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Hill Valley

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Welcometohillvalley

Hill Valley - A Nice Place To Live. The "WELCOME TO HILL VALLEY" greeting sign in 1955.

Hillandmain1985

Welome to the City of HILL VALLEY. The Hill Valley greeting sign at the intersection of Hill and Main in 1985 (on the far right). The name of Hill Valley's mayor, Goldie Wilson, is displayed below that of the city.

Hillvalleyhover2015

Hill Valley - A Nice Place To Live. Even in the 21st century, some things never change. The hovering "WELCOME TO HILL VALLEY" greeting sign in 2015. The name of Hill Valley's mayor, Goldie Wilson Jr., is displayed below that of the city.

Hell Valley

Welcome to the City of HELL VALLEY. In 1985A, the greeting sign has been defaced by spray paint, crudely altered, knocked to the ground and riddled with bullet holes.

"Well, which is it? A hill or a valley?"
William McFly in 1931A about the town's funny name

Hill Valley, California, was the hometown of the McFly family, the Brown family, the Tannen family, as well as several thousands more including the Strickland family.

History

Early settlement

The town of Hill Valley was first settled in 1850 and was incorporated in 1865. By the 1880s, it was connected by railroad to San Francisco. Construction of a new county courthouse was well underway in 1885, the year a new clock was dedicated for the building. The Shonash Ravine Bridge was completed in the Summer of 1886, around the same time the ravine was renamed the Eastwood Ravine Bridge (or Clayton Ravine Bridge, depending upon which timeline one focuses upon).

Rise and fall of town square

The area around the courthouse was developed in the following seventy years and by the 1950s had become the downtown of Hill Valley. A grass-covered town square was built in front of the courthouse, while stores, theaters and cafés opened on the surrounding streets. On Saturday, November 12 1955, at 10:04 p.m. PST, lightning struck the courthouse's clock tower, freezing the clock at 10:04. The clock was never repaired and as it became a landmark of Hill Valley over the years, it was preserved in its non-functional state by the Hill Valley Preservation Society.

By a few decades later, Hill Valley was no longer a town but a city — as confirmed by the greeting sign of 1985. Many of the town square businesses had moved or closed down. The new businesses which replaced them included a second-hand shop and an adult book store. The courthouse fell into a state of disrepair, while at night at least one homeless person slept on the town square park benches. To accommodate the growing need for parking space, the grassy park outside of the courthouse was converted into a parking lot. What happened to everybody's home town is obviously the same thing. They built the mall out in the boonies, and killed all the business downtown, and everything changed.

By the 21st century, the downtown area had experienced a revival as the courthouse was converted into the Courthouse Mall. Businesses began to move back into and around the town square and the parking lot was converted into a pond. The clock on top of the courthouse was still preserved at 10:04 due to the continuous efforts of the Hill Valley Preservation Society.

Hill Valley greeting signs

"WELCOME TO HILL VALLEY" greeting signs are seen in 1955 and 2015. Both greeting signs bear the motto A Nice Place To Live, and have symbols representing the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs. In addition, the 1955 sign has the logos of the Hill Valley Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, United States Junior Chamber, Camp Fire, American Legion Auxilary, the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, Optimist International, and National FFA Organization while the 2015 sign has those of Crime Stoppers USA, 4-H and three other currently unidentified logos. The 1955 and 2015 greeting signs bore reminders of "PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY!" and "PLEASE FLY SAFELY / EJECTION SEATS SAVE LIVES" respectively, with the latter also displaying below the city's name the wording "GOLDIE WILSON jr. / MAYOR".

A greeting sign reading "Welcome to the City of HILL VALLEY" was seen at the intersection of Hill and Main in 1985, which displayed below the city's name the wording "Goldie Wilson / MAYOR", but did not have the motto A Nice Place To Live nor any club or organization symbols.

A vandalized greeting sign was also seen in 1985A, which had been defaced by spray paint and had the letter 'I' in the word "HILL" crudely altered to read "Welcome to the City of HELL VALLEY" instead — as well as having been knocked to the ground and riddled with bullet holes. This greeting sign had the motto A NICE PLACE TO LIVE (in block capitals, as here), albeit partly obscured by spray paint, but did not have any club or organization symbols.

1985A

Due to the influence of the powerful and corrupt Biff Tannen, gambling was legalized in 1979. Tannen's toxic waste reclamation plants were built downtown, polluting the air and leading to pollution alerts to be issued. Tannen also bought off the Hill Valley Police Department. Consequently, crime increased and biker gangs settled in the city. Hill Valley's public school burned down and the courthouse was converted into Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise Casino & Hotel. There are also more "adult entertainment" places than in the main downtown Hill Valley.

Location

Hill Valley was located in Northern California, 12 miles east of Grass Valley, and with railway links to San Francisco. U.S. Route 395 passed through Hill Valley with a directional route shield posted in Courthouse Square. The town was nestled in rolling foothills, with an apparently temperate, albeit semi-arid climate, and, although there was a desert within walking distance of the town, the nearby lake froze over in the winter.

The signs in Hill Valley also indicate that U.S. Route 8 can be reached from downtown, although that route is in Wisconsin. On the other hand, U.S. Route 395 and U.S. Route 6 intersect in Inyo County, California, near the town of Bishop, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the Death Valley desert.

Recurring places

Many family businesses are passed down from generation to generation in Hill Valley. As a result, the city changes but remains similar from one generation to the next, as businesses are updated but rarely change.

The following is a list of such places.

place № 1885 1955 1985 1985A 2015
1 Hill Valley Courthouse and Clock Tower (under construction) Hill Valley Courthouse Department of Social Services Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise Casino & Hotel
and Biff Tannen Museum
Hill Valley Courthouse Mall
2 Nothing Town Theater Assembly of Christ Unknown (possibly a porn theater) Hill Valley Museum of Art
3 Nothing Holt's Diner Elmo's Ribs Unknown (part of the Hill Valley Museum)
4 Honest Joe Statler's Fine Horses (in different location - this spot actually empty) Statler Studebaker Statler Toyota PIG Mart Statler Pontiac Sales and Hover Conversions
5 Nothing Ruth's Frock Shop Goodwill Industries Tanya's Hyatas All Natural Earth-Grown Fruits
6 Nothing Orson and Tillich, Attorneys at Law Bad Rap Bail Bonds Simulex Memory Center
7 Building under construction Western Auto Stores Goldie Wilson Campaign Headquarters Bondage Hill Valley Gifts / The Hydroponic Gardner
8 Wells Fargo & Co building Bluebird Motel Al's Tatoo and Art Studio
(out of business, for sale)
Video Nude Hardcore Movies
Pawn Shop
Sight Sound & Mind
9 Nothing Elite Barber Shop Empty Store (Sign on window saying "We Moved to Twin Pines Mall" Bangkok Sauna & Asian Massage Mr. Perfect - All Natural Steroids
10 Nothing Hill Valley Stationers Cupid's Adult Book Store Hell Hole Eclipse - Contemporary & Traditional Lighting Store
Flying High
11 Nothing Zales Jewelers Abrams Brokerage Corporation Hardcore X Pizza Hut restaurant
12 Nothing J.D Armstrong Realty Loans on Anything of Value Peeparama True Blues
13 Ask Mr. Foster Travel Service Ask Mr. Foster Travel Service Naughty and Naked Uniglobe Travel
14 Marshal Strickland's office Bank of America Bank of America Naughty XXX Hill Valley Transit bus stop (Second floor advertising Goldie Wilson Hover conversion)
15 Palace Saloon Lou's Cafe Lou's Fitness Aerobics Center War Zone Cafe 80's
16 Barber Shop Roy's Records The Third Eye Time to Shoot Photo Store Blast from the Past Antique Store
17 Doc's blacksmith shop (different building) Texaco full-service station Texaco gas station/food mart Wrecking yard(area cluttered with piles of junk furniture and other garbage) 7-Eleven (first floor) and Texaco automated Havoline station (second floor)
18 Livery stable Hal's Bike Shop Hog Heaven Bar The Bot Shoppe
19 (bis) Livery stable Lawrence Building Lawrence Building Sin Black door numbered "212"
19 (bis) Livery stable Broadway Florist Broadway Florist French Fantasies Bottoms Up
19 (bis) Livery stable Building entrance Building entrance Building entrance Hill Valley Surrogate Parenting center
20 Building under construction Essex Theater (as a mainstream movie house) Essex Theater (as an adult movie house showing "Orgy, American Style XXX") Hill Valley Theater of Live Sex Acts Holomax Theater (Now showing mainstream films again)
21 Hill Valley Hook and Ladder Co° Building with Sherwin-Williams Paint billboard sign Building with Sherwin-Williams Paint billboard sign
22 Lyon Estates (under development) Lyon Estates (slight graffiti on the statues) Lyon Estates (rough neighborhood and lots of graffiti on the statues) Lyon Estates Parkland
23 (empty land near ravine) (farmland near Clayton Ravine) Hilldale (new housing development with 1980s-style homes and described as being a rather affluent part of Hill Valley) Hilldale (now a rough neighborhood)
24 Hill Valley School (in different building than later schools) Hill Valley High School Hill Valley High School Remains of Hill Valley High School (burned down six years earlier) Hill Valley High School
25 Hill Valley Telegraph Gaynor's Hideaway Bar Gaynor's Hideaway Bar Dee Dee's Delight Bar Fusion Bar
26 Hill Valley Telegraph Sherwin-Williams Paints Sherwin-Williams Paints Toxic Waste Reclamation Plant n°7 The Ice Cream Clone
27 McFly Farm Twin Pines Ranch Twin Pines Mall Lone Pine Mall Lone Pine Mall
28 Nothing Brown Mansion Doc Brown's garage
Burger King
Doc Brown's garage


1885

Clocktower1885

The Courthouse and Clock Tower, still under construction on September 3rd, 1885.

Some buildings shown in 1885 scenes are actually located further down the street in an area not shown in the first 2 movies.

  1. Hill Valley Courthouse & Clock Tower (under construction)
  2. Nothing
  3. Nothing
  4. Honest Joe Statler's Fine Horses (in different location this spot actually empty)
  5. Wells Fargo
  6. Nothing
  7. Building under construction
  8. Nothing
  9. Nothing
  10. Nothing
  11. Nothing
  12. Unknown
  13. Unknown
  14. Marshal's office
  15. Palace Saloon
  16. Barber Shop
  17. Unknown
  18. Unknown
  19. Livery Stable
  20. Building under construction
  21. Hill Valley Telegraph
  22. A. Jones Manure Handling
  23. Unknown
  24. Nothing
  25. Nothing
  26. Sheriff
  27. Hill Valley School
  28. Nothing

1931

  1. Hill Valley Courthouse
  2. Hill Valley High School


1955

Hillvalleytwomiles

Hill Valley had yet to grow outward by 1955.

Clocktower1955

The Clock Tower gets hit by lightning at 10:04 p.m. on November 12th, 1955.

  1. Hill Valley Courthouse
  2. Town Theater
  3. Holt's Diner
  4. Statler Studebaker
  5. Ruth's Frock Shop
  6. Jacobson & Field, Attorneys at Law
  7. Western Auto Stores
  8. Bluebird Motel
  9. Elite Barber Shop
  10. Hill Valley Stationers
  11. Zale's Jewelers
  12. J.D. Armstrong Realty
  13. Ask Mr. Foster Travel Service
  14. Bank of America
  15. Lou's Cafe
  16. Roy's Records
  17. Texaco full-service station
  18. Hal's Bike Shop
  19. Lawrence Building
  20. Essex Theater (as a mainstream movie house)
  21. Hill Valley Telegraph
  22. D. Jones Manure Handling
  23. Twin Pines Ranch
  24. Lyon Estates (under development)
  25. Nothing
  26. Hill Valley Police Department
  27. Hill Valley High School
  28. Pohatchee Drive-In theater

1985

Clocktower1985

The aging courthouse and non-functional Clock Tower on October 25th, 1985.

  1. Hill Valley Courthouse - Department of Social Services
  2. Town Theater (as a church)
  3. Elmo's Ribs
  4. Statler Toyota
  5. Goodwill Industries
  6. Empty (entrance now barred up)
  7. Empty Store (Displaying Re-Elect Mayor Goldie Wilson Signage)
  8. Empty Store (formally Motel now displaying "Out of Business" Sign)
  9. Empty Store (Sign on window saying "We Moved to Twin Pines Mall")
  10. Cupid's Adult Book Store
  11. Abrams Brokerage Corporation
  12. Loans
  13. Ask Mr. Foster Travel Service
  14. Bank of America
  15. Lou's Fitness Aerobics Center (Originally Lou's Cafe in 1955)
  16. The Third Eye
  17. Texaco gas station
  18. Hog Heaven
  19. Broadway Florist
  20. Essex Theater (as an adult movie house showing "Orgy, American Style")
  21. Hill Valley Telegraph
  22. Unknown
  23. Twin Pines Mall (becomes Lone Pine Mall after Marty knocks down one of the two tree in 1955)
  24. Lyon Estates
  25. Hilldale (under development)
  26. Hill Valley Police Department
  27. Hill Valley High School
  28. Unknown


Alternate 1985

Clocktower1985-A

The courthouse was converted into a casino by Biff Tannen in the alternate October 26th, 1985.

  1. Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise Casino & Hotel (where the courthouse was once standing)
  2. BiffCo Toxic Waste Reclamation Plant
  3. DeeDee's Delight BAR
  4. Adult Toys
  5. Tanya Erotic Sex Goddess
  6. Bad Rap Bail Bonds
  7. SAGE
  8. Video Nude Hardcore Movies
  9. Unknown
  10. Hell Hole XXX
  11. Unknown
  12. Unknown
  13. Unknown
  14. Naughty XXX
  15. Unknown
  16. Unknown
  17. Unknown
  18. Unknown
  19. Unknown
  20. Hill Valley Theater of Live Sex Acts
  21. Unknown (Hill Valley Telegraph still in operation but most likely in a new location)
  22. Unknown
  23. Unknown
  24. Lyon Estates
  25. Unknown
  26. Hill Valley Police Department (owned by Biff)
  27. Hill Valley High School (burned down 6 years earlier)
  28. Unknown

1986

1986B

  • Soup Mo

2015

Clocktower2015

The historic Courthouse Mall on October 21st, 2015.

  1. Hill Valley Courthouse Mall
  2. Hill Valley Museum of Art : A Bellman retrospective
  3. Fusion Bar
  4. Statler Pontiac Sales and Hover Conversions
  5. Hill Valley Gifts
  6. Simulex
  7. Sight Sound and Mind
  8. Mr. Perfect All Natural Steroids
  9. Flying High Kite Store
  10. Eclipse - Contemporary & Traditional Lighting Store
  11. Pizza Hut
  12. True Blues
  13. Uniglobe Travel
  14. Hill Valley Transit (Second floor advertising Goldie Wilson III Hover Conversions)
  15. Cafe 80's
  16. Blast from the Past Antique Store
  17. 7-Eleven (first floor) and Texaco automated Havoline station (second floor)
  18. The Bot Shoppe
  19. Hill Valley Surrogate Parenting Center
  20. Holomax Theater
  21. Unknown (building displaying Skyway Information)
  22. Unknown
  23. Unknown
  24. Unknown
  25. Hilldale
  26. Hill Valley Police Department
  27. Hill Valley Remedial School
  28. Unknown

Unique places

Despite Hill Valley's notable consistency, many businesses do appear and disappear over the years, as their services begin being needed or become obsolete. The following is a list of businesses that have no known equivalent in other time periods.

1885

1955

1985

1985A

2015

Behind the scenes

In addition to the main plot, the films contain many sight gags, verbal innuendos (an example is needed) and detailed set design elements, from which a detailed and consistent history and geography of the area can be derived. The name Hill Valley is itself a joke, being an oxymoron, or contradiction in terms.

Shooting locations

Hill Valley Court House

The set of the Hill Valley courthouse at the Universal Studios backlot.

For Back to the Future, the producers considered filming the town square scenes in the real city of Petaluma, California, but soon realized it would be prohibitively expensive and impractical to alter a real place to suit the different eras.[1] Instead they filmed it on the Universal Studios backlot, where they had more control.[2] The main location, known as Courthouse Square, already existed and had been previously used for many films and television shows. [3] The Hill Valley courthouse can also be found in the movies Bruce Almighty, Gremlins, Sneakers, The Offspring's music video "Why Don't You Get a Job?" and even in an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The clock tower itself, however, was a removable addition to the existing Courthouse building, one of many ways in which the structure has been redressed over the years to suit the needs of a production. Prior to Back to the Future, the backlot location was called Mockingbird Square, a reference to the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird.[4]

GoogleEarth-BTTFfilminglocations

Google Earth map showing filming locations for Hill Valley spread across a large area of Southern California.

Many of the cars that appear in the 2015 scenes are either modified for the film or concept cars. Examples include Ford Probe, Saab EV-1, Citroën DS 21, Pontiac Banshee Concept and Pontiac Fiero. Cars reused from other science fiction films include the "Star Car" from The Last Starfighter (1984) and a "Spinner" from Blade Runner (1982). Griff's car is a modified BMW convertible.[5]

For Back to the Future Part III, Hill Valley 1885 was filmed in Sonora, California. The producers were able to use the land rent free as long as they left the buildings there. They agreed to leave everything except the Clock Tower. Interestingly, on August 10, 1996, a lightning bolt struck the town and it burned down. An arson fire on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot on November 6, 1990 had previously destroyed much of Courthouse Square, the setting in which all the other time periods were filmed. However, the Courthouse itself survived the devastation.[6] Another backlot fire on September 6, 1997 again damaged Courthouse Square. In both cases, the backlot facades were then rebuilt. The Sonora location was not rebuilt. In addition, a February 14, 1999 fire at Whittier High School, where some (mostly exterior) scenes were filmed[7], destroyed the old men's gym there.

Other real-life shooting locations of Hill Valley landmarks include the following: [7]

See also Category:Filming locations

Appearances

Wiki-shrinkable
Futurepedia has a collection of images and media related to Hill Valley.

See also

References

  1. Template:Cite video
  2. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, Q&A, Back to the Future DVD, recorded at the University of Southern California
  3. Gallery. Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour. Universal Studios Inc.. Retrieved on [[2006-12-01]].
  4. Courthouse Square. thestudiotour.com. www.theatrecrafts.com/. Retrieved on [[2006-12-01]].
  5. Template:Cite video
  6. Universal Studios Hollywood History File: November 6 1990. thestudiotour.com. www.theatrecrafts.com/. Retrieved on [[2006-12-01]].
  7. 7.0 7.1 [[Bruce Gordon|Gordon, Bruce]] (1995). Back to the Future - For Real!. www.BTTF.com, reprinted from Hill Valley Telegraph #16. To Be Continued.... Retrieved on [[2006-12-03]].


Back to the Future trilogy
Back to the Future | Back to the Future Part II | Back to the Future Part III
Timeline | Hill Valley | Animated Series | Comics | The Ride | Video games | Individuals

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