The Terminator Filming Locations: Where Was It Filmed?

The Terminator Movie Poster
A Still from The Terminator (Credits: YouTube)

James Cameron’s American sci-fi (Science-Fiction) film, The Terminator, made its theatrical debut in 1984. The Terminator, produced by Gale Anne Hurd, follows the story of a cyborg assassin disguised as a man, Terminator, who is sent back in time from the year 2029 to the year 1984, with a mission to kill Sarah Connor. This is because, Sarah Connor’s unborn child will supposedly save humanity from extinction by Skynet, which is a malicious artificial intelligence in a dystopian future. To bring obstruction in Terminator’s mission and to save Sarah, a soldier, Kyle Reese, is also sent back in time.

The main protagonists of the film, The Terminator, include Arnold Schwarzenegger as Terminator, Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese, and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor. The talents were praised by the audience for bringing justice to each character they enacted.

Later, the film released five sequels, which include, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator Genisys (2015), and Terminator: Dark Fate (2019).

The Terminator received mixed reviews after its release. Some appreciated the film for its gripping narrative, outstanding casting, cinematic action sequences, and extraordinary post-production work, keeping in mind the year the film was released. On the other side, some audiences did not quite appreciate the storytelling aspect of the film and found it to be too aggressive with several action sequences.

The Terminator has been filmed in quite a number of places around Los Angeles. Therefore, here, we will provide you with information about the filming locations of the film.

Also Read: Terminator: Dark Fate Review: Intense Yet Not Satisfactory Reboot

The Terminator Filming Locations

The principal photography of The Terminator initially started in 1983, in Toronto, but due to some contractual problem, the shoot got delayed. While deciding on the new dates of filming, James Cameron revised the script of the film into a better one. Ultimately the shooting started on March 19, 1984, and wrapped up on May 28, 1984. The shooting of the film dominantly took place in and around Los Angeles and California in the United States of America.

Griffith Observatory
The Terminator Filming Location: Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles County, California

The scene where Terminator watches the cityscape of Los Angeles after traveling back in time was shot in Griffith Observatory located at 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, California. The scene where Sarah and Kyle Reese hide for a night was in Griffith Park at 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California.

Locations where The Terminator was shot
The Terminator Filming Locations: Tunnel (Left), Department of Water and Power (Right)

The tunnel crash scene and the chase sequence between Reese and the Terminator were shot at the tunnel located at Lower Grand & West Gen Thad Kosciuszko Way, Los Angeles, California. The scene where Kyle Reese reveals to Sarah about the future was shot in the Department of Water and Power situated at 111 N Hope Street, Los Angeles, California.

The scene where the tanker truck blasts were shot at 795 Keller Street, Los Angeles, California. The Alamo Gun Shop where Arnold or the Terminator went to buy weapons, is located at 14329 Victory Boulevard, Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California. This location is currently used as a parking lot.

The Terminator: Sarah's Apartment and where Terminator repairs itself
The Terminator Filming Locations: Gilmore Hamlin Apartments (Left), Panama Hotel (Right)

The hotel in which Terminator heals itself was shot at the Panama Hotel at 403 E 5th St, Los Angeles, CA. The scene which shows the exterior of a factory where Terminator is annihilated was shot at 555 Ramirez Street, Los Angeles, California. The interior of Sarah’s apartment was shot in Gilmore Hamlin Apartments located at 1844 Hamlin Street, Los Angeles, California.

The Terminator: shooting locations
The Terminator Filming Locations: Super Store 6 (Left), Tiki Motel (Top-Right), Bethlehen Steel Corporation (Down-Right)

Other Locations in California, USA

The sequences which show Big Bun’s restaurant where Sarah used to work at, are actually shot at Carrow’s Restaurant situated at 815 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena, California. The motel in which Kyle and Sarah spend a night together, Tiki Motel, which is now a residence, is located at 7301 Santa Fe Avenue, Huntington Park, California.

The house of the first Sarah, which is now an apartment, is located at 14239 Gilmore Street, Van Nuys, California. The sequence which shows the future was shot in Bethlehem Steel Corporation at 3300 E Slauson Avenue, Vernon, California.

The climactic showdown, in which the Terminator is reduced to a metal skeleton and then crushed in a metal press, was shot at Kern’s of California, 13010 East Temple Avenue, City of Industry, California. The gas station shown at the end of the film is actually Super Store 6, located at 37202 90th Street E, Littlerock, California.

Also Read: Central Intelligence Filming Locations: Where Was It Filmed?

By Suhrita Bose

Hola! I am from the City of Joy (Kolkata), West Bengal. I have my Master's degree in Film and Television Production bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Films, series and pop culture are an integral part of my life.

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