After the success of his TV show, Paul Reuben’s decided to bring Pee Wee to the big screen. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was not just Pee Wee’s first film, but Tim Burton’s first full length film as well.
Pee Wee’s House
The script called for Pee Wee’s house to be as unusual as he is. When they decided on a house in Pasadena, the house was still not unusual enough. The house was painted and decorated to appear very over-the-top. The house is no longer bright red, and the ornaments are gone, but the house itself is still recognizable.
Warner Bros. Studios
A number of scenes took place right in Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. As the film required a Hollywood studio, Warner Bros. was the natural choice. Filming took place around the studio and in the jungle backlot area.
If you want to visit, make sure you take the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. It is a great tour, and you can read about it here.
The Pet Store
The pet store featured in the film is also located on the WB lot. A corner shop located on the backlot was converted into the pet store to film these scenes.
The large dinosaurs in Cabazon, California, have been a roadside attraction since the 70s and have been featured in a number of films, including The Wizard. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure filmed several scenes with the dinosaurs, and also used the adjacent Wheel Inn Café as well. The café has closed recently, but there is now a Burger King on site.
You can visit the dinosaurs and take photos at no charge. If you want to climb the T-Rex and sit in the mouth like Pee Wee did, there is a cost for admission to the park.