Visit a piece of Hollywood without even leaving LAX. You don’t need to go to Universal Studios or walk the streets of Hollywood. Countless films, television episodes, music videos and even video games (Splinter Cell, Midnight Club II,
2005 PlayStation 2 video game, L.A. Rush by Midway Games) feature the famous Los Angels airport.
With it being so close to Hollywood studios, it’s even used in place of other airports (for example all Die Hard 2 airport scenes were filmed at LAX, not Dulles International in Washington DC). Let me share a few more examples with you.
Maybe you’ve walked the underground tunnels many times. They’ve been used in movies since the ’60s. Dustin Hoffman is filmed passing through an LAX concourse connection tunnel at the beginning of The Graduate (1967). An action sequence for the thriller To Live and Die in LA (1985) was filmed there.
If your plane is taxing, take a look outside. The climactic ending to Heat (1995) was filmed out on the runway. The 1994 film Speed, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, was also filmed in part on the runways of LAX
Several scenes of the 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Commando were filmed at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, on the airfield, and in an LAX parking deck.
The 2004 Tom Hanks film The Terminal had pre-production shooting done at LAX.
In the 2015 science fiction action film Terminator Genisys, in the post-apocalyptic future setting, the ruins of LAX airport becomes one of Skynet’s camps, where it also houses its prototype time machine. I grew up watching the Terminator movies, it was neat to see a part of that here at LAX.
LAX in music videos
The music video of Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” was filmed and is set mostly at the airport. The Tom Bradley International Terminal is seen in shots and serves as a setting for the chorus. The scenes involving a Boeing 727 and where they are greeted by fans was filmed in one of the hangars of LAX. Also, a Delta Air Lines Lockheed L-1011 TriStar appears when Howie D. sings the fourth verse.
The music video for Maroon 5’s song “Makes Me Wonder” was also filmed at LAX.
In 1990, Japan Airlines released a series of commercials featuring Janet Jackson. Filmed at, you guessed it, LAX.
So maybe you’ve got some extra time, wander around and see if you can’t spot some familiar backdrops to your favorite movies. LAX has been a hotspot for filming for many years. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the gateways into Hollywood itself. Maybe it’s because it’s so familiar to those who live and work in LA. It’s definitely not the most efficient of airports. If you’ve flown in and out of there, you know we constantly have ground stops and traffic delays. It does provide a unique setting for the big screen though.
To most people, traveling is not an everyday thing. Airports are where they say emotional goodbyes and have tearful reunions. In many stories, airports are where two lovers reconnect and reconcile. It’s where Billie Idol helped Adam Sandler’s character win back Julia (Drew Barrymore) in The Wedding Singer.
Spend some time, buy an overpriced coffee and go on a self guided tour of this public movie lot.