It’s no secret Los Angeles is home to many famous locations from movies. Film lovers visiting the area thrill at the chance to see the real-world equivalents of some of their famous fictional movie settings.
Are you that type of movie lover? If so, you should know that just a short walk from Century Park Hotel is the building which served as Nakatomi Plaza in the action classic Die Hard. To learn more about this area attraction, and why you should pay it a visit during your stay, consider the following points.
What You Need to Know About the Real Nakatomi Plaza
Nakatomi Plaza wasn’t constructed as a movie set. In the real world, its name is Fox Plaza. As the name implies, 20th Century Fox occupies one of the building’s main floors.
Savvy film fans might wonder if paying Fox Plaza a visit is worth their time. After all, it’s not uncommon for office buildings and similar structures featured in movies to only show up in a few establishing shots. A Die Hard fan might assume that’s the case with Fox Plaza. Because it serves a real-world purpose, a moviegoer could easily guess the filmmakers merely use it for a few second unit shots, filming the major action scenes on a constructed set.
This is an understandable assumption to make. However, in the case of the real Nakatomi Plaza, it’s a false assumption. The vast majority of both Die Hard‘s interior and exterior scenes were actually filmed on location at Fox Plaza. The only major exceptions are the Christmas party scenes, which were shot elsewhere.
The filmmakers were able to use Fox Plaza as a shooting location for two major reasons. One, because Die Hard was distributed by 20th Century Fox, they already had a relationship with the studio. Two, Fox Plaza wasn’t functioning as a fully active office building just yet. The tower was in fact still under some degree of construction during filming. Some viewers have picked up on this, noticing a scene in which Bruce Willis’ character navigates a floor that appears unfinished, with numerous pieces of construction equipment in the area.
This wasn’t a choice by the set designer. That equipment was real, as that part of the building hadn’t been entirely finished yet.
Of course, filming at a location 20th Century Fox had recently made a major investment in did pose some difficulties. For example, there’s a scene in Die Hard featuring an armored vehicle knocking down a stair railing in front of the building. The filmmakers had to negotiate with Fox for months to get permission to shoot it on location. Additionally, the helicopter-centric finale required six months of preparation, despite the production team only have two hours to get the necessary shots.
These are key reasons Fox Plaza – the real Nakatomi Plaza – is a unique movie location worth visiting while you’re in the area. Along with Die Hard, it’s also been featured in Fight Club, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and numerous other shows and movies. If you’re staying with us, and you’re a movie buff, take a quick stroll to see it for yourself.