in California at some iconic locations. The main place viewers will recognize is the UC Berkeley campus. As the place where Oppenheimer spent most of his time teaching, They filmed scenes on campus and in classrooms that were restored to look like they did over 40 years ago. 

Christopher Nolan's commitment to accuracy and practical filmmaking led to Oppenheimer being shot in California.

They also reportedly filmed some scenes at UCLA alongside broader filming in the City of Angels. California played a major role in Oppenheimer’s life, and Nolan made sure to film in locations that shaped the real person, which should pay dividends for the film’s authenticity.

For those interested in seeing the film, see if you can catch the film in IMAX 70mm format, which is the preferred format by the director himself. It’ll be worth seeking out a theater showing the format and we have a handy guide for each theater in California equipped with the technology to show it.

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