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Filming Locations: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, written byMelissa Mathison and starring Henry ThomasDee WallaceRobert MacNaughtonDrew Barrymore, and Peter Coyote. It tells the story of Elliott (played by Thomas), a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. Elliott and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government (Wkipedia).

There are three other sites that have already found the filming locations for this film which this post would not be possible with their contributions. I definitely recommend visiting both sites especially the first link which has a great movie by filming locations expert, Herve Attia. 

Herve Attia's On The Set of E.T.

Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles

Beyond The Marquee

One of the few movies that really put the SFV in the map most notably the Porter Ranch/Northridge/Granada Hills area. A lot of this area was new with homes built in the late 70's/early 80s while filming began in 1981. You can see how new the area was compared to today as there were a minimal amount of trees and plants on top of some of the new construction occurring at the same time.

You can view more SFV Filming Locations here.

The movie begins with an overview shot of the SFV from Mulholland Drive. Exact location is unknown but probably somewhere near the 405 in Van Nuys or Sherman Oaks. [9/17/16 update]: according to the commenter below, these scenes were filmed on miniatures and possibly look like the view from the top of Topanga Canyon Blvd. 

Elliot's house is located 7121 Lonzo Street Tujunga 91042. The home was built in 1980 which was barely one year old when filming began in September 1981.  Spielberg picked this location because he wanted a home with a mountain backdrop that wasnt available in Porter Ranch.

The Halloween scenes start at Elliot's house in Tujunga.

The bus stop scene is at 19230 Vista Grande Way Porter Ranch 91326 (Northwest corner of Capistrano Lane and Vista Grand Way). In real life, no bus stop exists at this location.

The Halloween scene is located approximately at 18902 Granada Circle Porter Ranch 91326 (intersection of Granada Circle and Killimore Avenue). Steven Spielberg added the Yoda character as a surprise for George Lucas he saw an early screening of the film and said, "that was cool." Harrison Ford also visited Spielberg in Porter Ranch while filming as his then wife, Melissa Mathison wrote the script for E.T. 

The toilet papered house is located at 18967 Granada Circle Porter Ranch 91326 (intersection of Granada Circle and Killimore opposite to the above Halloween scenes; Granada Circle makes a loop). This scene was added in the 2002, 20th Anniversary release

Michael riding his bike while the U.S. government agents in the blue Ford Fairmont chase him down occurred at the intersection of Killimore Avenue and Brasilla Drive. 

The chase continues down this street that I am not able to locate but is obviously in the Porter Ranch area. [9/17/16 update]: according to the commenter below, this scene is from Killmore Ave turning onto Killmore Ct. 

Michael begins his escape at the intersection of Killimore Avenue and Viking Avenue which he turns left onto  Viking Avenue in Porter Ranch.

I am not sure of the next two locations but obviously in the same Porter Ranch area. [9/17/16 update]: according to the commenter below, these scenes was filmed on Viking Ave but facing opposite directions. 

Michael's escape into the alley and up the hill is located at 19023 Rinaldi Street Porter Ranch 91326.

The U.S. Government Ford Econoline van with the bubble travels down the street at the intersection of Brasilia Drive and Killimore Avenue Porter Ranch 

The U.S. Government Ford Econoline van with the bubble gets dislodged at the intersection of Granada Circle and Killimore Avenue which is the same intersection of the toilet papered house shown above.

The caravan of U.S. Government vehicles I believe start at Reseda Blvd and Sesnon Blvd Porter Ranch.

The park and playground is located at Porter Ridge Park at the intersection of Reseda Blvd and Sesnon Blvd Porter Ranch. The first image below is approximately at 18848 Muirkirk Drive. Most of the park looks different today with the only equipment remaining being the caterpillar.

The bike chase scene with the gang starts at the corner of Granada Circle and Killimore Avenue Porter Ranch which is the same location for the toilet paper house and where the van dislodges the bubble discussed above.

The bike chase scene continues at 11876 Killimore Avenue Porter Ranch 91326.

The bike chase continues onto the intersection of Beaufait Avenue and Eddleston Drive Porter Ranch. This part of Porter Ranch was barely in development. These scenes are now filled with homes. 

The bike chase continues onto the intersection of Beaufait Avenue and Darby Avenue Porter Ranch.

The U.S. Government Ford Fairmont makes a right turn onto 11940 Beaufait Avenue Porter Ranch 91326.

The bikes jump onto the U.S. Government Ford Fairmont at Aliso Canyon Park but I am not sure of the exact location. 

The bike chase continues at 11860 Eddleston Drive Porter Ranch 91326. Some of the ongoing construction  while filming.

The infamous bike scene where E.T. assists all the bikers and magically start flying to evade the U.S. Government workers is located at White Oak Avenue and Tulsa Street Granada Hills 91344. One note of interest for SFV history buffs is that this stretch of White Oak Avenue in Granada Hills contains 114 Deodar Trees that were declared a Historic Cultural Monument on August 3, 1966 meaning they cannot be destroyed without special city permission. 

Most of the overhead panning shots were from the Palisades and Wilbur Tampa Park which can be accessed from Reseda Blvd. Some of the streets that can be seen in these shots are Brasilia Drive and Killimore Avenue in Porter Ranch.  According to Herve Attia, Steven Spielberg placed his camera at approximately 11845 Stewarton Drive to obtain some of the overhead shots.

The next two shots were roughly at 11845 Stewarton Drive Porter Ranch. Some of the supports for these chain link fences still exist. 

[9/17/16 update]: according to the commenter below, this scene is Posey Lane in West Hills looking west/southwest towards El Escorpian Peak. The dirt at the bottom portion of the photo is now Pomelo Elementary School. 

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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.

6 comments to ''Filming Locations: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)"

  1. Excellent work! You nailed virtually every location. I can help regarding a few of the spots that you were unsure about. Michael's bike ride while being following by the government agents in a blue car...The first shot you are unsure of with Michael being shown turning left from behind -- That was filmed on Killimore Ave. with Michael turning left onto Killimore Ct. The next cut is to Michael turning left onto Viking Ave. as you correctly stated. The next two photos that you have, the first of which is from the agents' point of view inside their car, were both on Viking Ave. as well, but facing opposing directions. The second to last photo that you posted, which shows Michael's buddy Greg flying over some houses, is a tricky one. For a long time, I tried to figure out where in Porter Ranch that shot was taken. However, I could never match a street looking like the one below with the hills and layout of Porter Ranch. So I started looking elsewhere in the western San Fernando Valley. Eventually, I found it. The street below is Posey Lane in West Hills. The angle of the shot is looking west/southwest towards El Escorpion Peak. You can make out a carved out, dirt area in the bottom left of the photo. That area is where the Pomelo Elementary School now stands.

    1. Thanks Tim Kramer. These finds are awesome especially the Posey Lane screenshot. Well done sir.

  2. Your search for the opening shot is over... The opening shot was done on a miniature... I have a picture of them building it as my background right now. Although it does look striking similar to the overlook just north of the main scenic overlook on Topanga Canyon, it was a mini set.

    1. Thanks Derik Engle for the info. Please share that picture if you ever get a chance.

  3. Just before take-off in the bike chase, were the kids riding north or south on White Oak Avenue?

    1. It runs north. You can read why at this site in the comments section:


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