One of the most popular movies of the year, “La La Land” is gaining national acclaim for not only its record-setting Golden Globe nominations and awards, but also for its originality. The film, which captures the essence of Los Angeles, is partly a musical, but that hasn’t kept those who aren’t huge fans of musicals away from seeing and loving the film. In all, Mayor Garcetti is to have said that the film shows 60 locations throughout the city.
You may have recognized some of the locations which were used in the film, including the Warner Bro’s backlot. From “Back To The Future” building with its famous columns to Miss Patty’s dance school from “Gilmore Girls,” the film is rich with Hollywood set locations, as well as other famed L.A. spots. These are some of the best locations highlighted in the film!


1.) 105/110 Freeways
Interstate 110
Los Angeles, CA 90061

The opening scene of “La La Land” is certainly one you won’t forget. And, it’s not just because as an Angeleno you can relate to the gridlock scene of people flicking each other off in frustration. The opening scene erupts into a full blown musical as the characters are stuck on the interchange between the 105 and 110 freeways.


2.) Cathy’s Corner, Mount Hollywood Drive
Mt Hollywood Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Used in most of the film’s marketing materials, the scene of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dancing among the twinkling lights of Los Angeles has become the go-to shot for the movie. The scene, where Mia (Emma Stone) and Gosling (Sebastian) are tap dancing to the movie’s original song “A Lovely Night” is set on a street on Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park. The filming location overlooks the San Fernando Valley and is offically called ‘Cathy’s Corner.’


#rialtotheatre #southpasadena #lalaland

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3.) The Rialto Theatre
1023 Fair Oaks Ave
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(626) 799-1824

This famous theatre, which was built in 1925 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was another recognizable setting within “La La Land.” Remember the scene where Mia and Sebastian watch James Dean’s “Rebel Without A Cause?” The theatre has been officially closed since 2007, but that didn’t stop the film from making it a big part of the film.


4.) Smoke House Restaurant
4420 Lakeside Dr
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 845-3731

Remember the scene where Sebastian is playing Christmas jingles because his boss Bill (J.K. Simmons) makes him in order to keep his job? That scene is set right in our own backyard of Burbank at Smoke House Restaurant. Those who have visited this classic joint could tell by their iconic red leather booths. The restaurant sits right across the street from the Warner Brothers Studio which is the financier of the film.


5.) Griffith Observatory
2800 E Observatory Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

Set high atop Los Angeles is the iconic Griffith Observatory. As the setting of many films, including 1955’s “Rebel Without A Cause,” 2008’s “Yes Man,” “The Terminator,” “San Andreas” and many other movies, the Griffith Observatory is as iconic to Los Angeles as the Empire State Building is to New York. Director Damien Chazelle used the famed setting for the film where Mia and Sebastian continue their date at this 1935 art deco landmark and tourist attraction.


6.) Warner Bros Studios
4000 Warner Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 954-3000

Aside from Mia working at the backlot’s coffee shop, the film brings viewers back in time as Mia and Sebastian walk the lot and moviegoers see some of the most famed settings in Hollywood history. From the columned “Back To The Future” building and the window where Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman looked out in Casablanca to Miss Patty’s dance school from “Gilmore Girls,” “La La Land” takes viewers on a tour where movies are made.


7.) Colorado Street Bridge
532 W Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105

Colorado Street Bridge is a historic concrete arched bridge which spans the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena and is undoubtedly a highly sought after attraction for Angelenos and tourists alike. Completed in 1913, it offers visitors terrific views of the city, especially enjoyed at sunset. During their summer romance, Sebastian and Mia take a stroll on this iconic L.A. landmark.


8.) Château Marmont
8221 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 656-1010

An L.A. based film really could never be complete without featuring the famed Chateau Marmont Hotel. Perched above Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, The Chateau Marmont has been the setting of scandals, parties and everything in between over the years. In “La La Land,” Mia proves she’s finally made it as an actress she is living there for a time.


9.) The Blind Donkey
149 Linden Ave
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 247-1511

Remember the sad setting where Sebastian see’s Mia with her now husband at his own bar after 5 years? That’s at The Blind Donkey in Long Beach, which doubled as ‘Seb’s’ for the film.


10.) Hermosa Beach Pier
1 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(310) 318-0239

Hermosa Beach Pier acted as the setting where Gosling sang the movie’s popular hit “City of Stars”.


11.) The Lighthouse Cafe
30 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(310) 376-9833

Lighthouse Cafe served as the spot where Jazz came alive. The Lighthouse Cafe in real life is actually a Jazz cafe, so it’s only fitting that it was the setting where Sebastian played along with John Legend.


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12.) Angels Flight
351 Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 626-1901

Although it’s permanently closed to the public, that doesn’t stop movie studios from gaining the right to use this famed piece of L.A. history. Especially when the movie celebrates all things Los Angeles! From 1901 to 1969, Angels Flight served as a railway to carry passengers up the steep Bunker Hill. The 115 year old and counting railway reopened in 1996 ultimately to be closed in 2013 for good. The famed railcar is shown during the popular love story montage in the film.


13.) The El Rey Theatre
5515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 936-6400

Remember the scene of John Legend’s astounding performance which lit up not only the screen but also made you want to get up and dance? That was filmed at the legendary El Rey Theatre, which opened in 1936 and continues to be the setting for live musical acts today.


14.) Watts Towers
1765 E 107th St
Los Angeles, CA 90002
(213) 847-4646

Exploring Los Angeles, Mia and Sebastian take a stroll through one of the city’s cultural landmarks. The Watts Towers are a collection of 17 interconnected sculptural structures located within the Simon Rodia State Historic Park in Watts. They were built over a period of 33 years from 1921 to 1954.


15.) Grand Central Market
317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 624-2378

The market may only make a brief appearance in the film as the place where Mia and Sebastian went on one of their first dates, but the Market is one of Los Angeles’ best spots to get food. The open air market features popular eateries like Wexler’s Deli and others.


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