Where Was American Graffiti Filmed? A Comedy Drama Flick By George Lucas!!


Have you seen the comedy-drama flick, American Graffiti? Do you want to know where was American Graffiti filmed? Then continue to read this article, as today we’ll discuss the filming locations and other interesting details about this iconic film.

The rib-tickling comedy flick, American Graffiti was released in the second week of August 1973. This film was directed by George Lucas, who also played an important role as a screenwriter for this project. Although, other famous screenwriters like Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck also worked alongside George, to make the narrative more interesting for the movie audience.

The basic premise of American Graffiti revolves around a group of American teenagers and their eventful lives as students. The story gets interesting when the same group decides to party for one last time, on the eve of their high school graduation ceremony.

American Graffiti exceeded the expectations of the makers. This incredible film went on to gross over $140 million at the box office, against a nominal shooting budget. American Graffiti collected a number of prestigious nominations over the years including 5 Oscars and won 9 major awards.

Now, before I tell you more about this award-winning film, let’s find out where was American Graffiti filmed.

Where Was American Graffiti Filmed? Let’s Know This Comedy Drama Flick Closely!

The story of American Graffiti is set around Modesto, California. However, after checking out the filming locations in Modesto, Lucas decided to shoot his film elsewhere. As per reports, the director wasn’t particularly satisfied with the overall look of the city, which had drastically changed as mentioned by the director in a report.

The story of American Graffiti was set around the early ‘60s, and apparently as the filming took place in 1972, the look which the director wanted, didn’t match with the setting of Modesto. 

Thus, after discussing with other creative heads, the director decided to explore other shooting locations in California. Subsequently, the production members started scouting for potential filming locations in and around the state of California.

After several days, the filming crew identified a number of ideal shooting locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles. George reviewed the locations again and asked the crew to begin filming,

The principal photography commenced in the final week of June 1972 and continued for one month or so. During this time, the production crew ran into minor problems with the authorities with regard to filming permissions.

However, none of the issues were critical enough to disrupt the shooting process. The filming crew was able to complete the filming process on time. Also, it’s important to mention that the majority of the outdoor scenes were shot in and around San Francisco.

The remaining interior shots including some exterior scenes were later filmed around the city of Los Angeles, and other major cities in California.

So, let us now take a closer look at those cities, and discuss where was American Graffiti filmed in detail.

San Francisco, California | USA

Where Was American Graffiti Filmed? A Comedy Drama Flick By George Lucas!!

The city and county of San Francisco is the financial and cultural hub of Northern California. This iconic city has not only been selected as the perfect destination spot by tourists from all parts of the world. But, filmmakers too, over the years have chosen this beautiful city to capture some brilliant outdoor sequences.

George too selected this city to film the majority of the sequences for his movie, for similar reasons. Before shooting the opening sequence of the movie, George asked the young actors to attend a special drama class in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The opening sequence of the movie was then filmed in Mel’s Drive-In. This famous place in San Francisco, used to be located at 140 South Van Ness Avenue. But, unfortunately in the recent past, this building was demolished.

Other important outdoor sequences were captured near the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The production members also filmed a few scenes near Fisherman’s Wharf, after which they moved to the next filming location in California.

Other Filming Locations, California | USA

Additional sequences of the movie were captured around various major cities in California. The sequences depicting the high school in the movie were filmed inside Tamalpais High School, located at 700 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley.  

Other entertaining scenes such as the sequences of the drag race and the convocation party were all filmed in Petaluma. 

The interior sequences of the movie were then captured inside the American Zoetrope Studios, located at 1040 North Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles.

If you’re planning to visit California in 2023, then you can certainly look up Los Alamos, Dos Rios Ranch, Shelter Coves, Sierra Buttes, and Long Beach. These are some of the most trending places in California this year.

So, should you decide to spend your summer vacation in California this year, don’t forget to check out these jaw-dropping locations.

And now, let’s take a closer look at the plot of American Graffiti. In the meantime, you can read Robin Hood, Indiana Jones, and Pulp Fiction too.

Plot Of American Graffiti | What’s It About

The basic premise of American Graffiti is about a group of young American students, who party wildly on the last day of high school. At the very beginning of the movie, the characters of Cut Henderson and Steve Bolander, devise a plan for an awesome after-party with their classmates.

As the story progresses further all members of the class, “the batch of 62” agree to be a part of the party. The plot thickens when Curt, Stevie, and Laurie decide to attend the high school sock hop event.

Watch American Graffiti to find out what happens when the lead actors actually enter the peculiar event.

Final Words

Ok friends, I hope you enjoyed the read. I have pretty much talked about all the filming locations of American Graffiti. But if you still have any other questions regarding where was American Graffiti filmed, then let us know in the comments below. We’d definitely get back to you.
However, if you’re interested in knowing the filming locations of other critically acclaimed titles, then I’d suggest you browse other articles on Viebly.

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


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