This past Tuesday night, I received a very exciting text from fellow stalker Chas, from the It’sFilmedThere website, letting me know that one of his readers had finally, finally tracked down the exterior of the fictional Jack Rabbit Slim’s restaurant where Mia Wallace (aka Uma Thurman) took Vincent Vega (aka John Travolta) for dinner in the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction. When I first saw Pulp Fiction just about seventeen years ago, I thought Jack Rabbit Slim’s, which Vincent describes as a “wax museum with a pulse”, was just about the coolest place ever! With its slot car race tracks, wait staff dressed up to resemble stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Mamie Van Doren, and James Dean, and booths fashioned out of classic cars, the restaurant could not have been more up my alley! In fact, the diner was one of the places I most wanted to stalk upon moving to Los Angeles a little over a decade ago. So imagine my surprise – and total devastation – when I found out that it was not a real place, but a set that had been created solely for the filming of the movie. Such an incredible bummer! I always thought the producers should have built a real Jack Rabbit Slim’s restaurant after the movie became so successful, but, alas, they never did. Why oh why do I always have to think of everything? Anyway, I could NOT have been more excited about Chas’ news, so I ran right out to stalk the place yesterday afternoon.
The exterior of Jack Rabbit Slim’s only showed up very briefly in Pulp Fiction, in the scene in which Vincent takes Mia out for dinner at a place of her choosing at the behest of her husband, Marsellus Wallace (aka Ving Rhames).
It is while out in front of Jack Rabbit Slim’s that Vincent begs Mia to take him to another restaurant so that he can get a steak, to which Mia replies, “You can get a steak here, Daddio. Don’t be a . . . “ and she then proceeds to draw a square on the screen with her fingers, which was one of my very favorite moments of the film.
At the time of the filming, the building which stood in for Jack Rabbit Slim’s was a recently-shuttered bowling alley named Grand Central Bowl, which you can see photographs of here. The property is currently owned by The Walt Disney Disney Company and is a part of their Grand Central Business Center. The 125-acre center is on the site of Los Angeles’ first major airport – the now-defunct Grand Central Air Terminal, which shut down due to a decline in business in 1959. The space was transformed into a large office park shortly thereafter, much of which was leased by the Walt Disney Company beginning in 1961. In 1997, Disney purchased the entire 125-acre property and it currently serves as the headquarters for Walt Disney Imagineering. Because Pulp Fiction was produced by Miramax, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company, it makes sense that producers chose to film the Jack Rabbit Slim’s exterior where they did.
Sadly, as you can see in the above photographs, the Jack Rabbit Slim’s building is currently surrounded by a large cement wall and is not very visible from the street.
According to Wikipedia, the interior of the Jack Rabbit Slim’s set was built in a warehouse in Culver City and, at a cost of $150,000, was the largest line item in the production’s entire budget!
Big THANK YOU to Chas, from It’sFilmedThere, for letting me know about this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Jack Rabbit Slim’s restaurant, from Pulp Fiction, is located at 1435 Flower Street, on the southwest corner of Sonora Avenue and Flower Street, in Glendale. The property is located inside of Disney’s Grand Central Business Center, which is private property, so please do not trespass.