It was more than 20 years ago when I first saw Nakatomi Plaza – in our living room while watching a movie that will eventually become my favorite one.

Fast forward to the fall of 2013. We were driving on W Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles when I saw it in flash: Nakatomi Plaza or Fox Plaza as it is known to the rest of the world.

Fox Plaza aka Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles
Fox Plaza aka Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles (Photo by Erik R.)

Fox Plaza is a 35-story, 150 m (490 ft) skyscraper located at 2121 Avenue of the Stars in Century City, Los Angeles. It was built in 1987 and it’s owned and managed by Orange County-based The Irvine Company. Fox Plaza is also 20th Century Fox’s official headquarters.

The building is mostly known for its role in Die Hard, John McTiernan’s movie from 1988. Fox Plaza served as the film’s setting, providing both external and internal scenes.

Do you remember the plot? On Christmas Eve NYC police officer John McClane arrives in L.A. to make peace with his wife Holly. McClane is driven to the Nakatomi Plaza building where he attends a company’s Christmas party. However, the party is disrupted by the arrival of Hans Gruber and his heavily armed group.

Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard
Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard (1988, 20th Century Fox, screen capture)

In the movie the building housed the headquarters of the California branch of the Nakatomi Corporation, a Japanese company. At the time of filming, the building was still under construction, and a scene with McClane exploring an unfinished floor complete with construction equipment was real.

Fox Plaza aka Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles
Fox Plaza aka Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles (Photo by Erik R.)

Fox Plaza and a neighboring building are the main setting for the rock & roll comedy Airheads, and the lobby is featured in the opening scene of Speed. It was also used as one of the buildings brought down at the end of Fight Club. Recently it was featured in Grand Theft Auto V as Weazel Plaza, continuing the series’ parody of Fox News.

Nakatomi Plaza is also a Brooklyn-based post-hardcore trio and the best band ever named after a location in Die Hard.

Find some additional popular and famous movie locations in Los Angeles.
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