Saturday, May 30, 2009

Strangers When We Meet: Film Locations

So far most of my film location posts have involved places in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. Well, this time I decided to track down some of the film locations for the Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak film, Strangers When We Meet (1961), which took me to some new areas of Los Angeles: Brentwood, Malibu, and Beverly Hills.

Most of the locations below I know for certain are the correct locations. There are a couple that I may be off on but based on some landmarks I think I may be right on these as well.

100 N. Kenter Avenue, Los Angeles

The film starts at a bus stop located at 100 N. Kenter Avenue in the Brentwood neighborhood of LA. It's here that Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak's characters first meet and begin their affair. This is a primary location in the film that appears throughout the story.
The trees have grown up quite a bit since the film was shot in the early 1960s but otherwise the location looks almost the same.

100 N. Kenter Avenue, Brentwood

Looking Northwest at the bus stop location as seen in the film.

Looking Northwest at the bus stop location present.

Kirk Douglas dropping his son off at the bus stop at Kenter Avenue.

Present view of where Kirk Douglas drops son off at bus stop.

Kim Novak standing at bus stop.

Present view of bus stop location.

Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak are seen here leaving the bus stop. That's Sunset Boulevard in the background. Below is the same view today.

Kenter Avenue at Sunset Boulevard

Kim Novak & Kirk Douglas, Tigertail Rd in background.

View looking up Tigertail Road today.
The next location below was a little difficult to figure out. In the film the location is known as the Village Market, a red country barn themed grocery store. It's here that Walter Matthau's character works as a butcher. However, today the country barn look is long gone.

11725 Barrington Ct, Los Angeles, CA

11725 Barrington Ct, Los Angele, CA (Present)

To figure out this location the only thing I could match was the white pillars next to the stairs in the center of the photo. If you look in the below photo you can see the same white pillars and the stairs going up the building. If it wasn't for that detail I don't think I would have ever found this location!

Brentwood Village Market

Kim Novak getting into her car outside the Nosh Box.

All the shops that were at this little strip mall when Strangers When We Meet was being filmed are all gone. The above photo I believe is the same shot as the one where Kim Novak is seen getting into her car.

Kirk Douglas at Service Station @ Brentwood Village Market

Another location I'm not sure about is the scene where Kirk Douglas is walking through the round overhang of the service station. In the photo below is what I'm guessing to be the same location as it appears today. In the film Douglas is walking from the service station towards Kim Novak getting into her car. If the service station was next to the strip mall then the below location would have to be where the service station was.

Possibly the service station location.

Barrington Ct, Brentwood, CA

The above photo is another shot of Kirk Douglas near the Brentwood Village Market. In the background you can see a Chevron service station. This location was easy to locate because if you look at the below photo you can see that the Chevron station almost looks exactly the same.

Chevron Station, Barrington Ct, Brentwood, CA

Romanoff's Restaurant, 140 S. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
The famous Romanoff restuarant can be seen in Strangers When We Meet. Above is a screenshot featuring the restaurant. Romanoff's opened in 1941 at the location 326 N. Rodeo Drive. It became an instant hit with Hollywood stars. The restaurant was one of Humphrey Bogart's main hangouts. In 1951 the restaurant moved to 140 S. Rodeo Drive and it's this location that appears in Strangers When We Meet.

140 S. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

Unfortunately, Romanoff's is no longer. The building has been torn down and today an office building stands on the site.

Albatross Hotel Restaurant site. 21202 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak carry on their affair at the Albatross Hotel Restaurant. Back in the 1950s and 1960s business was good for the Albatross. Eventually, the business faded away and so to the building itself. The Albatross was torn down and today it is the empty lot you see above.

Kim Novak, leaving the Albatross Hotel Restaurant

Present day view of where Kim Novak is seen leaving the Albatross Hotel Restaurant

Kim Novak on PCH near Albatross Hotel

If you look at the above screenshot of Kim Novak driving down the Pacific Coast Highway you can see a sign to the right that says the Sea Lion. The Sea Lion restaurant no longer exists but their is a new restaurant at this location called Dukes. In the photo below you can see the sign for Dukes where the sign for Sea Lion used to stand.

21202 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Now, you all were probably hoping to see photos of that house that Kirk Douglas's character is building for Ernie Kovacs's character - the one located high atop the hills in Brentwood. Well, I searched and searched for that home but could not find it. However, in the process I found Conan O'Brien's new west coast home. But, if anyone does know where the house is located please share in the comments section. I thought it might be on Tigertail Road which is near the bus stop sight.
Special thanks to Zinnia for coming with and her help on this film location hunt!

*UPDATE* (07/12/09)

Many thanks to Dr. Bitz for these photos below which show the Kim Novak house as it appears today compared to the screenshots of the house in the film:

Kim Novak house as it appears in the film. 512 Tigertail Rd.

Kim Novak house as it appears today.

Kim Novak leaving her house as seen in the film.

Kim Novak's neighbor's house as it appears today.


Raquel Stecher said...

That's amazing! You did some great work here. Strangers When We Meet is one of my favorite movies and it was a true delight to see what some of the locations look like today.

I really hope you find that house!

Robby Cress said...

Thanks Raquelle. Yes, I really hope I can find the house someday! Maybe I'll come across it by accident while looking for another location. One can hope :)

Zinnia Cress said...

you're welcome cutie- playing detective for the village market and finding certain angles was kinda fun. :) good post! x

Robby Cress said...


Many thanks for sharing the above link! I'll definitely be checking out that location sometime.

Dr Bitz said...

AWESOME. I'm sitting in my office in the Brentwood Village typing this looking out at your work, thank you so much. I do this kind of location time travel myself but never ran across this film. I did get "Union Station" with Bill Holden and watched it on the iPhone in the exact locations it was filmed in the station lobby. FUN.

Dr Bitz said...

AWESOME. Im sitting here typing this from the an office in the Brentwood village looking at all these great images.

I downloaded "Union Station" with Bill Holden and Nancy "Sunset Blvd" Olsen and watched it on the iPhone in the exact places it was shot in the Station. I love your site and do this kind of time travel alot!


Robby Cress said...

Thanks Dr. Bitz for the kind comment. It is quite fascinating to travel back in time at these LA locations through the films.

"Union Station" - now that is another great film! I've been meaning to actually do a post on that one - someday I'll get around to it.

Dr Bitz said...

I just rented the Movie and saw my office in a reverse shot and so much more of Brentwood, thank you so very much!

i also took the WDW opening day special to WDW and the 1957 Disneyland USa movie to the park and watched that on my phone too. Amazing. What a difference!

Dr Bitz said...

I'm am on the hunt for the Kovac's house, I think it may be in Bel Air, but till then, it's a Brentwood quest!

On another note, did you know a replica of "Mr.Blandings dream house" was built by the studio as a giveaway and recently resold?

Dr Bitz said...

So... we didn't find the Kovac's dream house, but we did find the home for Kim Novak's character at 512 Tigertail Rd, not that far north from the Bus Stop.

I took some iPhone images today and paired them with the screenshots. Feel free to download and add to your post Robby.

Marty said...

This is great stuff. I drive by most of these locations in Brentwood on my way to work and it's amazing how much they've changed!

Raquel Stecher said...

Thanks for the update! This is by favor my favorite of your posts.

Dr Bitz said...

Hmm. I linked to some before and after pics of the dream house under construction but cannot find it on your site. If you do find them feel free to download and use as an update

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

This was terrific! Thanks so much for the tour. What a fun post!

Barbara said...

The house is in Bel Air.

930 Chantilly Road, Los Angeles, CA

Sorry to see it renovated - it lost all of it's charm.

theyareangry said...

Robby, I watched this movie yesterday on cable. First time I ever saw it and what fascinates me about the flicks from the 50's and 60's when done in color, it's so vibrant and beautiful and I love the big old cars and their colors as well. Anyhow, I mentioned you on my Twitter account because I believe more people should know about your blog. It's an A+ what you do. My only wish is I wished you would do more of these location finds. Not sure if my posting your blog on my Twitter will do anything for you but I suppose it's better than not mentioning it. Do you have an email address? Here is what I said. Hoovie1226

1. One of the best entertainment blogs u will ever come across by Robby Cress. http://dearoldhollywood.blo... Check it out.
# Name Steaven D. Hoover

Robby Cress said...

Thanks for your comment Steven and for your Twitter alert. Right now I'm approaching my wedding so I haven't had any recent posts. I'll be back soon though with some more location posts. I've already captured a few but haven't had a chance to add to Dear Old Hollywood yet. More to come soon!

Dr Bitz said...

Love the site, Agree, A plus job. We want "before" and and "30 years in the future" pictures from the wedding location.

Robby Cress said...

Hey Dr. Bitz, I'll do a post of the wedding when everything settles. I may even be able to put a Hollywood location spin on in it :)

Unknown said...

A couple years I found what I believed to be the Roger Alt house on the hill. I don't remember exactly where it is now but I believe it was off Sunset Blvd. The house looks a little different as does the neighborhood but the long winding driveway looked pretty much the same as well.

mondodave said...

Great job -- just watched the picture tonight!

Unknown said...

SUPER POST! "STRANGERS" is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I was awed by the revisited sites. You have done a great service for nostalgia's sake!
NOW, if you can only get THEM to release George Duning's SOUNDTRACK to this great movie!

Dr Bitz said...

Here's another cool BRENTWOOD sighting. On there's an old Xmas episode of Highway Patrol that centered on the Brentwood Motel (across the street from the Strangers location at Kenter). You can see Sunset and the Fire Station across the street doubles as the Police Station.

Petronius said...

The house is definitly in 930 Chantilly road, 100 per cent sure. You can compare the views of the house in the end of the film with birds view in bing and the houses down the road are the same.

THe DRe DReamers said...

I loved Strangers When We Meet -I love this site and Thank You !!
It's so ironic that I stumbled onto this site ..just today my daughter was reading a celebrity autobiography who tells of a time when there was a Playland Kiddy Amusement park where the Beverly Center is now in LA -- I believe that's the location where the Larry and Maggie took the children on a 'play date' where they 'broke it off' .

SWWM, how awesome is that old goodie! - Just so you know- I live in LA ..and I met Kirk Douglas 6 ago years at a fundraising gala for The Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City, CA .. He was flattered, impressed and pleasantly surprised that I mention SWWM as a favorite and I told him the film is a cult masterpiece - He said he remembered filming the movie and he was quite proud of it. He was a little frail but still spunky, alert and spoke in that 'Larry Coe' voice - it gave me pleasant shivers.

And I totally agree with the blogger about releasing George Dunings score from the film ...Why are there so many issues with getting hands on these beautiful almost forgotten pieces of wonderfully crafted music. Who can one contact ?.
There so much amazing film score music that's unavailable -They don't even score films anymore- Movies are now "scored" with pre-released music from the top 100 Pop, R/B or Motown oldies. In a G5 era, why can't we get this music back-Now that's a weblog to consider .

Unknown said...

Great work on finding out the information about all those locations! The reason you probably didn't find the house that was built in the film is because it is located in Bel Air not Brentwood. I believe the house is on a street called Chantilly lane. The house was being built for Kim and her fiancee at the time Richard Quine who also produced and directed the film. They never married so the house was sold. I hope you find it, I would love to see photos of it!

karen said...

I lived in LA during that time period. The pony rides and fair were, filmed I believe, on the corner of Westwood Blvd. and Pico Blvd. At that time, there were a few structures-Owl drugstore, Newberrys and Vons. If you notice, in the background, there was a Vons market. I remember going to that area for the rides as I lived down the street. Can someone give their opinion to this?

Lisa said...

I'm so glad I found your wonderful blog and this incredible post about one of my favorite movies! I wrote about it for TCM's Movie Morlocks a few years ago -- -- and how terrific to see all your detective work in tracking down the locations. I was born in 1954 and lived in So. Cal -- not the rizty parts, though! lol -- and the architecture is very much a part of my childhood memory. Thanks again for a wonderful article and for a tremendous blog!

Robby Cress said...

Hi Lisa, thanks for the kind comment and for sharing the link. I'll check that out. And glad to hear you are enjoying the blog :)

Unknown said...

I grew up a couple blocks away from Kenter. My parents still live in the same house there for over 50years, and my Mother still remembers when they were filming SWWM.
The location of the gas station is correct, it was a Texaco station at the time with a tower similar to the Standard station across the street.
The pony rides were at a place called "Kidde Land" on the S.W. corner of Overland and Pico, had a couple of birthdays there and still have home movies of the place.
Thanks for the memories.
Jeff S.

Robby Cress said...

Hi Jeff,

It must be a real trip to see those locations how you remember them as kid and compared to how they appear now. Thanks for confirming the gas station location and for providing the location for "Kiddie Land." I bet those home movies there would be fantastic to see!


Brad said...

Fantastic work you did. Amazed by internet again and again! I worked at the Albatross in 1960 and 1961. Many interesting stories to tell here is my poem.

"The Albatross Hotel"
By Brad Ouellet

Their hotel was like the bird
Standing on 50 legs
At the edge of the Pacific
With only its tail touching dry land

Eight foot windows love seats
Spotlighted waves breaking
Objects of art paintings and rugs
Copper and bamboo mynah birds and cockatoo

“Red Sails In The Sunset”
Sip a margarita grand piano to play
Music room acoustically perfect
“Strangers When We Meet”

Eloise…..mourning Louie
In seedy cigarette burned
Black pleated skirt
And black sweater top

Beautiful clothes
She never wears
That part of her
Had gone with Louie

Brad said...

Yes it was real on the Pacific Ocean in Malibu. I worked and lived there as a hotel and restaurant management trainee in 1961-1963.
The film "Strangers When We Meet" with Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak was filmed there in 1960.
They were filming there for about 3 months in 1960. Eloise and Louie Burnett (the owners) came from New Orleans in the
1940's and opened the hotel. They also started "Film Ad Corp" which had all the search lights used for Hollywood premieres and grand openings, which they had acquired from World War II surplus. They were used to spot enemy aircraft.
Louie died in 1960. Eloise always wore black. She was a fantastic musician. She played many instruments especially the piano.
She played " Red Sails In The Sunset" every night at 7:00 o"clock on the beautiful Steinway Grand in the Music Room.
It could be heard throughout the hotel where many people came just to listen.
She wrote many songs and Liberace was a friend of hers. He came to the Albatross many times to see her and record in the "Music Room" which at the time had the best acoustics in Los Angeles.
The hotel catered to the Hollywood elite like Groucho Marx, Jack Benny, Lucille Ball etc.
It was demolished in the early 70's after Eloise died and is now a condo complex.

Brad said...

Sorry--- The Albatross actually burned in the early 90's and apparently is an empty lot.

Unknown said...

great stuff, Robby! looks like you got all the locations for this great West L.A. film! I grew up on Kenter - and never knew about this movie shooting there...just curious: have you seen my St. Martin's Press book, "Hollywood Escapes"? might save you some time on future location tours...for instance, we pinpointed "Star is Born" locations in Laguna and,

Jake Gariepy said...

Now I'm really hooked! You have another of my favorite films here. Would have loved to have lived in the LA of this time period!

If you are interested in reading my kind of humorous account of my meeting with Kim Novak a few years ago, look at my blog, Dapper and Dreamy...

Not a shameless plug, I promise! But Kim Novak is a favorite.

All the best!

Anonymous said...

What wondeful memories these photos bring back... from a terrific movie.

As a child I stayed home from school sick, and I watched this movie on TV. I must have been 8 or 9 so it must have been around 1970 or so.

Even the picture was only about ten years old (and I was a huge Kirk Douglas fan) it seemed very old to me. The reason I liked it so much was that this was my first introduction to Kim Novak and I fell in love immediately. She was so beautiful! Secondly, something in me really snapped when I saw Douglas' performance. He really is a cad in the flick, but you're pulling for him. I suddenly realized something: THAT IS CALLED ACTING!!! I've never seen a Kirk Douglas performance since that wasn't great. Of course, Kovacs, Rush and Mattau... I mean, that's one heck of a supporting cast.

Finally, the cars were so cool, with those late 50's and early 60's tail fins, chrome and two-toned colors. The hues in this film were so vibrant. The car I learned to drive in was a '66 Olds Delta 88 and it was boring compared to these classics.

I learned a lot about life from watching this movie. Good people do bad things, are sometimes confused and that even "big people" make mistakes.

Great movie and great work tracking down these locales!

Robby Cress said...

Hi Trisha,

Many thanks for the kind comment. Regarding the country mart, I'll take another look and correct.

That must have been some experience growing up in Brentwood and Westwood during that time period and having family that "lived the Hollywood glamour era." If you ever want to reminisce more about your childhood years in Brentwood and Westwood shoot me an email at I would love to hear whatever stories you may have.

Kind regards,

Robby Cress said...


P.S. I was looking at what you were referring to and I think I do have the correct location. The location in the film is the "Brentwood Village Market" as opposed to the "Brentwood Country Mart" barn. If you click on the screenshot above showing the market and a woman with a white sweater about to enter the market, the image will enlarge. At the top the sign says, "Village Mart" and right above that, although it's a bit fuzzy, there is an address number of 11725, as in 11725 Barrington Ct. You are correct that this is opposite where the Nosh Box used to be.

Obviously the location has had a dramatic facelift. The only part that really looks the same is where there is a stairwell just to the left of the market entrance. If you enlarge the screenshot and the "now" image you can see the stairs going up the middle of the building and the white support pole that is still there.

Christopher Appel said...

I'm doing some research on Romanoff's and came across your blog. While there are lots of black and white photos of the restaurant on the net, in both incarnations, I haven't been able to find any color shots of the interior.

Was any of this film shot INSIDE the restaurant? The exterior screenshot is fantastic, but I really am looking for more information on the interior layout and color of the decor.

Thanks to anyone who can help,

Lisa M. said...

I didn't know if this article about the Bel Air house had been posted or referenced:

Lots of photos of the renovation, alas!

brucemoose said...

Strangers When We Meet was filmed between October and December of 1959.

Unknown said...

kim novaks house presnt where?


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