On a recent trip to Texas to meet John Carpenter, I took some time to visit locations for RoboCop. Definitely a favorite from the 80's, this film still withstands the test of time. Shot mostly in Dallas, I kept my location visits to those within walking distance of my hotel. Thanks to the Dallas Film Commission as a great resource for these locations.
First up is the police precinct, a former school located at 2218 Bryan Street in Dallas, Texas.
Just across the street is the Plaza of the Americas (600 North Pearl Street), which is used for the OCP elevator scene. Of course, much of it was extended with some great matte paintings, but still recognizable. I was quickly stopped from photographing this building, future set-jetters be warned!
On their first day out, Murphy and Lewis stop for some coffee. The shop has been replaced, but I matched up the surrounding buildings for the shots the best I could. This is located near the corner of North Lamar Street and San Jacinto Street in Dallas.
I didn't get to the actual spot for the big chase sequence which was shot around Hotel Street, but I was in the general vicinity. A lot of this area has changed and has been built up since filming.
Back to the police precinct. (You can see the entrance to the Plaza of the Americas directly behind the building.)
On Robocop's first night out, he is actually going down South Broadway Street between 6th and 7th Streets in Los Angeles. Although it's a little fuzzy, you can distinctly see the Los Angeles Theatre on the left and the Palace Theatre on the right.
Back to Dallas where RoboCop saves a woman from being attacked. The building with the neon directly behind them is still there, but the apartment building on the right is gone. This is located near the corner of North Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Elm Street in Dallas.
Back to Los Angeles again where RoboCop is patrolling Lower Grand Avenue in the downtown area. These shots are screen-matched, but I just used some old photos I took for reference.
And back to Dallas again for the hostage scene. The Dallas Municipal Building stands in for Detroit City Hall, located at 116 South Harwood Street. The building directly across the street is gone, but I loved that they re-used the PARK sign for an actual recreational park where the parking lot used to be.
RoboCop visits children at a school. We are back in Los Angeles at Dorris Place Elementary, located at 2225 Dorris Place. Again, not screen-matched here but I used some existing pictures I had of the school.
The Shell gas station was located at Ross Avenue and Arts Plaza. The block now has a bunch of condos (surprise!), but is still identifiable, particularly by Dallas Black Dance Theatre that sat right behind the station.
One of my favorite locations was the OCP Building which is actually Dallas City Hall, located at 1500 Marilla Street.
For the elevators, we are back at the Plaza of the Americas....
Clarence Boddicker and his gang wreak havoc on the stores on the 2500 block of Elm Street in Dallas. A lot of the awnings are gone and some of the storefronts have been redone.
Some more shots of the scene on Elm Street...
Back to the OCP Building at 1500 Marilla Street for the final scene. This has to be my favorite matte painting in films.
With the exception of some new buildings on the horizon, very little has changed from this angle when RoboCop arrives. I truly expected to see ED-209 hiding in the alcove at this location...
As with the reverse shots very little has changed here...
What has changed is the entrance has been extended, likely to accommodate new security measures. Speaking of security, they started making their way to me for taking pictures around this point...
This entry is not comprehensive for all locations, but were the only ones I had time to visit. Other key Dallas locations include the police station interior (3414 Elm Street), the nightclub (703 McKinney Avenue), the board room (Renaissance Tower, 40th Floor), and Murphy's house (9233 Church Road). The mill was a combination of a now-demolished mill in Pittsburgh and apparently the Kaiser Steel Mill in Fontana, California.
Below is my picture with Anne Lewis herself, Nancy Allen!