People from all around the world dream of traveling to Hollywood so they too can experience the most stunning settings from their favorite films, but what they might not know is the directors of many highly rated Hollywood movies take advantage of Koreatown’s historic architecture and picturesque scenery to get the perfect shots! If you’ve ever wanted to travel around Los Angeles in order to feel like a dramatic movie character or a classy Hollywood actor, these are some of the locations from iconic films that you can visit in Koreatown.
And who knows – you might even run into an ongoing film set yourself!
Location: Chapman Market Building, 3465 W 6th St.
This Oscar-nominated action thriller directed by Michael Mann stars Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, and Jada Pinkett Smith. It follows an LA cab driver who finds himself acting as a new partner-in-crime to one of his fares. Depicting Koreatown’s legendary nightlife, this movie even has Korean listed as one of the film languages thanks to a scene in a club, whose exterior was shot around Koreatown’s Chapman Market Building on W 6th Street. Chapman Plaza is known for its restaurants, bars, and lights, so visit in the evening if you want to recreate that nightlife scene.
The Prestige (2006)
Location: “Koreatown” 8th and Normandie
Directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlet Johansson, and Michael Caine, The Prestige tells a story of magicians who were once close friends but turn rivals after a stage accident. The movie is based in the end of the nineteenth century, and it seems like the streets of Koreatown were chosen to create the right look. The specific locations and scenes are unclear, but IMDB lists 8th and Normandie as the film site. Take a drive around this intersection and see if you spot anything particularly 19th century-esque.
© Yes Man (2008)
Yes Man (2008)
Location: The Barclay Apartments, 706 Normandie Ave.
Directed by Peyton Reed, the award-winning Yes Man stars Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, and John Michael Higgins. Much like the title suggests, this romantic comedy follows a main character who decides to say “yes” to all questions and opportunities, and he finds out that one word can change everything. IMDB lists this Koreatown filming location as just “Koreatown,” but if you take a drive around 706 Normandie Avenue, you’ll find The Barclay Apartments where the serious yet comedic “jumper scene” was filmed.
© Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Location: The Abbey Building, 3550 W 6th St.
Award-winning Beverly Hills Cop (1984) was directed by Martin Brest and stars Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, and John Ashton. This action/comedy follows a detective trying to solve a murder case around Beverly Hills, except many scenes were shot in and around Koreatown! In the movie, the Abbey Building was set up to look Maitland’s art warehouse, but in real life the building houses businesses like a Korean dance studio and a Taekwondo academy. The scene where Murphy gets thrown through glass was also shot only a few blocks away.
© Chinatown (1974)
Location: The Prince, 3198 West 7th St.
Set in 1937, Chinatown is an Oscar-winning classic drama/mystery directed by Roman Polanski starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston. It utilized The Prince’s red leather boots and dark, sophisticated interior for a detective scene. The Prince is quite famous in the film world, as it went on to appear in many more productions: The Woman in Red (1985), Thank You For Smoking (2005), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), Mad Men (TV series 2007 – 2015), and New Girl (TV series 2011 – 2018). After switching owners and cuisines, The Prince has kept the same interior, including red stained-glass windows and oil paintings, so all film and TV lovers can come dine like characters from their favorite scenes.
There is almost always filming going on in Koreatown, so this list may be expanding as you’re reading it. Mysteriously, IMDB also lists Koreatown as a location for La La Land (2016). Let us know if you figure out which of Koreatown’s gems was featured!