Batman’s got some hidden real estate in Griffith Park, but so do many other television characters. Los Angeles is home to many movie and television show filming locations, and the Bronson Canyon tops the chart. Not only a favorite hiking destination, but also a famous and historical cinema location. Bronson Caves played the role of “the Batcave” in the 1960’s movie and the television series, Batman.
Bronson Canyon, or Bronson Caves, is a section of Griffith Park that has become famous as a filming location for a large number of movies and TV shows, especially westerns and science fiction, from the early days of motion pictures to the present. Its craggy and remote-looking setting, but easily accessible location, has made it a prime choice for filmmakers, particularly of low-budget films, who want to place scenes in a lonely wilderness.
In 1903, the Union Rock Company founded a quarry, originally named Brush Canyon, for excavation of crushed rock used in the construction of city streets. The quarry ceased operation in the late 1920s, leaving the caves behind. The caves became known as the Bronson Caves after a nearby street, giving the area its more popular name of Bronson Canyon (the same street indirectly provided the stage name for actor Charles Bronson, who chose the name of the Bronson Gate at Hollywood’s Paramount Studios, which in turn derived its name from Bronson Street).
Scenes of the main cave entrance are normally filmed in a manner that shows the entrance at an angle. This is because the cave is actually a very short tunnel through the hill, with the rear opening easily visible in a direct shot.
Besides “Batman,” the canyon has hosted other TV shows and films including “Bonanza,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Fantasy Island,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Gunsmoke” and the “Wild Wild West”. Plus feature films such as 2002’s “The Scorpion King,” “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,” “Lost Horizon” and the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Here is a before and after picture from the 1956 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (top) where Miles and Becky attempt to hide out in this cave and a more current film (bottom).
Driving directions to the trailhead
From the intersection of Hollywood Blvd and North Bronson Drive, head North on North Bronson Drive. Continue on North Bronson Drive until it becomes Canyon Drive. Enter Griffith Park and park in one of the parking lots just before the gate at the end of Canyon Drive.
Watch Batman and Robin in action as then exit the “batcave” in their batmobile is the classic television series.
WHAT: Bronson Canyon/Cave
WHEN: Monday – Sunday | 5 am – 7 pm
WHERE: 3200 Canyon Drive | Hollywood, CA 90068
CONTACT INFO: (323) 913-4688
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