Go Back To The Future And Visit These Iconic Filming Locations In This West Coast State

Great Scott! Wherever you look in almost any Los Angeles neighborhood, there is a very good chance that you will find a piece of film or television history. It definitely helps that many projects from small independent features to big-budget blockbusters shoot here. But for fans of these TV shows or movies, it can be cool to walk down the street and see filming locations in California such as the houses of Michael Myers (in Pasadena), Ferris Bueller (in Long Beach), or Mr. Lebowski ... I mean, The Dude (in Venice).

While some of the most iconic filming locations have been lost to time like the bench from "(500) Days of Summer," Schwab's Pharmacy from "Sunset Boulevard," or the historic Ambassador Hotel, fans of "Back to the Future" don't need a stylish time machine built into a Delorean to revisit some of the places where Doc Brown, Marty McFly, Biff Tannen, and the whole Hill Valley gang navigated in Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale's legendary trilogy of films.

Many of the locations from the 1985 film that kicked off arguably one of the most popular film trilogies ever made are still standing. Unfortunately, where you're going, you will need roads (since scientists are a little late on those flying cars we were promised), but with this handy guide, you will know exactly how to navigate through the 1980s, the 1950s, and right back to the present day by following in Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd's footsteps on a self-guided tour across LA.

Hill Valley Courthouse Square

Potentially one of the most recognizable film sets in cinema history, the Hill Valley Courthouse is located on the Universal Studios Backlot. The home of the infamous clock tower that is stuck at 10:04 p.m. thanks to a lightning storm can typically be seen on The World-Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood. However, since the facade lives in a real, working movie studio, it's not always part of the tram route due to filming. But when it isn't in use, you can see the streets where Marty skateboarded to evade Biff and his goons and ultimately send them into a pile of manure. Of course, a similar scene takes place in "Back to the Future Part II," as Marty shakes off Griff Tannen and his hoverboard hooligans in a similar fashion.

Although, despite still bearing a bit of a resemblance to the set featured in "Back to the Future," Universal's Courthouse Square has changed in several ways over the years. The set has been redressed to appear in projects such as "Jingle All The Way," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Gilmore Girls," "Leave It To Beaver," "Ted," and many others. It also had to be rebuilt in various fashions due to fires on the backlot, including one from 2008 that also destroyed the popular "King Kong Encounter" attraction and a warehouse that contained an archive of recordings, documents, and artwork belonging to Universal Music Group's labels.

Doc Brown's House

When the movie opens in 1985, Marty is seen in Dr. Emmett Brown's carriage house. The scientist had suspiciously left his equipment on before heading out, so young McFly walks through quite the mess to get to the amplifier, which also turns into a mess after the wannabe rockstar plugs his guitar into it. Then, upon leaving as soon as he realizes that he's late for school, the audience sees that the dwelling is actually standing in a Burger King parking lot. The house was built specifically for the movie, but the fast food kingdom still stands in Burbank at 545 North Victory Blvd.

Later in 1955, it's revealed that a grand mansion once stood where the fast food establishment stands in the movie's present day. Doc answers the door while sporting a faulty invention that is meant to read minds, and Marty eventually convinces the past version of his friend to help him go back in time. The Brown family home is really the Gamble House at 4 Westmoreland Place, which was built in 1908 by architects Charles and Henry Greene. Today, the City of Pasadena and the USC School of Architecture maintain David and Mary Gamble's former winter home as a museum. However, don't feel obligated to take the tour since only the exterior of the house was used in the movie. But be sure to snap a pic at the gift shop as that is the carriage house that 1985 Doc calls home.

Hill Valley High School

Whether it's in 1985 or 1955, Mr. Strickland can be found patrolling the halls of Hill Valley High School to hand out tardy slips to so-called slackers. Unfortunately for Marty, he has become the disciplinarian's target for suspension due to his many latenesses. But in the past, the troubled teen has to ensure that he even exists in the 80s by making sure that his parents fall in love and have their first kiss to get suspended in the future.

In the real world, the educational institution that molded the minds of multiple McFlys is Whittier High School. Located at 12417 Philadelphia St, the school (which is the alma mater of President Richard Nixon and founding Pixar employee John Lasseter) was chosen as a shooting location for "Back to the Future" and "Back to the Future Part II" because its art-deco architecture fit in for both Lorraine and George's formative years as well as their future children's.

In addition to the main entrance and the courtyard of the school being prominently featured in the film, the parking lot where Crispin Glover's character finally confronts his bully to save Lea Thompson is also on campus. However, since this is still an active high school, it's not exactly open for the public to wander around whenever they want. If you want more than a picture of the main entrance, it's likely best to stop here on a weekend or during the summer when classes aren't in session.

Battle of the Bands Audition

While the production was already at a school, it would seem like the gymnasium wasn't to their liking. Instead of shooting the scene where Marty and his band, The Pinheads, audition for Hill Valley High's Battle of the Bands in Whittier, they moved to the McCambridge Recreation Center in Burbank.

Though the murals from the stage area and its opposite wall have been painted over, the basketball court located at 1515 N. Glenoaks Boulevard is still recognizable from the movie. Although, it's definitely not the same without the four judges stoically watching The Pinheads play "Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News. But the funniest part of this scene is that the chart-topping singer actually makes a cameo during the audition. He's the one who declares into a megaphone that Marty's band is "too darn loud."

When visiting the McCambridge Rec, please be sure to be courteous to the members of the community using the space. Similar to Whittier High School, the facility is still functional and classes fill the schedule. Since most days here are likely to be crowded, if you can't get a good picture that recreates the scene from the movie perfectly, don't get discouraged like the guitar-playing McFly getting cut off at his audition. As you continue your self-guided "Back to the Future" tour, just take it all in and enjoy the present as much as the past or future.

Twin Pines Mall

This is where it all begins. The Twin Pines Mall is where Doc Brown, Marty McFly, and their loyal doggy companion Einstein conduct their first time-travel experiment. It's also the location of a fatal shootout over stolen plutonium and the former home of Old Man Peabody's tree farm. And thanks to Marty's actions in the past, neither event plays out exactly as they did the first time around at the Lone Pine Mall thanks to the ripple effect through the time stream.

Better known as the Puente Hills Mall in Rowland Heights, this "Back to the Future" filming spot has barely changed over the years. More stores have shuttered their doors since the Delorean hit 88 mph in the parking lot and drove back to 1955, but the exterior of the retail complex largely looks the same. The JCPenny in the movie is now a 24 Hour Fitness, but the towering lights in the parking lot remain the same. This makes it easier to find the exact spots where Doc's van was parked, where the terrorists drove through the Fotomat, and where the Twin Pines Mall sign once stood.

Speaking of that sign, it is one of the many BTTF artifacts people can visit around LA, as it now resides inside the Puente Hills Mall for fans and shoppers to enjoy. According to the mall's Facebook page, visitors can find the sign located in the lower level near the center court.