Helmed by the creative minds of Joel and Ethan Coen, ‘The Big Lebowski’ is a cult classic black comedy that needs no introduction to cinephiles. This is the film that introduced to the world the laidback and suave genius of “the Dude,” a modern-day Hamlet with a penchant for White Russian. Featuring Jeff Bridges in the titular role, the story revolves around a stolen rug, which brings two contrasting men named Jeff Lebowski at a peculiar conundrum.
The wife of the titular character is kidnapped, and the other Lebowski is given the ordeal of rescuing her from a bunch of thugs. But as the conflicting interests of characters collide, the story spirals out of control too fast, too soon. If you are here feeling like walking the same paths trodden by the latter-day Dude, we shall be happy to abide.
The Big Lebowski Filming Locations
‘The Big Lebowski’ was filmed in its entirety in the US, especially in California. Filming began on January 27, 1997, and wrapped up by April 25, 1997. Let us now take you to the places where the film was shot!
Los Angeles, California
The beginning track shot of the tumbling tumbleweed was filmed at Pearblossom in the middle of the Mojave Desert in northern Los Angeles County. Then, the camera moves forward to show the city of Simi Valley brimming with night lights.
In the opening sequence, we see the Dude strolling at a supermarket. The scene was filmed at Ralphs Supermarket, a grocery store located at 1745 Garfield Avenue in South Pasadena in California.
After shopping, the Dude comes back to his crib located at 606 Venezia Avenue, a private home located just south of Venice Boulevard, in Venice, Los Angeles.
After being threatened by a bunch of goons, Dude goes to his regular bowling club to meet his friends, shell-shocked army vet Walter and the often dismissed Donny. This is a place the film returns to time and again. The bowling alley scenes were filmed over a period of three weeks at Hollywood Star Lanes, a bowling alley featuring futuristic Googie architecture. Once located at 5227 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, the bowling club was demolished in 2002 to make room for an elementary school.
Encouraged by Walter, the Dude goes to meet the millionaire Lebowski to ask for compensation. The scene featuring the exterior shots of the Lebowski mansion, where Dude meets Bunny, was filmed in a property at 10231 Charing Cross Road in Beverly Hills, California.
On the other hand, the interior scenes were filmed at Greystone Park and Mansion, a Tudor Revivalist mansion and adjacent estate located at 905 Loma Vista Drive, in Beverly Hills. This is the same mansion that was used as the Green Goblin’s home in ‘Spider-Man.’
Later, in flashback, we see bowling opponent Jesus knocking at his neighbors’ doors and confessing that he is a pederast. The scene was filmed at 812 North Kenmore Avenue, southeast of the location of the bowling club.
After he is given the duty of handing off the money, Dude picks up his volatile friend Walter from his security store. The sequence was filmed not far from the location of the bowling alley at 6757 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles.
After picking up Walter, the two drive towards Simi Valley. After Walter’s ingenious plan goes awry, he jumps out of the window with a spectacular commando roll while Dude crashes his car at a pole. The scene was filmed at the bridge on Torrey Road in Piru, over Santa Clara River north of Simi Valley. Originally an asphalt bridge, wooden boards were added by the production crew to make the place look more rustic.
In a scene, the Dude goes to meet Maude, the eccentric artist daughter of Lebowski. The loft where she lives is actually located above Hollywood Palace Theater at 1735 Vine Street in Downtown LA. Originally a theatre, the venue has now been transformed into a nightclub called Avalon.
Later in the film, Dude and Walter talk about the credibility of Bunny’s severed toe in a coffee shop, and Walter creates a scene. The sequence was filmed at the historically significant site of Johnie’s Coffee Shop, one of the lasting examples of Googie architecture. Located at Wilshire Boulevard, the famous Los Angeles café is now only used for cinematic productions.
The Dude later picks up his smelly car from an impound lot. The scene was filmed at a lot on West 18th Street at St. Andrew’s Place in LA.
After going through surgery at the request of Maude, Dude crashes his car into a dustbin while trying to extinguish his joint. The scene was filmed at 6333 La Mirada Avenue, in Los Angeles.
Landlord Marty’s heartfelt dance cycle was filmed at the Ivar Theatre, a movie theatre located at 1605 Ivar Avenue in LA.
Later in the film, Dude and his friends go to Little Larry’s house, who presumably procured the suitcase and spent all the money on a new car. After giving the car a bashing, they find out that the car does not even belong to Larry. The scene was filmed at 1824 Stearns Drive in Fairfax in Los Angeles.
In a later sequence, we meet the pornographer and loan shark Jackie Treehorn. The bonfire party scene was filmed at Point Dume in the beach city of Malibu in California.
However, Jackie Treehorn’s Malibu-themed house is actually the Sheats-Goldstein Residence, an exemplary architectural beauty in the posh neighborhood of Hollywood Hills in the City of Angels. The property is designed by John Lautner, a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright.
The bowling dream sequence of the Dude was filmed at a repurposed airplane hangar. The scene was filmed at Santa Monica Airport, a major air terminal located at 3223 Donald Douglas Loop South, in Santa Monica, California.
After having a really bad day, Dude gets kicked out from a cab over differences in musical taste. The scene was filmed at Jefferson Boulevard on Duquesne Avenue, in Culver City, California.
The scene where the German nihilists enjoy their pancakes was filmed at Dinah’s Family Restaurant, a diner located at 6521 South Sepulveda Boulevard in Westchester, Los Angeles.
Additional filming was carried out in Culver City and West Hollywood. Finally, Dude and Walter go to scatter Donny’s ashes, and like always, Walter messes up. The scene was filmed at Point Fermin Park, a coastal park located at 807 West Paseo Del Mar in San Pedro, south of LA. The location is restricted to the public.
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