The Golden Child movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was The Golden Child filmed?

1986

About The Golden Child

The Golden Child is an American fantasy/supernatural comedy directed by Michael Ritchie. The script was the brainchild of Dennis Feldman, who titled it The Rose of Tibet. However, Paramount Pictures won the bidding war for the script, purchased it for $330,000, and turned it into The Golden Child starring Eddie Murphy as Chandler Jarrell, Charles Dance as Sardo Numspa, and Charlotte Lewis as Kee Nang in the lead roles.

The story starts with the Golden Child (J.L Reate), a young Tibetan monk in Nepal, receiving his badges and demonstrating his mystical, spiritual power by reviving a dead bird – an eastern Rosella, who becomes the Child's familiar. While the other monks are awed by this feat, the Tibetan monastery is attacked by Sardo Numspa (Charles Dance) and his henchmen. Sardo captures and cages the Golden Child and transports him to America to raise a demon and get his powers.

Meanwhile, social worker Chandler Jarrell (Eddie Murphy) in the US tries to locate a missing girl, Cheryll Mosley, and is noticed by Kee Nang (Charlotte Lewis) on a local LA Talk Show. Kee informs Jarrell that he is 'The Chosen One' to protect and save the Golden Child. He thinks it's all a joke until he realizes the Cheryll Mosley case is closely linked to the Golden Child case.

Cheryll Mosley turns up dead near an abandoned house covered with Tibetan motifs and symbols and a bowl of blood-soaked porridge. As he takes up the case and starts following all the clues with Kee, he starts getting visions of the Golden Child and even gets pulled into a dream by Sardo Numspa, who makes him a proposition. As Kee sees the symbols, she realizes the Child was held there and introduces Jarrell to Dr. Hong (James Hong), an expert in the mystic sciences, and Kala (half-woman, half-dragon shaman).

Kee and Chandler Jarrell follow all the clues till they find the Golden Child being held by Sardo Numspa. During this time, Kee and Jarrell travel to Tibet, complete a quest, and return with a mystic dagger used to destroy evil. With the help of the dagger and his wits, Jarrell manages to save the Golden Child.

City Locations

Los Angeles, California, And Nepal

Location Types

Architectural, American, Apartment, House, Mansions, Modern, Retro, Rustic, Buildings, Coffee, Diners, Restaurant, Sports, Religious, Retail, Studios, Warehouses

Location Styles

Americana, Classic Car, Classic Truck, Cruiser, Foreign, Gothic, Motorcycle Style, Rustic

The Golden Child Locations

The Golden Child locations were focused primarily on Los Angeles, with only the starting scenes filmed in a monastery in Nepal. Since the plot and storyline follow through with the Golden Child being brought to the United States, having all the film shoot locations within easy reach of each other made sense.

The production team carefully selected each filming location and did a fabulous job of transforming even the most popular sites into barely recognized ones. Some of the locations used were popular places like Chinatown, Pink's Hot Dogs, Seaton Street, Mulholland Drive, and more.

While The Golden Child had only the opening scene filmed in Nepal, the background, snow, extremely frigid weather, and the resultant stunning vista set the tone for the mysticism and magic in the movie. There was also plenty to ogle at in the Tibetan temple with the sacred bells, the chanting, lights, tall ceilings, and more.

Teaser: Fans of The Golden Child should also visit the corner of Mulholland Drive and Encino Hills Drive in Los Angeles, California. The scene in the movie where Sardo Numspa turns into a winged monster and chases Jarrell is filmed at this intersection. The scene then follows Jarrell to the Nike Missile Site. Fans should follow Mulholland Drive till they reach Encino Hills Drive in LA.

Fun fact:

The Golden Child had a budget of $24.5 million and grossed $149.4 million in global sales.

Chandler Jarrell embarrasses a passer-by scene in The Golden Child

Pink's Hot Dogs, 709 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Chandler Jarrell (Eddie Murphy), a social worker from California, is going around town putting up flyers for the reward of a missing child, Cheryll Mosley. As he walks from one street to another, he comes across a newsstand. He sees a gentleman standing there, leafing through an adult magazine. Chandler gets close to him, looks over his shoulder, and asks, "Bu** pie? This is a sequel to a book written called Bu** Cake. Very popular at newsstands. Bu** with cake all over it." Embarrassed, the gentleman keeps the magazine down and leaves. Chandler smirks and keeps walking down the boulevard.

Chandler gets into his car and drives around Hollywood searching for the missing Child. He passes kids roller skating, people in penguin costumes, wall murals of Marilyn Monroe, and more. He also mock fights with a friend outside Pink's Hot Dogs.

This filming location of The Golden Child is the real-life Pink's Hot Dogs at 709 N La Brea Boulevard, LA. Pink's still serves their world-famous hot dogs. Fans can grab a bite by catching the Metro A Line (Blue) to 7th Street /Metro Center and hopping onto the number 10 bus to Melrose/ La Brea. From this stop, Pink's is a minute's walk.

Jarrell meets Doctor Hong scene in The Golden Child

Acupuncture Shop, 688 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA

Jarrell and Kee Nang (Charlotte Lewis) come to Doctor Hong's Acupuncture Shop, where Kee introduces Jarrell to Doctor Hong (James Hong). As Dr. Hong sees Jarrell, he comes to greet him and says, "Ah, Mr. Jarrell, you honor my shop with your presence." The patient Dr. Hong is treating also gets up from the physician's table and says something in Tibetan. Dr. Hong translates for Jarrell and says, "He says he's very pleased to meet a man as great as you."

Jarrell is still a little stumped that people recognize him but remembers his manner and asks Dr. Hong, "How do you say thank you?" Dr. Hong tells him, and Jarrell repeats it to the gentleman. However, when they leave the examination room, the gentleman speaks to Jarrell in Tibetan, and Jarrell doesn't know how to react. He smiles, gives the gentleman a thumbs up, and walks out while following Kee and Dr. Hong.

The Golden Child filming location is a shop at 688 Spring Street North, Los Angeles, California. While it is not an acupuncture store, you can look around and shop. Getting here is easy if you hop onto the B bus and get off at Ord St & N Spring St. The store is a 2-minute walk from the bus stop.

The Golden Child makes the Pepsi can dance scene in The Golden Child

Warehouse, 440 Seaton Street, Los Angeles, CA

When Sardo Numspa's (Charles Dance's) henchman, Til (Randall "Tex" Cobb), tries to mess with The Golden Child, the Child retaliates by making inanimate objects come to life, like a Pepsi can. The Child raises his hands, and a Pepsi can pops out of a trash drum. The can rolls over and is automatically flattened, crushed, and straightened to form a humanoid figure with arms and legs.

The Child then makes the figure dance around till Sardo Numspa comes, crushes the can, and says to the Child, "You will eat." Sardo walks toward Til and tells him, "Get this, and the rest of your playthings out of here."

This is one of the best scenes in The Golden Child, where audiences see the incredible powers of the Golden Child. While he did revive the dead easter Rosella bird earlier, this feat of making the Pepsi can dance was considered far ahead of its time.

The filming location of the scene is the urban warehouse at 440 Seaton Street, Los Angeles. It is also used for shooting other movies like Omega Syndrome and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. To get here, catch bus number 53 and hop off at 6th/ Towne and walk for 10 minutes to reach.

Following the bikers scene in The Golden Child

Judd St, Pacoima, CA

Jarrell gets a tip-off from an anonymous source claiming to know where the missing girl, Cheryll Mosley, was held the week prior. Jarrell and Kee follow the instructions that lead them to a Motorcycle gang, the Yellow Dragons. Cheryl was said to be with them but wasn't with them any longer.

Jarrell keeps seeing the bird the child brought back to life. However, Jarrell can't understand why he keeps seeing the same bird everywhere. When Kee and Jarrell Park, Jarrell again sees the bird. While looking at it, Kee asks him, "What is it?" Jarrell replies, "Nothing," and draws a gun from his pocket. He tells Kee, "Look, I came prepared in case we had any other eventualities," while checking the gun's safety. He turns to her and says, "Listen. You wait here. Any problem? You leave. What are you gonna do?" Kee responds, "I'll stay here." What follows is Kee's first fight as part of The Golden Child action scenes. Audiences were wowed by her fighting technique and stance.

Of the many The Golden Child locations, this one was filmed at Judd St, Pacoima, California. Getting to this street is quick if you hop onto bus number 294 and hop off at San Fernando/ Van Nuys.

Tommy Tong's restaurant scene in The Golden Child

Chung King Court, Los Angeles, CA

After Kee and Jarrell rough up the bikers at their hideout, one of the guys tells Jarrell that they sold the girl, Cheryl, to Tommy, the owner of Tommy Tong's Restaurant, for a pack of cigarettes and a pint of pork rice. Jarrell keeps Kee outside and enters the restaurant. He approaches a group of men at a table and asks, "I'm looking for Tommy Tong." When no one comes forth with the information, Jarrell says, "Look, stop acting stupid. The man owns the place, alright? I'm looking for Tommy Tong."

An Asian man responds in a foreign language, so Jarrell asks, "Oh, you don't speak English? Let me translate it for you – bring Tommy Tong out here, or Ima bust your as*! You understand that?" He pulls out Cheryl's photo and points at it, "Listen. You see this dead girl? The last time she was seen alive was with Tom. Now you tell Mr. Tong he has a guest."

This The Golden Child film scene was filmed at Chung King Court off Chung King Rd, in Chinatown. To get to Chinatown, hop onto bus number 94 and hop off at Hill St and College St. From the bus stop, walk for 2 minutes to reach the entrance to Chinatown.

The dream sequence scene in The Golden Child

Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA

Sardo Numspa draws Chandler Jarrell into a dream at his mansion. While in the dream, Jarrell realizes that there are weird creatures around, men who look like monkeys and overweight Tibetan monks. The man-monkey gets too close to Jarrell, so Jarrell turns to Sardo and says, "Get your monkey off my back." As he says this, Jarrell suddenly sees a sign that says 'Applause,' and an audience starts clapping. Sardo turns to the man-monkey and says, "Of course. Foo, please retire."

That's when Jarrell exclaims, "Hey! This is a dream! I'm dreaming!" Sardo smiles and says, "Perhaps I've had you brought here to make you a very attractive offer." When Jarrell denies it, Sardo says, "Has it ever occurred to you how many men with less worth than yourself have obtained so many of life's rewards, while you, who can imagine so much, have so very little?"

For this scene, The Golden Child production team chose the picturesque Greystone Park and Mansion location at 905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills, California. This location has been used to film Gilmore Girls, Spider-Man, X-Men, The Social Network, Death Becomes Her, and more. Getting here is quick if you hop onto bus number 2 and hop off at Sunset/ Alta. The walk to the mansion is 10 – 12 minutes from this stop.

Conclusion

The Golden Child was a box office hit, with audiences enjoying the mysticism, magic, and Tibetan supernatural elements. The paranormal/ supernatural comedy genre wasn't a popular one before this movie, and post the release, people realized bizarre comedies can also be fun.

This sudden interest in mixing magic with a few laughs gave way to a new audience segment that many others captured, with films like Death Becomes Her and Dark Shadows, to name a few. The funny scenes in The Golden Child, Eddie Murphy, and Charles Dance's acting, elevated the film and made it palatable for all audiences. Though there are frightful scenes, the overall genre is one of comedy and magic.

The team has done a great job scouting for popular locations that fit the theme and storyline of the film perfectly. The beginning of the movie in Nepal, the transition to Los Angeles, and the trip to Chinatown added excellent diversity to the movie yet managed to tie it all together.