Anteaters, you have been walking in the footsteps of film stars!! Have you always thought that UC Irvine would make a great location for a film? Ever seen a film setting that looked slightly familiar? Did you know UC Irvine has had its fair share of Hollywood history? Check out this list of movies and places at UC Irvine that have doubled as a film set!
1. Social Science Tower and Admin Building
If you have ever been on a UC Irvine guided tour, then you know about this film! In 1972, UC Irvine was chosen as a set location for Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, the fourth film in the Planet of the Apes series. UC Irvine was chosen because of the unique brutalism style of its buildings and because of its newness. Because UC Irvine was a young campus at the time, its landscape was stark and concrete. The trees and vegetation that UC Irvine is now known for had not yet grown in! The desolate setting was the perfect backdrop for the crew of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes who used UC Irvine as the opening sequence for the film! In it, the apes had an uprising against their oppressors.
2. Langson Library
The suburban driven horror narrative in Poltergeist has turned it into a modern film classic! Poltergeist was created by legendary director Steven Spielberg and is about family who move into a California suburb. Strange things start happening and the family’s young daughter is taken by ghosts! Irvine is the poster child for suburbia, so it was only natural that some of the scenes in this filmed were filmed at UC Irvine. You can catch a glimpse of Langson Library when one of the characters goes to investigate about exorcisms!
3. Gillespie Neuroscience Research Facility
In 2001, Ocean’s Eleven used the Gillespie Neuroscience Research Facility as a stand in for the California Institute of Advanced Science. In the film, actors like George Clooney and Brad Pitt can be seen jumping and running around the building. The futuristic, sleek and modern architecture of this medical building make it easy to see why is was chosen as a backdrop by Warner Bros!
4. Biological Sciences Building
The wacky, fun film Creator used the basement of the Biological Science building to create a retelling of Frankenstein. In this film, esteemed actor Peter O’Toole is a professor who becomes obsessed with the idea of cloning his wife who has been dead for thirty years.
5. Aldrich Park
The filmmakers behind Creator, didn’t stop at the Bio Sci Basement, they also used Aldrich Park. There are a couple of scenes in the film where competing bio professors decide to play a game of tackle football! Although it looks slightly different( the trees are smaller!), Aldrich Park looks virtually the same as it does now! Take a look at the giant green park in the middle of UC Irvine as it was in the 80’s!
5. Honorary mention : UC Irvine Apparel
Although the show did not film at UC Irvine, Arrested Development had Michael Cera’s character, George Michael, be a student! This show gets an honorable mention because, UC Irvine merch is shown everywhere/. That’s kinda as if the school was on air too right??? Anteater plushies, UCI apparel, stickers and more are all featured in the show to create a more authentic experience. Filming mostly took place in Los Angeles, but with all of the Irvine gear featured, close enough!