Monday, January 1, 2007


Before seeing GHOSTBUSTERS again, take a moment to virtually tour Los Angeles, and reflect on L.A.'s influence on this classic ghost-hunting movie.

Although the exteriors used for the Ghostbusters' headquarters were shot in New York, all of the interiors of that abandoned fire station (including the containment area in the basement) were from Los Angeles’ very own decommissioned station house #23. said to be haunted by a former controversial fire chie, who penthouse luxurious apartment was on the top floor People hear his pacing footsteps. map

The fictitious “Sedgewick Hotel's” lobby and ballroom (where the Ghostbusters first encounter "Slimer") were actually inside the Biltmore Hotel located in downtown Los Angeles, which in real life is said to be haunted by a phantom nun, the "Black Dahlia," a little girl, a man in a tuxedo, as well as other ghosts. The stairwell in the Biltmore were also used as endless flight of stairs in Dana’s Apt. Building near the climax of the movie. map

The New York Library “stacks,” where the Ghostbusters come face-to-face with their first ghost (the scary librari-an) was actually filmed at this city’s central library also in downtown Los Angeles. Although this library's stacks are said to be ghost-free, the upstairs reading rooms (according to the security staff) are haunted by a woman that walks down the aisles between the reading tables. map

The “rooftop” set (one of the largest indoor sets ever built in Los Angeles) for the movie's climax, as well as many other sets, including Dana’s Apt. and the halls of the “Sedgewick Hotel” were filmed at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank (formerly known as the "The Burbank Studios" since its shared the lot with Columbia Pictures). A full-scale recreation of the exterior of Dana’s Apt. Building was constructed (with the torn street in front) on the back lot Incidentally, like most movie studios in the area, this one is also said to be haunted. map

Additionally, all the special effects for the movie were created at the now defunct Boss Film Studios in Marina Del Rey. This was the birth place, so to speak, of "Onion Head" (better known as Slimer), the Demon Dogs, and all the other spooky and kooky creations. map

Although Dan Ackroyd was always interested in the paranormal, 7708 Woodrow Wilson Drive is said to be the haunted house that Ackroyd was living in when he was inspired to write the script for GHOSTBUSTERS. Former residents (and possible sources for the haunting) of the house include “Mama" Cass Elliot and Natalie Wood. map

Ackroyd has also been quoted as saying that the movie "Poltergeist" (set locally) was another strong influence on the Ghostbuster script in terms of that film's treatment of ghosts (both in story and in special effects). It is worth noting that that film has since been associated with a "poltergeist curse," where by cast members have died tragically. Also, the original case that inspired the movie "Poltergeist" even supplied the name "Gozer" which appears in GHOSTBUSTERS as the villain's name. map

John Belushi was originally supposed to star in Ghostbusters along side his friend, Dan Ackroyd, as they had done in the 1980 comedy "The Blues Brothers." Unfortunately for the movie (and the world), Belushi passed away to the after-life before Ghostbusters went into production. In an interview about "The Real Ghostbusters" animated TV show, Ackroyd says about the Slimer character that, in many ways, it embodies the spirit of Belushi with its playful lust for life, and enormous appetite for food and drink. So, maybe in some small way Belushi did made it into the film posthumously. Incidentally, the room at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, where Belushi died is said to be haunted by his ghost. (map)

Speaking of "The Real Ghostbusters," the animated TV version of the movie, the entire series (including the renamed version, "Slimer!") was produced at DIC Entertainment, which is directly across the street from Warner Bros. Studios, where much of the movie was shot. (map)

The reason for the use of  the word "Real" in the title of this movie's cartoon spin-off was because Columbia licensed the term "Ghost Buster" for the movie's title from the now defunct Filmation Associates (based out of Receda in the San Fernando Valley), which produced a live-action children's show in the 1970's with that title that was set and filmed in Los Angeles. In a convoluted mess, when Columbia rejected Filmation's bid to produce a cartoon show based on the movie, they just made their own show based on their original 1970's show, changing the name from "The Ghost Busters" to "Ghostbusters" (known later as "The Original Ghostbusters"), which prompted DIC to title their version "The Real Ghostbusters."  (map)

The Doheny Mansion in Beverly Hills, which has been used in many movies and TV shows over the years, also claims to have been used for GHOSTBUSTERS on their website. Although, not readily visible in the movie, the building does appear in the sequel, GHOSTBUSTERS II. It should also be noted, that this mansion is also said to be haunted by the restless spirit of Ned Doheny, who walks the halls late at night waiting for someone to solve the riddle of his murder (or suicide). map

It should be no surprise that the "Ectomobile" (Ecto-1) was created here in the "custom car capital of the world." The original vehicle is supposedly still on the Sony Lot (in storage) and has not been moved since it was used in GHOSTBUSTERS II. Several other "ectomobile" production cars have been built locally over the years as needed. The Petersen Museum has one of these vehicles as part of its “star cars” collection. Sometimes, it is even on display. Ask, before paying the admission price. map

Then, there's always The Ghost buster Disposal Service (map)

Finally, go to Hollywood Toys and Costume (map) and get your very own “Ghostbusters” costume, or just a “ghost” costume, so you will be appropriately attired for the GHOSTBUSTERS screening tonight at the "almost free" outdoor screening at the Circuit City Lot. map

For an overall map of these locations click here.


Swiss said...

realize this is old, but I've been trying to find some of those locales for a long time. As an avid GB fan since childhood now living in LA - it's going to be a blast checking them out. Thanks!!

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