With the Academy Awards around the corner, Quentin Tarantino‘s “Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood” is ready to take a bow. Boasting 10 nominations—including best picture—the ode to Hollywood’s golden age is a kind of fairy tale that follows a fading actor, his stunt-double buddy, and the people involved in the all-too-real Charles Manson murders.
Throughout the story, Tarantino revisits and re-creates some notorious and legendary locations that set the scene for infamous (and famous) events.
The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as aging TV star Rick Dalton, who happens to live next door to the actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). Dalton’s stunt double/driver/best friend, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), meanders through many landmarks of a bygone Southern California, from Spahn Ranch to the Van Nuys drive-in.
In honor of Tarantino’s love letter to Tinseltown, we unspooled some of the real-life locations from the movie. Lights, camera, action!
Sharon Tate’s house
In reality, Tate’s house, and the site of her gruesome murder along with four others by Manson’s followers, was located in Beverly Hills. The “Valley of the Dolls” actress had rented the home in Benedict Canyon with her husband, the director Roman Polanski, who was away at the time of her death.
Musician Trent Reznor reportedly rented the home in 1992, moving out a year later. In 1994, then-owner Alvin Weintraub razed the original 3,200-square-foot, European-style property, and replaced it with an 18,000-square-foot, Mediterranean-style estate known as Villa Bella. The infamous address of 10050 Cielo Drive was also changed—to 10066 Cielo Drive—to further distance the new home from its bloody past.
Tarantino wasn’t able to use the original home for his film, so he incorporated three different locations as stand-ins for the Tate residence, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Rick Dalton’s house
In the movie, Dalton and Tate are next-door neighbors. However, the homes used as their on-screen houses are located in Studio City, according to Curbed. In fact, Dalton’s photogenic midcentury modern abode is “often used for movie shoots,” according to a video showcasing the property.
Currently off the market, the home was previously available for rent. Photos from an old listing show the 1964-built home as a time capsule of the era, with an open floor plan, glass doors that open to the pool, and terrazzo flooring.
The Playboy mansion
A raucous on-screen party down the hill from Tate and Polanski’s home takes place at the Playboy mansion—and the real-life estate plays itself in the movie. The notorious party pad, once owned by Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, was sold for $100 million in 2016, a record price at the time.
The buyer, investor Daren Metropoulos, has restored the Holmby Hills estate to its former glory.
“I knew there was a special opportunity to collaborate together and feature the mansion in this thrilling project,” Metropoulos told the Hollywood Reporter. “The timing was excellent as the property has already begun to transform back to its original grandeur and has never looked more impressive.”
Spahn Movie Ranch
After picking up a hitchhiker, Pitt’s Booth finds himself on a run-down ranch. Once used to film TV shows and Westerns such as “Bonanza” and “The Lone Ranger,” it was now home to Manson and his followers.
The actual 55-acre ranch in Los Angeles County was purchased by George Spahn in the 1950s. By 1968, when he was in his 80s and going blind, he allowed Manson and his followers to live on the property in exchange for daily chores.
The nearby Corriganville Park—also once a movie ranch—was used as a stand-in for Spahn Ranch in Tarantino’s film.
Formerly owned by Ray “Crash” Corrigan, the park was “the filming site for over 3,500 movies, TV programs and commercials,” notes the park’s website. Today, it’s run by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District and features five trails on 246 acres.
Van Nuys Drive-In Theatre
In less fairy-tale-like digs, Pitt’s character lives with his dog in a trailer behind a drive-in movie theater. The Van Nuys Drive-in Movie Theatre portrayed in the movie was actually demolished in the 1990s. A school now stands on the site in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Amazingly, a drive-in theater in the L.A. area does still exist, and was used to replicate the late-’60s Van Nuys cinema experience. Located in Paramount, the Paramount Drive-In Movie Theater offers two screens, FM stereo sound through your car radio, and a snack bar.
One of the original drive-in theaters in L.A., it opened in 1947. With interest in outdoor movies waning, the theater shut down in 1992. But unlike many other drive-ins, this tale had a happy ending, and the theater reopened with all-new projection screens in 2014. Now, it’s had its Hollywood moment.
Sequel: Manson murder house in Los Feliz
Technically, this location wasn’t part of the movie. But it is a real-life sequel to the fictionalized version of events told by Tarantino.
In 1969, this Spanish-style residence was the site of the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, who were killed by Manson and his followers the day after they murdered the 26-year-old Tate and her four friends in Beverly Hills.
Unlike the infamous Tate address, this home appears to have had no problem selling. Two months after it came on the market for $1.9 million, it was sold for slightly less than the asking price. The buyer was “Ghost Adventures” star Zac Bagans, a collector of infamous and creepy memorabilia.