Movies You Didn't Know Were Filmed At Big Boy Locations

Whether you're lucky enough to live near a Big Boy restaurant or have just visited, you can likely spot the notorious sign — and giant sculpture — from a mile away. The old-school burger joint has been around since the 1930s and has a rich history to tell, as noted on the official website. What started as just a small roadside stand in Glendale, California has since transformed into a chain of 74 restaurants stretching nationwide. 

Aside from tasty fare, the restaurant is known for its mascot of sorts, a young boy sporting overalls ready to serve guests a hamburger (he once served as a rocket for Dr.Evil in "Austin Powers," as noted by WDET). And between the kitschiness of the restaurant itself and the signature signs, Big Boy has become a cult favorite and sought-after location set for film scouts, too. Especially the location in Downey, California – Bob's Big Boy Broiler (previously Johnie's Broiler) — that has been an erstwhile character in a number of movies and TV shows over the past several decades.

A who's who of Hollywood has filmed at this Big Boy location

Local architect Paul Clayton built the Downey, California landmark in 1958 just begging for it to be noticed. With its location erected into the bend of nearby Firestone Boulevard, the design purposely looks as if its sitting in the middle of a highway — which was been a huge draw, especially for passerby in the '50s when drive-in restaurants were all the rage. Back then, a giant neon sign and boomerang overhang also drew eyes. Though the original location was torn down in 2007, the Big Boy chain took it over and rebuilt the restaurant mirroring what it once was, and to this day it continues to be a Hollywood hot spot, per the official website.

The 1995 thriller "Heat" starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer that chronicled a seasoned L.A. crew pulling off heists got cozy in a Big Boy booth when plotting their next robbery (via Sceen It). If you enjoy a late-night snack at this location, you could also be sitting in the very same spot where a nasty fight broke out between Angela Bassett and friends in the 1993 movie "What's Love Got to Do with It," according to

The iconic exterior of the restaurant graced the screen just as often. Fictionalized as "Archie's Atomic Drive-In", it was the spot of a famous scene in the movie "License to Drive" starring teen heartthrob Corey Haim, according to IAMNOTASTALKER. The 1989 flick "She's Out of Control" also featured a scene filmed here as Tony Danza takes his on-screen daughter and her boyfriend out for something to eat. And who could forget Winona Ryder and Janeane Garofalo hanging outside the classic diner in "Reality Bites" (via IMDB)? 

The list goes on, particularly with 1990s flicks that had scenes filmed there, including "Can't Hardly Wait," "Jawbreaker," "Unstrung Heroes," and "Short Cuts," as noted on the official Bob's Big Boy Broiler website. The spot also served as a shooting location for TV shows like "The X Files" and "Mad Men" and was chosen for music videos for Madonna and Bob Dylan, among others.