This article is from the Blade Runner FAQ, by Murray Chapmanmuzzle@cs.uq.oz.au with numerous contributions by others.
Actors Rutger Hauer, Brion James and James Hong worked for two days amid
icicles at US Growers Cold Storage, Inc.
The "Blade Runner" company also filmed at two of L.A.'s most beautiful
architectural landmarks. The front of the Ennis Brown house in the Los Feliz
area was designed in 1924 by Frank Lloyd Wright in a Mayan block motif. The
building, the most monumental of Wright's western experimental work, is seen
in the film as the entrance to Harrison Ford's apartment building, a huge
condominium complex, hundreds of stories high.
The Bradbury Building, built in 1893 and recently threatened with
architectural corruption by municipal safety modifications, was preserved on
film by "Blade Runner." In one scene, Ford traces Hauer to the ornate edifice
for the final showdown. In another, industrial designer J. F. Sebastian
(William J. Sanderson) discovers street waif Pris (Daryl Hannah) and takes
her into his apartment.
Bradbury Building - 304 S. Broadway (Southeast corner of 3rd & Broadway). You
usually can't get inside and it's hard to see the iron work from the entry
doorways. A couple of years ago they had it open around noon on Saturdays.
Also, the Los Angeles Conservancy sponsors walking tours and features the
Bradbury on its Pershing Square tour. Call (213) 623-CITY for information.
Million Dollar Theater - 307 S. Broadway (Southwest corner of 3rd & Broadway).
You can see this theater and its big marquee in the scene where Pris runs from
Sebastian and breaks his car window. It's open to the public and shows films
in Spanish or with Spanish subtitles.
The tunnel that Deckard drives through is either 3rd or 2nd street, a block or
two west of the Bradbury building.
The Ennis-Brown House - 2655 Glendower Ave (off Western Ave above Los Feliz
Blvd). Tours are conducted the second Saturday of each odd month (Jan, Mar,
May, July, Sep, Nov). Info/reservations (213) 660-0607/668-0234.
Other locations included the downtown: Pan Am Building, where Deckard and
Gaff search Leon's hotel room for clues, and the old Los Angeles Union
Station (Bryant's office).
Deckard drives through a landmark tunnel featured in many Hollywood films.
Sebastian's apartment is full of bastardised creatures, part man, part
machine, and part animal. There is a stuffed unicorn on Sebastian's work
table (screen right, as the mice scurry over scattered paraphernalia while
Each character is associated with an animal:
Leon = Turtle
Roy = Wolf, Dove
Zhora = Snake
Rachael = Spider
Tyrell = Owl
Sebastian = Mouse
Pris = Raccoon
Deckard = Sushi (raw fish), unicorn
"Ethyl methanesulfonate as an alkylating agent" is a mutagen, and the
subsequent debate between Batty and Tyrell correctly explores the problems
associated with changing a cell's DNA.
When Gaff picks up Deckard, the launch sequence on the computer is the same
one used in Scott's "Alien", where the escape pod separates from the Mother
ship. The black-and-white display of the VK machine was also used as a wall
display in "Alien". When Deckard enters his apartment at the end, the
background hum is the same distinctive hum as in parts of "Alien". The
cigarettes smoke in BR are the same yellow color as the ones in "Alien".
Notice that both "Alien" and BR have "artificial persons", and there is
ambiguity as to who is/was a real human. The difference is that Ash is a
robot with mechanical insides.
E.T.A. Hoffman, a 19th century German writer, wrote "The Automata", which
featured a man who fell in love with a female piano-playing automaton. When
he discovers that she is an automaton, he goes insane. He regains his sanity,
only to fall from a tall building calling "beautiful eyes". It was her eyes
that convinced him that she must be an automaton.