Runaway  movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Runaway filmed?

1984

About Runaway

The opening Runaway film scene is set in the future. Robots are now a normal part of society but frequently malfunction. Robots that malfunction are called “runaways.” A special unit in the police department is set up to deal with them.

Sgt. Jack Ramsay is an experienced policeman who volunteers for runaway duty after experiencing some trauma when a convict escapes due to his fear of heights. He and his partner Karen Thompson are confronted with an unusual event: a homicide involving a robot. In a gross malfunction, a robot killed a family using both a knife and a gun. Jack notes that a series of unusually connected circuits caused the robot’s safety features to malfunction and fueled an impulse to kill. He notes that the chips are not hacked and deduces that a set of templates exist for mass production.

Jack soon uncovers the mastermind behind the templates: Dr. Charles Luther. Luther introduced a program to permit the thermographic identification of a human. With an eye for future profits, Luther murdered the other researchers on his team and attempted to find a buyer for his new technology. Jack discovers more of Luther’s weapons including a smart bullet capable of tracking and following human movement.

Jack and Karen discover Jackie Rogers, one of Luther’s former lovers. She stole his templates and is frightened, insisting that Luther will find her and murder her. The officers invent a scenario to move Jackie to safety, but Luther interrupts the escape attempt.

Jack and Jackie try to lure Luther out of hiding. Their plan is thwarted when Luther seizes Karen and demands Jack release Jackie and the templates. Jackie leaves some of the templates with Jack. Luther murders her immediately when he notes some of the templates are missing.

Luther plots an attack on Jack. He studies Jack’s personal life. Jack soon realizes he has been hacked and hurries home to find his son is gone. Luther phones to tell him he has taken Bobby and will only return him if he is given the remaining templates.

Jack tells Luther he will meet him at a skyscraper. Jack gives him the templates while his son descends on the elevator. Luther tells Jack he has programmed some assassin robots to inject the first person emerging from the elevator. Karen arrives on the scene and takes Bobby to safety. Jack gets on the elevator and attempts to go down, but the elevator overrides the command and takes him to the top. Jack must face his fear of heights by touching the reset button beneath the elevator. As he attempts to do this, he comes in contact with three robot spiders which he kills. He resets the elevator which begins its descent, stopping on Luther’s floor. Jack restarts the elevator, and the two men fight. Jack brings the elevator to a stop, causing Luther to fall. He is injected by his robot spiders and dies.

City Locations

Washington: Moses Lake, Seattle; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Location Types

American, NatureScapes, House, Modern, Police/Jails

Location Styles

Americana/Anywhere America, Colonial, High Tech/Futuristic, Luxury Hotel

Runaway Locations

Filmed in 1984, Runaway is a science fiction action movie directed by well-known filmmaker Michael Crichton. Among the highly regarded actors featured in this sci-fi flick are Tom Selleck, Gene Simmons, Cynthia Rhodes, and Kirstie Alley. The movie had very disappointing sales and was on the receiving end of mixed reviews from the critics.

The filming locations for Runaway are found in Washington state and include both Seattle and Moses Lake. Several other key scenes also take place in Vancouver and North Delta, British Columbia, Canada. Is sci-fi among your favorite film genres? If so, why not plan a trip to visit the filming locations for Runaway! You’re sure to have a great time.

Fun Fact:

This movie marks the screen debut of KISS frontman, Gene Simmons.

Karen’s first day on the job scene in Runaway

Moses Lake, Washington, USA

A robot makes its way through a cornfield while Karen and Jack track it on satellite. Karen is in full combat gear and is prepared to do battle with the robot if necessary. Jack teases her, saying, “You know; you may not need all that stuff. You may just need to throw a switch.”

Jack informs her that the robot is a standard agricultural pest control robot. They detect the exact location of the robot, and Karen notes their elevation to Jack’s dismay. She notices Jack is uneasy and sweating. The following dialogue ensues.

Karen: You okay?

Jack: Ya, I’m fine. I just don’t like heights.

Karen: My brother has the same problem. You just take deep breaths.

Jack: I’m fine.

This scene lays the foundation for Jack’s fear of heights. In the final scene of Runaway, Jack will be forced to face this fear or lose his life. Filmed in a field in Washington’s Moser Lake, there are several bus lines that will take you directly to this Runaway film site.

Jack does battle with a robot scene in Runaway

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jack enters a private residence where a baby is wailing. The robot in the home has malfunctioned, and he has been called in to deal with the situation. The robot makes use of a gun to fire shots at Jack. Jack fires back and then falls to his stomach for cover. He moves stealthily through the hallways of the home, looking for the robot.

He takes cover in the master bedroom and hears the sound of the robot entering the room and then shooting at the pillows on the bed. The robot becomes stuck in the bathroom. It tries to retreat but can’t, and Jack is able to disarm it.

This eerie scene is offset by music designed to heighten the senses of the viewer, leaving you feeling that danger is imminent.

The exact location of this Runaway film set is not known; however, it was shot in a private residence in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. To visit this city and enjoy the landscape found in many of the best scenes in Runaway, you can take a flight to Pearson International Airport, just outside Toronto, and take a shuttle bus or the Go Train into the heart of the city.

Luther unveils his heat-seeking bullets scene in Runaway

10970 63 Avenue, North Delta, British Columbia, Canada

In this Runaway scene, Jack is hiding in an alley, and Luther sends out heat-seeking bullets to track and kill him. The bullets are capable of following the heat from Jack’s body, following him around corners and through tight turns. The bullet chases his trajectory as he runs. He takes cover behind a truck, and a man running from the bullets attempts to climb a fire escape and is shot and killed by the smart bullet just as Karen rounds the corner and yells, “Freeze! Police!”

There are several bus lines that will take you to or near the location for this former Runaway film set including 301, 312, 316, and 340. Another way to get to this filming location is by driving yourself, using a rideshare app, or calling a taxi.

Jack and Marvin examine the smart bullet scene in Runaway

Police headquarters (Molson Hotel), 166 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Jack and Marvin are at the police headquarters. Marvin dissects the smart bullet to try to understand the technology behind it. He and Jack engage in this dialogue in one of the best scenes in Runaway.

Marvin: Jack, look at this, the back half is all solid propellant. There are different valves for directional control. The nose, it’s all electronic. You’ve heard of a bullet with your name on it? Well, this one really does. And you can program it to go after a certain person.

Jack: What’s the signature?

Marvin: I don’t know, man. I’ve tried everything. Movement, light, shape…I don’t know.

Jack: I gotta know, Marvin.

Marvin: Ya, I know you gotta know. I’m doing my best, okay? But it’s tricky! Oh, my G*d. It’s a heat-seeking missile.

Access to this Runaway production location is easily obtained through bus lines 14m 16, or R5 or by taking the SkyTrain’s Millennium Line.

Jack removes a bullet from Karen’s arm scene in Runaway

The Corner Deli (Eastend Grocers), 162 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

In this scene, Karen has been wounded, and Jack must remove the smart bullet from her body. He tells her to stay still and places a weighted vest on her chest. Jacks gently requests, “Okay, I want you to sit back and take it real easy. This is gonna hurt like a mother…”

Jack works slowly to remove the bullet, and Karen shows visible signs of pain. In one of the only funny scenes in Runaway, Karen asks him, “Don’t you need your glasses for this?” Jack responds, “You want me to run down to the car to get ‘em?”

He continues working to extricate the bullet, telling Karen to sit still and breathe. Karen writhes in pain then breathes a sigh of relief when she thinks the bullet has finally been removed only to discover it is still in her body.

When Jack is finally able to remove it, he throws it behind him, and it explodes, leaving them both safe from harm.

To visit this film shoot location, take bus lines 14m, 16, or RV or the SkyTrain Millennium Line. Or you can drive yourself, call a cab, or use a rideshare service. Either way, why not enjoy a pastrami on rye sandwich or some other delicious deli sandwich while you are there?

Jack and Luther fight in the elevator scene in Runaway

Seattle, Washington

In one of the most exciting action scenes in Runaway, Luther and Jack fight as the elevator plummets toward the ground. Jack hits the emergency stop button, causing the elevator to lurch to a halt. Luther tumbles out of the elevator, falling to the ground where he is attacked by his assassin robots and injected with deadly acid.

Jack feels for a pulse on Luther’s unconscious body, and Luther reanimates long enough to sit up and scream, “AAAAAAAAGGGGHHHH!” before collapsing and dying.

This particular film scene was shot on a sound stage located in Seattle, Washington. Though the exact film set no longer exists, you can still make a visit to Seattle to see the landscape and streets that feature prominently in this scene and this film. To get to Seattle, you can take a plane from Vancouver then a shuttle to the heart of the city, or cross the Canada-USA border by passenger vehicle or bus.

Conclusion

When it comes to classic sci-fi action films, it’s hard to beat Tom Selleck’s Runaway. Filmed in the scenic Washington state as well as some of the grittier streets of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the backdrops seen in this beloved movie add a layer of intrigue to pique the viewer’s interest.

If you’re planning your next big vacation and consider yourself a true sci-fi fan, why not consider a trip to visit the Runaway filming locations? It’s sure to be the trip of a lifetime!