Sunday, August 18, 2019

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood's Replica Buildings

With the July 26, 2019 opening of Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, I was looking forward to the film's recreation of 1969 Los Angeles and Hollywood. Hopeful that the motion picture's imaginative director would recall some interesting visual architecture from the period, I was not disappointed.

From there, it was a short leap for me to wonder if any of the filming locations might exist as replicas within the world of souvenir building collectors (of whom I am one). 

Thus far, I have found only three direct examples. Perhaps you can tell me of others?

Let's take a look at what replicas exist and where the souvenir building gaps may be filled in the future.


Quentin Tarantino utilizes a nighttime view of the classic Cinerama in one scene when the Leonardo DiCarpo and Brad Pitt characters drive by as the premiere of Krakatoa, East of Java is taking place.

Quentin Tarantino's recreated Cinerama (for 1969)

I was able to obtain InFocusTech's visually attractive replica, with founder Mike Merwine putting blue stain on the dome for me to replicate the version seen in the film.

InFocusTech's Cinerama (with blue stain on the dome)

The design of Hollywood's domed Cinerama was based on the geodesic dome developed by R. Buckminster Fuller. The design was proposed by French architect Pierre Cabrol, lead designer in the noted architectural firm of Welton Becket and Associates. Pierre Cabrol worked with R. Buckminster Fuller during his studies at the M.I.T..

[In a sync of some significance to me, since, for starters, I share Fuller's birthday with him, I happened to have been at Southern Illinois University at the same time Fuller was a professor there. On April 4, 2013, I gave the keynote address ('“Bucky Fuller: Fortean, Falling Frogs, and Frank Lloyd Wright”) at the First Fuller Future Festival in Carbondale, Illinois.]

ArcLight owns the theater now, and they have this to say about "The Dome": 
Built (in only 16 weeks!) in 1963, Pacific Theatres' Cinerama Dome opened with the "single-strip Cinerama" production of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The Dome, the first and only theater of its kind in the world, has been host to over 50 years of premieres and blockbusters.

Still under the ownership of Pacific Theatres, the Dome was carefully refurbished and refreshed, reopening as part of ArcLight Hollywood in March 2002. The signature marquee and portico on Sunset Boulevard and the 316 hexagons in the geodesic dome were restored to their original dramatic presence. The Dome still seats more than 800 guests per showing and has maintained the historic loge seating - a favorite of moviegoers over the years.
The Cinerama at 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, California, had a gala sneak preview showing of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, with two advance 70mm screenings as part of a three-day Quentin Tarantino tribute over the July 19-21, 2019 weekend.

InFocusTech's Cinerama (without stain)

Cinerama (1969 ~> 2019)

Capitol Records Tower

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, which he has said is a love letter to LA of 1969, appears to have a deep affection for the Capitol Records building, specifically. It is seen in publicity shoots for the movie, in a poster, and via fleeting glimpses, now and then in the film. It is iconic. It is Hollywood.

As noted,
The Capitol Records Building, also known as the Capitol Records Tower, is a 13-story tower building in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Designed by Louis Naidorf of Welton Becket Associates, it is one of the city's landmarks. Construction began soon after British company EMI acquired Capitol Records in 1955, and was completed in April 1956. Located just north of the Hollywood and Vine intersection. Source.

Quentin Tarantino's "recreated" the Capitol Records Tower (1969). Due to the clutter of modern buildings, Tarantino had them digitally removed.

Capitol Records Tower (2015 ~> 1969)

Capitol Records Tower (1969 <~ 2019) 

Several souvenir building replicas of the Capitol Records Tower have been made, down through the years.

Capitol Records (Anton Tremblay's Microcosms, 1990s)

Adam Ward's Capitol Records Tower (Unofficial LEGO Architecture/ Capitol Goods 2018)

Capitol Records Building (Mike Merwine's InFocusTech, 2017)

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Grauman's Chinese Theatre is located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, and was completed in 1926. This building was designed by Meyer and Holler Architects. Grauman's is located along Hollywood's Walk of Fame and it is still used for many movie premiers as well as celebrity parties.

Tarantino's movie shows the theater in passing, during a drive-by (or at least the parking lot). But it was important in 1969 and 2019, to the movies.  Once Upon A Time In Hollywood had it's premiere release screening at Grauman's Chinese Theatre (nowadays called the TCL Chinese Theatres).

Mike Merwine has a replica available to the craft.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre (InFocusTech)

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood's Official Film Locations

The rest of the film locations for Tarantino's 9th film, as far as I have been able to discover, do not exist in official replica form. Yet.

Corriganville Park (standing in for The Spahn Ranch)

The Spahn Ranch
12000 Santa Susana Pass Road, Chatsworth

Casa Vega

13301 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks

Cameron Nature Preserve (stand in for The FBI television series at Puerco Canyon)

3501 Puerco Canyon Rd., Malibu

The Bruin & Village Theatres

948 Broxton Ave., Los Angeles

Playboy Mansion
10236 Charing Cross Road, Los Angeles

Paramount Drive-In (stand-in for the Van Nuys Drive-In which has been torn down)

7770 Rosecrans Ave., Paramount

El Coyote

7312 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax, Los Angeles

Musso & Frank's Grill

6667 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles

Vogue Theatre
6675 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles opened in July 1935 next door to Musso & Frank Grill.

Cicada Restaurant
617 S Olive St., downtown Los Angeles

Chili John's
2018 W Burbank Blvd., Burbank

Jackalope Pottery
10726 Burbank Blvd, Burbank

Super A Foods

2925 Division St., Glassell Park

Melody Ranch

24715 Oak Creek, Newhall

Vine Theater
6321 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles


Supply Sergeant - Peaches Records & Tapes

6664 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood

Aquarius Theater
Sunset Blvd, Hollywood

Taco Bell

Here is a quick overview of some of the OUATIH sites mentioned above, as mapped out by Fandango, based on insights from Rick Schuler, a veteran location manager:

Manson Family Murder sites

10050 Cielo Drive ~ August 9, 1969.
Demolished and rebuilt, and renumbered as 10066 Cielo Drive.

3301 Waverly Drive ~ August 10, 1969.
Redesigned and renumbered as 3311 Waverly Drive.

Sources: LA 1, 2, 3, 4. SB 1, 2.

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