December 16 - 18, 2002, L.A., Calif. & February 23, 2003, Jamestown, Calif.

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI

The "Hill Valley Tour Group" poses for a group shot before the McFly residence

I had visited at some of the following film sight locations of BTTF before -- during a pretty spontaneous day trip in March 2001, when I was in L.A. for spring break with friends -- but this adventure in December 2002 was a bit different in a number of ways. First, it was the result of a great deal of foreplanning -- considerably more than the hour I spent at Kinkos last time. Second, I was with other fans, not alone. Third, it was on the day the DVDs came out, and it seemed quite appropriate to visit the locations then. And, finally, we visited a lot more than I saw that first time -- so many, in fact, that the last site we saw had to be done the following day, on the way out of town. (Well, Nicole and I visited it, then; the guys apparently went there at night, after the Arclight screening, at 2 A.M.) I can't remember how many rolls of film I shot, but my camera got so much action that I had to get a new battery for it on Wednesday, before driving by the high school.

One note: The film locations are cited in the order we visited them -- not the order that they appear in the films. And I decided to include screen caps from the DVDs of the film scenes for points of reference.

The Tour of Hill Valley Film Sights:
Tuesday, December 17, 2002 & Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Various Locales in the L.A.-area

The River Road Tunnel Entrance

The day began at 9:30 A.M., and a meeting with the others at the "Starting Point" Marty uses in 1955. However, when Nicole and I got there -- "there" being Griffith Park -- the guys called us on her cell and told us they were running late with breakfast. (Nicole and I had downed some coffee cake in our room that my mom baked and I'd brought from Oregon.) So we killed some time by driving ahead to the tunnel used in BTTF2, which was up the road and around the corner. As we went up the road, things felt weirdly familiar. It curved around just like in the film, heh heh. This was the way we came in the tunnel -- and I think that this is the way Biff came in on his way to the dance.

Passing Through....

Shots of entering the tunnel, etc. Yes, it is much shorter than the film would suggest. Bob Gale explains some of the tricks they used to fool the eye on the DVD commentary tracks.

The River Road Tunnel Exit

This would be the end of the tunnel where Biff got manure dumped on him, and Marty got away on the hoverboard and with help from Doc. I posed in one shot.

The Blue Bird Motel & "Start Here" Point

One would think with a group of fans -- seven, too -- that we would know exactly where it was that the scene was filmed in. Um, no. The directions were precise to a point -- the "Starting Point" was before the Greek Theater in Griffith Park -- but that left a large stretch of road. And trees look so much alike. Also, the scene took place at night, which always makes things look a lot different. So most of us ended up taking pictures of the whole strip, and then later tried to piece together where the point was. This is as close as I can figure it; the crooked tree helped a bit to place it. And it appears that the bench in the film shots was moved, as there were no benches that corresponded to that precise distance from the light post.

The McFly House

The McFly House is probably my personal favorite in regards to film sights. Perhaps because it looks so virtually unchanged from what we see in the film. (Although when we were there in December, the owners had some festive icicle lights hung; it was a week before Christmas Eve.)

The Key Areas

I used my zoom lens to get closer shots of the front door, the garage, and the gate -- three key areas used in the films. Note the house number, which is the same as in the film.

The Street

Some shots of the street before the home, which also played an important visual role in the films.

Continue on to the Community Center, Burger King, Doc's 1955 Home....>>