Déjà vu! Hollywood Sets You’ve Definitely Seen Before

Cinema is all about reinvention: the sweet ingénue, the cool jock and the frequently-explored love triangle have all been seen before.
Likewise, the same sets and filming locations have been chopped, changed, and reinvigorated time and again. Have you noticed any of these golden oldies?

Hatfield House
Built in 1611, this English mansion has seen its fair share of A-listers running through its luxury halls – it was used in Batman (1989), Batman Begins (2005), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Shakespeare in Love (1998), Vanity Fair and The Libertine (both 2004) and The King’s Speech (2010).

Hatfield House

Greystone Mansion
This big old L.A. mansion was built by an oil tycoon in 1928, but its real claim to fame are the films that have been shot here. Eagle-eyed cinefiles will have spotted the mansion in Austin Powers Goldmember (2002), X-Men (2000), The Muppets Movie (2011), The Social Network (2010), Indecent Proposal (1993), and Star Trek 2 (2012). Oh, and There Will Be Blood (2007) –who could forget that bowling alley scene…?

The Clocktower and Courthouse Square
Remember the old clocktower in Back to the Future? It’s a backlot at Universal Studios. But the set has also been in heaps of different films and TV shows, including Bruce Almighty (2003), The Cat in the Hat (2003) and Ghost Whisperer.

Clocktower
Source: [Universal Pictures]

Maine North High School
Fans of 80s cult movies can probably quote The Breakfast Club (1985) off by heart, but that distinctive library it was filmed in was actually a set built in the gym of Maine North High School in Illinois. The same school was featured in Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) – but the site has transformed again: into district headquarters for the Illinois State Police!

Tiffany & Co.
Anyone keen to drop a month’s salary on a big-ass diamond? Head to 5th Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan, where you’ll find Tiffany’s flagship store. The site has also been a shooting location for many films including, not surprisingly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Sweet Home Alabama (2002) starring Reese Witherspoon and even Sleepless in Seattle (1983).

Tiffany and co
Source: [Paramount Pictures]

The Quality Café
A backdrop so familiar you almost feel like you’ve had coffee and pie there yourself. This L.A. diner featured in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Mad Men, Million Dollar Baby (2004), Old School (2003), Training Day (2001) and Catch Me If You Can (2002)! Time for a new location, movie makers… or let’s rename this café to ‘quantity’ rather than ‘quality’ – mmkay?

Johnie’s Coffee Shop
Located on Wiltshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, this example of ‘Googie’ architecture has set the scene for a heap of films, including Miracle Mile (1988), Volcano (1997), The Big Lebowski (1998), Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Gone in 60 Seconds (2000). It was also used in several music videos. Not open to the public, unfortunately.

Johnie Coffee Shop
Source: [Working Title Films]

Fox Plaza
This architect-designed, 150m-high L.A. skyscraper with its distinctive ‘points’ is actually the headquarters for Twentieth Century Fox, but did you know it’s appeared in Speed (1994), Die Hard (1988), Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) and an episode of The X-Files? It’s also featured in various video games, and is the headquarters for Spencer Publications on The Bold and the Beautiful! Look it up next time you’re in town, and don’t miss a wander through the distinctive lobby.


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