3. The Mask Makes A Mess Of The Firehouse From Ghostbusters
It’s probably become clear at this point that rarely is one location used to portray a setting in a film – and believe it or not this was also the case with the Ghostbusters firehouse headquarters in New York City, which is actually two buildings that look almost exactly the same but happen to be about 2500 miles apart.
One is the Hook & Ladder Company #8 building in Manhattan, NY, and the other is Fire Station 23 in Los Angeles, CA. That’s right, they decided to cover both coasts. The LA one was used for interior and some close up exterior shots and the NY one was used for the main exteriors. Together they represent the single coolest fictional workplace ever – featuring both firefighter poles and ghost jails, who could ask for anything more?
One would think that there is just no way to walk by these buildings and not recognize them as anything besides Ghostbusters HQ – however when redressed for the film The Mask, LA’s Fire Station 23 actually made a pretty good Auto Shop.
It’s really only when Jim Carrey’s character steps inside do we start to recognize it fully – mainly because of those doors:
Of course once Carrey becomes the vengeful Mask of the film, the poor firehouse takes a turn for the worse…
2. Bruce Almighty Takes A Stroll By The Courthouse From Back To The Future
So while we’re on the subject of iconic childhood movie locations in less-good Jim Carrey comedies, anyone notice this?
That would be the pivotal clock tower from the Back To The Future series being rioted upon in the film Bruce Almighty, which appears only for a flash in the film. In fact, besides this shot it appears once more as a blur in the background.
The reason of course is presumably because the producers spent all their cash on talent, Bruce Almighty was almost completely shot on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot, which anyone can see on the theme park tram tour. They have a whole freaking city to themselves spanning several eras and architectural styles, the most recognizable of which has to be Hill Valley, or Courthouse Square, from Back To The Future.
Since its appearance, Courtyard Square fell victim to the June 2008 backlot fire that completely leveled the King Kong attraction. Luckily for our childhood, while singed, the courthouse itself remained standing in the aftermath – which is actually the second time it was spared from a fire, for it also survived a similar blaze in 1997.
1. George McFly’s Hangout Is The Same Diner From The Sting
Of course there was another Back To The Future landmark that did burn down in the fire, and that was Lou’s Café in the first film. This is particularly distressing considering that years before they shot the first of this time traveling trilogy, a much more influential film had also been shot in the very same place, The Sting.
If you haven’t seen the film I highly suggest you check it out – probably the single best charming con-artist movie you’ll ever see. In fact watching Paul Newman and Robert Redford you can’t help but to realize where actors like Brad Pitt and George Clooney took lessons from – these guys are smooth.
One of the more significant locations concerning the big con of the film takes place in a diner, this diner:
Look’s familiar doesn’t it? That’s because years later it became this diner:
And then even later it became this one:
Imagine so much movie history taking place in one little strip of set. And we’ll never be able to see it again, because sadly after the second Back To The Future film was shot this diner burnt down in yet another Universal Studios Backlot fire. In fact, the Universal Studios backlot has caught on fire eight goddamn times, so someone might want to look into that before the Bates Motel takes a hit.
What’s your favorite location cameo in movies?