Saturday, May 30, 2009

Strangers When We Meet: Film Locations

So far most of my film location posts have involved places in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. Well, this time I decided to track down some of the film locations for the Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak film, Strangers When We Meet (1961), which took me to some new areas of Los Angeles: Brentwood, Malibu, and Beverly Hills.

Most of the locations below I know for certain are the correct locations. There are a couple that I may be off on but based on some landmarks I think I may be right on these as well.

100 N. Kenter Avenue, Los Angeles

The film starts at a bus stop located at 100 N. Kenter Avenue in the Brentwood neighborhood of LA. It's here that Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak's characters first meet and begin their affair. This is a primary location in the film that appears throughout the story.
The trees have grown up quite a bit since the film was shot in the early 1960s but otherwise the location looks almost the same.

100 N. Kenter Avenue, Brentwood

Looking Northwest at the bus stop location as seen in the film.

Looking Northwest at the bus stop location present.

Kirk Douglas dropping his son off at the bus stop at Kenter Avenue.

Present view of where Kirk Douglas drops son off at bus stop.

Kim Novak standing at bus stop.

Present view of bus stop location.

Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak are seen here leaving the bus stop. That's Sunset Boulevard in the background. Below is the same view today.

Kenter Avenue at Sunset Boulevard

Kim Novak & Kirk Douglas, Tigertail Rd in background.

View looking up Tigertail Road today.
The next location below was a little difficult to figure out. In the film the location is known as the Village Market, a red country barn themed grocery store. It's here that Walter Matthau's character works as a butcher. However, today the country barn look is long gone.

11725 Barrington Ct, Los Angeles, CA

11725 Barrington Ct, Los Angele, CA (Present)

To figure out this location the only thing I could match was the white pillars next to the stairs in the center of the photo. If you look in the below photo you can see the same white pillars and the stairs going up the building. If it wasn't for that detail I don't think I would have ever found this location!

Brentwood Village Market

Kim Novak getting into her car outside the Nosh Box.

All the shops that were at this little strip mall when Strangers When We Meet was being filmed are all gone. The above photo I believe is the same shot as the one where Kim Novak is seen getting into her car.

Kirk Douglas at Service Station @ Brentwood Village Market

Another location I'm not sure about is the scene where Kirk Douglas is walking through the round overhang of the service station. In the photo below is what I'm guessing to be the same location as it appears today. In the film Douglas is walking from the service station towards Kim Novak getting into her car. If the service station was next to the strip mall then the below location would have to be where the service station was.

Possibly the service station location.

Barrington Ct, Brentwood, CA

The above photo is another shot of Kirk Douglas near the Brentwood Village Market. In the background you can see a Chevron service station. This location was easy to locate because if you look at the below photo you can see that the Chevron station almost looks exactly the same.

Chevron Station, Barrington Ct, Brentwood, CA

Romanoff's Restaurant, 140 S. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
The famous Romanoff restuarant can be seen in Strangers When We Meet. Above is a screenshot featuring the restaurant. Romanoff's opened in 1941 at the location 326 N. Rodeo Drive. It became an instant hit with Hollywood stars. The restaurant was one of Humphrey Bogart's main hangouts. In 1951 the restaurant moved to 140 S. Rodeo Drive and it's this location that appears in Strangers When We Meet.

140 S. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

Unfortunately, Romanoff's is no longer. The building has been torn down and today an office building stands on the site.

Albatross Hotel Restaurant site. 21202 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak carry on their affair at the Albatross Hotel Restaurant. Back in the 1950s and 1960s business was good for the Albatross. Eventually, the business faded away and so to the building itself. The Albatross was torn down and today it is the empty lot you see above.

Kim Novak, leaving the Albatross Hotel Restaurant

Present day view of where Kim Novak is seen leaving the Albatross Hotel Restaurant

Kim Novak on PCH near Albatross Hotel

If you look at the above screenshot of Kim Novak driving down the Pacific Coast Highway you can see a sign to the right that says the Sea Lion. The Sea Lion restaurant no longer exists but their is a new restaurant at this location called Dukes. In the photo below you can see the sign for Dukes where the sign for Sea Lion used to stand.

21202 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Now, you all were probably hoping to see photos of that house that Kirk Douglas's character is building for Ernie Kovacs's character - the one located high atop the hills in Brentwood. Well, I searched and searched for that home but could not find it. However, in the process I found Conan O'Brien's new west coast home. But, if anyone does know where the house is located please share in the comments section. I thought it might be on Tigertail Road which is near the bus stop sight.
Special thanks to Zinnia for coming with and her help on this film location hunt!

*UPDATE* (07/12/09)

Many thanks to Dr. Bitz for these photos below which show the Kim Novak house as it appears today compared to the screenshots of the house in the film:

Kim Novak house as it appears in the film. 512 Tigertail Rd.

Kim Novak house as it appears today.

Kim Novak leaving her house as seen in the film.

Kim Novak's neighbor's house as it appears today.

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