Recently I got the chance to drive out a little way into the desert and check out some old Mojave desert filming locations that are still in existence out there. All the places below are located about 10-20 miles east of Palmdale, California, and roughly about 70 miles/1 hour from Los Angeles on the 14 freeway.
My first stop was the Four Aces film set which is located on the Northwest corner of 145th street and Avenue Q. This set has been used in movies such as Identity, Torque and House of 1000 corpses. It has also been used in TV shows such as OC and NCIS. I arrived at this location early afternoon and was treated to some great broken cloud cover over the desert to make the skies in my shots more interesting. Four Aces is three different sets adjoined to one another, which are a diner, gas station and motel, apart from the occasional tumbleweed and local off-roader driving by It was a nice peaceful location to shoot and I was able to take my time, enjoy the scenery and get some great shots of the location.
The Club Ed set was built in 1991 for the Dennis Hopper movie ~ Eye of the storm, It has also been used in other films such as ‘The Devils Rejects’ and ‘Nothing to lose’. It has also been used for many music videos including most recently “The death of you and me” by Noel Gallagher. It is instantly recognizable for its ‘Easy rest inn’ Sign and also has a small gas station set just up the road. The whole set is located on 150th street about 1 mile south of Avenue K. Because of this film set, it is said that this road is the most filmed in the whole of the US.
Sanctuary Adventist Church.
This Church was used in many films including True Confessions, Desert Heat, Crossroads, but was made most famous by Quentin Tarantino with his Kill Bill movies. It is located on 198th street and East Avenue G. There is also some movie sets over the road from here that do not look in the best of shape but still have “available for filming” signs on them, The ‘High Vista Diner’ which was located just down the road was torn down in 2008. This church is also still in use so I had to wait until a little later in the day before I could get some shots with no one around.
All in all it was a good days shooting these Mojave desert filming locations, the long roads and wide open spaces of the desert make the shots look desolate and abandoned and having some clouds in the skies made for more interesting photos. I did hang around the area until later that evening to catch the sunset but unfortunately it wasn’t a spectacular one 🙁 cant have it all…
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