Bronson Caves is one of those places that looks so familiar that you know you've seen it before, even if you can't quite put your finger on it. That's probably because it's been in so many things your brain can't compute from where it recognizes it. Twin Peaks? Yep. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers? Sure. The Dukes of Hazzard? You bet. Salute Your Shorts? You know it. Mega Python vs. Gateroid? Absolutely. Of course, it's probably best known for being used as the exterior for the Batcave from the 1960's Adam West Batman TV show. Holy filming location, Batman!
Since it's in a convenient location (right in Griffith Park ) that's easily accessible but looks like it's in the wilderness, it quickly became a popular spot to shoot TV shows and movies-- especially anything low budget. It's actually the remains of an old quarry that was dug out to get crushed rock to make streets and roads for Los Angeles back in the 1910's. The reason the cave always seems to be shot from an angle is because it's actually a pretty small, short cave-- the exit would be visible from a straight-on view.
The cave was actually first used as a filming location in 1919 for a movie called Lightning Bryce. During the 1930's it began to appear in quite a few films, ranging from a Dick Tracy movie to a Zorro feature. The Lone Rager, Superman, Dracula, even George of the Jungle (aka Brendan Frasier) have all visited the caves. Tons of B Movies, especially horror and sci-fi like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, were at least partially filmed here, as were episodes in multiple seasons of Star Trek among other TV shows.
Getting there is pretty easy: park at the Camp Hollywoodland parking lot, and walk over the red concrete bridge on the right. Follow the short dirt trail (keep left!) up and you'll find the caves. Just make sure to leave the Batmobile at home!
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Header via Daily Mail