Red Dawn Movie Behind The Scenes

Red Dawn Locations


Locations Notes

Rewind the locations where they filmed the 1984 Action / Adventure movie starring Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey More Cast

Locations Manager(s): Michael Jarvis, Ray Moggio

Red Dawn Filming Locations:

Las Vegas (NM) stood in for the fictional town of Calumet, Colorado. The Wolverines' secret hideout was actually filmed in an abandoned Safeway.

Tony kindly wrote in to say (what many people wonder about Red Dawn): "I noticed everyone says that the '84 version of Red Dawn was filmed in New Mexico. Many scenes were I'm sure, however nobody mentions the fact that one scene has a sign saying "Arapaho National Forest" which is further north outside Denver in Colorado. Not sure if this was just a prop or a real sign, but wouldn't be surprised if filmed in Colorado also." [Ed note: We can confirm that this sign was just a prop and that we will reveal the exact location of this and all the other scenes with the help of Red Dawn locations Manager Ray Moggio in the upcoming release of our LoX feature - check the LoX preview tab above] Wesley Wilson kindly wrote in to add: Actually, the movie is supposed to be based out of Colorado. The first clues are pretty obvious. My daughter and I have a habit of always looking at the License Plates in movies, and if you happen to look in this particular film, you will notice all the cars in the beginning (before they can't drive anymore obviously) have Colorado plates! Anyway, I hope I helped clear up a little bit anyway. Take care and god bless! From the hometown of the New Red Dawn Location!! Washington State!!!!

Some wilderness shots where at the end of La Dispenses (sp?) Gravel Road, up near Sapellio [Thanks to Charlie]

The school used in the begining is called "Memorial Middle School". [Thanks to Jerry Padilla]

The shot where they are back in town and talking to the lady was shot in a drug store that is called "Murpheys Drug Store". Also this is the shot where the Wolverines blow up a store. [Thanks to Jerry Padilla]

A lot of the shots where they show the Russian and Cuban bases were shot on Grand Avenue and Railroad Avenue in Las Vegas, NM. [Thanks to Jerry Padilla]

The building which forms the backdrop for the final shooting scene is actually an old hotel which has long been closed. The hotel, called the 'Castaneda', was built in the 1890's. [Thanks to Mike Thomas]

The cast mainly stayed at the Plaza Hotel (230 N. Plaza) in downtown Las Vegas. I believe, based on the interior appearance of the hotel, that they filmed some of the Victorian parlor-type scenes, involving Col. Bella, in that hotel.

When the Russian helicopters are flying away from the combat scene at the rocks near the end of the movie, the helicopters are seen flying out over some water, a small lake. That lake was almost certainly Storrie Lake State Park. [Thanks to Mike Thomas]

In junior high I went to a camp at a place called Ghost Ranch outside of Abiquiu, NM (home of famed artist Georgia O'Keefe). Several of the staff members at Ghost Ranch told me that several shots were filmed there including the scene where the two Russian Hind helicopters appear between two buttes as they chase the Wolverines. [Thanks to Devin]

The scene at the very end where Swayze is holding his brother (Charlie Sheen) was shot in a historic park called "Lincoln Park". [Thanks to Jerry Padilla]

An early scene shows the Carnegie Library a few blocks west of Grand Avenue apparently as a school building, including a statue entitled the Rough Rider. I am not sure if the staute is there or over in the Rough Rider Museum, on Grand Avenue, which commemorates the Rough Rider Reunions which were held on several occassions there. The Rough Riders were famous in the Spanish American War as a volunteer militia group comprosed of signicantly Southwesterners, which charge up San Juan Hill and later vaulted Teddy Roosevelt into the White House. [Thanks to Robert Truitt]

...BUT.. Alpha wrote in to add that the Rough Rider statue seen in the movie is not at the Carnegie Library or at the Rough Rider museum. I inquired about it at both places. Apparently, it was a prop that they used and took away when they were done. [Thanks to Alpha]

The scene where Daryl and the Russian soldier are executed by both Jedd and Robert after Daryl's betrayal was filmed on Johnson's Mesa, a high flat mountain meadow in the Santa Fe National Forest just west of Las Vegas, NM. State Highway 65 out of Las Vegas all the way to the top will get you there or close. Also the dusk scene where Jed and Matt talk and Jed says "it was bound to happen sooner or later", was also filmed in the same location. This is not to be confused with the much larger plateau named Johnson Mesa east of Raton in northern NM. It's often mistaken that the Mesa east of Raton was used in the filming of Red Dawn, it wasn't. [Thanks to Kevin]

Hermit's Peak is clearly visible several times in the film. The most prominent scene is on the dirt road where the gang encounters the Russian roadblock on their way into the mountains (after supplying themselves from Robert's dad's store) looks to me as if it was filmed somewhere heading west high up on either County Road A3 or County Rd A2 as those roads head into the montains. Hermit's peak is clearly visible and appears to have been puposely used as a background for the roadblock scene. Also the first camp the gang makes appears to be high in the mountains around Hermit's Peak. [Thanks to Kevin]

The Fort Union Drive In was used as a holding/detention area. [Thanks to Louisa]

My wife and I went to Las Vegas, NM last summer and the Murphy Drug sign is still up but the building is now a bank. There is a great mural painted on the south end of a building with a "cowgirl" that the town has kept up. Says "Calumet" on it. Oh, we tried to go to the school (high school in movie) that actually is the middle school. Road is gated/locked to around back where the goal post and scoreboard are in movie. [Thanks to Jim Hall]

The shot of the Mi24 hind attack helicopters over flying the lake was actually shot in Abiquiu. That's Abiquiu lake in the background. The rocks where they were eating and then attacked are on the right hand side of us highway 84 heading north. [Thanks to Tom Marquez]

The scene where they ate from the two dropped boxes of cereals and fruit, was filmed at Talus Natural Arches on Us 84 mm223 just north of Abiquiu, NM. There they also filmed the Russian gun ships flying over the rock formation Ojitos de los Gatos. In the background of those scenes, you will see Abiquiu Lake and the table top of Cerro Perdenal. [Thanks to Robert Kvech]

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Locations Links

Following is a recommended link:

Revisiting The 1984 Filming Locations

Next Section: LX Preview

LX Preview

LX is our radical new locations feature that we've been beavering away on.. For years!

Each location will have it's own page with then/now pictures, maps, StreetView, discovery story and the most detailed explanations on how the location was used. Most importantly, the locations will have a status that shows whether they are verified correct and by whom. We are working with the actual locations managers or other crew where possible. The whole thing will be very interactive and you will, of course, be able to update everything.

We are pleased to be able to bring you a sneak peek at what LX locations will be available for Red Dawn upon release:

Fighting The Helicopter Gunships
Final Scene
Colonel Bella's HQ
The High School
Gas Station Ambush
The Mason Ranch
"Shoot Straight For Once..."
The Internment Camp
The Drug Store
Execution / Tank Scene
Road Block
Morris' Market Gas Station
"Arapaho National Forest"
Colonel Bella & The Helicopter
Soviet American Friendship Center
"They Can Have My Gun When..."
Book Burning
Back To Town
The Rough Rider
Parachutes Over Suburbia
Opening Shot Of Town #1
Opening Shot Of Town #2
Opening Shot Of Town #3

Preview Icon Key:

Verified Correct
Probably Correct
Probably Wrong

Please Note: The status of some entries in this preview may be wrong because they are in-progress or need updating before release.

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1984 MGM / UA
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