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The Argo Guide to Filming Los Angeles as 1979 Tehran

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For the second year in a row, the Oscar for Best Picture went yesterday to the only nominee filmed primarily in Los Angeles (TAKE NOTE, FILMMAKERS). Argo, which is based on the true story of the CIA-Canadian operation to smuggle US foreign service workers out of Iran during the 1979 revolution and hostage crisis, filmed in SoCal for 10 weeks and shot both LA-for-LA and LA-for-Tehran; they also filmed a few weeks in Turkey and DC. (Last year's Best Picture winner The Artist filmed LA-for-Old-Hollywood.) For obvious reasons, Argo couldn't shoot in Iran (and in fact the country is making its own film in response); instead it relied on clever location manager Chris Baugh, production designer Sharon Seymour, and hundreds of local Iranian-American extras, plus a handy $6.4-million tax credit from the state of California. The whole thing is pretty pleasingly recursive, since in the film (and real life) the diplomats posed as a film crew on a location scout for a Sci-Fi movie. Check out the map below to see how movie magic turned modern-day Los Angeles into late-'70s Tehran.

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1. US embassy

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16111 Plummer Street
Los Angeles, CA 91343

One of the buildings at the Sepulveda VA in North Hills "turned out to be remarkably similar to the U.S. embassy in Tehran," according to the LA Times. The scenes with the protesters outside the gates were filmed in Turkey.

2. Canadian ambassador's house

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344 South Rimpau Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90020

The Canadian ambassador's house, where the six diplomats have been sequestered for months, was actually in Hancock Park. The house was way more hideous when it was on the market back in 2009.

3. Tehran airport

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1923 East Avion Street, LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT)
Ontario, CA 91761

An unused terminal at LA/Ontario International Airport was dressed up with Farsi signs, giant Ayatollah Khomeini posters, and period cars (and CGI mountains in the background) to become Tehran's Mehrabad International Airport.

4. CIA headquarters

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202 West 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The LA Times building played CIA headquarters; the production also filmed the real HQ in Langley, Virginia.

5. The Burbank Studios

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4000 Warner Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91505

The Warners Brothers lot sort of played itself--it was known as the Burbank Studios back then and its water tower was amended with the old name.

6. The SmokeHouse

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4420 West Lakeside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505

Ben Affleck's CIA agent meets with Hollywood makeup guy John Goodman at The SmokeHouse Restaurant, which plays itself.

7. Lester Siegel's house

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1001 Bel Air Road
Los Angeles, CA 90077

Zsa Zsa Gabor's house in Bel Air played the home of Alan Arkin's producer character. In real life, the house has been on the market for ages but has just recently gone "sale pending."

8. Mendez house

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2154 Hill Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90041

Ben Affleck's CIA agent character was estranged from his wife--she and his son lived in a house in Maryland played by a house in Eagle Rock. The set designer "relied on the a Sears catalog" to dress the place, according to Eagle Rock Patch.

9. The Beverly Hilton

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9876 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 274-7777

Affleck, Goodman, and Arkin hold an intentionally high-profile press event for their fake film Argo at where else? The Beverly Hilton.

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1. US embassy

16111 Plummer Street, Los Angeles, CA 91343

One of the buildings at the Sepulveda VA in North Hills "turned out to be remarkably similar to the U.S. embassy in Tehran," according to the LA Times. The scenes with the protesters outside the gates were filmed in Turkey.

16111 Plummer Street
Los Angeles, CA 91343

2. Canadian ambassador's house

344 South Rimpau Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90020

The Canadian ambassador's house, where the six diplomats have been sequestered for months, was actually in Hancock Park. The house was way more hideous when it was on the market back in 2009.

344 South Rimpau Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90020

3. Tehran airport

1923 East Avion Street, LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT), Ontario, CA 91761

An unused terminal at LA/Ontario International Airport was dressed up with Farsi signs, giant Ayatollah Khomeini posters, and period cars (and CGI mountains in the background) to become Tehran's Mehrabad International Airport.

1923 East Avion Street, LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT)
Ontario, CA 91761

4. CIA headquarters

202 West 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The LA Times building played CIA headquarters; the production also filmed the real HQ in Langley, Virginia.

202 West 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

5. The Burbank Studios

4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91505

The Warners Brothers lot sort of played itself--it was known as the Burbank Studios back then and its water tower was amended with the old name.

4000 Warner Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91505

6. The SmokeHouse

4420 West Lakeside Drive, Burbank, CA 91505

Ben Affleck's CIA agent meets with Hollywood makeup guy John Goodman at The SmokeHouse Restaurant, which plays itself.

4420 West Lakeside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505

7. Lester Siegel's house

1001 Bel Air Road, Los Angeles, CA 90077

Zsa Zsa Gabor's house in Bel Air played the home of Alan Arkin's producer character. In real life, the house has been on the market for ages but has just recently gone "sale pending."

1001 Bel Air Road
Los Angeles, CA 90077

8. Mendez house

2154 Hill Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90041

Ben Affleck's CIA agent character was estranged from his wife--she and his son lived in a house in Maryland played by a house in Eagle Rock. The set designer "relied on the a Sears catalog" to dress the place, according to Eagle Rock Patch.

2154 Hill Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90041

9. The Beverly Hilton

9876 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Affleck, Goodman, and Arkin hold an intentionally high-profile press event for their fake film Argo at where else? The Beverly Hilton.

9876 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90210