Once Upon a Time in Hollywood filming locations you can visit

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Leonardo DiCaprio all star in the new film. Photos: Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the ninth film from writer-director Quentin Tarrantino, hits Aussie cinemas today.

And if the old Hollywood glamour on the screen inspires a trip to the City of Angels, we’ve got some of the top filming locations you can visit in Los Angeles.

In an interview with Esquire, Tarantino said the film is his “love letter to LA” and he thinks of it as his “memory piece”.

Filming took place from June to November 2018 at many iconic LA landmarks, with Tarantino making use of the city’s many theatres, which pay homage to the golden age of film and theatre in Hollywood.

The story follows Leonardo DiCaprio playing down on his luck TV actor Rick Dalton, and Brad Pitt his stunt double Cliff Booth, in the 1960s. Margot Robbie also stars as Sharon Tate, a film star who was murdered by followers of Charles Manson.

Casa Vega

Leonardo DiCaprio playing down on his luck TV actor Rick Dalton, and Brad Pitt his stunt double Cliff Booth. Photo: Andrew Cooper. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc

Dalton and Booth get a drink at Casa Vega (13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks 91423), the Valley institution founded by Rafael “Ray” Garcia in 1956.

As they have for more than six decades, diners slide into red leather banquettes and tuck into classic House Combinations or specialty dishes like the Vega Ribeye and the Casa Vega Molcajete with sliced flank steak, chicken breast, tiger shrimp and grilled chile relleno. The Cantina offers numerous Margarita variations and an extensive tequila selection.

Casa Vega continues to be a celebrity favourite thanks to second-generation proprietor Christina “Christy” Vega Fowler, who respects her famous guests' privacy and accommodates special requests like discretely entering and exiting the landmark restaurant. Not to mention, the lighting is so low an incognito meal is practically guaranteed.

Pro tip: for a truly authentic Once Upon a Time in Hollywood experience, ask for table C6.

Cinerama Dome

Cinerama Dome as seen in the movie. Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc

Los Angeles is host to many iconic theatres, but Pacific Theatres' Cinerama Dome (6360 W Sunset Blvd, Hollywood 90028) is the first and only theatre of its kind in the world.

It opened on November 7, 1963, with the premiere of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and has hosted more than five decades of premieres and blockbusters, even being declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in December 1998.

For Once Upon a Time, Tarantino's favourite movie theatre was dressed for the premiere of the disaster film Krakatoa, East of Java which was released on May 14, 1969.

The Dome was renovated and reopened in March 2002 with state-of-the-art projection and sound as part of ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood. It seats more than 800 guests per showing and has maintained the historic loge seating - a favourite of moviegoers over the years.

El Coyote Mexican Café

Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc

Opened in March 1931, El Coyote Mexican Cafe moved to its current location (7312 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles 90036) in 1951.

A favourite amongst local Angelenos and those visiting LA, generations of guests have dined on authentic Mexican cuisine and sipped the famous Margaritas in El Coyote's lively, colourful setting. Autographed photos of Hollywood stars line one wall, while Christmas lights brighten up the dining room all year.

Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Abigail Folger ate their last meal at El Coyote on August 8, 1969. Along with 18-year-old Steven Parent, the group was murdered later that night by members of the Manson Family at 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon.

Fox Bruin Theatre + Fox Village Theatre

Fox Bruin Theatre. Photo: Supplied/Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc

Located near UCLA at the corner of Broxton and Weyburn in Westwood, the Regency Bruin Theatre (948 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles 90024) opened in December 1937.

In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Sharon Tate stops by the Bruin to watch herself in The Wrecking Crew, the 1969 film starring Dean Martin.

The Bruin was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in June 1988.

Across from the Bruin, the Regency Village Theatre (961 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles) opened as the Fox Village Theatre in August 1931.

The theatre has hosted Hollywood movie premieres for decades and was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1988. The theatre's most famous architectural feature is the iconic 170-foot white Spanish Revival/Moderne tower, which is topped by a blue and white Art Deco "FOX" sign. At night, the illuminated tower and sign create a beacon for Westwood Village.

Musso & Frank Grill

A scene at Musso & Frank Grill. Photo: Andrew Cooper/Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc

The iconic Musso & Frank Grill (6667 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood 90028), Hollywood's oldest restaurant, is featured prominently in the Once Upon a Time.

Celebrating its centennial this year, Musso's is as famous for its Martinis as the legendary clientele, which spans generations of celebrities from Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe to Keith Richards and Johnny Depp.

Musso's was also a mecca for famed writers like William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathanael West, William Saroyan and Dorothy Parker.

In a scene filmed at Musso's, Dalton meets agent Marvin Schwarzs (Al Pacino), who says he's a big fan and offers him an opportunity to make a Spaghetti Western in Rome.

Spahn Ranch (Corriganville Park)

Spahn Ranch (Corriganville Park). Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc

Spahn Ranch was a 55-acre movie ranch that is infamous for being the primary residence of the Manson Family for most of 1968-69, including the Tate-LaBianca murders.

The ranch was owned by 80-year-old George Spahn (played by Bruce Dern), who allowed Manson and his followers to take it over in exchange for daily chores and sexual favours from the women.

A wildfire destroyed the dilapidated film sets and residential structures in September 1970. Now part of Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, Spahn Ranch hosts organisations like Atlas Obscura that offer guided tours of the former Manson Family hideout.

In the film, Spahn Ranch is portrayed by Corriganville Park in Simi Valley. Formerly owned by actor and stuntman Ray “Crash” Corrigan, the park was once the Corriganville Movie Ranch and was the filming site for more than 3,500 movies, TV programs and commercials.

Today, the park is home to five trails that wind around the 246-acre property, which is owned by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District.

Brad Pitt on the set of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc

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