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36. Kyle and Sarah are dropped off at the Tiki Motel after hitchhiking. Quite impressively, despite the similarities in vantage point, there are no instantly recognizable features between the two shots. The sidewalk looks similar, there's evidence of a power pole across the street, and there's a chain link fence across the street. But those hardly result in a conclusive match. It's quite surprising, considering that there's no doubt whatsoever that this is the correct location.
37. Sarah asks for a room. The railings are visible, and they're clearly a match. Around the corner from the front office, the lower end of a set of stairs is peeking out. The door and window layout match, and the light fixtures are in the correct locations. The check-in window is still the same. The remnants of a buzzer can be seen to the right of the window, and using it as a reference point, the window seems to have maintained the same vertical proportions. There's no doubt that the bottom of the window is the same, having the same stainless steel counter. In the parking lot, the parking blocks seem to be the same ones. It appears that the door to the front office remains unchanged, based on the lock.
38. Kyle and Sarah back out of the motel parking lot to make their escape. Again, the stairs can be seen, and the utility building can be seen clearly. One door and window have been boarded up, but it's possible to see where the patchwork where they used to be. The remaining door and windows are all the correct size, shape, and location. The whole front of the motel is clearly the correct shape, and there's some sort of protrusion on the back side of the building, where the roof peaks.
39. The Terminator races after Sarah and Kyle. Across the street is Spartan Burger. The distinctive sign has clearly changed little over the years, and the building itself is recognizable. Further down the street, a building that is now a check cashing place can be seen.
40. Kyle and Sarah are about to enter the 2nd Street tunnel. This is the only side of the tunnel with a distinctive transition from a rectangular opening to the dome shaped tunnel. While it's blurry in the movie, it is possible to recognize the street name 'Figueroa' on the sign, which can be seen clearly in the modern-day shot. The traffic signal is the same style, and the control cabinet is visible just behind the traffic light. A covered walkway can be seen above the tunnel.
41. The Terminator will soon be dodging pipe bombs. The lighting in the ceiling is recognizable, and there's a sign mounted to the ceiling. Along the left curb in the distance, there's a storm drain. If not for a car driving the opposite direction, the storm drain would have been visible in the previous comparison. While the damage to the tunnel walls doesn't really match, it's clear that this portion of the tunnel tends to require more frequent repair than other sections, particularly on the right side.
42. All the shots from the
truck chase sequence were taken at the C. Erwin Piper Technical Center, which
among other things is home to the LAPD helicopter fleet.
The Terminator has stolen a tractor trailer that had just run it over, and is now driving it in an attempt to run Sarah over. Sarah and Kyle run down a ramped driveway. There are many similarities. Every light seen in the movie still exists today, although the light fixtures themselves might have been updated. The ramp has the same angles, and the walls on either side are the same. The curb on the left also has a noticeable repeating patter, possibly indentations for reflectors.
43. Kyle and Sarah get to the bottom of the ramp and turn the corner. The truck is in hot pursuit. The fire hydrant is hidden behind the dumpster, but the light pole is visible. The electrical access door is clearly visible and pointing in the correct direction. The Terminator came out from the gates seen in the modern-day shot.
44. As Kyle struggles to regain his composure, Sarah keeps running. The Terminator is forced to take the turn wide, giving Sarah a bit more of a head start. In addition to the light pole, the fire hydrant behind the dumpster is now visible. It's hard to see in the movie screenshot, but a bridge is visible in the background. There is a driveway ramp just before the fire hydrant, which is much wider today than it was in 1984.
45. POV from the truck as the Terminator chases Sarah. A lot of details have changed over the years in this shot. Much of the grass has been replaced by concrete, the trees have been removed, and the loading dock has been substantially altered. Some details still match though. To the right, a staircase is visible.
46. The Terminator bumps over the curb in an effort to kill Sarah. A driveway to the basement level is visible. The lighting inside the entry is a match, as are the low concrete walls on either side of the ramp. The entry ramp is widened. Originally the entry ramp was only as wide as that garage entry. But once they paved the area that used to be grass, they widened the ramp to make it easier to get onto the concrete. The ramp didn't extend far enough down the sidewalk for the Terminator to hit it in 1984, but today the extension to the entry ramp would have allowed the truck to make a less dramatic maneuver onto the sidewalk.
47. Kyle's pipe bomb
detonates, saving Sarah from the immediate danger. The next comparison make for
an interesting exception. The building seen during the explosion is actually a
miniature set. So instead of comparing actual locations, we get to compare the
accuracy of the model to the real world. It's not a perfect comparison, since
details have changed over time. But other movie shots reveal flaws with the
The details actually look pretty good. The overall concrete and brickwork match, and they got the large window correct as well. It looks like they remembered to add at least one of the vents on the wall, although it seems to be a bit off from where it's supposed to be. The illusion breaks down a bit as the truck really goes up in flames. The extra light makes the wall look kind of "flat", and we can see just far enough into the loading dock to see that they forgot to add one of the roll-up doors. Oddly enough, they added a vent that doesn't seem to actually exist. Otherwise, the structure of the building is a good match. The large window is easy to see, and the waffled underside of the building is present.
48. Sarah and Kyle break into the Cyberdyne factory instead. The increased plant growth makes it difficult to do a direct comparison of the stairs, but in both cases the door is the correct height and it's adjacent to the loading dock. Stairs and matching railing can be seen in the shots.
49. After losing Kyle to an
explosion that crippled--but didn't destroy--the Terminator, Sarah finally
defeats the Terminator and is found by emergency responders. After she is loaded
into an ambulance, a deleted scene reveals that the Terminator was destroyed at
a Cyberdyne Systems factory. As it turns out, this entry is actually on
the third level of the C. Erwin Piper Technical Center.
The skylights, planters, windows, and general building structure all match. The planters have been rearranged, and an open-air section on the left corner has been enclosed and turned into an office. The lighting and fire sprinkler system are visible in both shots. Lamps mounted on the sides of the skylights can be seen as well. The symmetrical staircases are there, as well as plants growing along the front of the entry between them.
50. Here's the gas station. Note the mountains in the background. They are the same layout in both shots.
And here's a shot of the actual gas station as it appears today.
All photos and descriptions by David Drummond
Edited by Adrian Czarny