L.A.'s Other Geek Landmarks

A Shire in Culver City? Hogwarts on Wilshire? The only thing this city doesn’t have is a Death Star.
Tristan Cassel
3819 Dunn Drive, Culver City

This story first appeared in the July 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

For the geek in the know, Los Angeles offers more than the standard studio tour or walk down Hollywood Blvd. to get your picture taken with an ersatz Spider-Man. The city offers something for everyone from Bat-fans to hobbit-lovers to steampunkers — if you know where to look. Here are some of the city's coolest geek landmarks and shops.  

The Hobbit Houses 
3819 Dunn Drive, Culver City

This collection of storybook-style cottages and apartments was designed by former Disney artist Lawrence Joseph in the 1930s, but Peter Jackson would feel right at home. Single-family apartments sometimes pop up for rent for about $2,500 a month (Orcs need not apply).

Whimsic Alley
5464 Wilshire Blvd.

Want to rent out Hogwarts for a bar mitzvah? You can say your haftarah in parseltongue in a replica of The Great Hall (starting at a mere $750 for a two-hour party) at this Harry Potter emporium and arcade. There's even a wand shop, just like Ollivander's in Diagon Alley.

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Clockwork Couture
707 S. Main St., Burbank

Find the finest in alternative history steampunk fashion at this geeky boutique, which sells everything from men's Caspartine Sky Pirate Boots ($82.95) to The Anachronaut's Time Traveling Corset ($174.95). There's a life-sized Tardis -- the flying phone booth from Dr. Who -- parked in front of the premises.

The Batcave
Canyon Drive, Griffith Park

You can't drive up to it like Adam West did in the 1960s TV series, but you can hike to it in Bronson Canyon. It has been a favorite location for B horror movies long before the Caped Crusader turned it into his driveway. Among the films shot here: Robot Monster (1953), Killers From Space (1954), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Brain From Planet Arous (1957), Teenagers From Outer Space (1959), The Cape Canaveral Monsters (1960) … and the list goes on.

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