CLOSE
Original image
Coldwell Banker

The Real Values of 15 Movie Homes

Original image
Coldwell Banker

It’s hard to imagine Steve Martin grappling with his daughter’s extravagant wedding in a ranch house, the Tenenbaum family coping with their stressed relationships in a free-standing beach house, or Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak falling in love in a modern high rise. For many films, the homes in which they’re set become as beloved to audiences as any member of the cast. And (just like actors) many of these homes remain standing long after the cameras stop rolling. Here are 15 movie houses you could call your own—or at least visit.

1. The Curtis Brothers’ House // The Outsiders (1983)

Zillow

731 N Saint Louis Avenue, Tulsa, OK
4 beds/ 1 bath/ 1395 square feet
Estimated Value: $51,818

Based on S.E. Hinton’s middle school classic novel, Francis Ford Coppola’s poetic saga is best known for its cast of young heartthrobs, including Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Ralph Macchio, Diane Lane, and Matt Dillon. The house used for the Curtis boys’ (played by Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, and C. Thomas Howell) “other side of the tracks” house was built in 1940 and last sold in 2008 for $6000. Its current value is estimated at over $51,000.

2. Mikey and Brand Walsh’s House // The Goonies (1985)

368 38th Street, Astoria, OR
4 beds/ 2 baths
Estimated Value: $215,931

In Richard Donner’s 1985 film (conceptualized by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus), a group of young misfits—dubbed the Goonies—try to save their homes in the Goon Dock section of Oregon from being demolished to make room for an expanding country club. As such, finding the right houses was key to the film’s success. The film’s production crew found the perfect location for the Walsh family’s home at 368 38th Street in Astoria, Oregon—and Data could have very possibly zip-lined his way to Mikey’s from his home just down the block at 304 38th Street.

3. Max and Dani Dennison’s House // Hocus Pocus (1993)

4 Ocean Avenue, Salem, MA
3 beds/ 1 bath/ 1305 square feet
Estimated Value: $341,941

The Halloween classic (starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) used the town of Salem, Massachusetts, for most of its exterior shots, including those of Max and Dani’s home and Allison’s extravagant house. However, almost every interior shot was done in Los Angeles. According to Boston.com, Max’s house and Allison’s house were only 1.5 miles apart, meaning their trick-or-treat route could have easily been made in real life.

4. Nick and Amy Dunne’s Suburban Palace // Gone Girl (2014)

Courtesy Alexandrea Morrow

3014 Keystone Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO
5 beds/ 6 baths/ 4,413 square feet
Estimated Value: $559,528

In the David Fincher film based on Gillian Flynn’s smash-hit novel, Nick and Amy Dunne (Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) move back to Nick’s Missouri hometown to help care for Nick’s ailing mother. To make the Dunnes’ new neighborhood appear riddled with financial crisis foreclosures, the real life neighbors of the Gone Girl house—a private home in Cape Girardeau, Missouri—were asked to stop mowing their lawns during filming.

5.Lance’s House // Pulp Fiction (1994)

3519 La Clede Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
2 beds/ 1 bath/ 1490 square feet
Estimated Value: $700,318

Lance’s house is probably best remembered as the site of doped-out Mia’s (Uma Thurman) life-saving adrenaline shot to the chest. Last sold in November 2003 for $540,000, the tiny two-bedroom house that served as the exterior of Lance’s drug den is now valued at over $700,000—that’s over $460 per square foot! Lance must have been doing alright for himself.

6. Aurora Greenway’s House // Terms of Endearment (1983)

3060 Locke Lane, Houston, TX
4 beds/ 2.5 baths/ 3608 square feet
Estimated Value: $1,167,319

The house that served as the exterior of Aurora’s (Shirley MacLaine in an Oscar-winning performance) posh Houston home, built in 1940, stands today exactly as it did in the 1983 film. If the close mother and daughter actually lived in the houses used for filming, Emma (Debra Winger) would be a short five-mile drive from her mom Aurora.

7. Kevin McCallister’s House // Home Alone (1990)

671 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL
4 beds/ 4 baths/ 4,243 square feet
Estimated Value: $2,068,645

John and Cynthia Abendshien, the owners of the house used for the McCallister family’s homestead—where Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) traps, tricks, and bamboozles the Wet Bandits—insisted on living in their home during production, despite the studio’s offer to put them up in a nearby apartment. While filming took place, they became very close with Culkin and Catherine O’Hara, who played Kevin’s mom. The Abendsheins were only upset with a minor incident during the experience: finding one of their property’s fir trees cut in half. But all’s well that ends well—they laughed while watching Kevin cut down the top of the fir for his Christmas tree in the final movie.

8. The Banks Family's House // Father of the Bride (1991)

843 S El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA
8 beds/ 5 baths/ 4,339 square feet
Estimated Value: $2,661,483

The white colonial at 24 Maple Drive is the heart and soul of Father of the Bride. Not only is it where George Banks (played by Steve Martin) watched his little girl grow up, but it’s where he gives her away. The house used in the film is actually located at 843 El Molino Avenue and is home to Sarah Bradley, Darrell Spence, and their two children. According to HGTV, Bradley and Spence, who purchased the house in 1999, told their broker they were looking for a home similar to the one in Father of the Bride—and boy did they get their wish!

9. The MacNeil House // The Exorcist (1973)

3600 Prospect Street NW, Washington, DC
3 beds/ 5 baths/ 2,808 square feet
Estimated Value: $2,694,202

In real life, just like in the 1973 film, you can find a perilous outdoor staircase (the one Father Karras falls down at the end of the movie) next to the house used for the exterior shots of the MacNeils’ home. However, Regan’s infamous window cannot be seen next to the flight: It was a façade created at the behest of director William Friedkin. If Father Karras fell down the stairs in 2015, he would roll into a gas station now located at the bottom.

10. The Corleone House //The Godfather (1972)

110 Longfellow Avenue, Staten Island, NY
5 beds/ 4 baths/ 6248 square feet
List Price: $2,895,000

The Corleones’ Staten Island home can be yours, if your pockets are deep enough. The five-bedroom home that served for the exterior shots (including the backyard and nearby gardens that provided the setting for Vito Corleone’s daughter’s wedding) in Francis Ford Coppola’s mobster classic is currently on the market for just shy of $3 million. In 2012, the current owners redesigned the house’s rooms to look like the ones in the film.

11. Jane and Blanche Hudson’s House // Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

172 S. McCadden Place, Los Angeles, CA
5 beds/ 4 baths/ 4,346 square feet
Estimated Value: $2,995,873

Because the film’s stars, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, were seen as has-beens and box office poison in the 1960s, Warner Bros. Studios shooed production of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? off the studio lots to make way for the huge production of Gypsy. This forced the production to shoot at the neglected Producers Studio and on real locations, like the S. McCadden Place mansion that served as the Hudson sisters’ decrepit sinkhole.

12. The Tenenbaum House // The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

339 Convent Avenue, New York, NY
4728 square feet
Estimated Value: $3,295,345

Wes Anderson and his location scout scoured Brooklyn for a brownstone in which to set The Royal Tenenbaums. After two days, their search was fruitless, so they made their way to Harlem. Upon stepping foot inside, Anderson began to build the story of the Tenenbaum family—he immediately envisioned how each kid would occupy his or her own level of the house. Anderson rented the home for six months in order to shoot his film.

13. Harold and Sarah Cooper’s House // The Big Chill (1983) 

Zillow

1 Laurens Street, Beaufort, SC
7 beds/ 9 baths/ 5868 square feet
List Price: $2,900,000

Beaufort, South Carolina, the town in which Tidalholm mansion—which is featured in The Big Cill—stands, had a magnetic appeal to star Tom Berenger, who played Sam Weber. Berenger moved to Beaufort after production and wed his former wife on Tidalholm’s front lawn. According to Zillow.com, Tidalholm is currently on the market, and could be yours for just under $3 million.

14. Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak’s Apartment Building // Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Zillow

169 E 71st Street, New York, NY
4 beds/ 5 baths/ 3600 square feet
List Price: $8,000,000

According to The Daily Mail, the stunning Upper East Side townhouse featured in Breakfast at Tiffany’s was put up for sale by former Merrill Lynch broker Peter Bacanovic in October 2014 for $8 million. The home was only used for the exterior shots (excluding the fire escape scenes), as all interior scenes were shot in a Hollywood studio.

15. Cher Horowitz’s House // Clueless (1995)

YouTube

5148 Louise Avenue, Encino, CA
7 beds/ 10 baths/ 9,441 square feet
Estimated Value: $5,304,521

Many of the interior shots of Cher Horowitz’s home were actually filmed inside the Encino mansion, meaning that grand staircase where Cher and Josh share their first kiss actually exists! The interior of the home has also served for scenes in Beverly Hills, 90210, and the exterior of the house can be seen in an episode of Desperate Housewives.

*All estimated values are as listed by Zillow.com at the time of publication.

Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
arrow
technology
Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
May 21, 2017
Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva

Jacques Mattheij made a small, but awesome, mistake. He went on eBay one evening and bid on a bunch of bulk LEGO brick auctions, then went to sleep. Upon waking, he discovered that he was the high bidder on many, and was now the proud owner of two tons of LEGO bricks. (This is about 4400 pounds.) He wrote, "[L]esson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high."

Mattheij had noticed that bulk, unsorted bricks sell for something like €10/kilogram, whereas sets are roughly €40/kg and rare parts go for up to €100/kg. Much of the value of the bricks is in their sorting. If he could reduce the entropy of these bins of unsorted bricks, he could make a tidy profit. While many people do this work by hand, the problem is enormous—just the kind of challenge for a computer. Mattheij writes:

There are 38000+ shapes and there are 100+ possible shades of color (you can roughly tell how old someone is by asking them what lego colors they remember from their youth).

In the following months, Mattheij built a proof-of-concept sorting system using, of course, LEGO. He broke the problem down into a series of sub-problems (including "feeding LEGO reliably from a hopper is surprisingly hard," one of those facts of nature that will stymie even the best system design). After tinkering with the prototype at length, he expanded the system to a surprisingly complex system of conveyer belts (powered by a home treadmill), various pieces of cabinetry, and "copious quantities of crazy glue."

Here's a video showing the current system running at low speed:

The key part of the system was running the bricks past a camera paired with a computer running a neural net-based image classifier. That allows the computer (when sufficiently trained on brick images) to recognize bricks and thus categorize them by color, shape, or other parameters. Remember that as bricks pass by, they can be in any orientation, can be dirty, can even be stuck to other pieces. So having a flexible software system is key to recognizing—in a fraction of a second—what a given brick is, in order to sort it out. When a match is found, a jet of compressed air pops the piece off the conveyer belt and into a waiting bin.

After much experimentation, Mattheij rewrote the software (several times in fact) to accomplish a variety of basic tasks. At its core, the system takes images from a webcam and feeds them to a neural network to do the classification. Of course, the neural net needs to be "trained" by showing it lots of images, and telling it what those images represent. Mattheij's breakthrough was allowing the machine to effectively train itself, with guidance: Running pieces through allows the system to take its own photos, make a guess, and build on that guess. As long as Mattheij corrects the incorrect guesses, he ends up with a decent (and self-reinforcing) corpus of training data. As the machine continues running, it can rack up more training, allowing it to recognize a broad variety of pieces on the fly.

Here's another video, focusing on how the pieces move on conveyer belts (running at slow speed so puny humans can follow). You can also see the air jets in action:

In an email interview, Mattheij told Mental Floss that the system currently sorts LEGO bricks into more than 50 categories. It can also be run in a color-sorting mode to bin the parts across 12 color groups. (Thus at present you'd likely do a two-pass sort on the bricks: once for shape, then a separate pass for color.) He continues to refine the system, with a focus on making its recognition abilities faster. At some point down the line, he plans to make the software portion open source. You're on your own as far as building conveyer belts, bins, and so forth.

Check out Mattheij's writeup in two parts for more information. It starts with an overview of the story, followed up with a deep dive on the software. He's also tweeting about the project (among other things). And if you look around a bit, you'll find bulk LEGO brick auctions online—it's definitely a thing!

Original image
iStock
arrow
Health
200 Health Experts Call for Ban on Two Antibacterial Chemicals
June 21, 2017
Original image
iStock

In September 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a ban on antibacterial soap and body wash. But a large collective of scientists and medical professionals says the agency should have done more to stop the spread of harmful chemicals into our bodies and environment, most notably the antimicrobials triclosan and triclocarban. They published their recommendations in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The 2016 report from the FDA concluded that 19 of the most commonly used antimicrobial ingredients are no more effective than ordinary soap and water, and forbade their use in soap and body wash.

"Customers may think added antimicrobials are a way to reduce infections, but in most products there is no evidence that they do," Ted Schettler, science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, said in a statement.

Studies have shown that these chemicals may actually do more harm than good. They don't keep us from getting sick, but they can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs. Triclosan and triclocarban can also damage our hormones and immune systems.

And while they may no longer be appearing on our bathroom sinks or shower shelves, they're still all around us. They've leached into the environment from years of use. They're also still being added to a staggering array of consumer products, as companies create "antibacterial" clothing, toys, yoga mats, paint, food storage containers, electronics, doorknobs, and countertops.

The authors of the new consensus statement say it's time for that to stop.

"We must develop better alternatives and prevent unneeded exposures to antimicrobial chemicals," Rolf Haden of the University of Arizona said in the statement. Haden researches where mass-produced chemicals wind up in the environment.

The statement notes that many manufacturers have simply replaced the banned chemicals with others. "I was happy that the FDA finally acted to remove these chemicals from soaps," said Arlene Blum, executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute. "But I was dismayed to discover at my local drugstore that most products now contain substitutes that may be worse."

Blum, Haden, Schettler, and their colleagues "urge scientists, governments, chemical and product manufacturers, purchasing organizations, retailers, and consumers" to avoid antimicrobial chemicals outside of medical settings. "Where antimicrobials are necessary," they write, we should "use safer alternatives that are not persistent and pose no risk to humans or ecosystems."

They recommend that manufacturers label any products containing antimicrobial chemicals so that consumers can avoid them, and they call for further research into the impacts of these compounds on us and our planet.

SECTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
arrow
BIG QUESTIONS
WEATHER WATCH
BE THE CHANGE
JOB SECRETS
QUIZZES
WORLD WAR 1
SMART SHOPPING
STONES, BONES, & WRECKS
#TBT
THE PRESIDENTS
WORDS
RETROBITUARIES