Let’s geek out about going on a self-guided Pretty In Pink tour

Posted by

CHECK IT OUT: real people actually live in Andie Walsh’s house.
I recently shot a wedding in Los Angeles, California and had the happy fortune of being able to stay with Megan (as in the Associate Publisher of the Empire) while in town. One night in the trip one of my all-time favorite movies Pretty in Pink came on, and I mentioned that it would be OMG AMAZING if we could go on a tour of all the places in the movie. It turns out that’s pretty easy to do… so we did it.

When it comes to movies, music, and celebrities that I love I’m an open, honest, unabashed fan girl. We also saw a hobbit (Dominic Monaghan) while I was in town, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never stop talking about it. I saw Pretty In Pink during my pretty formative teen years and Duckie (yes, even in all of his borderline stalker-ish glory) basically laid the groundwork for the creation of my Dream Guy prototype. I have much of the dialogue memorized, and there is never a time that I will turn down watching this movie.

I’m from the southern US, so the idea that you can visit places that are in movies totally trips me out… but to Megan, it’s every day LA life. GUYS! Here are the stops we hit up on our tour:

Andie’s house

Andie’s house was our first point, and it was the best because it’s literally on the wrong side of the tracks. All the other houses are on one side, and her house stands alone. It turns out a real life family lives there (complete with tricycles in the front yard). But no matter: photos were still taken.

The outside of the school

What do I doooo?
Megan is all “Whatever, I live in LA every day.”

The interior and exterior school shots were at two different spots, and when I was in town they were actually working on the front of the school used (John Marshall) for the exterior shots. This could have totally sucked, but it was still actually a lot of fun to see it. We also had the extra pleasure of narrowly escaping a parking ticket, so hey!

The rich kid’s house

Real people also actually live here!

I won’t tell you how much of our conversation centered around how hot Steff/James Spader was and hot he… might not be now, but we also just kind of nerded out here. We had to wait for the family who actually lives there to leave, because they kept hovering in and around their front door. Probably, you know, wondering why two girls in big sunglasses were standing outside. With a camera. (And big, big smiles.)


I was most excited about Trax — while Andie Walsh was truer to my teen self, in my heart of hearts I wanted to grow up to be Iona/Annie Potts (both of them). I mean, I still do. Also duh: a chance to see the spot where Duckie exceeded my wildest expectations? Gosh.

All necessary information (names, addresses) is right here if you want to host your own self-guided tour. I might totally come with you if you do.

Comments on Let’s geek out about going on a self-guided Pretty In Pink tour

  1. Fact: Being named Andrea i *hated* being called Andie. And then Pretty in Pink came out and….. then is it was TOTALLY okay. πŸ™‚ I am super-jealous of your pilgrimage.

  2. Just FYI- living in the southeast US you can still go see where movies & TV shows are shot because a lot of states offer great incentives to bring production crews in. I’m in NC, so we’ve had a LOT of big name movies and popular TV shows shot here. One of my friends was an extra on a show while she was in college in Wilmington.

    • Yep! I’m originally from Alabama, so I’m well familiar with it. This fall I’m planning on doing a Dawson’s Creek tour with my friend when I’m back in the area, and we used to be kind of big One Tree Hill (no shame!) fans soooo maaaayyyybbbeeee. I know a bunch of things have been filmed in Birmingham, but I’m not sure any would be as exciting to me as Pretty In Pink. πŸ™‚

    • I’m a diehard Empire Records fan, so I’ve made the trek to Wilmington several times to visit the storefront and other filming spots. I’ll nerd all over the place for Empire Records.

  3. Since Steph left, I’ve encountered a few tourists who’ve asked me “what should we see in LA?” And my response is now: “What’s your favorite movie? You should go on a self-guided tour of the locations!”

    It really was an awesome way to explore the city and get personal with the things that would make LA (or any location!) special to you.

    • Right!? Steph and I were watching it and I was like “Hey! I think that’s the high school I grew up down the street from.” And then a Google search told me that the exterior school shots aren’t, but the interior ones are and that… oh hey look at that… ALL the locations were LA-based. HA! Chicago my ass.

  4. That Jon Cryer/Otis Redding scene is one of the best things to happen in any movie ever of all time. It might be my favorite part of the whole movie.

  5. I totally understand how much you geeked out about getting to see your favorite movie locations. I got lucky and won a trip to NYC. The thing I was most excited about: getting to see the Ghostbusters firehouse.

    • Dorking out over movie locations is AWESOME fun. The first time I went to Portland, OR I all but demanded we do a Goonies tour first thing.

      On our Honeymoon my husband drove us way way out of the way just so he could drive through the roundabout and say, “Look, kids, there’s Big Ben and there’s Parliament!”

      Also, I live in the District of Columbia. I have had several different groups of friends come visit through the years and request a self guided West Wing tour.

      • TOTALLY went to the rock wall Willy jumps over in Free Willy (in Astoria) a few months back. Your comment totally reminded me, since a lot of Goonies was filmed in Astoria, also.

  6. I was retweeted by Maxwell Caulfield (actor who played Rex Manning) the other day (my 2nd day of officially using Twitter) and I’m pretty sure I died and went to rock-n-roll Heaven. πŸ™‚

    I hope to visit more movie and tv locations as I travel through life because there’s something so innocently fun about it!

    • I loved him as a teen.. And a kid… And now! He was my dream guy! I’m also pretty sure my sister named her son after him but she won’t admit it!

  7. I live in Vancouver where lots of movies and tv shows are shot. I have become blasΓ© about seeing film crews, usually get cranky because they are messing up traffic!

    Last year I was on my way to work and Fringe was being shot in the alley behind my office and I thought “Cool, there is a bad guy drinking a Starbucks”.

    I watch these shows and think, I have been there . . . The main branch of the Vancouver Library gets used in a lot of shows because of its unique shape (round). It is used a lot in the SciFy show Continuum.

    I remember going to see Shooter (Mark Walberg) and halfway through having a “Hey that is New Westminster” moment. (New West is a suburb city of Vancouver.

    I loved Pretty in Pink and would probably totally geek out over seeing those locations!

  8. your tour made me so happy one of my favourite movies Molly ringwall is in Australia at the moment so just want to meet her dressed like her as a teen

    • So the ones I’m wearing — the sparkly bitches — came from my eye doctor’s reject drawer. You know… the drawer full of frames from the ’80s and ’90s that are now “out of style.” I had to FIGHT with the sales lady to let me buy them and turn them into sunnies.

      The heart ones… I think just came from a gas station! But you can totally find a pair on Amazon.

        • I believe she felt she had to save me from myself. Because the idea that someone would pay money for out of date eyeglass frames when they could buy trendy designer frames was just too much for her to grasp.

  9. The high school I drive past every day on my way to work is where they shot High School Musical 1 and 3. My family came out to visit and my teenage cousin was DYING to see it, so we snuck in a side door one day in the middle of summer. Almost got kicked out by a janitor. She still thinks it’s the best part of that whole vacation, Yellowstone included.

Join the Conversation