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John Connor and the Terminator in Terminator 2.
Courtesy of Everett Collection

‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ filming locations, mapped

From Santa Monica to Sylmar, the classic movie turned LA into a hellish inferno

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John Connor and the Terminator in Terminator 2.
| Courtesy of Everett Collection

James Cameron's 1991 sci-fi classic Terminator 2: Judgment Day boasts one of the most frightening visions of Los Angeles ever committed to film. As Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) watches a playground from behind a chain link fence, a nuclear blasts rips through Downtown and sears everything in its path: skyscrapers, cars, children, jungle gyms. They fly apart, in Sarah’s immortal words, “like leaves.” Our home city is transformed into a hellish inferno.

Of course, it was all just a terrible dream. By the end of the film, Sarah, John and Arnold Schwarzenegger's rehabbed T-800 have averted the specter of Judgment Day (at least until the sequels). But in the process of saving the world, they barrel their way through a wide swath of the Southland, from Santa Monica to Fontana. Naturally, the shapeshifting T-1000 is never far behind.

With T2 getting a 3D re-release in theaters this weekend, we spoke with location manager Jim Morris about the film's various Southern California locations. After perusing, you can also check out our filming location map of the first Terminator here.

(Note: Some of the locations listed are private residences. Please be respectful.)

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The Corral

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The biker bar where a naked Arnold Schwarzenegger cracks skulls and makes off with his signature leather jacket, sunglasses, and motorcycle was known as The Corral, a rustic dive that was gutted in a 1997 fire and later demolished. Ironically, the site now houses pretty much the opposite of a biker bar: the Lake View Terrace Library.

"One of the things that was neat about it is there were levels to it, at least there was a step up," says Morris. "Everybody always liked that step up, because there was a fight sequence, [and] you could knock somebody down a level."

Arnold Schwarzenegger stands outside a biker bar in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Sixth Street Viaduct

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The T-1000 makes his first appearance beneath the now-demolished bridge and popular filming location, which is currently being replaced by a striking modern viaduct designed by Michael Maltzan. The new structure is expected to open in the very futuristic-sounding 2020.

The T-1000 played by Robert Patrick takes on the the guise of a police officer in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

John Connor’s house

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John lives with his doomed foster parents at this run-of-the-mill Canoga Park residence, which Morris says was chosen for its "generic" feel. Still, he says the home's interior had “unique” kitchen appliances that appealed to the film's production designer, Joseph C. Nemec III.

John Connor sits on his dirt bike outside his family home in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures/Google Maps

Pescadero State Hospital

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The psychiatric institution Sarah Connor escapes from sounds quite a bit like Atascadero State Hospital in San Luis Obispo County, which some have claimed as the real-life inspiration behind the cinematic sanatorium.

The scenes at the hospital seen in the film were actually shot much closer to home, at the then-abandoned Lake View Terrace Hospital. A drug and alcohol rehab facility now stands at the site.

Sarah Connor, John Connor and the T-800 stand in the hallway of Pescadero State Hospital. Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

ATM hacking

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John demonstrates his precocious hacking skills at a Van Nuys bank on Roscoe Boulevard. But not too fast, amateur location scouts: The ATM in question is no more. The building now houses a medical clinic.

John Connor hacks into an ATM machine in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Santa Monica Place

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The Terminators track down John Connor at "the Galleria," though the mall’s interiors were actually filmed at (the old) Santa Monica Place. Amy Heckerling previously used the shopping center for exterior shoots on Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a film whose interiors actually were shot at the (Sherman Oaks) Galleria.

The T-1000 walks through the Santa Monica Place mall in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Northridge Fashion Center

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The exteriors of the mall chase were filmed a full 20 miles north, at the more sprawling environs of the Northridge Fashion Center. Even for the T-1000, dodging all that Santa Monica foot traffic would have been difficult.

The T-1000 chases John Connor on foot at the Northridge Fashion Center in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Bull Creek spillway

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Dedicated filming location enthusiasts have identified this as the spot where the T-1000 crashes his 18-wheeler into the Bull Creek spillway in pursuit of John Connor. The flood control channel's extensive use in the breakneck sequence makes it arguably the most famous culvert in Los Angeles County.

The Terminator points his gun at the oncoming T-1000 in the Bull Creek spillway in “Terminator 2.” Courtesy of Everett Collection

Petersen Automotive Museum

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Fittingly, the chase sequence in the parking garage beneath Pescadero was filmed at the future site of the Petersen Automotive Museum. At the time of shooting, it was a vacant building that had once housed an Ohrbach's department store.

Sarah Connor points a gun at a police officer in the parking garage of Pescadero Hospital in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Cactus Jack’s Market

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On their way to acquiring weapons from Enrique Salceda (Cástulo Guerra) at his remote Mexican ranch, the escaping trio stop for a bite to eat at this roadside market that appears to have closed down in the intervening years.

Cactus Jack’s Market from “Terminator 2,” then and now. Screen grab via Paramount Pictures/Google Maps

Elysian Park

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Sarah Connor enjoys a stunning view of the nuclear apocalypse from this Elysian Park playground.

Sarah Connor grips a chain link fence as she stares out at a Los Angeles playground. Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Miles Dyson’s house

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The swanky home of Cyberdyne engineer Miles Dyson is located on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, about halfway between Santa Monica and Point Mugu.

Because the scene called for lots of gunfire, Morris says "extensive notification" was required for the region's equestrian neighbors. "A lot of people [had] horses, and they hear from quite a distance," he notes.

(The same extensively-remodeled home was also Tad Hamilton's mansion in the 2004 rom-com Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!)

The house of Miles Dyson in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Terminal Island Freeway

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The third-act car chase sequence was filmed on Terminal Island Freeway (a.k.a. State Route 103/47), which has been a popular filming location over the years thanks to its relative isolation from commercial and residential areas.

"That freeway is almost exclusively used for container traffic," says Morris of the freeway, of which a mile-long section is currently being dismantled. "So at night time, at that point in time, it really wasn't that busy."

Arnold Schwarzenegger rides his motorcycle down Terminal Island freeway in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Kaiser Steel Plant

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T2's fiery final showdown was filmed at the enormous Kaiser Steel Plant, which at the time of production had long been abandoned. Opened in 1942 by Henry J. Kaiser to provide steel for the war effort, it closed in 1983 and was later sold to a Chinese steel company, who disassembled the plant piece by piece and shipped it to China.

"That was something that was known when we were filming there, that the Chinese [workers] were coming," says Morris, who notes the site was also used for the opening war sequence set in post-Judgment Day dystopia. "All the rubble and stuff was real," he continues. "It was like tipped over and smashed debris from the old steel mill. The steel mill that we [filmed in] was a newer, more modern [mill]."

NASCAR fans will know the site of the former steel plant as the California Speedway, which opened in 1997.

Linda Hamilton points a gun at the T-1000 in the Kaiser Steel Plant in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

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While it never made its way to the big screen, a scrapped epilogue set in an idyllic alternate future was filmed at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

The section of the park known as Bauer Lawn was an attractive location for filming, says Morris, owing to a "novel" pool/fountain located there. As the scene was actually set in Washington, D.C., the film's effects wizards inserted the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument in the distance, along with an assortment of gleaming "futuristic" structures.

An adult John Connor pushes his young daughter on a swing in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures/Los Angeles County Arboretum

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The Corral

Arnold Schwarzenegger stands outside a biker bar in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

The biker bar where a naked Arnold Schwarzenegger cracks skulls and makes off with his signature leather jacket, sunglasses, and motorcycle was known as The Corral, a rustic dive that was gutted in a 1997 fire and later demolished. Ironically, the site now houses pretty much the opposite of a biker bar: the Lake View Terrace Library.

"One of the things that was neat about it is there were levels to it, at least there was a step up," says Morris. "Everybody always liked that step up, because there was a fight sequence, [and] you could knock somebody down a level."

Arnold Schwarzenegger stands outside a biker bar in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Sixth Street Viaduct

The T-1000 played by Robert Patrick takes on the the guise of a police officer in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

The T-1000 makes his first appearance beneath the now-demolished bridge and popular filming location, which is currently being replaced by a striking modern viaduct designed by Michael Maltzan. The new structure is expected to open in the very futuristic-sounding 2020.

The T-1000 played by Robert Patrick takes on the the guise of a police officer in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

John Connor’s house

John Connor sits on his dirt bike outside his family home in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures/Google Maps

John lives with his doomed foster parents at this run-of-the-mill Canoga Park residence, which Morris says was chosen for its "generic" feel. Still, he says the home's interior had “unique” kitchen appliances that appealed to the film's production designer, Joseph C. Nemec III.

John Connor sits on his dirt bike outside his family home in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures/Google Maps

Pescadero State Hospital

Sarah Connor, John Connor and the T-800 stand in the hallway of Pescadero State Hospital. Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

The psychiatric institution Sarah Connor escapes from sounds quite a bit like Atascadero State Hospital in San Luis Obispo County, which some have claimed as the real-life inspiration behind the cinematic sanatorium.

The scenes at the hospital seen in the film were actually shot much closer to home, at the then-abandoned Lake View Terrace Hospital. A drug and alcohol rehab facility now stands at the site.

Sarah Connor, John Connor and the T-800 stand in the hallway of Pescadero State Hospital. Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

ATM hacking

John Connor hacks into an ATM machine in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

John demonstrates his precocious hacking skills at a Van Nuys bank on Roscoe Boulevard. But not too fast, amateur location scouts: The ATM in question is no more. The building now houses a medical clinic.

John Connor hacks into an ATM machine in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Santa Monica Place

The T-1000 walks through the Santa Monica Place mall in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

The Terminators track down John Connor at "the Galleria," though the mall’s interiors were actually filmed at (the old) Santa Monica Place. Amy Heckerling previously used the shopping center for exterior shoots on Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a film whose interiors actually were shot at the (Sherman Oaks) Galleria.

The T-1000 walks through the Santa Monica Place mall in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Northridge Fashion Center

The T-1000 chases John Connor on foot at the Northridge Fashion Center in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

The exteriors of the mall chase were filmed a full 20 miles north, at the more sprawling environs of the Northridge Fashion Center. Even for the T-1000, dodging all that Santa Monica foot traffic would have been difficult.

The T-1000 chases John Connor on foot at the Northridge Fashion Center in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Bull Creek spillway

The Terminator points his gun at the oncoming T-1000 in the Bull Creek spillway in “Terminator 2.” Courtesy of Everett Collection

Dedicated filming location enthusiasts have identified this as the spot where the T-1000 crashes his 18-wheeler into the Bull Creek spillway in pursuit of John Connor. The flood control channel's extensive use in the breakneck sequence makes it arguably the most famous culvert in Los Angeles County.

The Terminator points his gun at the oncoming T-1000 in the Bull Creek spillway in “Terminator 2.” Courtesy of Everett Collection

Petersen Automotive Museum

Sarah Connor points a gun at a police officer in the parking garage of Pescadero Hospital in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Fittingly, the chase sequence in the parking garage beneath Pescadero was filmed at the future site of the Petersen Automotive Museum. At the time of shooting, it was a vacant building that had once housed an Ohrbach's department store.

Sarah Connor points a gun at a police officer in the parking garage of Pescadero Hospital in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Cactus Jack’s Market

Cactus Jack’s Market from “Terminator 2,” then and now. Screen grab via Paramount Pictures/Google Maps

On their way to acquiring weapons from Enrique Salceda (Cástulo Guerra) at his remote Mexican ranch, the escaping trio stop for a bite to eat at this roadside market that appears to have closed down in the intervening years.

Cactus Jack’s Market from “Terminator 2,” then and now. Screen grab via Paramount Pictures/Google Maps

Elysian Park

Sarah Connor grips a chain link fence as she stares out at a Los Angeles playground. Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Sarah Connor enjoys a stunning view of the nuclear apocalypse from this Elysian Park playground.

Sarah Connor grips a chain link fence as she stares out at a Los Angeles playground. Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Miles Dyson’s house

The house of Miles Dyson in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

The swanky home of Cyberdyne engineer Miles Dyson is located on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, about halfway between Santa Monica and Point Mugu.

Because the scene called for lots of gunfire, Morris says "extensive notification" was required for the region's equestrian neighbors. "A lot of people [had] horses, and they hear from quite a distance," he notes.

(The same extensively-remodeled home was also Tad Hamilton's mansion in the 2004 rom-com Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!)

The house of Miles Dyson in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Terminal Island Freeway

Arnold Schwarzenegger rides his motorcycle down Terminal Island freeway in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

The third-act car chase sequence was filmed on Terminal Island Freeway (a.k.a. State Route 103/47), which has been a popular filming location over the years thanks to its relative isolation from commercial and residential areas.

"That freeway is almost exclusively used for container traffic," says Morris of the freeway, of which a mile-long section is currently being dismantled. "So at night time, at that point in time, it really wasn't that busy."

Arnold Schwarzenegger rides his motorcycle down Terminal Island freeway in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Kaiser Steel Plant

Linda Hamilton points a gun at the T-1000 in the Kaiser Steel Plant in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

T2's fiery final showdown was filmed at the enormous Kaiser Steel Plant, which at the time of production had long been abandoned. Opened in 1942 by Henry J. Kaiser to provide steel for the war effort, it closed in 1983 and was later sold to a Chinese steel company, who disassembled the plant piece by piece and shipped it to China.

"That was something that was known when we were filming there, that the Chinese [workers] were coming," says Morris, who notes the site was also used for the opening war sequence set in post-Judgment Day dystopia. "All the rubble and stuff was real," he continues. "It was like tipped over and smashed debris from the old steel mill. The steel mill that we [filmed in] was a newer, more modern [mill]."

NASCAR fans will know the site of the former steel plant as the California Speedway, which opened in 1997.

Linda Hamilton points a gun at the T-1000 in the Kaiser Steel Plant in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

An adult John Connor pushes his young daughter on a swing in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures/Los Angeles County Arboretum

While it never made its way to the big screen, a scrapped epilogue set in an idyllic alternate future was filmed at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

The section of the park known as Bauer Lawn was an attractive location for filming, says Morris, owing to a "novel" pool/fountain located there. As the scene was actually set in Washington, D.C., the film's effects wizards inserted the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument in the distance, along with an assortment of gleaming "futuristic" structures.

An adult John Connor pushes his young daughter on a swing in “Terminator 2.” Screen grab via Paramount Pictures/Los Angeles County Arboretum