Los Angeles City Hall
The center of city government was also center stage as the "Daily Planet" in the 1950s TV show "Adventures of Superman." The rotunda and steps also make City Hall a popular stand-in for other government buildings. It has shown up in TV dramas such as "West Wing" and "Alias."
506 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
The elegant downtown hotel is a favorite of many location managers because of what Smith describes as its "spectacular central hallway" and "grand ballroom." "The hotel relocated to New York, as the haunted Sedgwick Hotel in 'Ghostbusters' and the venue for the presidential dinner in 'Splash' " Reeves writes in an e-mail.
Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica
Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the whimsical tourist-attracting wharf that houses an arcade and amusement park has had its share of screen time in films such as "Forrest Gump," "The Sting," "Fletch" and "Thank You for Smoking."
If it's a freeway chase scene, chances are it's this quarter-mile stretch in Long Beach, says "Criminal Mind's" Spellman, who recently used Shoreline Drive for a freeway in Orange County and as a location for a pivotal freeway driving lesson scene in the Alicia Silverstone movie "Clueless." It's also credited in the movies "Speed" and " Iron Man." Spellman says it helps that the city is so cooperative with film crews. It should be used to them: "CSI: Miami" and "Dexter" both shoot in Long Beach.
Sunset Tower Hotel
8358 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Reeves writes that the striking Deco tower has been in movies since 1944, when it was featured in "Murder, My Sweet," a Philip Marlowe film. "On its patio, studio exec Tim Robbins gets a message to meet Joe Gillis [the name of William Holden's screenwriter character in 'Sunset Boulevard']) in Robert Altman's Hollywood satire 'The Player,' " Reeves continues. "And on its roof, Mark Wahlberg's crew plans revenge in the 2003 remake of 'The Italian Job.' "
800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles
Opened in 1939, the historic Mission-style building has an extensive résumé. It set the scene for the William Holden-Nancy Olson film "Union Station" and masqueraded as a bank in the Leonardo DiCaprio- Tom Hanks caper "Catch Me if You Can." Noteworthy TV appearances include "Alias," "24" and " Prison Break."
Warner Grand Theatre
478 W. 6th St., San Pedro
If the script calls for a classic, old-time movie theater, Smith recommends this remodeled and restored Art Deco theater that opened in 1931. It's where Kate Beckinsale chokes up during a newsreel in the World War II tear-jerker "Pearl Harbor" and is Kate Bosworth's date-night spot of choice in "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!"