Mojave Desert Filming Locations

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.

Four Aces.
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.

Four Aces Movie Set at sunset

Retro Atomic age sign on the Four Aces Movie Set

Club Ed.
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.

Mojave Desert Filming Locations - Club Ed.

Mojave Desert Filming Locations - easy rest inn, Club Ed.

Easy Rest Inn, Club Ed movie set

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…

Mojave desert filming locations - Adventist Church, used in the Kill Bill Movies

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5 Comments

  1. Lester Castillo April 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    I’m trying to shoot a short in the desert which has no budget, was wondering if you need a permit to to shoot nearby these locations??

    • Graham April 3, 2012 at 7:06 am #

      Not sure about a permit, but you would definitely need permission, the caretaker at the easy stop was constantly watching me, making sure I didn’t go on the property. Saying that, the other locations there was no one around, its fairly desolate out there.

  2. amy July 11, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    I am producer scouting a job to possibly shoot in Amboy When I stumbled upon your blog, I find your Mojave location just as appealing and it’s certainly a plus to be closer to LA. Would you mind sharing your contact to inquire about shooting on the sets? Assuming you are familiar with Amboy do you favor one over the other?

    • Graham July 12, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      Haven’t had a chance to get out to Amboy yet to be honest. The sets in Palmdale are definitely closer and there is more than one, so more shooting options for sure. I didn’t contact anyone before I set out there to shoot, wish I had now as Club ed is closed off from the road and there is a caretaker present, so i couldn’t get as close as I would have liked, club ed number is – (661) 946-1515. The four aces location can be contacted at – (310) 396-2211. Good luck with your scouting 🙂

      • amy July 12, 2012 at 11:48 am #

        thank you , just spoke with the owner. fingers crossed!

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