That's The Idea: The Room Filming Locations

By Signe Schloss Oh hai. Tommy Wiseau’s cult classic The Room is a self-proclaimed “black comedy” that takes extreme pains to...

By Signe Schloss

Oh hai. Tommy Wiseau’s cult classic The Room is a self-proclaimed “black comedy” that takes extreme pains to prove that it is set in San Francisco. In spite of Wiseau’s insistence, the film is a tragedy in more ways than one, but the liberally-used establishing shots do trace scenic points in the city. Much of the film takes place in Johnny and Lisa’s apartment and on the green screened roof, but these The Room filming locations are the best spots to reenact the most dramatic scenes.


1. Grace Cathedral

the room filming locations, grace cathedral

This San Francisco icon appears when we first meet Johnny, hair flying gloriously behind him as he clings to a cable car. The cathedral is worth more than a brief cameo, though. Its seriously ornate Ghiberti doors are copies of the Gates of Paradise on the Florence Baptistry, and the building has two labyrinths that promise a meditative state to those who walk them. Grab a rail and look as poised as possible when riding by this San Fran landmark.


2. Golden Gate Bridge

the room filming locations, golden gate

This famous bridge was also featured in the title card for Full House, and the similarities to the 90s sitcom don’t end there – the opening credits for The Room shows the spot where the Tanner family had their idyllic picnic. Connections everywhere you look in The Room filming locations!


3. Palace of Fine Arts

palace of fine arts, the room filming locations

A sizable percentage of the film’s establishing shots show this structure, although it is never directly mentioned by the characters. And what’s up with Johnny idly walking through one of the shots? Was it intentional? Was it because of the spoons? So many questions.


4. House Exterior

the room house, the room filming locations

So, it turns out that a lot of the movie was filmed on a soundstage in Los Angeles. They betrayed me, they didn’t keep their promise, they tricked me, and I don’t care anymore. Is anything real? The outside of the apartment is! Which room is the room? Report back! Or not – it’s a private residence, so you can’t go inside… So just be cool, and leave your stupid comments in your pocket.

5. Flower Shop (Cafe Sophie)

the room flower shop, cafe sophie, the room filming locations

Anniversary Flowers and Gifts imploded from the black hole of human interaction that was the infamous flower shop scene. Of all The Room  filming locations, this one can actually be uniquely visited and enjoyed. It has since been replaced by Cafe Sophie, where you can enjoy a pastry while you reenact the stilted dialogue. No word on whether there’s a doggy to say hai to. Rest assured you’re gonna be their favorite customer!


6. Golden Gate Park

park 2, the room

Johnny and his best friend Mark like to engage in normal American pastimes like the standard “3-feet-away-football-toss while we jog” When they’re not being all-American in sketchy alleyways, they meet up for a game in Golden Gate Park. There are over a thousand acres of public grounds here, though, so it’ll take some dedication to find the exact spot that this baffling game took place. I leave you with this picture as guidance.

park, the room



7. Jogging Stairs

the room jogging

You know what they say: love is blind. Despite this, Johnny stays in shape for his future wife Lisa because she’s beautiful. She looks great in her red dress. Whether you’re working on your fitness because you bought some drugs off of somebody and things got mixed up, or maybe because you should have a girl but you just don’t know yet, these stairs are a great place to feel the burn. Until love tears you apart and everybody betrays you. I’m fed up with this world!


There is no baby.


Signe already ordered a pizza. Find her on Society6.


Photo credits:

Feature: Shutterstock
All other photos: stills from The Room, 2003

Places explored in this article:

This was originally written for Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
Want more articles by Roadtrippers? Find them here!