“Back to the Future” at 25

The Marty McFly house at 9303 Roslyndale Avenue, Arleta.

I couldn’t just let July slip away without acknowledging the 25th anniversary of the debut of the comedy Back to the Future.

For anyone who hasn’t seen the beloved opening chapter of the time-travel trilogy (and if you’re out there, I would really like to know why that is), the plot follows young Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) who accidentally goes back thirty years into the past in a time machine made out of a Delorean. He is aided on his quest to return to the future by his friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), but before he can return he must manuever his parents into a first kiss, or risk never having a future to go back to.

Back to the Future debuted on July 3, 1985. I can’t quite recall why it took me so long, but I didn’t see it until October 26th of that year. I remember the date because in the film, October 26, 1985 is when Marty travels back in time to 1955. It was like I was watching the film in real time.

Back to the Future was filmed in several locations around Southern California, including Universal Studios, Pasadena, Burbank, Whittier, and Puente Hills. I drove by two of the locations today: the Burger King that Marty skateboards past on Victory Boulevard in Burbank, and Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch near my home in Santa Clarita where the Peabody Ranch segment was filmed. 

The street where Doc Brown races his Delorean down (and over) in "Back to the Future."

My family and I visited another of the locations earlier this week in the San Fernando Valley community of Arleta. The house at 9303 Roslyndale Avenue served as the McFly family home. It’s here during the opening minutes of the film where we see the McFly family car being towed away. This is also the place where Marty returns to a transformed house and family at the conclusion of the film. Out front is the tree-lined street where Doc Brown blasts the Delorean off to future sequels.

The setting looks much the same as it did in 1985 – which is what you would expect from a “timeless” classic like Back to the Future.


About deadwrite

Freelance writer, film historian, taphophile View all posts by deadwrite

10 responses to ““Back to the Future” at 25

  • Brandy

    It was the first movie i ever saw when i was 3- i distinctly remember the truck opening and the Delorean coming out in the cloud of smoke. I later worked at the Starbucks across from Puente Hills (Twin Pines) Mall.

  • deadwrite

    That is so cool. Kimi and I saw the Delorean recently at Warner Bros. I’m not sure why it was there. I used to live near the Pasadena sites (Doc Brown’s house, Lorraine’s house, George’s house). They all look the same as well.

    • Brandy

      I took the Dearly Departed Hollywood Tragical History Tour and Hollywood Movie Tour today, the later which had the 2 Back to the Future scenes which are flimed in Griffith Park. They were really great tours!

      • deadwrite

        Good to hear. I would like to take these tours someday. Where in Griffith Park did they say was used?

      • Brandy

        In the first one it is when he is trying to get the delorean hooked up to the lightning and he parks it in front of a bench with a light post to the side of it and they pan down the street and it shows the row of those original 20s light posts that are in the park. I wish i had pics, my camera batteries died, but the tour is really neat because they show the clips while you are looking at the location. The other is actually from Back to the Future II, where Marty is running through the tunnel, and he was telling how the lights were spaced to make it seem much bigger than it actually was. They have a facebook with some pictures and a website, dearlydepartedtours.com. Scott, the owner, has known Warren for 20 years. He is really cool, and a big Dean fan.

      • deadwrite

        I really appreciate the info, Brandy. I am in the process of writing another book with Marc Wanamaker, this time on Griffith Park. The info will prove valuable.

      • Brandy

        Cool! i ordered your other book on amazon but havent got it yet. They drove around the observatory and showed a bunch of movie clips from Rebel, Charlie’s Angels, etc. which im sure you are aware of. Good Luck on the new book, you should try and get a huge pic of yourself on back a la George McFly on the next one 😉

      • deadwrite

        Thanks so much for the support, Brandy. I really appreciate it. (And I’m afraid a big picture of me on the cover would scare away too many potential readers.)

      • Brandy

        No prob- i enjoy your blog, ive started to set up my own.

  • debbie

    gee, 25 years?? ALREADY?? I hate getting OLD…seems like yesterday! & whenever Kurt & I catch it on TV we watch….probably watched a zillion times…one of the best movies ever!
    I was lucky enough to see the DeLorean with You & Kimi when I was at Warner Bros…albeit, thru a crack in warehouse door, but I saw it!

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