A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)




A Nightmare on Elm Street was released into theaters on November 16th, 1984. Filming locations include Burbank and Los Angeles, Ca. Filming took place in June and July of 1984 and lasted approximately thirty-two days. This would be writer/director Wes Craven's crowning achievement and it would also introduce the world to a new horror icon, Fred(dy) Krueger. There are two excellent documentaries on the making of the film, Welcome to Prime Time and Never Sleep Again. This is the only film in the series where Freddy doesn't have stripes on the sleeves of his sweater. The theatrical poster art for the film, done by artist Matthew Joseph Peak, is among the best I've ever seen and just beautiful artwork. He also did the poster art for parts two, three, four and five of the series. There's a mystique about each one of his posters that seem to perfectly represent the film in which it depicts. He even threw in a little homage to the film Dreamscape, which also came out in 1984, by including the snake monster from the film just above the pinky finger blade.

The films masterful score was composed by Charles Bernstein. To this day it's still my favorite score of any film I've seen, in any genre. The original soundtrack was released in 1984 on LP and cassette tape (clear and white) and featured seventeen tracks. On October 12th, 1993 Freddy's Favorites: The Best of A Nightmare On Elm Street was released onto compact disc. It featured some of the more popular tracks from the first six films, including eight from the original. And then on October 16th, 2015 the holy grail of A Nightmare on Elm Street soundtracks was released. It features the complete soundtrack to every Nightmare film as well as Freddy Vs. Jason. The soundtracks for the first six films include previously unreleased material. The soundtrack for the original includes the seventeen tracks that were previously released as well as twelve unreleased tracks and seven unreleased demos, totaling over sixty-five minutes of listening material. The song Nightmare performed by 123 was also used in the film during the closing credits. The films first DVD release was on September 21st, 1999.


Opening/boiler room421 N. Ave. 19 Los Angeles, Ca. 90031
(Lincoln Heights Jail)

Built in 1927 for five million dollars, the Lincoln Heights Jail officially opened in 1931. The five story jail was designed to accommodate just over 600 prisoners at full capacity but that number ballooned to about 2800, prompting an expansion in 1951. In December of 1951, the scandal known as "Bloody Christmas" occurred at the jail when LAPD officers brutally beat seven civilians. The Incident produced the first ever grand jury indictments of serving LAPD officers as well as the first criminal convictions for us of excessive force in LAPD history. It also inspired the James Ellroy novel L.A. Confidential, which would be made into a major motion picture in 1997. In 1965 the jail was closed. From 1979 to 2014 the building housed the Bilingual Foundation for the Arts. It was also used by the Los Angeles Youth Athletic Club for a time. Tragically, in 1994 it was the site of a mysterious death when the founder of the club was found dead in the elevator shaft. In 2014, the building was condemned due to high levels of asbestos and excessive pigeon feces and has been boarded up and abandoned ever since. Notable productions filmed at the jail over the years include 48 Hrs, American History X, Chained Heat, L.A. Confidential, Out of Sight, Shocker, Stand Up Guys, Unlawful Entry and Wishmaster 2, as well as music videos for Blink 182, Disturbed and Lady Gaga. If I had a Mount Rushmore of horror movie locations, this one would be on it. Not only were the boiler room scenes filmed here but the opening scene with the lamb and Tina running down the hallway was as well. By the first time I visited this location in 2016 it was already abandoned and boarded up. However, I still managed to find a small entrance into the boiler room just large enough to crawl through. I was glad I brought a respirator mask because the asbestos was floating around like snow. I also visited during the daytime so I was a little paranoid about getting caught. And to be perfectly honest, I wasn't even really expecting to be able to get into the building so I was somewhat unprepared. Although I'd seen the film many times, I still found it challenging to match up the correct angles as seen in the film. So, I made the decision to make another 356 mile road trip (one way) from where I lived at the time (Phoenix) and visit the location again the following weekend better prepared, while I still had the chance, because who knew how long the entrance I found would remain open. So I did just that, only this time I planned it so I would arrive around 3AM so as not to feel rushed or interrupted by anyone. As it turned out, when I ventured inside for my second visit in as many weeks, I was greeted by two other gentlemen. They weren't security but I'll just say that they weren't there for the purpose of visiting a filming location from A Nightmare on Elm Street either. They turned out to be harmless though and we both carried on with our own purpose for being there. All in all, the re-visit was a success.


All "Now" pictures taken in 2016.











Springwood High School (exterior)3939 Tracy St. Los Angeles, Ca. 90027
(John Marshall High School)

Designed by architect George M. Lindsey, the school opened on January 26th, 1931. Named after John Marshall, who served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1801 to 1835. Some of the high school's famous alum include Leonardo DiCaprio, Courtney Gains, Heidi Fleiss and NFL head coach Andy Reid. There have been a plethora of productions filmed here over the years, some of which include Amityville: The Evil Escapes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Can't Hardly Wait, Grease, Pretty in Pink, Rebel Without a Cause, Slaughterhouse Rock, Space Jam, Uncle Buck, The Wonder Years, Freddy's Nightmare's episode Safe Sex and the Van Halen music video for Hot for Teacher.


2010

All "Now" pictures taken in 2018.





Tina Gray's house/Freddy chase alley620 Millwood Ave. Los Angeles, Ca. 90291

Other than the rotating bedroom scene, which was filmed on sound stage 2 at Desilu Studios, all interior and exterior shots were filmed at the house. The scenes with Freddy chasing Tina down the alley and into her backyard were filmed directly behind the house, starting near the intersection of Electric Ct. and Millwood Ct.


2010

2018

2010

2018


5th Precinct P.D. (exterior)4591 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, Ca. 90029
(Cahuenga Branch Library)

The library was designed by architect Clarence H. Russell and built in 1916 with a grant from Andrew Carnegie for $34,000. It's the third oldest branch library facility in the Los Angeles Public Library system. On October 24th, 1986 it was designated as City of Los Angeles Cultural Monument No. 314. Only the front exterior scenes were filmed at this location. The jail cell Rod was locked in was a set and the interior of the police department was filmed in the main office of John Burroughs Middle School, the same school that served as the interior of Springwood High School.


2010

All "Now" pictures taken in 2018.



5th Precinct P.D. (interior) - 600 S. McCadden Pl. Los Angeles, Ca. 90005
(John Burroughs Middle School)

The interior of the police department was filmed in the main office of John Burroughs Middle School, the same school that served as the interior of Springwood High School. Lt. Thompson's office in the film, in reality is the school principle's office.


All "Now" pictures taken in 2018.



Nancy walks to school1622 Glyndon Ave. Los Angeles, Ca. 90291

Nancy walks by this address on her way to school. She then stops at an arched brick entrance to look over her shoulder, as a man in a suit seems to be watching her. The arched brick entrance is partially covered by a wall now, but the top portion is still visible.


All "Now" pictures taken in 2018.



Rod's ArrestedGlyndon Ave. and Morningside Way Los Angeles, Ca. 90291

Rod is running down Glyndon Ave. to where it intersects with Morningside Way when he gets apprehended by the police. This is only about a block from the house Nancy walks past on her way to school.


All "Now" pictures taken in 2018.



Springwood High School (interior)600 S. McCadden Pl. Los Angeles, Ca. 90005
(John Burroughs Middle School)

John Burroughs Junior High School opened in 1924. In 1994 the name was changed to John Burroughs Middle School. Famous alum include Tyra Banks and James Ellroy. Some other notable productions here over the years include Pleasantville, Pretty in Pink, Starsky & Hutch (2004), Teaching Mrs. Tingle and Teen Wolf. Nancy's classroom is room 104. Although it was shot to appear like multiple hallways were used in the film, in actuality all of the scenes were filmed in the same main hallway. When Nancy follows the body bag blood trail down the stairs, past the "No students allowed" sign and turns the corner, that's the last shot of her at the middle school. In the very next shot when she opens and walks through the door, she is actually in the Lincoln Heights Jail boiler room.


All "Now" pictures taken in 2018.







Nancy Thompson's house - 1428 N. Genesee Ave. Los Angeles, Ca. 90046

Built in 1919, it's one of the most recognizable movie location houses in the world. The three bedroom, 2,700 square foot home's current estimated market value sits at over $2.5 million. It was sold as recently as March of 2013 for $2.1 million. This is the only film in the series in which the front door of Nancy's house is blue rather than red. One of the upstairs bedrooms in the house was indeed used as Nancy's bedroom, but according to actress Heather Langenkamp, not very much was filmed in the downstairs portion of the house. Something that was filmed in the downstairs portion of the house though, roughly five years earlier, were the Halloween television version scenes of Laurie Strode's house where Lynda comes over to borrow an outfit from Laurie. A couple more scenes from Halloween as well as scenes from A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge and Christine were also filmed on Genesee Ave. And just as it's depicted in the film, Glen's house is across the street at 1419 N. Genesee Ave.


2016

All "Now" pictures taken in 2018.







Rod Lane's funeral - 204 N. Evergreen Ave. Los Angeles, Ca. 90033
(Evergreen Cemetery)

The cemetery was founded on August 23rd, 1877. It covers sixty-seven acres and has had over 300,000 burials to date. All of the scenes in the film take place near the Ivy Chapel, which can be seen behind Nancy when she sits on the steps. Some other notable productions filmed at the cemetery over the years include A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Blood In Blood Out, Lethal Weapon 3, Mask and Mausoleum.


2018

All "Now" pictures taken in 2019.



Katja Institute for the Study of Sleep Disorders  - 15600 Mulholland Dr. Los Angeles, Ca. 90077
(American Jewish University)

The structure was built in 1977. The Katja Institute was named after producer Robert Shaye's daughter, Katja. Although it's named the Katja Institute for the Study of Sleep Disorders, the name tags of nurse Cooper and Dr. Samuel read "University School of Medicine". The nurse was played by Wes Craven's ex-wife, Mimi Craven.


2018


Glen and Nancy talk on bridge - Linnie Canal Ct. Los Angeles, Ca. 90291
(Venice Canals)

The canals were developed by Abbot Kinney and built in 1905. The particular bridge they stand on is the center bridge over Eastern Canal. The walking bridge connects Linnie Canal Ct.


2010

2018


28 comments:

  1. This site is done very well, with a lot of work put in. Well done!!

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  2. Wow..I didnt know that was a real school is it closed down I see a fence in front of it..

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    1. Yeah it's a real school and it's been used in a number of productions. Although, it was only used as the exterior for A Nightmare on Elm Street. John Burroughs Middle School at 600 S. McCaddon Place, Los Angeles, Ca. was used for the interior shots. As for the fence, they must've just been doing some work on the day I visited.

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  3. No idea how you're so thorough with your work here! Amazing job Paul.
    I know it's not horror, but if you could maybe do 'about last night' from the 80's that'd be an amazing one! I know there's already a handful listed online, but i'd love one as solid as yours - it's not laziness on my behalf, i've tried!

    Cheers :)

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    1. Thank you, Daveit. I have yet to watch About Last Night, I'll have to check it out sometime.

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  4. I can't wait to go to these places an see it... It shall be fun an exciting....

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  5. Hi Paul, Very Very great work! In September I'll come in California from Italy and my Dreams is visit these locations and Boielr Rooms in particoular! It's possible visit the Boiler Rooms? How Can I Explorer the Boiler Romms inside? Thanks you and sorry for my English

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    1. Stefano, feel free to email me directly at l1uck3y@yahoo.com

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    2. hey there paul I just sent you an email with the same question. any tips or advice is appreciated Thanks

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  6. Is there by any chance that these locations are available for visitors?
    How did you get into these locations and what was your experience like taking these photos of the filming locations?
    How much time did it take?
    When did you start doing this?

    I am VERY curious.

    Thanks,
    NK

    Love these...they helped me study!

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  7. Def would love to go to the Jail/boiler room!! Especially taking pics dressed as Freddy hehe.. Obviously would have to get permission by the city or etc.. to get access to it.

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  8. Fun fact I'm not sure you know: The interiors of Laurie's house in Halloween (in the original and 1981 TV reshoots) were shot inside the same house used for Nancy's house's exterior.

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    1. Thanks Dallas, that's a very fun fact! Who knows how many of the same locations from horror films have been used by different productions over the years.

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  9. One of these days I'll get a tour of that damn jail:) Do you have any idea what lot and soundstages they built most of the interiors in? I'm having a difficult time getting that info. Great work!

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    1. Andrew, I'm not entirely sure but if memory serves my right they mentioned something about which soundstages they used on either the film commentary or the documentary Never Sleep Again The Elm Street Legacy.

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    2. Andrew, I'm pretty sure all of the soundstage locations were filmed at the old Desilu Studios (now the Hollywood Center Studios) at Santa Monica Blvd. and N. Las Palmas Ave. Stage 2 I believe.

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  10. thia is an awesome site,. thank you!

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  11. hello paul! first your website is awesome! especialy the nightmare on elm street (1984) and halloween (1978) movies then and now comparsion! i have been in los angeles in 2002 the last time and vistied the meyers house in pasadena! i made a conquest with my three friends with wich i travelled, who will guess the right movie of this shooting location will get 10 dollar! and guess what, all three failed ;-)!

    greetings from germany,
    tyler durden

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    Replies
    1. Tyler, I'm glad you enjoyed the site and I appreciate the kind words. Hallo Deutschland!

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  12. Over the years I've mapped out most of the boiler room based on people's photos and very close examination of films, but there's a few questions I could never fathom if anyone could answer them please.

    1. Where is the corridor Tina walks down in the opening scenes in relation to the boiler room?
    2. How many entrances/exits are there to the boiler room (and where?)
    3. Is the staircase Nancy is seen going down in these pictures the one near the tanks as I suspect or elsewhere
    4. The film Room 33 which used the same area has some areas that look unfamiliar - any ideas? https://youtu.be/ajXGDuU9ybI?t=4465, https://youtu.be/ajXGDuU9ybI?t=4798,
    Thanks in advance

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    1. I can answer questions 2 and 3. There is only one entrance into the boiler room and that's located in the rear of the building. Yes, the staircase Nancy walks down is located near the tanks. The only other staircase that connects the 1st and 2nd level is the spiral staircase, also shown in the film.

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  13. Something you may not have known, or at least didn't include; Check out Elizabeth Short (the Black Dahlia) sitting there in this photo, recognize anything? Great work, CHEERS!

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/de/51/26/de51261fa6552c1115c8e9b24bd1b754--hollywood-photo-west-hollywood.jpg

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  14. Thank you, this is by far the best location guide for this film!

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