Cute. Clever. Mischievous. Intelligent. Dangerous.
I didn't quite this completed in time for Christmas, but here are my location visits for the much beloved classic, Gremlins. Released in 1984, it was a big hit with some backlash for its violent scenes. This film with a few others helped garner in the ridiculous PG-13 rating under our thinly-veiled censor, the MPAA.
The film was shot almost entirely at the three studios. My pictures below represent many different visits during different time periods at the studios, so it is interesting to see how much and how little has changed over the years.
We begin in Chinatown, which is the backlot of Warner Bros. Studios. This is the east side of Hennesy Street. Mr. Peltzer comes out of the alley, best known for its appearance in the sitcom, Friends (the one with Jean-Claude Van Damme, I believe).
Almost directly across from the alley is the Mogwai shop. Very little has changed in this spot over the years.
During the slow-motion voiceover, Mr. Peltzer walks back up the street towards the alley from the first shot.
Warner Bros. usually has a "Mogwai Curiou Shop" sign to the left of the basement entrance location.
Here are a few behind the scenes shots to show you what the set looked like during the day.
For the title sequence, we move over to courthouse square at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. A few parts of this were affected by the various fires over the years with some buildings being completely replaced and others renovated. You will see a few of the pictures were taken in 1985, when many of the facades looked exactly the same as they do in the movie.
We have our first visit to the Peltzer home as Billy attempts to start his car. (Wasn't every car in the 80's a VW bug?) This is located on Blondie Street at the Warner Bros. Ranch, also located in Burbank but not open to the public. Fortunately, I was able to get on this backlot last year thanks to a special set-jetting friend!
Mr. Futterman appears to live next door, at least the front of the house, but more on that later.
Back to Universal Studios at courthouse square where Billy runs up the street to work...
The bank facade is long gone and replaced with a gas station. This corner is most famous as it was featured heavily in Back To The Future as the fountain shop in 1955 where Marty first meets his young father.
Polly Holliday is the absolute best as Mrs. Deagle, who makes her way up the same street.
Billy finds his poor dog hanging by Christmas lights on the porch...
The location for the school had me puzzled for quite a while as it looked familiar to Warner Bros. backlot, but nothing matched up. After some research, I found out this spot is now called Park Place, adjacent to Hennesy Street. The original facades are no longer there, but you can easily see them in The Music Man, so I included a few shots from that movie for comparison.
Back to Univeral Studios where Kate and Billy help Mr. Futterman out of the bar, which was located just about where the travel agency sign is in the first picture from 1985.
We are back at Warner Bros. Studio on Kings Row for the walk home. The first house Billy & Kate walk past has changed very little over the years.
The next house they walk by has changed a few times and is now completely gone as you can see below in the various pictures.
The house at the end of the street is best known to me as the Elvira: Mistress of the Dark house, which is sadly also now gone.
Fortunately, Kate's house is still there. Warner Bros. tour guides usually call this the Phoebe House, as it was the home to Phoebe Cates in Gremlins, and the character Phoebe in Friends.
The reverse shot is a bit of a trick as it the front porch of the Elvira house behind him, which is to the side of Kate's porch, not directly across from it. How cute is Zach here?
How cute is Phoebe here?
Back to the school again at Park Place at Warner Bros. Studios.
As Billy runs home, he is running past the houses on Kings Row at Warner Bros. Studios.
The YMCA pool is actually on the Warner Bros. Ranch and best known for its appearance in Christmas Vacation. The production built a facade around the existing pool for the scene.
The back of Mr. Futterman's house is actually two houses down from the Pelzter house at the Warner Bros. Ranch. As you can see, much of the house looks the same, although they did built on a breezeway and double doors instead of a single door.
From what I can tell, they built up a face around the garage so it could be destroyed as the Gremlins go after the Futterman's.
One of the best scenes, so glad I get to visit this location. This house was also used in many productions, most notably, The Monster Squad, Life Goes On, and Scarecrow and Mrs. King.
We move back to Warner Bros Studios for this scene in front of the church, which I will always call The Lost Boys church.
I included a deleted scene in front of the same church as seen below.
Gremlins continue to wreak havoc at this intersection at Universal Studios.
Deagle, Deagle, Deagle. One of the most remembered scenes is the death of Mrs. Deagle. Her house is at Warner Bros. Studios on Kings Row. Horror fans will know this porch well as it was in a pivotal scene in Deadly Friend.
A great shot of Mrs. Deagle being ejected from her house! Television fans will remember this house fondly as the Seaver home in Growing Pains. I included shots from a few different years to illustrate the changes to this house.
Poor Mrs. Deagle landed across the street...
...in front of this house, best known as Ross and Monica's childhood home on Friends.
The cops make their way up Kings Row. I included many pictures from different years to show you how much has changed in this area.
Back to Universal where the cops lose control of their car...
...and another car crashes next to the bank in front of courthouse square.
Back to Warner Bros. Ranch where Billy's car miraculously starts!
The gas station is also located at the Warner Bros. Ranch, but has been changed and heavily renovated over the years and moved spots a few times. During my visit, there was a big truck blocking the front of it, so special thanks to my friend Rayen for providing a full-frontal picture from his visit.
Kate and Billy escape the bar, which appears to be where the Happy Holiday Travel Agency is located in the 1985 picture below.
And briefly back to the gas station location. This appeared in The Monster Squad as Phil's Restaurant.
As Billy and Kate leave the bank, they see how much destruction the Gremlins caused....
Wish I had better shots, but you can see the theatre as it existed in 1985.
The Montgomery Ward store is no longer there as you can see in these now-and-then pictures.
And finally we end at the Peltzer house at Warner Bros. Ranch....
Here is the Peltzer porch, which has changed a bit over the years....
Here are a few of my Gremlins cast encounters including meeting Zach Galligan and Corey Feldman. The Phoebe Cates shots were from the time I won red carpet tickets to the Oscars, she looked fantastic.