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Filming Locations: Back To The Future Trilogy (1985, 1989, 1990)

Unused art poster from
This film is one of my favorites which has had numerous filming locations in the San Fernando Valley as well as other parts of LA. This film is the inspiration to create the Back To The Future series which essentially allows this site to travel back in time to explore the SFV. Additionaly, the Marty McFly name is used as a pseudonym for this site. 

The filming locations for Back To The Future were already discovered by the sites listed below so this post wouldnt be possible without their respective contributions so I recommend visiting those sites. While this site only focuses on filming locations for the SFV, the sites below cover the whole movie which was mostly filmed in the LA area. 
BTTF in a way accurately reflects the growth of the SFV. In its present setting in 1985, Marty lives in a working class suburban neighborhood which was actually filmed in Arleta. Doc Brown used to live in a mansion but in the present has been reduced to living in a garage (partially due to a fire that destroyed the mansion) on a major street (Victory Blvd in Burbank) which is surrounded by commercial activity as the film shows his neighbors being a Burger King and other commercial buildings. The scenes where Doc Brown unveils his Delorean is set at the Twin Pine mall parking lot which one can argue was the place to be in the 80's.

So traveling back in time to 1955, Marty's home in Arleta is a massive farmland currently in development as the front gates are only shown. Doc Brown as mentioned above lived in a mansion on a large acreage lot that appeared to be fairly distant from Hill Valley and any other stores. And lastly the Twin Pine Mall was also a massive ranch farm which becomes the Lone Pine Mall courtesy of Marty knocking down one of the pines. The history of the SFV growth and development is loosely reflected in this film and may have even become the basis when creating this story.

With respect to the SFV, BTTF II and III only used Marty's house in Arleta and the Universal Studios Courthouse Square. BTTF I locations are shown below. I didnt post those images since not much changed expected for Courthouse Square.

The opening scene in Doc Brown's garage is actually a fake garage made to resemble Doc Brown's 1955 garage from the Gamble house in Pasadena which was in the parking lot of a Burger King located at 535 N. Victory Blvd in Burbank. 

Marty auditions for a "Battle of the Bands" at McCambridge Recreation Center at McCambridge Park at 1515 Glenoaks Blvd in Burbank. The mural in the back is no longer present.

Marty's home is located at 9303 Roslyndale Avenue in Arleta. The Lyon Estates gates I believe are still on display at Universal Studios. The scene below with Marty skating past the gates is located three streets down from Roslyndale at Sandusky & Kagel Canyon Street. This location was also used for BTTF II and III.

And here is a shot of the McFly home in Arleta that I visited on my own. Still looks the same after almost 25+ years.
All of the town scenes were filmed at the Courthouse Square at Universal Studios which has become infamous. Unfortunately, the courthouse was destroyed by fire and rebuilt with a new design. Below are some notable images from that set. This location was also used for BTTF II and III and was obviously modified to reflect the time (II was the year 2015 and III was 1885). 

And the Courthouse Square from BTTF II:

The scene where Marty takes the Delorean to the starting point for traveling back home when lightning strikes the clock tower is actually located at 2700 N. Vermont Ave. in Griffith Park near the Greek Theater. 

And below are trailers:

There was a rumor of BTTF 4 but I dont think that is happening anymore:

And also the BTTF ride at Universal Studios which is no longer present (I hate it when they remove good rides):

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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

2 comments to ''Filming Locations: Back To The Future Trilogy (1985, 1989, 1990)"

  1. Love this film. Thank you for the updates. One location I have always wondered about was the well, or wherever the disappearing sibling photo was taken. Do you know?

  2. Hi Harley. That is a good question and it seems no one on the internet has discussed it. I am guessing it was taken on one of the backyards for the Pasadena houses but its hard to tell. It was definitely a situation where all three characters were present so you have to ask, when would have that happened during filming? Was it at a producers house? Or was it at a production meeting somewhere? Good question for the BTTF community.


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