Sunday, June 7, 2009

Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Film Locations

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (C) Disney
Recently I did a post about the traffic dilemma in Los Angeles as detailed in a book written in 1950. The summation was that there are too many cars on LA roads and not enough roads and public transportation to relieve the congestion. No other film more amusingly and dramatically pokes fun at how this Los Angeles traffic problem evolved than the 1988 film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. So, to continue with this Los Angeles traffic theme I decided to post some of the filming locations from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Ren-Mar Studios as Maroon Studios
The film begins at Maroon Studios which is actually the Ren-Mar Studios located on Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood, CA. Ren-Mar is an old Hollywood studio lot dating back to 1915. It's also famous for being Desilu Studios, when Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz bought the property in the early 1950s. Many shows, including some of the Dick Van Dyke and The Andy Griffith shows as well as many music videos have filmed here over the years.

Ren-Mar Studios, 846 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood
Above is a photo of the Ren-Mar Studios minus the "Maroon Cartoons" sign. Other than the sign and the maroon awnings, the building looks mostly the same as in the film.

Maroon Studios
Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) catches a trolley out front of Maroon Studios. There are no trolley or rail tracks that run in front of the studio. In fact, that's what Who Framed Roger Rabbit is all about. Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) wants to shut down the Red Line (the Los Angeles trolley system) and create, hold your breath, a freeway! "I see a place where people get on and off the freeway. On and off, off and on all day, all night. Soon, where Toon Town once stood will be a string of gas stations, inexpensive motels, restaurants that serve rapidly prepared food. Tire salons, automobile dealerships and wonderful, wonderful billboards reaching as far as the eye can see. My God, it'll be beautiful," says Judge Doom.

Ren-Mar Studios, location for Maroon Studios

Valiant Detective Agency, Hope Street, Los Angeles
Above is the Valiant and Valiant detective agency.

Valiant Detective Agency, 1130 Hope Street, Los Angeles
Above is how the Valiant Detective Agency building appears today. The building is completely vacant. The doors and windows are all boarded shut. Most of the other buildings that once stood near this building have been torn down. From the photo above you can see how newer structures have sprung up on both sides. It's only a matter of time before this building is torn down as well.

Eddie Valiant and Dolores argue on Hope Street, Los Angeles

Hope Street, Downtown Los Angeles
Above is a shot of Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles, just a few blocks from the Staples Center. This location is right out front of the Valiant detective agency. You can see the two buildings in the distance haven't changed. The closer buildings where completely disguised in period decor for the film.

Hope Street, downtown Los Angeles
Above, Roger Rabbit and Eddie Valiant are running from the Weasels in Benny the Cab. Here they are driving down Hope Street, one block south of the Eddie Valiant detective Agency. Again, the trolley car and the tracks do not exist. However, there has been talks about bringing a trolley system back to downtown LA.

Hope Street, downtown Los Angeles

Same shot as above as it appears presently (June 2009).

Hyperion Bridge, Los Angeles
When Eddie, Roger and Benny run from the Weasels they had for the Hyperion bridge which connects the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village and Silver Lake.

Hyperion Bridge, Los Angeles
Above is a shot of Eddie, Roger, and Benny getting away on the Hyperion bridge. Below is how the bridge appears today (June 2009).

Hyperion Bridge, Los Angeles

Eddie Valiant, Jessica Rabbit leave Toon Town

Later in the film when Eddie Valiant and Jessica Rabbit are leaving Town Town they exit through what is the Griffith Park Tunnel. Above is a shot of them leaving the tunnel and below is a picture of the tunnel today. This tunnel has been used in other films, including the Back to the Future films.
Griffith Park Tunnel, Los Angeles

If you go visit the Griffith Park Observatory you will pass through this tunnel. It's only a few blocks from the Observatory.
Anywho, to find out why the traffic is so bad in Los Angeles go back and watch the very entertaining Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Your thoughts?


Keith said...

Those are great to see. I always loved that movie.

Darla: Retro Ways said...

My favorite movie! These are so great I just adore all the screen shots and seeing what everything really looks like. Amazing post. ♥Darla

Anonymous said...

As usual, another insightful look at LA film locales. Roger Rabbit is a surprisingly underrated accomplishment. ("I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way." Classic.)

thanks so much for posting these great photos!

Zinnia Cress said...

not sure if the movie- L.A. Srtory shows specific streets- but that has some pretty funny traffic pieces in it too- ehhehe. :)

good post cutie.

Anita C. McCants said...

My kids and I enjoyed watching
that movie quite often. They
thought Jessica Rabbit was

Anonymous said...

Oh man if there were trolleys downtown again Id totally move there! A shame about that one building...

DKoren said...

Love all your location posts! It's so neat to see the movie location against the location today.

I always loved this movie and that whole speech about freeways is one of my favorite moments!


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