My two favorite diners/gas stations near Los Angeles are the Four Aces and Club Ed. Locations are similar and have a unique look, Club Ed has the buttes behind the diner, and the Four Aces is surrounded by Joshua Trees. Club Ed is one of the most popular locations in LA County according to Film LA. The Four Aces is a lot easier to book, because it is not as well known. Hollywood has a tendency to over use prime locations, ignoring some of the gems.
Club Ed is on a large lot and has a lot more sets than the Aces, plus there is a giant parking lot across the street. Club Ed has two gas stations, a diner, a motel with a pool and rooms decorated in 50’s style. CE has a large parking lot across the street, ideal for large crews, though it is about thirty minutes further than the Four Aces.
The Four Aces is smaller; it is ideal for photo shoots; parking is limited and it is located on a compact lot. The FA has one gas station, a diner and a motel, and no pool. Like Club Ed the Motel is decorated in 50s motif, and is surrounded by Joshua Trees in the middle of no-where. Actually the Four Aces is only about an hour from Los Angeles, in LA County. Just watch your speed, the CHP is always looking for speeders on the 14. As I indicated before, the Four Aces is not as popular as Club Ed, but that does not mean it is not a great location. It is underused, therefore your audience won’t have a moment of déjà vu; though not as big, if all you need is a gas station, some old 60s and 50s car in the background, a motel, even Norman Bates would find this prime property for “Mother”. All you need is a big ice machine, just don’t take a shower, it might be your last shower.
My only complaint is the fire department tends can be a little overbearing, so make sure on your Film Permit do your check list for each shooting day, and have someone in charge of that duty; this rule is for any location in Los Angeles County.
If you have any questions about these locations; for the Four Aces 310-396-2211 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. At Club Ed 310.839-5722, if you need a film permit call Film LA 213-977-8600. And of course if you need a motor home or have any questions please call me Mike Green at 818-317-7099, my Web Address is; http://web.me.com/mgreen2528/Site/About_Us.html