Locations Manager(s): Robert C. Decker, Robert Eggenweiler
Under their watchful eye, the following special places were used for filming "WarGames":
Before School, David takes in a game of Galaga. Although set in Seattle, the location of arcade at the beginning of the movie is 20000 Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills, CA. I actually used to go there. [Thanks to Scott Rovin]
David's school is supposedly Snohomish High School (you can see the name written above the door of the building he runs into) in Snohomish, a small city/town north of Seattle. [Thanks to Michael Busick] but the actual high school used in War Games was actually El Segundo High School, in El Segundo, California. Here's the school website [Thanks to Aram Degirmen]
Westchester high school (7400 W Manchester Blvd in LA) was used for the scene when David (Matthew Broderick) was instructed to visit the principal. My mother is sitting at the phone switchboard in the scene. [Thanks to Tom Garvey]
It has been long believed that Broderick visits fellow computer geeks at The Academic Computing Center in Seattle. HOWEVER, Al kindly wrote in to say that: "The computer room at Cal State University, Long Beach is actually the location where Broderick meets with fellow geeks. I had recently graduated and my friend was still a graduate student there. He was very upset that he couldn't work on his computer projects for four days while the filming was going on."
The University of Washington's Hughes Penthouse Theater is the building that David goes past on his way to see the computer geeks.
We'd heard that part of WarGames was filmed at EDS in Plano Texas. It was the tic-tac-toe scene and was on the technology companies monitor screens. Melissa S. kindly wrote in to say that she could confirm that. "A friend of mine works at EDS and took me on a tour of the building. It's not quite as impressive as it was in the movie (at least when I saw it) because only about 1/3 of the screens were in use, and a few of those were playing something like sports or The Simpsons. Its still neat, and definitely worth all the security measures I had to get through to get inside."
The NORAD HQ set was built in the Cascades. Scenes of the entrance to the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain Complex were filmed at Newhalem, Washington (about 125 miles North of Seattle). [Thanks to Steve Baker]
The scenes where Matthew Broderick was kept in the medical office inside NORAD was filmed in an actual former NORAD missile and aircraft plotting and intelligence building. The building is on the extension of Graham street where the main gate of March AFB used to be. The building has NO windows and was designed to withstand a nuclear hit. Also the diagram of the NORAD layout is taken from this building. Ironically the real life war room is still in the building with consoles and a DEFCON status board still intact! The room has been sealed off, but is visible through a large window. A large command cubicle, much like the one the WOPR computer sat in, is still in existence. The site went off line in the late 1970's, shortly before the filming of the movie. [Thanks to Bill]
In relation to the site at March Air Force Base, The war room floor design was taken from the old PACCS site still located at March AFRB. The site stood for Post Attack Command and Control System, the predecessor to "looking glass". There were 4 identical sites. One in Louisiana, Los Angeles (March AFB), NORAD (still in existance but long since updated) and Massachusetts. The site in Massachusetts was called "the notch". I have been in the war room at March AFB and it is impressive. There are still the consoles and such still there to include 15th Air Force labels on the command floor overlooking the former PACCS tactical floor. The building is now an army reserve center. It will be abandoned later this year and preserved as a cold war memorial. [Thanks to Bill Harris]
The "Oregon" airport was really Boeing Field.
When Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy run from the bus to the ferry to get over to the Island where John Wood's character lives, they are running toward the Anderson Island ferry at Steilacoom, Washington. The now-disused railroad depot can be seen directly behind them and they're actually running toward the boat launch. There's no way to get up to the dock going that direction. [Thanks to Lee Bishop]
"Goose Island" is really Anderson Island, WA (in the southern part of Puget Sound). The last ferry off the island really is at 6:30, and you really are stuck there if you miss it!
The 7-11 where Broderick played video games may have been in a NW Seattle neighborhood known as "Richmond Beach". Can anyone confirm?
The scene where Broderick gets busted by the FBI was shot at 7-ELEVEN 41471 Big Bear Lake Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA. If you look at the movie, there is clearly a McDonald's next to the 7-Eleven and the one at 41471 Big Bear Blvd does have one and the one at 41471 also looks like the one in the movie. [Thanks to Dave Broer / Julian]
Lake Chelan National Recreation Area in North Cascades National Park Located near Stehekin, WA was also used.
The scene where he gets out of a log truck to call his girlfriend and shorts out the phone was filmed on SR530 near Darrington, WA. The old Whitehorse Mercantile (no longer there) is in the background along with Whitehorse Mountain. This is where he calls and says he is in Colorado. [Thanks to Kurt]
The scene where Daniel makes the call from the phone booth is located deep in Snohomish county approximately 25mi from Arlington, WA the intersection of Highway 530 and Swede Heaven rd. the gas station has been rebuilt and the new building has a depiction of the one shown in the movie. It's address is 38710 WA-530, Arlington, Washington 98223 [Thanks to Sean Wolfe]
The scene in the phone booth (fake phone booth) was filmed at Swede's Corner near Darrington, WA. The original scene where David is picked up by the FBI was to be at a truck stop. The cast and crew filmed at "Truck City" in Mount Vernon, WA for an entire day after remodeling the cafe there. The scene was later cut and replaced with the scene filmed at the 7-11 in Big Bear, CA. [Thanks to Inspectorpyro]
They mention on the commentary track of the DVD that the 7-11 where David is picked up by the feds is in Big Bear, California. Big Bear is a mountain resort about an hour and a half outside of L.A. The location is right on the main road into town, and I think about it whenever I pass. [Thanks to David Schneider]
In California, they have boat tours on Big Bear lake and point out a house that was filmed in the movie. It's Professor Falken's house, which was supposed to be on the island in Washington State. If that is not accurate, then they have been yanking people for years with that story. It looks enough like it, and Big Bear was visited in the movie. [Thanks to Seymour] Brandon Ferguson kindly wrote in to add: I believe the boat tour is accurate. In the scene at Professor Falken's house, when he's flying the pterodactyl, you can catch a glimpse of what appears to be the Big Bear Solar Observatory on the far side of the lake.
I think the external library is on UW and it looks like they are in Suzzallo library on campus. [Thanks to Johanna Zamora]
Can you help? Do you know any of the Seattle, Washington (or any other) filming locations used for WarGames? Please Update Us
Locations LinksIf you know of a good link for WarGames locations, please let us know.
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.
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