The Bronson CavesMay 29th, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
This past weekend, on a recommendation from fellow stalker Steve, I dragged my dad and my fiance out to stalk the Bronson Caves in Griffith Park. Friends have been urging me to stalk the Bronson Caves, which are most commonly known as being the location of “the Batcave” from the 1966 television series Batman, for years now, but somehow I just never made it out there. Until this past Saturday, that is.
And I am so glad I finally did!! The term “caves” is actually something of a misnomer, though, as the passages look more like tunnels than they do caves. Surprisingly enough, the Bronson Caves were actually man-made. In 1903, a rock excavation company named Union Rock Company built a quarry on the site, which was then known as Brush Canyon. The company drilled three tunnels through the base of a small mountain and used the excavated rocks to pave Los Angeles city streets. When the company called it quits in 1920, the three tunnels remained and were coined the Bronson Caves. The rest, as they say, is Hollywood history.
The Caves have been featured in countless Hollywood productions over the years, most notably standing in for “the Batcave”, where Batman spent most of his time in the 1966 television series of the same name. You can watch the opening credits of Batman, which feature a very brief clip of the Batmobile leaving the Batcave, here.
The Caves also popped up in the alternative ending to the movie Army of Darkness. The ending, which was thought to be too depressing for movie audiences, can be found on special edition DVD’s of the 1992 flick. On a side note, one of my very favorite movie lines of all time was uttered in Army of Darkness. In the movie, one of the knights announces “I am Henry the Red, Duke of Shale, Lord of the Northland, and Leader of its Peoples”, to which Bruce Campbell replies “Well, hello Mr. Fancy Pants! I got news for you, Pal, you ain’t leading but two things right now – Jack and Sh*t. And Jack left town!” LOL LOL LOL
The Bronson Caves also showed up in the horror flick Cabin Fever as the location where Rider Strong finds one of the many dead bodies.
At the end of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Miles and Dana used the Caves as a hiding place from the pod people. You can watch that scene here. All in all, the Bronson Caves have been featured in well over one hundred productions including: The Lone Ranger, The Three Musketeers (1933), The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Sleeper, Night of the Bloodbeast, Robot Monster, The Cyclops, MacGuyver, It Conquered the Earth, The X-Files, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Short Cuts, and The Scorpion King.
As luck would have it, we even ran into some filming while stalking the Bronson Caves. Shooting on location was a very small, independent caveman/apocalypse film. And the crew was even nice enough to let us snap some pics of them. Ironically enough, it was close to one hundred degrees outside that day and the poor caveman had to walk around in those ridiculous fur boots. LOL He must have been dying in those things!!!!
I HIGHLY recommend stalking the Bronson Caves. They are very cool to see in person, even for those of you who are not movie locations buffs. My dad, who, as I have mentioned before HATES stalking, really enjoyed seeing the Caves, as did my boyfriend.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Bronson Caves are located just off Canyon Drive inside of Griffith Park. To reach Canyon Drive, follow Hollywood Boulevard to Bronson Drive and head North. When you hit Canyon Drive, make a left. You will pass through some stone gates, a couple of parking lots, and a playground. Head to where Canyon Drive ends and park in the public lot. The Caves are a short quarter mile walk from the parking lot. To walk to the Caves, head up the first pathway – it has a red curb – to the right. You will pass through a fire gate. Head up the hill and the Caves will be around a short bend to the left. You can see some photographs of the trail that leads to the Caves here.