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Dark Destinations > Locations - N > Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): The Thompson House

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Filed Under: Movie Locations > Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Movie Locations > The Nightmare on Elm Street Series
Added By: Tom G
Added On: May 30, 2007 - 12:45 AM UTC
Modifications By: TheCabinet
Last Modified: February 08, 2009 - 12:49 AM UTC
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1428 N Genesee Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA (Los Angeles, California)
The Thompson House
This private residence on North Genesee Avenue has three bedrooms, four bathrooms, an in-ground swimming pool and is associated with nightmares for many horror fans. The house was featured heavily in the 1984 film A Nightmare on Elm Street. The address number of the actual house was used in the movie, with the address in the film listed as 1428 Elm Street, Springwood, Ohio.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
In A Nightmare on Elm Street the house served as the exterior of the home in which protagonist Nancy Thompson (played by actress Heather Langenkamp) and her mother (portrayed by Ronee Blakely) lived. In the film, Nancy and the other teenagers in the neighborhood find themselves in a battle for their lives against a boogeyman named Fred (Freddy) Krueger (Robert Englund) who enters their dreams and tries to kill them as they sleep. Nancy deprives herself of sleep as her friends are picked off one by one by the nightmare man. Nancy's house becomes a battleground in her fight against Freddy Krueger in the climax of the film. The house is also part of the chilling ending to the film.

A Production on Genesee Avenue
A Nightmare on Elm Street apparently began in 1981, when Wes Craven wrote a script inspired by an article he had read about Cambodian refugee kids who suffered from nightmares and then died in their sleep. The villainous character of Freddy Krueger was apparently named after a bully who tormented Craven as a child. The same bully was also apparently the inspiration for the villain named "Krug" in Craven's The Last House on the Left (1972). The movie itself was both filmed and released in 1984.

The house at 1428 North Genesee Avenue was primarily used for exterior shots, with a few point of view shots taken from within the house that looked out the window onto the street. The interior of the house in the movie consisted of sets built at the old Desilu Studios. Much like John Carpenter's film Halloween, observant viewers can pick up on the front door to the house in the interior shots not matching up with the front door in the exterior shots. There were a number of other differences between the interior of the house shown in the film versus the house interior in real life. However, these differences were rendered moot when the house was gutted and completely remodeled in 2007.

This house was not the only one on Genesee Avenue to appear in the movie. A house across and further down the street was used as the one belonging to Nancy's boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp in his first movie role) and his family (see Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): The Lantz House). Once again, the house was only used for exterior shots. There were also multiple scenes that showed characters outside on the street in general, so a number of the houses are recognizable from the movie. The school that appeared in the film is also located less than five miles away (see John Marshall High School, Los Angeles, CA). Perhaps ironically, the house is located only blocks away in reality from the home where actress Jamie Lee Curtis had her babysitting job from hell in the classic 1978 horror film, Halloween (see Halloween (1978): The Doyle House).

The House That Freddy Built
A Nightmare on Elm Street was the first movie feature to be produced by New Line Cinema. It was a gamble that nearly destroyed the company, but ultimately paid off heavily. The budget for the film has been said to have been less than two million dollars. It nearly made all of that money back during its opening weekend. Besides the film being a financial success, it spawned a franchise that proved quite lucrative and prolific through the years to come. The success has led to New Line being referred to as "The House That Freddy Built."

Multiple sequels and even an anthology TV series (Freddy's Nightmares) were spawned off of Wes Craven's film, even as he backed away from it (only contributing as a writer on the 1987 sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors). Craven's perverse child-killer rapidly became a wise-cracking pop icon complete with merchandising and even a guest spot as a video jockey on MTV. Ultimately, it was this embracement of Freddy in pop culture that led Craven back to the series to create a sort of anti-sequel, Wes Craven's New Nightmare. The movie had Freddy Krueger being brought to life in the real world to terrorize Heather Langenkamp, the actress who played Nancy Thompson in the series of films. This was followed years later with a cross-over between the Friday the 13th (1980) films and A Nightmare on Elm Street series titled Freddy vs. Jason (2003). At the time of this writing a remake of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street is said to be in production for release in 2010.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)
The exterior of the house on Genesee Avenue would once again be used in the production of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. The sequel featured a teen-aged boy named Jesse Walsh (portrayed by Mark Patton) whose family moves into the former home of Nancy and Marge Thompson. After discovering a diary left behind by Nancy, Jesse finds himself haunted and then ultimately possessed by Freddy Krueger.

The house appears multiple times throughout the film. Although the front door of the house appeared as blue in the first film, it had changed to a deep red color for A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge. This change would remain for the next four films in the series and become something an iconic look for many fans of the series. However, the house that would appear in those sequels was not the same as this particular house. 1428 Elm Street was recreated as a set piece, often in a dilapidated condition, and the actual house would not see film crews again until 1994.

Production commenced on A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge between the months of June and August 1985. Once again, various locations throughout the Los Angeles area would fill in for the fictional setting of Springwood, Ohio. The name of "Springwood" actually first appears in this particular film, as it went unnamed during the original film. It was not until the later television series, Freddy's Nightmares, that it was established that the state was Ohio. The film was released on November 1, 1985. Despite being panned by fans and critics alike, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge was a financial success, which paved the way for further sequels.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)
While the actual house that doubled as 1428 Elm Street, Springwood, Ohio had virtually disappeared from subsequent A Nightmare on Elm Street sequels (in favor of constructed set pieces), it would again reemerge in the seventh entry in the series, Wes Craven's New Nightmare. Its appearance was perhaps not quite so coincidentally aligned with writer/director Craven's return to the A Nightmare on Elm Street mythos. The film varied from its predecessors in that it transported the story of Freddy Krueger into the "real" world - In fact, many of the people associated with the original (as well as its sequels over the years) appeared as themselves in the movie. The story follows actress Heather Langenkamp, who portrayed Nancy in the first film, as she senses that the lines between the fictional world and reality are beginning to fracture. An evil presence has assumed the identity of Freddy Krueger and is trying to break through that barrier.

The house appeared near the end of the film where the fictional world and reality had blended together and Langenkamp had again assumed the identity of Nancy. In the scene, she stood outside her other home in the film (an actual residence in nearby Tarzana) talking to John Saxon (who had assumed the character of her father from the first film, Lt. Thompson) and when she turned back around, she was standing back in front of 1428 Elm Street.

One interesting note is that the famed front door of the house again resumed the color of blue for Wes Craven's New Nightmare - a return to the original look from the first film. After Heather/Nancy reentered the home, the action cut back to the inside of the residence in Tarzana. Craven had initially hoped to use many of the same sets constructed for the first film, but they turned out to be unavailable for this production.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
The house at 1428 Genesee Avenue would once again appear on screen in the 2006 movie, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. The first-person horror film, which switched between mockumentary (or mock-doc) and traditional filming styles, follows the exploits of a serial-killer-in-training named Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) as he attempts to elevate his name to the level of such "real" horror icons as Freddy, Michael Myers (the Halloween series), and Jason Vorhees (the Friday the 13th series).

The house is featured in a joint cameo with actor/stunt-person Kane Hodder in an early segment of Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon as host, Taylor Gentry (Angela Goethals), traces the sites of those infamous murders. Hodder, primarily known for his portrayal of slasher villain Jason Voorhees in sequels to Friday the 13th (1980), has a brief appearance as the fictional current owner of the home as he is out trimming the hedges. The movie features various homages to several horror films, including a later appearance by girls playing jump rope seen in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street (see Columbia County Courthouse, Oregon).

The House Today
The family that owned the house at 1428 Genesee Ave. when A Nightmare on Elm Street was filmed sold the house in 2006. As mentioned previously the home was remodeled heavily in 2007. However, the exterior of the house remains identifiable from the film (and even again features the famous red door), as does the street in general. Fans of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger can enjoy a stroll along the fictional Elm Street in real life. They just need to keep in mind that the homes on this street are private residences and care should be taken not to trespass or invade the homeowners' privacy.
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Related Sites
A Nightmare on Elm Street Films
A site dedicated to the popular horror series, A Nightmare on Elm Street, that covers the various different mediums that the film has inspired, as well as offers comprehensive coverage of the entire series.
Horror's Hallowed Grounds
Official Web site for Sean Clark's "Horror's Hallowed Grounds" - A comprehensive collection of actual locations that appeared in various notable horror films.
On Location: A Nightmare on Elm Street Filming Locations's page on locations used in the making of the classic 1984 horror film, A Nightmare on Elm Street.
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See Also on
Blog: New Feature Added to Dark Destinations! (02/09/09)
Blog: Are You a Dark Traveler? (03/08/09)
Available from
The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations (NEW updated edition)
Creepy Crawls: A Horror Fiend's Travel Guide
The Nightmare on Elm Street Collection
A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 - Freddy's Revenge
Wes Craven's New Nightmare
Behind the Mask - The Rise of Leslie Vernon
A Nightmare On Elm Street Entertainment Poster Print, 24x36
Nightmare On Elm Street 2 Movies Poster Print, 24x36
Wes Craven's New Nightmare 27 x 40 (approx.) Poster
A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Nightmare On Elm Street I & II
Wes Craven's New Nightmare [Original Soundtrack] [SOUNDTRACK]
Freddy's Favorites: Best Of A Nightmare On Elm Street
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The Nightmare on Elm Street House
Photo of the house that appeared in the original Nightmare on Elm Street - January 2009.
From: TheCabinet
Side-Angle of the Elm Street House
Photo of the house used as the Thompson residence in 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street - January 200
From: TheCabinet
Nancy's Home from Nightmare on Elm Street
Photo of 1428 N. Genesee in Los Angeles, CA that was seen in A Nightmare on Elm Street - 01/2009.
From: TheCabinet
Elm Street House
Nightmare on Elm Street house, photo taken 12/07.
From: April A. Taylor
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The above content is for informational purposes only. Before making any travel arrangements, it is highly recommended that you contact those in charge of the property to check for updated availability and hours of operation. While we do our best to keep this information updated, we cannot guarantee that it is completely valid and up to date. Any destination marked "Closed to the Public" is marked that for a reason and we discourage any visits or attempts to gain access to that facility. Similarly, take note of any "Travel Advisory" that may be associated with a destination. Finally, treat any location and its local residents with respect. Any vandalism and/or unruly behavior is completely despicable and only ruins the experience for future visitors.

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