Featured Movie Location: The 'Great Balls Of Fire' Bar
Wanna see the real life filming location used for The 'Great Balls Of Fire' Bar
in the movie? These scenes were actually shot at Kansas City Bar-B-Q Resturant
, located in San Diego, S. California
. [Google Map
] Locations Manager(s): On Location
The house that Kelly McGillis lived in as she played Charlie in the movie is to be found at 102 Pacific St, Oceanside, CA. However The scene where Tom Cruise is sitting on the back patio of Kelly McGillis's house and they are talking and drinking wine was filmed at the Paramount Studios first aid station which is on the studio street behind the famous Paramount Sunset Blvd Gate entrance. The studio built a fake patio in front of the first aid station's screen door to film the scene. [Thanks to Jeff Stone]
The house in "Top Gun" that was used as Kelly McGellis's house is now all boarded up and slated to me moved or torn down as part Oceanside's redevelopement plans for the water front area. No plans have been made or announced to save the house. [Thanks to Ian A. Dailey]
The "Top Gun" house is not set to be destroyed. Per a Union Tribune article from 12/31/2013:
Next year, the house will be temporarily moved a short distance east to make way for the construction of a beach resort to be built by S.D. Malkin Properties. The project will be built on two city-owned blocks bordered by Pacific and Myers streets and Seagaze Drive and Pier View Way. Kern said construction on the project is likely to begin in October. The house will eventually be moved one block north of its current location, where it will be restored and incorporated into the resort, possibly as a gift shop, ice cream shop or some other use to be determined by the developer. [Thanks to Christina Simms]
Miramar Naval Air Station was, of course, used as well as The Naval Training Center, San Diego and Fallon Naval Air Station in Fallon, NV
They shut down Highway I-5 for about 6 weeks, and a small major run line that was on base, for the filming of Top Gun in San Diego on the MiraMar Naval Base and security was extremely tight. Relatives of the naval base employees, as well as family members were not allowed on base during the time of the making of the movie. Mira Mesa Blvd, had cops sitting on almost every other corner for the fear that looki loos would want to get on base to watch the filiming of the movie. [Thanks to Tina Renko]
The belief that relatives and family members of employees at Naval Air Sation Miramar were not allowed on the base during the making of the film "Top Gun" is innacurate. I was stationed there, at VF-124 in hangar three, during the making of the film - the hangar used for many of the scenes - the same hangar as VF-51 and VF-111 which provided the aircraft for the film. At no time were our family members not allowed on base. In fact many family members lived on base, in government housing. We had many visitors during that time - it was just as any normal work period there. [Thanks to wpf]
Viper's (Tom Skerrit's) House was located at the Pt Loma Lighthouse installation run by the Coast Guard. There are actually 3-5 houses on the installation and are kept in excellent shape. [Thanks to Joe De Los Santos]
The Volleyball scene was filmed at the what is now MCAS Miramar. The volleyball courts are no longer there. The courts were located to the north of barracks 300,299 and 298. There was a lounge or recreation center built over the courts and new apartment like barracks were built around. [Thanks to Jaime Coronado]
The large, backlit, plexiglass pictures behind the bar were from the actual officers club at Miramar even though the bar scene was not shot there. This info comes from officers at the Naval Air Station I spoke with in the early 1990's. [Thanks to Tim Gresla]
Originally, the volleyball scene was to be shot at Young Hall on the campus of what is now Point Loma Nazarene University (then Point Loma Nazarene College). There is a sand volleybal court just in front of the dorm, which is located on Sunset Cliffs overlooking the ocean. The dorm itself was to be used as the exterior of the barracks the "Top Gun" students were living in.[Thanks to Melissa]
The club where Cruise sings to McGillis is the Officer's Club at Naval Air Station North Island on Coronado. [Thanks to Luis Lujan]
The bar scene where Tom Cruise is Sulking with Kelly Mcgillis and the planes are in the background, where Kelly says "So I am too late" Where Tom Cruise is drinking water at the bar was "The Windsock" on 2904 Pacific Highway. As a matter of fact there were 2 brass placks on the bar top where Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis Sat. [Thanks to Trevor Harris] Sadly, the Windsock has since been demolished. There are plans to make another restuarant there. [Thanks to Joe De Los Santos]
The bathroom scene, where Maverick follows Charlie (Kelly McGillis's character) into the ladies restroom after singing, was filmed at the USO Building on the Navy's recruit training command in San Diego. The scene shows maverick walking out of the club into the ladies room. He was actually walking through the front entrance of the USO building. It was filmed at night to look as though he is walking out of the club. There is a plaque on the front door of the ladies room, showing that is was used for that scene in Top Gun. [Thanks to Daniel Jennings]
The scene where Kelly McGills (in her Porsche) stops Tom Cruise on his motorcycle is located on the coner of Laurel and Union. Take 5 freeway South and exit the San Diego Airport, turn left under brige on Laurel and go up hill and you will see the big Palm tree on the right hand side, this is where they shot that scene at. The yellow house in the background on the scene, still has the orginal paint job, I am almost sure because the paint now is in such bad shape that it is peeling off the house. It looks like a 17 year old paint job, I guess you could say. [Thanks to Jeff Hale]
The scene where Tom Cruise is sitting on his motorcycle in the sunset, that was taken along the beach of Point Loma, San Diego. [Thanks to Tina Renko]
The bathroom scene where Tom Cruise follows Kelly McGillis into the bathroom was actually filmed in San Diego at the Naval training center (boot camp/basic training camp for new recruits). In 1988 I sat on the very spot on the very counter that Tom Cruise places his hands to see if it's sturdy enough! There's now a plaque on the outside of the women's bathroom door stating that a portion of the film "Top Gun" was filmed there. [Thanks to Shane Hawk]
Several of the flight sequences were shot at Fallon Naval Air Station. In one of the training exercises you can briefly see a large sand dune in the background. That is Sand Mountain found about 25 miles west of Fallon. [Thanks to Eric Roethe]
The scene where Maverick and Goose do the infamous fly by was also filmed at Fallon NAS. The tower is no longer being used as an aircraft control tower, but the building still exists and is used as the Flight operations office at NAS Fallon.
Tom Johnson adds: "The tower fly by info you have is incorrect. It was filmed on the same saturday evening the volleyball scene was filmed at miramar. I was quartered in barracks 298 at the time and saw them film both scenes, studio personnel threatened to take my film from my camera. i said "GO AHEAD AND TRY". My shop supervisor was Kenny Edwards. His younger brother is Anthony Edwards or 'goose.'"
The Kansas City Bar-B-Que also still has the same piano Goose was playing 'Great Balls of Fire' on. The bar also contains, in addition to the movie memorabilia, signs from NAS Miramar buildings that were torn down or refurbished when the base was transferred to the Marine Corps, and numerous Navy ball caps and patches from squadrons and ships.
The Naval Training Center in San Diego has been turned over to the city and many of its buildings have been torn down. The specific building that was the USO (from the bathroom scene) might no longer be there. You can still see the yellow building with the arched porticos that Maverick walked down in a few scenes (also where Charlie ran out after him after her bad evaluation of him) if you drive down Rosecrans St past the former base (now called Liberty Station). That building is along the street on base she flew up in her car(which then swiflty cuts to the corner of Laurel and Union) is just off of Rosecrans St where one of the gates was to the base. [Thanks to Melissa]
Many believe that the Pool Party/Graduation Scene, where Ice is named TOP GUN was filmed at the Inns Suite on El Cajon Blvd. It was actually filmed at the Island Club Swimming Pool on Naval Air Station North Island. If you look closely at the opening scene, you can see the Control Tower in the background. When the call Maveric's name, you see the Tritan Club in the background, which was the old officers club. We've spent summers at the Island Club I realized TOP GUN was filmed there when I recently watched the film. It makes it extra special as it's still open. [Thanks to Julia Tucker]
The very last scene of the movie (the jukebox scene) was also filmed at Kansas City Barbeque which is sadly now destroyed. They even had the jukebox still there and walls full of Top Gun memorabilia. [Thanks to Lindsey]
Kansas City BBQ is up and running again; it is located at 610 West Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101. Their website can be found here
. [Thanks to TLeon]Can you help? Do you know any of the San Diego, S. California (or any other) filming locations used for Top Gun, particularly the street address of Viper's (Tom Skerrit's) House and the volleyball location? [Please send them in]Locations LinksIf you know of a good link for Top Gun locations, please let us know.