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View Full Version : The (Probable) Warehouse from Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” Video



Dangerous Incorporated
29-04-2010, 10:22 PM
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I set my sights on locating the warehouse which was also featured in Michael Jackson’s iconic 1983 music video. And I really have to say a big thank you to my friend because had he not informed me that the “Beat It” diner was located somewhere on Fifth Street in Downtown Los Angeles’ skid row area, I doubt any of us would have ever been able to track down the other locales featured in the short film. Finding these locations has been like a veritable domino effect, one locale leading to the next and to the next and to the next.

Anyway, two weeks ago I was watching Michael Jackson’s Number Ones DVD trying to figure out where the “Beat It” warehouse was located, when we spotted an address number of 1013 (pictured above) painted on the building’s exterior wall. I immediately sent that information out to Mike, from MovieShotsLA (http://www.movieshotsla.com/Scripts/default.asp). Well, it wasn’t an hour later that I got an email with the warehouse’s location – 1013 Fifth Street.

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As the word “probable” in the title of this post implies, I can’t say with absolute, one hundred percent certainty that this warehouse is the actual “Beat It” warehouse. There are quite a few irrefutable similarities between the building that appeared in the video and the one pictured above, but because almost three decades have passed since filming took place, there are also, of course, some major differences. My gut is telling me that it’s the right spot, and they do say that you should always trust a woman’s intuition, but I just can’t be sure. So, once again, dear readers, I am putting it out there for to you to answer. Let me know what you think after reading this post.



The “Beat It” warehouse is currently occupied by a food distributer known as Jing San Food, Incorporated .We somehow managed to not only talk our way into the building, but to also get permission to take photographs of the place! Anyway, according to the people I talked to, Jing San Food moved into the warehouse space two years ago and, unfortunately, no one seemed to know what sort of business occupied the premises before that time. Nor did anyone seem to know anything about “Beat It” being filmed there – if, in fact, it was. Anyway, as you can see in the above photographs, the address number of Jing San Food is actually 458 and not 1013 as we had seen in the video.

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But, if you look at the above Google Maps Aerial View of the warehouse you can see that it is located on the corner of Alameda and Fifth Streets. The 458 address number refers to its location on Alameda. As is also referenced in the above map, though, the south side of warehouse is situated on the 1000 block of Fifth Street, on the odd-numbered side of the street, which means that it is very possible that way back in 1983, the year “Beat It” was filmed, the warehouse could have been numbered 1013. I am guessing that the building was divided up and leased to more than one tenant at that time, which would have required there to be more than one address number. Because the building is only occupied by one tenant today, those multiple address numbers would be redundant and unnecessary. I am guessing that they did away with the Fifth Street numbers and just kept the Alameda Street address once the new tenants moved in. But, again, that is entirely a guess on my part.

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Amazingly enough, though, I did spot a “0” posted on the Fifth Street side of the warehouse – which seems to be a left over address number from quite some time ago and absolutely cements my belief that that particular part of the building was numbered 1013 at one time. So, that’s one thing we’ve got going in our favor.

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The next, and quite possibly biggest, thing we’ve got going for us is the cement staircase which leads up to the warehouse. As you can see it is a pretty exact match to the one which appeared in “Beat It”. The warehouse doors have changed and there is now a makeshift doorway in one of the bays (which you can see more pictures of later on in this post) . . .

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. . . but otherwise this part of the exterior looks pretty darn similar to the “Beat It” warehouse exterior.

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The windows which appear across the street from the warehouse are also pretty darn spot on to the windows which appear across the street in “Beat It”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t match up the exact angle that appeared in the video as there were by no stretch of the imagination at least fifteen big rig trucks parked out on the street in front of the warehouse blocking my view.

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Yet another thing we’ve got going in our favor is the fact that the warehouse in the “Beat It” video has an awning of some sort on its exterior and the warehouse David found also has remnants of what looks to be a former awning.

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The inside of the warehouse, however, is an entirely different story. As you can see in the above photograph and screen capture, the ceiling of the building does not look at all like the ceiling from “Beat It”. I confirmed with one of the Jing San Food workers that the entire ceiling of the warehouse had been replaced – not redone, but actually replaced – two years ago, before they took over the space, so it would make sense that it wouldn’t match. But I have no way to confirm what the old ceiling looked like and it seems odd to me that someone would actually change the entire shape of the roof from peaked to flat. I mean, it’s possible that that happened, but I can’t say that it’s very likely.

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As promised, pictured above is the interior view of the makeshift door that now stands in the “Beat It” bay. As you can see, the door, which did not appear in the video, was quite obviously an add-on to the property and not an original part of the warehouse. It also, sadly, alters the appearance of the interior quite a bit.

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While stalking the warehouse, my dad and I tried to locate something that would tie the place to the “Beat It” video – any small remnant that would irrefutably prove that we were in the right place. Sadly, no such remnant was to be found. In the video, it appears that there is some sort of makeshift office space located behind Michael and the gang members. That office space is no longer there, though. My dad said that warehouses typically have some type of coarse office set-up like the one which appeared in “Beat It” and that because it is usually constructed in a rudimentary manner, it would not be at all uncommon for a new tenant to dispose of it.

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Part of that rudimentary office space consisted of a second floor area (you can see the stairway leading up to it in the above screen capture).

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At first blush I wouldn’t think that the warehouse I visited would have been tall enough to house a second floor, but as you can see in the above photographs, the tenants are currently having one installed! So, it actually is possible and is, in fact, being done!

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The chipped up cement floor of the warehouse is also very similar to the one which appeared in “Beat It”, but then again I would expect the floor of any heavily trafficked warehouse to have that same worn-in appearance.

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So, like I said earlier, I am putting it to you to decide, dear readers. Have we found the warehouse? If we are right and this is in fact the actual “Beat It” warehouse, it is absolutely mind-boggling to me that I was in the exact spot where the King of Pop made music history almost three decades prior. That warehouse floor is definitely hallowed ground and I can’t even believe I was able to stand on it!

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We were also able to track down the probable manhole cover that the gang members came out of at the beginning of “Beat It”. And I just have to say here that that particular part of the video never really made sense to me. What, do these guys live underground? Just hang out there? LOL Even as a child I can remember wondering why people would be coming up out of the ground like that. But I digress.

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We believe the manhole cover is located just east of the warehouse in the middle of the intersection of East Fifth and Seaton Streets. This particular location will be the toughest of them all to prove, though, because . . . well . . it’s a manhole cover. Such covers are located all over the city, pretty much all look exactly the same, and, unfortunately, aside from a nearby set of train tracks, there aren’t really any landmarks seen in the “Beat It’” video with which to distinguish it. But, due to its close proximity to the warehouse and a set of train tracks. I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that the manhole cover pictured above is the one which appeared in “Beat It”.







The probable “Beat It” warehouse, aka the Jing San Food, Inc. warehouse, is located at 458 South Alameda Street, at the corner of Alameda and East Fifth Streets, in Downtown Los Angeles. The probable manhole cover is located at the intersection of East Fifth and Seaton Streets, just due east of the warehouse.
Source:Iamnotastalker

Pentum
29-04-2010, 10:30 PM
Haha, cool. I would Love to visit that place. You know, do the Beat it dance, wuhuuuh!

Dutchie
29-04-2010, 10:34 PM
Hahaha cool! Well done :)

Lucilla
29-04-2010, 10:53 PM
amazing!
btw, i lol'd at "imnotastalker.com" :lol:

DJ Spins the sounds
29-04-2010, 11:46 PM
DI, great post, thanks for this, I've been trying to locate this warehouse for a long time, always wondered that part of 'Beat It' was set built. Looks like you've hit the jackpot with this!

I've pretty much located all Mike's video locations ie Thriller, BAD but could never find Beat It!

Dangerous Incorporated
29-04-2010, 11:48 PM
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This past week, after I tracked down the pool hall and bar which also appeared in the iconic 1983 Michael Jackson music video. I immediately called up “Beat It” director Bob Giraldi’s production company in New York City to inquire about the location. Amazingly enough, got through to an EXTREMELY nice woman who said that she had never been asked that question before, which I find mind boggling! I mean, does no one besides us care about this stuff??? Anyway, the woman looked up the information on her computer and then confirmed with someone in the production office who had worked on the video before saying that the pool hall scenes had been filmed at the Hard Rock Cafe in Los Angeles. When I was told me the news I was elated that I finally had a definitive answer, but was thoroughly confused as the pool hall in the video did not look at all like any of the Hard Rock Cafes I had ever visited. So, I, of course, got to cyberstalking and quickly discovered that back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, there was, in fact, a dive bar located smack dab in the middle of Skid Row that bore the name “Hard Rock Cafe”. The bar is, sadly, no longer in operation, but, as fate would have it, is quite well known in the music industry for reasons having nothing to do with Michael Jackson! On a side note, after I started having doubts about the Monte Carlo Restaurant being the cafe featured in “Beat It”, I once again called up Bob Giraldi’s production company to see if someone could confirm whether or not I had tracked down the right place. Unfortunately, though, a very rude woman answered the phone and told him she could not give out that information. UGH!

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According to what I was able to dig up online – and it’s quite a story – back in December of 1969, after The Doors photographer Henry Diltz took his now-famous photograph of the band standing inside of the Morrison Hotel, lead singer Jim Morrison announced that he wanted to grab a drink. So, the group headed a few blocks north to nearby Skid Row, saw an establishment named the “Hard Rock Cafe”, which Diltz described (http://www.idafan.com/MorrisonHotel-4sale.htm) as “a little wino bar on the corner”, and pulled over. While the group sipped on beers, Diltz decided he liked the feel of the place and ended up taking a series of photographs of the band hanging out there. Those shots ended up not only being featured on the back cover of the band’s Morrison Hotel album in 1970, but they even named the A-side of that album “Hard Rock Cafe” in honor of the establishment. But the story doesn’t end there. The following year, a restaurateur named Peter Morton decided to open up a dining establishment in London and because he was such a huge Doors fan, contacted Jim Morrison and asked if he could name his restaurant “Hard Rock Cafe” after their recent album. Jim agreed and Morton’s restaurant quickly became a hit with Londoners. Shortly thereafter, the “Hard Rock Cafe” became a wildly popular worldwide chain, not to mention a household name. And to think the whole thing came about because Jim Morrison was thirsty!

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Fourteen years later, the Hard Rock Cafe again made music history when it appeared in several scenes in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” music video, the first of which being the scene where a group of gang members is shown leaving a bar to head to a fight.

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As you can see in the above photograph and screen capture, the front doors which appeared in the Doors photographs from 1969 are a perfect match to those which appeared fourteen years later in “Beat It”.

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Also a perfect match are the bar area . . .

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. . . and the wall fan seen in the upper right corner of the front of the Cafe.

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The Hard Rock Cafe’s pool hall area was also featured in several scenes in “Beat It”, the first of which being at the very beginning of the video when the gang members are shown heading off to a scuffle.

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Later on in the video, Michael is shown dancing in the very same spot. Unfortunately, The Doors did not take any photographs in the pool hall area of the Hard Rock Cafe, so I can’t make any comparisons between how it looked in 1969 to how it appeared in 1983.

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Sadly, the original Hard Rock Cafe closed its doors about twenty or so years ago and a grocery store named Green Apple Market now stands in its place. So, this past Friday, on the way home, I made a little stop in Skid Row at Green Apple Market. As you can see in the above photograph and screen capture, the exterior of the grocery store bears little resemblance to the exterior of the Hard Rock Cafe which once occupied the same space. The location of the front doors and front windows are about the only two things that remain the same.

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The owner of the store confirmed that a pool hall and bar had once occupied the space about twenty years prior and that after it closed a salon had moved in. That salon went out of business just recently at which point the Green Apple Market took over. For whatever reason, though, the store is only using a portion of the premises, which, measures a good 6000 – 7000 square feet. And while the owner seemed to know quite a bit about the location’s history, she had no idea whatsoever that Michael Jackson had filmed “Beat It” on the premises some 27 years prior! And, sadly, there are no remnants whatsoever of the former Hard Rock Cafe left on the property. I was hoping for some small piece of the pool hall – i.e. the paint on the walls, the flooring, the shape of the ceiling, etc – to still be visible, but, alas, that was not to be. The owner was apparently very nice, though, and told my dad to feel free to take as many pictures as he wanted. YAY! The above two pictures were taken from the back of the store looking forward towards the market’s left wall. The front door is located just to the right and center of the main counter pictured above.

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The above photograph shows the view from the back of the store looking forward towards the front doors. The cashier counter is located to the left of this picture.

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The above pictured view was taken from the front of the store, looking towards the back. Because the space is not very deep, the back wall is actually a false wall that was added after the Hard Rock Cafe closed its doors.

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The Hard Rock Cafe used to occupy three full storefronts and the entire bottom floor of the building where the Green Apple Market now stands. Most of that space is currently empty now, though. The vacant room pictured above, which is to the right of the store’s front doors, is where I believe the Hard Rock’s pool tables used to be located.

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The empty deli case pictured above is located on the back side of that vacant room . . .

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. . . and pictured above is what is located just around the corner from the empty deli case in the rear area of the store. I soooo regret not going inside the market.


On a side note – The photographs of The Doors remain the sole property of the band and photographer Henry Diltz.






The old Hard Rock Cafe site, aka the pool hall and bar from Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” music video, is located at 300 East 5th Street in Downtown Los Angeles, just two blocks east of the Monte Carlo Restaurant, aka the (probable) “Beat It” diner (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/2010/03/12/the-possible-cafe-from-michael-jacksons-beat-it-video/). The old Hard Rock Cafe is currently a Green Apple Market grocery store and is unfortunately not located in the safest of areas, so, if you do choose to stalk it, please exercise caution.

Dangerous Incorporated
30-04-2010, 12:05 AM
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For months now I have been trying to track down the diner which briefly appeared in Michael Jackson’s iconic music video for his 1983 hit song “Beat It”. Being that the video was produced well over 25 years ago in a part of L.A. that is rapidly changing, this proved to be one rather difficult venture. Even though I knew that “Beat It” was filmed in its entirety in Los Angeles’ Skid Row area, finding the exact locations used so long after the fact was literally like trying to locate a needle in a haystack. At one point I even went so far as to email Bob Giraldi, who directed the video, to see if he could provide me with any location information, but he, unfortunately, never wrote back. Not usually one to give up, I actually thought our hunt was pretty much dead in the water, until last week when I mentioned the quest to my friend David who lives in Spain. David is a huge, longtime MJ fan and I thought he might be able to provide some insider insight as to where the video was filmed. And, as fate would have it, he did! David mentioned that he had just purchased a book named Michael Jackson: Before He Was King (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0811875067?ie=UTF8&tag=iamnoast-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0811875067) written by photographer Todd King. At the very end of the book there is a photograph of MJ inside of the “Beat It” cafe, the caption of which states that it was taken at a real life diner on Fifth Street in what David said was the “Five Cents” area of Los Angeles. Well, I mentioned that info to a friend while we were out this past Friday and, after first stopping by the set of CSI: Miami (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/2010/03/10/on-the-set-of-csi-miami/) and then the Academy Awards red carpet (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/2010/03/08/oscar-weekend-2010/), the two of us immediately headed over to Downtown L.A. in search of that cafe!

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Even though Mike was born and raised in Los Angeles, he was unfamiliar with the area which was described as being called “Five Cents”. I, too, had never heard that term used before. A friend eventually called up one of his friends who works for the LAPD to see if he could point us in the direction of Five Cents, L.A., but he, too, was at a loss. It was at that point that I figured out that something might have gotten lost in translation of the photo’s caption and so I got to Googling on my blackberry. As it turns out, the place the caption had been referring to is a small section of Fifth Street in Los Angeles’ Skid Row, a part of town which has long been dubbed “The Nickel”, or in other words five cents. Once that little mystery was solved, I headed over to Skid Row and proceeded to walk around the area. I should mention here that I have always been a bit of a skittish person. I don’t like venturing into “bad” or dangerous parts of town and I am literally afraid of my own shadow. So, because it was already getting dark when we arrived in Skid Row, an area which can be a bit sketchy even during the day, we’d have to come back at a later date – preferably during daylight hours. I was highly disappointed that we had to turn around after coming so close to locating the restaurant, so when I arrived home I immediately got to cyberstalking Skid Row. Well, let me tell you, I just about had a heart attack when I saw the above pictured Google Street View image of the Monte Carlo Restaurant appear on my screen. With its curved countertop and half green/half cream colored walls, I was fairly certain that I had found the “Beat It” cafe. And, of course, the very next day I dragged my fiancé right out to stalk the place.

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As soon as I walked through the doors of the Monte Carlo Restaurant, with my camera in hand, one of the patrons asked if I was visiting the place because it had been featured in “Beat It”. Well, let me tell you, I just about fell over! I asked her how she knew it had been used in the video and she said it was pretty common knowledge in the neighbourhood. I couldn’t believe that here I had spent MONTHS searching for the location and all the time it had been “common knowledge” to some. She then called the owner over so that I could ask a few questions. And while the owner hardly spoke English, she did confirm to me that Michael Jackson had filmed a video there “over twenty years ago”. Twenty-seven, to be exact. The owner told me she has had the restaurant for over thirty years and that she was there the day filming took place, but said she didn’t get to meet Michael. http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_sad.gif

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While I had always hoped that I would someday be able to track the “Beat It” cafe down, never in my wildest dreams did I EVER think that twenty seven-years later the place would still look EXACTLY the same. So, you can imagine how floored I was to discover how little of the restaurant had actually been changed since 1983 when the video was filmed. There are, of course, some differences, such as the fact that the front doors have changed, the counter has been cut in half lengthwise, and a false wall has been added to the back of the cafe, hiding the kitchen area. Other than those minor alterations, though, the Monte Carlo Restaurant still looks almost exactly as it did in “Beat It”. YAY!

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When I got home, though, and started to watch “Beat It” more closely, some doubts about the location were raised in my mind. The video, or short film as Michael liked to call it, opens up in the diner where two gang members, while eating, hear word of a scuffle and immediately head out the door so that they can join in the fight.

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Later on in the video, Michael enters the diner, which is now empty, and does a little dance before the scene cuts to him getting jiggy with it in a pool hall.

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As you can see in the above screen captures, though, what started to confuse me was the fact that building which appears in the background when the gang members are shown exiting the cafe does not match the building which appears in the background when Michael is shown entering it.

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And neither building matches the one that is located across the street from the diner in real life.

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It also appears that the window which the gang members walk by on their way to the diner’s front door is flat, while the window that appears behind Michael is popped out.

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And, there is also an address number of “416” visible in the background behind Michael in the above screen capture, which doesn’t match the 109 address number of the Monte Carlo Restaurant. So now, it seems, I am even more thoroughly confused than I was before I tracked the place down. LOL I thought of a few different explanations, though, which might clear up the contradictions. One – it might just be a coincidence that the Monte Carlo Restaurant bears such a strong resemblance to the “Beat It” cafe and the owner and patrons were simply lying to me about it being used in the video. Although, I am not sure what reason the owner would have for lying, other than to drum up business, which seems unlikely to me. If she really wanted to do that, why not just hang a sign in the window touting the restaurant’s famous history? Another option is that the Monte Carlo moved from one location on Fifth Street in Downtown L.A. to another and that the original dwelling was where the video was shot, which would account for both the change in address numbers and the difference in buildings located across the street. That scenario also seems highly implausible, though. Another explanation still – the pool hall which appeared in “Beat It”, which, as fate would have it, was also a cafe located on Fifth Street in Downtown Los Angeles, so it’s entirely possible that photographer Todd King was mistakenly talking about that location when describing the photograph he had taken in the diner. Which would mean that the diner might not actually be located on Fifth Street at all and that I am right back at square one. I am really hoping that option is not true. A fourth possibility is that part of the video was filmed at the actual Monte Carlo Restaurant and then the interior was later recreated on a soundstage for some re-shoots, which would explain the differing buildings seen in the background behind the gang members and Michael. And yet another option still is that the owner of the Monte Carlo Restaurant was such a fan of MJ that she opened up a diner on the same street where “Beat It” was shot and then modeled her cafe after the one in the video. But being that there wasn’t a single solitary MJ photograph on the wall or a piece of MJ memorabilia in the place, that last scenario is also pretty doubtful. And finally, it’s entirely possible that director Bob Giraldi had set dressers add the “416” to the front window as decoration, but somehow that just doesn’t seem likely. So, if I’m so unsure about the Monte Carlo Restaurant, why write this post at all, you ask? Well, I just can’t get past the fact that the restaurant looks so incredibly similar to the “Beat It” cafe or the fact that both the patrons and the owner told me that it was, in fact, the diner used in the video. I am hoping that someone out there will know more about the filming of “Beat It” and will either be able to confirm where it was shot or at least point me in the right direction. So, I am putting it to you, dear readers. What are your thoughts on the matter? Am I right to be in doubt or am I just seriously over-thinking the issue?

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The Monte Carlo Restaurant, aka the probable “Beat It” cafe, is located at 109 East Fifth Street in Downtown Los Angeles. The cafe is just on the outskirts of skid row, so while it is safe to stalk it during daylight hours, I can’t really recommend going there at night.

Dangerous Incorporated
30-04-2010, 12:06 AM
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This past Friday, after yet another doctor appointment in Downtown L.A., my dad and I stopped by the Monte Carlo Restaurant, aka the (probable) diner which appeared in Michael Jackson’s 1983 music video for his hit song “Beat It”. Our mission that day – and yes, we chose to accept it http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_wink.gif – was two-fold. First, I wanted to take more interior photographs of the place in the hopes that I would be able to find some small element which matched what appeared in the video so that I could finally confirm or deny once and for all whether or not “Beat It” had actually been filmed there. Second, I wanted to take a closer look at the restaurant’s “Open/Closed” sign to see if it was, in fact, the same exact one which was featured in the video, as fellow stalker John had speculated in a comment in my last post on the Monte Carlo (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/2010/03/12/the-possible-cafe-from-michael-jacksons-beat-it-video/). If it was, my plan was to ask the owner if we could swap it out with a new sign that my dad had purchased so that I could take the “Beat It” sign home as a souvenir. Upon closer inspection, though, the sign which is currently displayed in the window of the Monte Carlo Restaurant is brand, spanking new and is in far too good of shape and is far too clean to possibly be the same sign which hung there 27 years ago. But . . .

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. . . as luck would have it, while we were dining my dad did happen to spot a loose linoleum floor tile that someone had propped up against the wall near where we were sitting, so he snagged it on our way out the door. I’m really not kidding – he actually walked out of the restaurant with a floor tile in his hand!!!! LOL And while I’m still not even sure if “Beat It” was actually filmed at the Monte Carlo or, if it was, if that particular floor tile was in place at the time, it’s still a pretty cool relic to have. But, while I did walk away with a nifty souvenir, sadly the first part of our mission was not achieved as we didn’t get any sort of confirmation about “Beat It” being filmed on the premises. In fact, if it’s possible, I am even MORE confused now than I was before! This was actually a particularly frustrating stalk for me. The woman who owns the Monte Carlo is Chinese and speaks very little English and I can’t tell you how difficult it is to know that she has all of the answers I am seeking, yet not be able to fully communicate with her. I am dying to bring someone into the restaurant who speaks Chinese fluently who could translate our conversation as I think it would finally put an end to all of our doubts and questions about the “Monte Carlo” being the “Beat It” cafe. Any volunteers??? Anyway, to aid in my conversation with the owner, I showed her some screen captures from “Beat It” that I had stored on my cell phone. Well, let me tell you, she just about had a heart attack right then and there! She was practically screaming over the pictures and kept saying “My restaurant! My restaurant! Oh my God, my restaurant!” She immediately grabbed my phone and proceeded to show the pictures on it to all of the people who were working the breakfast shift and all of the patrons who were dining at the time. She then came back over to me and, from what I could best understand, said that she had been made to leave the restaurant during the filming of “Beat It”, so she never got to meet or even see Michael. She also explained that she had never actually watched the video before – which I found very odd. If the biggest superstar in the world filmed a video in your cafe, wouldn’t you not only have seen said video, but also bought a copy of it? So, while it was extremely cute to see her get so excited over the pictures of Michael standing in her restaurant, it really gives me pause that she had never seen “Beat It’” before. Because of the communication barrier, though, I wasn’t able to ask her why that was. Like I said before, I really need to get a translator in there!

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I did spot a few landmarks of sorts while my dad and I were at the Monte Carlo that match up with what appeared in the video – one of which was the conduit pipe which runs horizontally along the restaurant’s south wall. I am ashamed to admit that I actually never noticed the pipe in the video until fellow stalker David from Spain pointed it out to me a couple of weeks ago when I posted my first write-up on the “Beat It” cafe. So, this past Friday while stalking the restaurant I made sure to look to see if that pipe was there in real life, too, which it was! YAY! That’s a pretty big confirmation, at least in my eyes, that the Monte Carlo is, in fact, the same place that appeared in “Beat It”.

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As you can see in the above photograph and screen capture, the lower portion of the wall next to the restaurant’s entrance also matches the lower portion of the wall that appeared in the video. It is apparent that the area of the wall closest to the floor was once painted a lighter shade of green, as was the case in “Beat It”. The flooring also appears to be worn in pretty much the exact same spots as it was in the video. But, again, I would expect that sort of wear and tear in an old restaurant.

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My dad took some photographs from close to the same angle from which “Beat It” was filmed so that I could try to match up certain aspects of the Monte Carlo to the “Beat It” cafe, but I am still unable to say whether or not it’s the same place. I’d love to hear the opinions of my fellow stalkers, though. http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif

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In a very ironic twist of fate, fellow stalker David from Spain was recently watching videos at a party and almost fell off his chair when he noticed a familiar site in the 2004 Hoobastank video for the song “The Reason” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV4DiAyExN0). That familiar site just so happened to be the Monte Carlo! Yes, “The Reason” was filmed on location outside of the probable “Beat It” diner!!!! Honestly, what are the odds of that? What amazed me most about the whole thing, though, was how much of the restaurant has changed in the six short years since the video was filmed. As you can see in the above screen capture and photograph, the exterior is almost unrecognizable. In fact, if the “Monte Carlo” name hadn’t been displayed outside, I wouldn’t have believed it was the same place! Apparently, at the time “The Reason” was filmed the restaurant had a green metal roof, a green metal overhang/awing, and completely different exterior signage, all of which is now gone, which got me to thinking – if that much has changed in six short years, imagine the myriad of changes that have occurred in the twenty-seven years since “Beat It” was filmed. I mean, it’s no wonder the cafe looks so different today than it did in the video.

The probable “Beat It” diner, aka the Monte Carlo Restaurant, is located at 109 East Fifth Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Please remember that the cafe is not located in the safest of areas, so exercise caution when stalking it.

ketzergon
30-04-2010, 12:09 AM
Nice, where do you get all this info?

ketzergon
30-04-2010, 12:14 AM
Nice, where do you get all this info?

Driver
30-04-2010, 12:54 AM
Nice work, thanks for documenting this. Very interesting....

Ashtanga
30-04-2010, 01:17 AM
Very cool! Thanks for posting! :) I would love to visit this place and return to the past.

And the place where it was Thriller filmed? The house? I remember seeing a picture of the house a while ago on a website.

Dangerous Incorporated
30-04-2010, 01:21 AM
I'll do another thread for Thriller.

Graf
30-04-2010, 01:23 AM
Whoa very cool 8), big thanks for posting this DI! :jump:

Ashtanga
30-04-2010, 01:32 AM
I'll do another thread for Thriller.
Thanks!!!! :wild:

Dangerous Incorporated
30-04-2010, 03:58 AM
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Last week, Mike, from MovieShotsLA (http://www.movieshotsla.com/Scripts/default.asp), stumbled upon an article about Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” music video (http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/jun/28/michael-jackson-interview) written by a journalist named Sylvie Simmons who was actually on the set with the pop star during the legendary filming. The article, which was published in a 1983 issue of “Creem Magazine”, begins with the following sentences, “Downtown between the Pacific American Fish Co. and the Hotel St. Agnes Hospitality Kitchen there’s an alley. Cars block each end, no escape. And, silhouetted in the car headlights, two rival LA gangs are swaggering towards each other.” She was, of course, speaking about the scene in the beginning of the “Beat It” video in which two groups of opposing gang members are shown walking down a dark alley. Well, once Mike and I read Sylvie’s words, we immediately started Googling the terms “Hotel St. Agnes Hospitality Kitchen” and “Pacific American Fish Company” to see if we might be able to track down the historic alley that supposedly ran between them. I was actually thinking that this particular find would be an easy one – a slam dunk, if you will – but alas that was not the case at all. Unfortunately, because 27 years have passed since the iconic video was filmed on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles, we both came up completely empty handed. As far as we could tell, both the Hotel St. Agnes Hospitality Kitchen and the Pacific American Fish Company had long since either moved to new locales or been shut down entirely. But, thankfully, Mike had a pretty big ace up his sleeve, so our “Beat It” alley search didn’t end there.

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As they say in battles, “When all else fails, call for reinforcements!”, which is exactly what Mike did. As luck would have it, Mike happens to know an LAPD officer named Rudy who has worked in the skid row area of Downtown Los Angeles for years. So, Mike immediately called up Rudy and asked if he might be able to track down the fish market’s former location. And, sure enough, he did! The former Pacific American Fish Company headquarters (pictured above) is located at 620 South Gladys Avenue, just a few short blocks from where both the “Beat It” diner (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/2010/03/12/the-possible-cafe-from-michael-jacksons-beat-it-video/) and pool hall scenes (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/2010/03/15/the-pool-hallbar-from-michael-jacksons-beat-it-video/) were filmed. Unfortunately, though, neither of us could find any sort of alleyway or hotel near the former fish company building. It was then that I decided to expand my search.

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Using Google Street View I wandered a block north of the former Pacific American Fish Company and stumbled upon a building with a sign posted above its entrance which read “Hotel Saint Agnes”. Eureka! I was extremely surprised to discover, though, that the fish company and the hotel were separated not only by several hundred feet, but by a large street, as well. I had taken Simmons’ words to mean that the two buildings were located directly next door to each other and that the alley could be found right in the middle of them. In reality, though, she was describing an alley located at a point somewhere in between two places that I am guessing at the time were area landmarks. So, I immediately started looking at all of the alleys that are situated in the space between the Hotel St. Agnes and the former fish market and fairly quickly came across one which looked like it could be the “Beat It” locale. And, sure enough, it was! YAY! So, yesterday, on the way home from taking my dad to a doctor appointment, the two of us stopped in Downtown Los Angeles to finally do a little stalking of the famous “Beat It” alley!

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The “Beat It” alley actually shows up just once in the video and only for a very brief second, but to me the location is still iconic. And, amazingly enough, as you can see in the above screen captures and photographs, it still looks almost EXACTLY the same today as it did 27 years ago when “Beat It” was filmed!

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There are, of course, some differences, such as the fact that, for whatever reason, the Saint Agnes Hotel has since added rows of windows along its side.

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http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/IMG_6318_thumb.jpg (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/IMG_6318.jpg)

But the shape and position of the buildings and telephone poles in the background of the video as compared to real life are an almost perfect match. The distance from the street to the buildings that border the alleyway is a bit off, as you can see in the above pictures, but I have noticed that movie cameras have a tendency to distort proximities, for whatever reason. Objects in camera are not as close as they appear.

http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/BeatItpipe_thumb.png (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/BeatItpipe.png)

http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/BeatItPipe3_thumb.png (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/BeatItPipe3.png)

http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/BeatItPipe2_thumb.png (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/BeatItPipe2.png)

What struck me the most about the alley, though, was the fact that the big grey pipe shown running down the side of the Hotel Saint Agnes in “Beat It’” is STILL there to this day, over two and a half decades later!


http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ScreenShot3924_thumb.jpg (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ScreenShot3924.jpg)

http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/IMG_6323_thumb.jpg (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/IMG_6323.jpg)

http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/IMG_6324_thumb.jpg (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/IMG_6324.jpg)

The other alleyway, that the rival gang is shown walking down in “Beat It”, is, I believe, located directly across the street from the first one on the west side of South Gladys Avenue. Unfortunately, though, because the images from that scene are so darn dark, I can’t really say for certain that it’s the right spot. Oh, Michael, why couldn’t you have filmed “Beat It” during the day? I realize it wouldn’t have given you the same sort of dangerous effect as filming at night did.

http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ScreenShot3919_thumb1.jpg (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ScreenShot39191.jpg)

http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/IMG_6313_thumb.jpg (http://www.iamnotastalker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/IMG_6313.jpg)




The “Beat It” alley is located on the South 500 block of Gladys Avenue, next to the St. Agnes Hotel which is located at 560 South Gladys Avenue, in Downtown Los Angeles.

truluv
30-04-2010, 08:11 AM
thanks for posting! It's very interesting;)

Ms.MJ Fan2007
01-05-2010, 12:12 AM
wow thats so cool, thanks for posting this thread about 'Beat It' on the set! :D

Screamin
02-05-2010, 01:52 AM
always wondered about this :)

Courtney
02-05-2010, 01:35 PM
Wow, this is so cool! Thanks a lot for sharing this.

~* White Chocolate *~
02-05-2010, 02:34 PM
nice! Next time I'm in LA I AM SO going here.

:)

nakkiel
02-05-2010, 11:41 PM
this is so cool, thank you!

J.Dagenzhaw
03-05-2010, 11:55 PM
this is awesome!

Spider-Man
04-05-2010, 02:38 AM
*clicks and saves* Dangerous Inc. u r sooo awesome!!

myosotis
05-05-2010, 05:48 PM
I'm really impressed with all your work and the level of detail in your photos / documentation. It would be great to follow these directions on an MJ ' short films ' tour. I'd love to be able to come and see these places for myself ( even though they might look a bit different now).
I wonder if Michael's archivist will compile a book for posterity.. I really hope so. Or pehaps you will get there first!

Darth Sidious
05-05-2010, 05:58 PM
Beat It is such a part of the culture. It's important to know as much about it as possible.

forevermichael
05-05-2010, 06:36 PM
Wow some thorough analysis there, well done.

I always wonder these things too, glad I'm not the only one :)

lmojackson
08-05-2010, 01:22 AM
omg thanks for this..omg

Sophielo
08-05-2010, 08:27 AM
Oooooh need to pop there whenever I go to LA!

JennyC
11-05-2010, 11:43 PM
It looks as though you've done an extensive amount of research into this, a very interesting thread.

Mack
12-05-2010, 10:56 PM
Dangerous Inc ... that must've taken some major research lol. Props for the level of effort.

cocoa
13-05-2010, 08:09 AM
ketzergon
>Nice, where do you get all this info?

Hi ketzergon, Dangerous Incorporated said "Source:Iamnotastalker" in post #1.

Link: http://www.iamnotastalker.com/?s=michael+jackson

http://www.iamnotastalker.com/2010/03/12/the-possible-cafe-from-michael-jacksons-beat-it-video/