Classic Hollywood Comes to Life in Hail, Caesar!


Hail, Caesar!, the latest film from the Coen Brothers, is like watching nine different feeds of TCM all at the same time. It’s part film noir, part Cold War spy drama, and part whodunit. And that’s not even counting the biblical epic, cowboy western, romantic drama, underwater musical, and tap dance picture going on in the background. Much of the action takes place on the lot of the fictional Capitol Pictures film studio, but the film about 1950s movie stars and their studio chief spreads out all over Los Angeles. The period locations of Hail, Caesar! could have appeared in the classics the film pays homage to, and they add a big shot of realism to a surreal story. With the help of the film’s location managers John Panzarella and Leslie Thorson (who recreated the same time period for L.A. Confidential) and location historian Harry Medved, I present this Hail, Caesar! tour guide to the film’s locations.

Hollywood Palladium
6215 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
The moderne dance palace opened in 1940, and its cavernous interior doubles as a supper club where Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) and Carlotta Valdez (Veronica Osorio) meet for a date.

Henry Fonda Theatre
6126 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles
A mid-century modernization project covered up the original façade of the 1926 theater, but the black-and-gold art deco entrance is intact enough to play the exterior of the supper club.

Los Angeles City Hall
200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles
Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) and Natalie, his girl Friday, (Heather Goldenhersh) banter in the marble halls of our magnificently restored 1928 city hall. The city offers free tours on weekday mornings.

Union Station
800 M. Alameda St., Los Angeles
Mannix and Natalie catch up in the gardens of Union Station, built in 1939. The Los Angeles Conservancy offers tours of the Art Deco and Spanish Colonial Revival-style depot on Saturday mornings.

Pelican Cove Park
31300 Palos Verdes Dr. S., Rancho Palos Verdes
The dramatic South Bay topography stands in for Malibu, but the home of Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum) is only a matte painting.

Bronson Canyon
3200 Canyon Dr., Los Angeles
Roman columns were erected near the cave entrance made famous in the 1966 Batman TV series for a scene depicting a slave camp.

Los Angeles Theatre
615 S. Broadway, Los Angeles
L.A.’s most baroque movie palace hosts the premiere of the singing cowboy picture Lazy Ol’ Moon starring Hobie Doyle.

Vasquez Rocks
10700 W. Escondido Canyon Rd., Agua Dulce
Lazy Ol’ Moon joins generations of real westerns filmed at this natural wonder that’s now part of a 932-acre county park.

Sony Pictures Studios Stage 30
10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City
DeeAna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) lenses her underwater musical in the very same tank used by Million Dollar Mermaid star Esther Williams when this was the MGM lot. Sony offers walking tours of the historic lot

Good Luck Bar
1514 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles
Mannix has a clandestine meeting among the Chinoiserie of this East Hollywood bar modeled after Chinatown’s long-gone Yee Mee Loo.