Poetic Justice movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Poetic Justice filmed


City Locations

North California

Location Types

American, Apartment, House, Contemporary, NatureScapes

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Colonial, Creative Space/Startup, Office Building Style

About Poetic Justice

Poetic Justice was filmed in various locations throughout northern California. Find out where they are and how to visit them with this guide.

Poetic Justice Locations

The movie Poetic Justice was filmed in various locations across Northern California. The cities of Oakland and Woodside, California were the two main cities used for filming this movie. The city of Oakland is where the characters are journeying in the movie, and the actual city was used for the movie. Locations in Oakland that make an appearance in Poetic Justice include Lakeside Motel and Saeed Dobahi Market, as well as various city streets.

A restaurant known as Alice Restaurant found in Woodside, California made an appearance in the movie as the Lazey Jane Cafe. These major places in Poetic Justice can still be seen by fans today. Some of the other Northern California locations used for shooting the 1993 movie include the Monterey Aquarium, Altamont Pass, Devils Slide, and Big Creek Bridge.

The city of Los Angeles, California was also used for a majority of filming, specifically the scenes that depict Justice’s house. Many of the locations portraying Los Angeles and Oakland are actual locations around the city, and can still be seen today. Fans of Poetic Justice can enjoy visiting the streets where Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, and other major stars walked.

Justice meets Lucky scene in Poetic Justice

Hair Craft Salon, Los Angeles, California

One of the first scenes of the movie Poetic Justice shows Justice working in a salon, shortly after the tragic death of her boyfriend. Before Justice can be seen working in the salon, there is a voice-over where she recounts one of her poems. Justice delivers multiple poems over voice-over throughout the movie.

In this opening scene she is heard saying, “Alone. Lying, thinking. Last night. How to find my soul a home. Where water is not thirsty. And bread loaf is not stone. I came up with one thing. And I don't believe I'm wrong. That nobody. But nobody can make it out here alone."

As Justice works in the salon, she meets Lucky, the man who will be her romantic interest for the rest of the movie. He comes into the salon and attempts to flirt with her. However, Justice is not interested. In order to get Lucky to leave her alone, she pretends to be in a relationship with her female boss. This opening scene, like the majority of the movie, was filmed in Los Angeles, California.

Roadtrip talk scene in Poetic Justice

Los Angeles, California

Early in the film Poetic Justice, the character Justice is talked into going on a road trip with her friend, her friend’s boyfriend, and a person she doesn’t know.

Iesha tries to convince her friend by saying, “Well, we get in this mail truck and we drive up the coast, get drunk, eat Mexican food, and just have a good time. It's fun!”

This scene is filmed at the salon where Justice works, which is located in Los Angeles, California. Justice does not agree to go on the trip until a few seconds later when her car has broken down, and she needs to call Iesha for help. Iesha is already with her boyfriend Chicago, and the other member of the road trip who happens to be Lucky. There is tension between the two as the journey starts, but they gradually start to get along.

The scene of Justice’s car being broken down on the street and her getting picked up was filmed on the streets of Los Angeles. You can reach this scene by visiting LA, which is a fantastic vacation spot. Go see the Walk of Fame or the Hollywood Sign while you are in town.

Stopping by the beach scene in Poetic Justice

Big Creek Bridge, Big Sur, California

The four characters in Poetic Justice make a few stops on their trip to Oakland. One of the most memorable scenes of the movie happens when they stop at a beach, and Justice and Lucky start to grow closer. During this scene each of the characters is struggling with something, and there are voice-overs and internal monologues throughout.

When the four first arrive at the beach Justice is heard in a voice-over saying, “A wise man once said, you should look at the ocean and realize that no matter how famous you are, or how much money you make, you should know that you will never be as important as the ocean. ... D*mn, why didn't I go to college? Grandmomma would roll two times in her grave if she saw me now.”

Iesha and Chicago have fought at this point and at the beach she has resolved to not be with him anymore. When the four are back in the mail truck Chicago tries to talk to her, but Iesha is still angry with him.

Big Creek Bridge located in Big Sur was used for the beach scene. This location can still be visited in Monterey County, California. This beach is stunning and makes a perfect spot for spending a sunny day playing in the water or sunbathing.

Lucky and Justice get closer scene in Poetic Justice

Saeed’s Market, Oakland, California

In one of the scenes in Poetic Justice, when the group makes a pit stop at an African Cultural Fair, Justice and Lucky can be seen growing closer to each other. This happens as they discuss more about their life and see how much they actually have in common. Both of them have experienced a lot of loss and learning this leads them to connect in a more romantic way.

Lucky asks Justice what she writes about, and she tells him, “I write about what's in my heart.”

He also asks Justice if she has any siblings later during the fair scene, but she tells him she doesn’t.

Justice says, “None. My momma didn't have no more kids. She didn't get a chance to.”

The location used for the fair was Oakland, California. The real market they filmed at was called Saeed’s Market. The cultural fair scene is considered one of the most emotional scenes in Poetic Justice.

The fight between Iesha and Chicago scene in Poetic Justice

Oakland, California

Another scene in the movie Poetic Justice that was filmed at the Oakland Saeed Dobahi Market comes right after Justice and Lucky start to deepen their connection. Iesha and Chicago get into another fight, but this is worse than the ones seen previously in the movie. Iesha reveals that she has been sleeping with someone else, and Chicago is so angry he slaps her. Iesha retaliates by getting physical back. At first, Lucky does not intervene, but Justice wants him to.

When the two first start to fight Justice asks him, “You just gonna let 'em fight?!”

Lucky responds with, “That ain't my business.”

Justice decides to step in, but when Chicago turns on her in his anger Lucky has to stop him. Lucky and Chicago fight for a few moments before Lucky decides to go with Iesha and Justice, leaving Chicago behind. The three characters continue on their way to Oakland.

Lucky gets tragic news scene in Poetic Justice

Downtown Oakland, California

When Lucky, Justice, and Iesha finally get Oakland, they are met with some tragic news. Lucky’s cousin has been killed. This is the same cousin Lucky has been close to and was seen early in the movie talking about the music they were making together. Lucky has always wanted a career in music and believed him and his cousin could get there together. When he hears this news, Lucky starts to get angry with Justice. He pushes the blame for his cousin’s death onto her.

Lucky tells Justice, “I mighta got there on time if I hadn't been f*ck*ng around wit you.”

Justice is upset by this and tells him, “Know what you talking about before you judge.”

The fight between Lucky and Justice after hearing the news leads to a rift between them, and they go several months without talking to each other.

The area used for Oakland in this scene, and many scenes in the movie, was the actual city of Oakland in California. While you are in town, check out some of the popular attractions like Angel Island, the Oakland Zoo, or Tilden Regional Park.


Poetic Justice is a drama movie that was released in theatres in 1993. The film was shot in various locations across California, with the most notable ones being Oakland and Los Angeles. Poetic Justice features a star-studded cast including Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Joe Torry, Regina King, Khandi Alexander, and Maya Angelou. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

It was written, produced, and directed by John Singleton. Janet Jackson stars in Poetic Justice as a woman dealing with the aftermath of their boyfriend’s death. She meets Lucky, a man raising his daughter alone and striving for a music career. During a short road trip, they bond in ways they didn’t expect to as they learn more about each other. While a tragic fight at the end of the movie drives Lucky and Justice apart, they get to meet again in the end, with the hope of starting fresh.