Tuesday, July 29, 2014

"Better Call Saul" Filming Locations - Season 1

This post is the second of seven posts regarding "Better Call Saul" filming locations (last updated March 13, 2020).

This post focuses on Season 1 locations.

The Blog Sidebar contains links to Filming Location posts.  These include:
  • Eight "Breaking Bad" filming location posts;
  • Three additional posts regarding "Breaking Bad" related subjects;
  • Seven "Better Call Saul" filming location posts;
  • Two additional posts regarding "Better Call Saul" related subjects;
  • One post regarding "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie";
  • Three links to OldeSaultie's Google maps of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" filming location sites. These are the best filming location maps on the Web! The KML files available at these addresses are particularly useful for importing locations into GPS-equipped devices.

Let me know if you have any problems or questions (E-Mail address: valdezmarc56@gmail.com).


To avoid unnecessary friction, I have redacted the addresses of all single-family homes in these books. (These addresses are still available in these blog posts, however.)

The pictures in the print edition are black-and-white, in order to keep costs down. Pictures in the Kindle edition are in color.

"A Guidebook To 'Breaking Bad' Filming Locations: Albuquerque as Physical Setting and Indispensable Character"

The Fifth Edition (Publication date November 3, 2018; 375 pages) of the book, updated through Season 4 of "Better Call Saul," is now available and can be ordered at these links:

Print, Kindle.

“‘Breaking Bad’ Signs and Symbols: Reading Meaning into Sets, Props, and Filming Locations”

The First Edition (Publication date November 3, 2018; 290 pages) of this book can be ordered at these links:

Print, Kindle

This book delves into some of the symbolism in AMC's hit television series "Breaking Bad." Toxic modernity is symbolized by architectural elements derived from Chicago. Indeed, Albuquerque is used as a kind of stand-in for the City of Chicago. Like many cities in America’s Great Plains and Mountain West, Albuquerque obtained much of its architecture directly from the Windy City via the AT&SF railroad and Highway 66.

The creative team is interested in telling stories about the legacies and corruptions of modernity, particularly Chicago’s “Century of Progress” (1833-1932). In particular, Chicago-derived daylighting innovations (the practice of passive window design to help illuminate the interiors of large buildings) are featured: Glass Block Windows, Luxfer Prismatic Tile Windows, and Plate Glass Windows. Once the backgrounds of scenes are encoded with meaning, a variety of stories can be told there.

A series of tables are presented - for example: Parallel Beams in the Ceiling; Twinned Features; Five-Pointed Stars; Octagons; Monkeys; Horses; Cats; Moth Orchids; and Skulls.

Certain symbols advance the plot: Native-American symbols; Foreshadowing symbols like Pueblo Deco arches; Danger symbols like bells, stagger symbols, and desk lamps; plus Earth Art.

Featured stories as told in television-scene backgrounds include: The Legacy of El Chapo; Tributes to Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest”; The Badger Comes To Entrap; The Five Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe; The legacy of London's Crystal Palace; and Homages to Patrick McGoohan's “The Prisoner.”


Junior Brown - "Better Call Saul" - Extended Song


New Season 1 Filming Locations

Northeast Heights (E. of Wyoming, W. of Juan Tabo, S. of Osuna)

Los Altos Skate Park, 10140 Lomas Blvd. NE (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

The filming crew used the tall pole in the background as a backdrop as Jimmy McGill told the story of Slippin' Jimmy to the two Skateboarders: an allusion to Jack and the Beanstalk, and the legend of the Golden Goose.

Lots of useful skating surfaces.

Hmmm..... In California, tennis shoes in elevated locations like power lines advertise drug sales.

Tell-tale sneakers in the power lines at Los Altos Skate Park.

Los Altos Skate Park.

Light pole at Los Altos Skate Park.

As Jimmy McGill tells the Skateboarders about the legend of Slippin' Jimmy, the rungs of the light pole can be seen in the background. Jimmy is basically retelling the legend of Jack and the Beanstalk, and the Golden Goose.

Egads! Gang violence!

Upper Northeast Heights (E. of Juan Tabo)

The Kettleman family, marked for the next skateboarder collision, live at 1520 Tejana Mesa Pl. NE (first seen in Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

The Kettleman's residence.

House immediately adjacent to the Kettleman's, with its big round arch above the front door.

Street scene near Kettlemans' House, Pinnacle View Dr. between Tejana Mesa Pl. and Wind Mountain Rd. NE (Season 1, episode 3, 'Nacho'). View of residential round arches.

The house with Tuco and Abuelita is 12204 Manitoba Dr. NE (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno'). It's one block over from the house of the founders of the Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour (UBBFT) Facebook group, Marq Smith & Ed Candelaria, and they were very excited about the filming in their neighborhood!


LWYRUP opening credit, Indian School Rd. NE, between Zena Lona St. & Chelwood Park Blvd. NE (Season 1, episode 2, 'Mijo'; Season 2, episode 2, 'Cobbler').

Northeast Heights (N. Of Osuna)

Vintage 423, 8000 Paseo Del Norte Blvd. NE (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

Jimmy McGill's night on the town spoiled by breadsticks.

Vintage 423, 8000 Paseo Del Norte Blvd NE. Vintage 423 reappears as the bar where Jimmy and Kim fleece Ken Wins of Zafiro Añejo (Season 2, episode 1, 'Switch'). (Season 3, episode 7, 'Expenses'). Scams tempt!

Vintage 423.

Vintage 423.

Large house - a taxidermist's dream!, 8906 Paramount Ct. NE (Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy'). Ricky Sipes' independent country. "Tax-free, and backed by the full faith and credit of the sovereign Sandia Republic!"

(I've met SO MANY PEOPLE in NM, and throughout the West, who think along these lines. I'm still waiting for the expected apocalyptic collapse from the deficit spending of the Carter Administration. It'll happen any day! Promise!)

Roland Jaycocks & his toilet, 7901 Sartan Way NE (Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy'). "Oh, you're huge, Chandler!"

A Glass Block Window is visible on the front door across the street.

Roland Jaycocks & his toilet, 7901 Sartan Way NE (Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy'). "Oh, you're huge, Chandler!"

Lower Northeast Heights (W. of Wyoming), & Lomas Blvd. Corridor

On the road to a skateboarder collision (eastbound on Sunningdale Ave. NE). According to "funbob", the sequence starts on Sunningdale Ave. at about Krick Ct. NE.

Saul's first encounter with the twin skateboarders is at Sunningdale Ave. & Quincy St. NE (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

This episode of Beavis and Butthead" appears to be the source of the Skateboarders "Better Call Saul" plot line (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

The Diamonds Apartments, 1830 Vassar Dr NE (sometimes also listed as 2820 Cutler Ave. NE) 87106. (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

Saul's Omaha home. Seen here on Cutler.

DVD commentary for 'Uno' notes that the interior is located elsewhere (location as yet undetermined).

The Diamonds Apartments, 1830 Vassar Dr. NE (sometimes also listed as 2820 Cutler Ave. NE) 87106. (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

Saul's Omaha home. Seen here from Vassar Ave.

Skateboarders catch pickup truck assist ('skitching') in their chase of Abuelita, 4500 - 4800 Indian School Road NE (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno'). According to Alex Gianopoulos, in his episode 2 commentary on his "Fail Scouts" podcast, the skateboarders were on Indian School Road NE.

Clothiers, Bert & Jess Clothiers, 2671 Louisiana Blvd. NE (Season 1, episode 4, 'Hero'). Saul gets a new wardrobe.

I believe in the importance of supporting merchants who support "Better Call Saul", so I thought to buy two shirts, but blanched at the cost, so bought just one instead - probably the most-expensive (but damn good-looking) shirt I ever purchased!

Mrs. Strauss' House, 5000 Royene Ave. NE (Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy'). Stairlift and Hummel figurines. Not far from Jimmy first meets the Skateboarders. The interior of Mrs. Strauss' House reappears (Season 2, episode 3, 'Amarillo', and episode 4, 'Gloves Off').

Mike's daughter-in-law's Stacy's house, 2817 California St. NE (First seen in Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy'). Mike's full back story.

Holy Philadelphia, this truck belongs to a "Better Call Saul" film crew that's just beginning to set up!

"Better Call Saul" poster for Season 1, episode 7, 'Bingo' by Vanessa Harmel (via "Better Call Saul Friends")

Jimmy McGill's aspirational office, Two Park Square, nearly across from the Marriott (Season 1, episode 4, 'Bingo').

Lots of light and lots of space (presumably on the 8th floor, per TV show).

I don't know where the Suite 801 space is. These narrow hallways on the eighth floor make me claustrophobic.

Here is the Marriott Hotel, across the street.

Sandpiper Crossing Dumpster is located at the northwest corner of Hendrix Ave. NE & Andrew Dr. (Season 1, episode 8, 'Rico'). Depends.

Sandpiper Crossing Dumpster is located at the northwest corner of Hendrix Ave. NE & Andrew Dr. (Season 1, episode 8, 'Rico'). Depends.

Sandpiper Crossing, Sunset Pointe Apartments, 6500 Montgomery Blvd. NE (Season 1, episode 8, 'Rico'). Assisted living and out-of-state syringes.

("Better Call Saul," Season 3, episode 9, 'Fall'; episode 10, 'Lantern'). Jimmy manipulates Irene, and her friends.

Jimmy returns to Sandpiper Crossing to manipulate Irene Landry and her friends (Season 3, episode 9, 'Slip'; episode 10, 'Lantern').

Arno's, The German-American Club, Edelweiss am Rio Grande, 4821 Menaul Blvd. NE (Season 1, episode 10, 'Marco'). Con games - Beautiful exterior prep work!

Arno's, The German-American Club, Edelweiss am Rio Grande, 4821 Menaul Blvd. NE (Season 1, episode 10, 'Marco').

(February 15, 2017). Bartender Gabe Alitas talked about how this club caters to other ethnic groups (e.g., Hungarian, Irish, etc.) as well as German. He also discussed how the "Breaking Bad" crew filmed this location. They did not use the large dance hall space adjacent to the bar space. They brought in their own windows (with the suggestive 3-4-5 Pythagorean Triple pattern).


Pay Parking Under The Marquette Overpass. Where First Street terminates at the north end of the Albuquerque Convention Center (first seen in Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

Bernalillo County Courthouse Annex, located at the corner of 5th St. and Tijeras Ave. NW (first seen in Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

Bernalillo County Court House Annex, located at the corner of 5th St. and Tijeras Ave. NW.

Bernalillo County Court House Annex.

I talked to Mark Trujillo, who is the public greeter at what's now called the Bernalillo County Annex (already among the BrBa sites). Many BCS scenes were apparently filmed here: his small paycheck scene, weapon detector security check, coffee machine, most courtroom scenes, hallways, stairwells, jail scenes, and even Jimmy McGill's office in the Nail Salon early in Season 1 was filmed here. Trujillo was also a highly-visible extra in episodes 1 & 2.

Mark Trujillo had a fun story about a Easter Egg that caught a lot of interest: how Walt's hat and coat seem to appear in the first episode of "Better Call Saul". That hat belongs to Mark. Vince Gilligan came over to assist the set dressing crew prepare Mark's desk for the scene, when he noticed Mark's hat. He asked Mark for permission to use it, then carefully rearranged the hat on the hat stand for the scene.

Bernalillo County Courthouse Annex, located at the corner of 5th St. and Tijeras Ave. NW (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno' and episode 2 'Mijo'). Most of the Courthouse scenes.


The offset fluorescent lights are a marker for second-floor scenes (such as when Mike refuses to press charges against Jimmy McGill in Season 1, episode 3, 'Nacho').

Time lapse montage (Season 1, episode 2, 'Mijo') was filmed on the second floor, in front of these doors.

El Rey Theater, 622 Central Ave. SW.

Site of Saul's call to Nacho (Season 1, episode 3, 'Nacho').

Southwest corner of the El Rey Theater, 622 Central Ave. SW. Site of Saul's call to Nacho (Season 1, episode 3, 'Nacho').

Shia LaBeouf’s famous anti-Trump art installation was briefly-located here.

West wall of the El Rey Theater, February 2020.

Detectives chase Jimmy McGill down this alley, between Central and Gold Aves. SW, between 7th & 6th Streets. (Season 1, episode 3, 'Nacho').

(August, 2015) A brand-new mural on the western wall of the El Rey Theater!

Fun mural in the alley.

West side of Sunshine Building, including Chama River Brewing Company Microbar, 106 2nd St. SW (Season 1, episode 4, 'Hero'). Cicero Mercantile Building and exterior of Wheelwright Bar.

Sunshine Theater.

Alley behind Jimmy John's Pizza, between 3rd & 4th Streets, just north of Central Ave. (Season 1, episode 4, 'Hero'). Unloading 'Rolex' watches - The 'Sting'. Marco fades to black (Season 1, episode 10, 'Marco').

Alley behind Jimmy John's Pizza, between 3rd & 4th Streets, just north of Central Ave., looking east at night.

Alley glass block wall.

Alley behind Jimmy John's Pizza.

The Albuquerque Alvarado Transportation Center (aka the Albuquerque Train Station), First St. and Central Ave. SW, at the railroad (Season 1, episode 6, 'Five-O'). Mike arrives in Albuquerque.


The Railrunner.

The Railrunner promises transport with ease and safety.

Albuquerque Train Station.

Immediate vicinity of Lindy's Restaurant, Fifth St. and Central Ave. SW (Season 1, episode 6, 'Five-O'). Outside facades near Philadelphia bar.

Exterior of Lindy's, a la Philadelphia (Photo by Miguel Jaramillo).

Lindy's Diner.

Behind Lindy's.

Parking Garage (Level 3) where Mike frightens off the competition, Albuquerque Convention Center Parking Garage (“Better Call Saul”; Season 1, episode 9, 'Pimento'). (35.085735ø, -106.647167ø) (Photo by Miguel Jaramillo.)

What strikes me is how often the pillars change colors. In "Pimento", the columns were blue. When I visited in August, 2015, they were red. In "Better Call Saul", Season 2, episode 1, 'Switch', the pillars were painted white. These must be the most-frequently painted columns in the Southwest.

View of downtown from Albuquerque Convention Center Parking Garage, Third Level.

The view in the opposite direction, towards the Sandia Mountains was used in time lapse segment 3 (Season 2, episode 5, 'Rebecca').

View south of train station from Albuquerque Convention Center Parking Garage, Third Level.

Chicago Church, Cathedral of St. John, 4th St. & Silver Ave. SW (Season 1, episode 10, 'Marco'). Kim calls from Albuquerque.

(Season 4, episode 1, 'Smoke'). Chuck's memorial service.

This church was designed by renowned local architect John Gaw Meem.

Cathedral of St. John, as seen from the parking garage across the street.

Cathedral of St. John, 4th St. & Silver Ave. SW.

Cathedral of St. John, 4th St. & Silver Ave. SW.

Schweickart & Copley, Bank of America, 303 Roma Ave. NW. Sandpiper attorneys (Season 1, episode 8, 'Rico'). Kim's job interview (Season 2, episode 7, 'Inflatable'). Kim joins Schweikart and Cokely (Season 4, episode 6, 'Piñata'). Kim and Jimmy attend a party (Season 4, episode 7, 'Something Stupid').

In front of Albuquerque Community Foundation and Café Lush, 7th St. & Tijeras Ave. NW.

Café Lush.

Albuquerque Community Foundation inhabits the former Champion Grocery Store.

Non-profits make their pitch for funding in this pleasant space.

Albuquerque Community Foundation.

Downtown West, and Old Town

"Better Call Saul" bench and pillars, Washington Park, 10th and Park Ave. SW (Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy'). Opening credits of the fifth episode of "Better Call Saul". Seen before in "Breaking Bad" (Season 2, episode 8, 'Better Call Saul'). (Cross-listed in Huning Castle neighborhood.)

Huning Castle & ABQ Country Club

Chuck McGill's Home, 1607 San Cristobal Road SW. First seen (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

The dangers of electromagnetic radiation!

Chuck McGill's house.

Chuck McGill's house.

Neighbor across street from Chuck's residence, 301 16th St. SW (Season 1, episode 4, 'Hero'). Chuck leaves a $5 bill for the neighbor's paper.

A very curious 8-point Pennsylvania-Dutch good-fortune "Hex" symbol is on the house. At first, I thought Vince Gilligan placed the symbol here, and I stressed out about its symbolic meaning, but apparently the homeowner already had the symbol here, so its meaning can be taken at face value, as meaning 'good fortune.'

Forest Park, 16th St. SW at San Cristobal (Season 1, episode 9, 'Pimento'; Season 2, episode 9, 'Nailed'). Toes in the grass - Across the street from Chuck's place.

("Better Call Saul", Season 1, episode 9, 'Pimento'). My experience with my previous attorney, the execrable Hal Wright, illustrated. "Slippin’ Jimmy with a law degree is like a chimp with a machine gun." Ain't that the truth! When an attorney goes bad and starts abusing his or her clients, those clients are thrown into a version of hell, where they have to spend a large portion of the rest of their lives henceforth trying to recover lost money, lost time, lost opportunities, lost justice, and lost reputation. Is it worth betraying family to stop the crooked lawyer? You bet it is! Having stepped into that hell myself all I can say is Jimmy McGill MUST be stopped! Salutations to Chuck McGill!

"Better Call Saul" bench and pillars, Washington Park, 10th and Park Ave. SW (Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy'). Opening credits of the fifth episode of "Better Call Saul". Seen before in "Breaking Bad" (Season 2, episode 8, 'Better Call Saul'). (Cross-listed in Downtown West neighborhood.)


Rail Yards, Just off Second St. SW (Season 1, episode 6, 'Five-O'). Mike deals with Fenske and Hoffmann. (35.075672ø, -106.650772ø)

Reappears as the place where Mike and Nacho meet (Season 2, episode 3, 'Amarillo'; episode 9, 'Nailed').

On summertimes Sundays, the Rail Yards Market is open from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m., allowing public access to the Rail Yards, and here, to the western side, near 2nd Street and Santa Fe Ave. SW, where one can view the Fenske and Hoffmann shooting site.


Looking north from the site.

Huning Highlands/ Martineztown

Duke City Urgent Care, Albuquerque Urological Associates, 610 Broadway Blvd. NE (Season 1, episode 2, 'Mijo').

The best lawyer ever!

This billboard, located at Mountain Rd NE & Frontage Rd. S, at I-25 got a lot of attention (Season 1, episode 4, 'Hero'). Saul becomes a 'hero'.

I got too close to the action, then got bounced. I think I need an attorney.

Mike's House, 204 Edith Blvd. NE (First seen in Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy').

It's interesting that Mike's house is only a stone's throw from the old Albuquerque Public Library building, on the NW corner of Central & Edith (which appears as the law offices of Davis and Main, first seen in Season 2, episode 1, 'Switch').

University Area, & Near Presbyterian Hospital

City Montage, Rooftop of Total Community Care, 904-A Las Lomas Rd. NE (Season 1, episode 8, 'Rico'). Formerly seen in "Breaking Bad" (Season 4, episode 6, 'Cornered').

A panorama of Albuquerque at night was filmed from the rooftop here. The nighttime footage looks older, from "Breaking Bad". The footage after sunrise looks newer.

Nob Hill

Loyola's Family Restaurant, 4500 Central Avenue SE.

(Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno') Jimmy meets the Kettleman's as potential clients.

(Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy') Mike eats breakfast.

Loyola's Restaurant. Photo by Ron Leonard.

This sign is just across the street from Loyola's Restaurant.


(Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno'). Jimmy meets the Kettlemans.
(Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy')
(Season 1, episode 7, 'Bingo').
(Season 2, episode 5, 'Rebecca'). Mike meets Hector Salamanca.
(Season 2, episode 9, 'Nailed').
(Season 3, episode 4, 'Sabrosito'). Mike turns over photos of Chuck's House.
(Season 4, episode 3, 'Something Beautiful'). Jimmy asks Mike to steal Mr. Neff's valuable Hummel figurine. Mike refuses.

Two Fools Tavern, 3211 Central Ave. NE (Season 1, episode 6, 'Five-O'). Used for McClure's - Philadelphia bar scene interior.

Two Fools Tavern.

Two Fools Tavern.

Two Fools Tavern. Photo by Ron Leonard.

South Valley (West of River), Southwest Albuquerque and Pajarito Mesa

(no new locations offered with this update)

San Jose Neighborhood and South Valley (East of River)

"Casa Tranquila" Nursing Home, Mountain View Community Center, 201 Prosperity Avenue SE (Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy'). Jimmy McGill's Matlock-inspired elder practice.

(Photo by Miguel Jaramillo).

(Photo by Miguel Jaramillo).

(Photo by Miguel Jaramillo).

The Veterinarian is at Rio Bravo Veterinary Hospital, 240 Rio Bravo Blvd. SE (Season 1, episode 6, 'Five-O'). Protection rackets and rabies shots. Also (Season 1, episode 8, 'Rico') and (Season 2, episode 3, 'Amarillo'). Amusing lobby scene (Season 3, episode 5, 'Chicanery'). Jimmy makes demands (Season 4, episode 3, 'Something Beautiful').

Glass Block Windows in the lobby at Rio Bravo Veterinary Hospital.

The Veterinarians and staff here were so welcoming and helpful!

Screencap, Rio Bravo Veterinary Hospital (Season 2, episode 3, 'Amarillo').

Southeast Heights

Bingo Pavilion, Ballut Abyad Shrine, 6600 Zuni Rd. SE (Season 1, episode 7, 'Bingo'). Need a will? Call McGill! Later, Jimmy melts down (Season 1, episode 10, 'Marco').

Seen in the background (Season 2, episode 2, 'Cobbler').

Returns for Bingo manipulation (season 3, episode 9, 'Fall'). Also, likely where Jimmy talks to Irene, in the lobby of Ballut Abyad.

Potentate Tom LaGuardia kindly showed me around.

The ballroom.

The ballroom.

Club Fez.

Club Fez.

Ballut Abyad Shriner's hall.

Hospital, Gibson Hospital (formerly Lovelace Medical Center), 5400 Gibson Blvd. SE. First distinctly seen in Season 2, episode 3 of "Breaking Bad" ('Bit By A Dead Bee'). The entire west wing of Gibson Hospital is closed, making it essentially an indoor medical playground for film makers.

Chuck gets forcibly hospitalized by APD (Season 1, episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy').

The Shopping Center at Juan Tabo Blvd. and Central Avenue NE. Jimmy McGill's office at 160 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE (First seen in Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno'.)

I had an opportunity to listen to the commentary on the recently-released "Better Call Saul" Season 2 DVD. One thing that was interesting was hearing that Kim's bedroom (1) (Season 1, episode 3, 'Nacho') is identified to be in a storefront adjacent to the Nail Salon. Later, they made a regular set of it at the studio.

It's difficult to fully convey the bleakness of this location. Late in 2011, when Nancy Bymers and I were looking for the Season 4 "Breaking Bad" bar where Mike clobbers Walt, we started here, because it's a perfect "Breaking Bad" filming location. It wasn't used for that TV show, however. I'm overjoyed that it is going to appear as a "Better Call Saul" filming location!

Route 66 Bingo.

Route 66 Bingo.

Day Spa and Nail, 160 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87123.

Liem Thanh Vu - Manager, Licensed Barber and Cosmetologist at Day Spa and Nail.

Day Spa Sign.

Outside corner of the Day Spa Salon, February 2020. First time I noticed the Pueblo Deco arch of the corner. Was this used in the show, or no?

The Sacramento angle on why there are so many Vietnamese Nail Technicians starts with Tippi Hedren. The war refugees had to start somewhere:
Forty years ago, the Hollywood actor traveled to Hope Village, a Vietnamese refugee camp near Sacramento, California, to meet with a group of women who had recently fled the takeover of South Vietnam by the armed forces of Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Hedren was aware of the difficulties the refugees had faced and had been trying before her visit to think of a skill or trade she could help the women learn so they could support themselves in their adopted country. When she met with the group, she was surprised to find they were enamored with her manicure.

“We were trying to find vocations for them. I brought in seamstresses and typists—any way for them to learn something,” she told the BBC. “And they loved my fingernails.”

Thuan Le was there for the lightbulb moment. “A group of us were standing close to her and saw that her nails were so beautiful,” she recalled to TakePart. “We talked to each other and said they looked so pretty. I looked in [Hedren’s] eyes and knew she was thinking something. She said, ‘Ah, maybe you can learn nails.’ And we looked at each other and she said, ‘Yes, manicures!’ ”

Very interesting story, especially since I live in Sacramento.

Near "Q" Studios

Phone 'Booth', Opening of show (Season 1, episode 6, 'Five-O'; Season 2, episode 6, 'Bali Ha'i'). Vicinity of "Q" Studios.

(34.985110°, -106.639265°)

Bobby Foster Road is a favorite filming location, due to its proximity to “Q” Studios. The road has been used, for example, in the 2008 film “Terminator Salvation,” the 2013 film “The Last Stand,” and the spectacular climax of the 2018 film “Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado.”

A bit of a guesstimate here. I was thinking here, or slightly south of here. It’s very hard to tell because the TV images POV is so close to the ground, which exaggerates relief. This photo of the area is taken from further back. I like the tuft of grass to the right of the four posts. One advantage of the site is that there is an old paved surface to which to attach the phone.

Skateboarder beating location (near the beige stock tank). (Season 1, episode 2, 'Mijo'). (34.962813°, -106.634563°)

Skateboarder beating location.

Albuquerque Broken Arrow Incident - May 22, 1957

The plains of the East Mesa were the site of an unsettling incident on May 22, 1957, when a Mark 17 hydrogen bomb (with plutonium in a separate nuclear capsule) fell through the bomber bay doors) and crashed on the ground, detonating its chemical explosives on impact. Here is a good summary of the incident:
The bomb itself plummeted downward with frightening speed, the 1,700 foot drop far too short for its parachutes to slow its descent. Long before the plane could pull away, the weapon smashed into the nearly barren mesa, where a lone New Mexico cow peacefully munched sagebrush, oblivious to the source and immediacy of its own destruction. There was an earth-shattering explosion as the weapon detonated.
Here is an interesting YouTube video regarding the incident. (And a rather spookier video.)

According to this site the impact area was east of "Q" Studios. There was no chance of a nuclear detonation, but if one had occurred, for some reason, the damage would have been profound! Third-degree burns out to Corrales! (Map from Nukemap).

"Q" Studios

Courtroom Bathroom is a studio construction. Described as such in a Fail Scouts podcast, and also Season 1 DVD commentary.

Jimmy's Nail Salon Office. Scenes in Jimmy's Nail Salon office after about first three episodes, or so, when ceiling shots are no longer offered, occur at the studio (Season 1, episode 4, 'Hero'; episode 5, 'Alpine Shepherd Boy'; episode 9, 'Pimento').

Sandpiper Crossing Dumpster Interior (Season 1, episode 8, 'Rico').

Chuck's House Interior,Studio (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno'). ID'ed as "Q" Studios in a Facebook post.

Saul visits Nacho in jail (Season 1, episode 3, 'Nacho'). Identified as a set in DVD commentary for 'Nacho').

Marco's Place (Season 1, episode 4, 'Hero'). Identified as a Tony Fanning set in DVD commentary (Season 1, episode 10, 'Marco').

Interview room identified as a set (Season 1, episode 6, 'Five-O').

Urinal identified as a set (Season 1, episode 9, 'Pimento'; Season 2, episode 9, 'Nailed'). Opening credits.

Hamlin's Office identified as a set (Season 1, episode 9, 'Pimento' and episode 10, 'Marco').

I-25 Corridor, North

The Hamlin Law Offices. Some offices appear to be at Sun Healthcare Group, Inc., at 1531 Masthead NE (First seen in Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno').

The Hamlin Law Offices, Sun Healthcare Group, 1531 Masthead St. NE, with Lobby. The open parking garage on the ground floor is seen in the music interlude, in the rain, in Season 2 (Season 2, episode 5, 'Rebecca').

Lobby scenes were filmed here in the Pan American Building at 100 Sun Ave. NE. I also understand that most of the Parking Garage scenes in Seasons 1 & 2 were filmed here too.

Taking pictures is forbidden. I took this picture in the guard's presence, but he didn't notice. I wanted to visit the parking garage, but it's caged and guarded. Kind of frustrating. The guard made lame pronouncements: photography was forbidden because building was private; photography was forbidden because building was federal government (US Forest Service). Basically, it was forbidden. Yet, guard didn't interfere with my photos. Dunno.

The trick will be to work your way into the parking garage. I suggest dressing like a lawyer and acting like you know exactly what you're doing and go where you please. Brazen it out.

HHM Boardroom.

HHM Boardroom.

HHM Boardroom, with the awesome "double mace" wood inlay, usually concealed from view by various papers, in the TV series, but revealed in Season 3, episode 10, 'Lantern' as Howard leads Chuck to the lobby of HHM to announce his resignation to the HHM staff.

HHM Stairwell.

HHM Exterior.

Cross-bar set in the stair railings at HHM.

Pueblo Deco arches in the lobby at HHM ("Better Call Saul," Season 3, episode 10, 'Lantern').

HHM Lobby.

HHM Lobby.

Cross-bar set in the stair railings at HHM.

Where that strange spiky artwork is positioned in the HHM Lobby.

HHM Lobby.

North Valley

(no new locations offered with this update)

Northwest Albuquerque

The Cinnabon at Cottonwood Shopping Center.

(Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno'). Gene's new life as a store manager.
(Season 2, episode 1, 'Switch'). Gene's trapped with the dumpsters.
(Season 3, episode 1, 'Mabel'). Gene fingers a shoplifter.
(Season 4, episode 1, 'Smoke'). Gene gets transported to the hospital.

Located in Cottonwood Mall, 10000 Coors Bypass NW, SP D7

Rio Rancho

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West Mesa (except Pajarito Mesa)

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Sandia And Manzano Mountains

Parking area for the Embudo Canyon trail.

Jimmy McGill tries to find the Kettlemans, Trails near 1520 Tejana Mesa Pl. NE (Season 1, episode 3, 'Nacho'). Initial part of Jimmy's hike. My initial, tentative guess for a hiking location is: (35.089371°, -106.478262°).

I took a brief hike into Albuquerque's Embudo Canyon (on Friday, August 19, 2016 - I hadn't been there since Feb. 1973), but sitting in the car at the trailhead parking lot, I was seized by an uncharacteristic claustrophobia. The couple in the car next to me were having a lover's quarrel, and the woman kept repeating to the guy, "You belong to me, but I do not belong to you." Creeped me out. I fled up the trail into the great outdoors.


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Zia Pueblo, San Ysidro, and Cabezon

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Santa Ana Pueblo & Algodones

Team Kettleman's camp site in the bosque (Season 1, episode 3, 'Nacho'; episode 4 'Hero'). Apparently very close to the site of Mike's riverside death place. Confirmation is a tweet from Thomas Schnauz.

Power Plant, Public Service Co. of NM, 1500 Pan American Central Highway, Algodones, NM 87001 (Season 1, episode 9, 'Pimento'). Mike protects a neophyte drug dealer (35.385022ø, -106.465713ø). Seen again in Season 2 (episode 1, 'Switch'; episode 2, 'Cobbler'). The Cinnabon Dumpster Room in episode 'Switch' is located in this power plant. A nighttime view, when Mike protects Pryce again in order to talk to Nacho (Season 3, episode 7, 'Expenses').

Ever since I was a little kid I've wondered about that power plant. I'm very happy they used it. It's an unexpected piece of industry in a rural place. It doesn't fit; it never fit; and nothing will ever make it fit. In other words, it's perfect for Vince Gilligan and company.

My family would pile into the '57 Chevy Belair and drive past it on Highway 85 on the way to Santa Fe from Bernalillo. It was the strangest-looking place. Still is!

Power plant.

Power plant.

Roadside pay phone, According to "Better Call Saul Insider" podcast, the late night phone call placed by Jimmy to the Kettlemans was done out near Algodones (Season 1, episode 3, 'Nacho'). Sexy robot voice.

The location appears to be on the south side of Algodones, near (35.370334°, -106.497593°). Took some photos. Looking at the two trees, particularly the one on the left, I'm fairly-convinced this is the place. It's true, there is no street light, but it is the last place along the road with access to electricity. The poles also end a short distance away.

Robot voice roadside.

Robot voice roadside.

Robot voice roadside.

Bernalillo and Placitas

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Santa Fe & Lamy

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Near Los Lunas And Belen

Courthouse, Old Valencia County District Court, 2nd floor at 444 Luna Ave. (Season 1, episode 1, 'Uno'; episode 9, 'Pimento'). Jimmy McGill as Public Defender!

Valencia County Courthouse in Los Lunas. Photo by Ron Leonard.

More Distant Locations

Train approaching mountains, Two miles NNW of Hope, AZ (Season 1, episode 6, 'Five-O'). The train journey from Philadelphia to Albuquerque apparently passes through Arizona (33.746871ø, -113.722481ø).

Chicago, Beautiful stock footage for Montage (Season 1, episode 10, 'Marco'). Scenes include:

1.) Intersection of N. Wells and W. Lake Streets.

2.) Intersection of W. State and E. Randolph Streets.

3.) Peoria St. crossing of Highway 290 at UIC Halsted Stop.

4.) Chicago River, Marina Towers, from near Trump Tower.

5.) Chicago lakefront as seen from the Adler Planetarium (N. end of Northerly Island, fairgrounds for 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair "Century of Progress International Exposition".


"Better Call Saul" Promo Pictures

Parking lot, behind UNM's Mesa del Sol facility, across the street from "Q" Studios, where The Cousins bought some guns. A series of promo pictures were released featuring this parking lot.

Painterly Reflections

Chiaroscuro and Tenebrism in "Better Call Saul".

Breaking Bad: Saul Goodman Commercials & Testimonials

"'And I said, huh?' And they're all like, 'You're under arrest!' So, I go down to the place. And, I didn't call Saul, or nothin'." (I just love how Wendy's got the northern New Mexico accent working for her!)

Locally-famous lawyer Ron Bell, and the folks at Sony, must have some kind of arrangement going.....

Photo By Russell Contreras/AP: Obtained from this link.

A billboard from Albuquerque lawyer Ron Bell sits along busy Interstate 25 in Albuquerque on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 and plays off the new AMC-TV series "Better Call Saul" with "Better Call Bell." The show, starring Bob Odenkirk as sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman, premiered Sunday, and city officials hope the prequel to the hit series "Breaking Bad" sparks more interest in Albuquerque.


  1. Marc - Thanks, again, for your blog. It helps for our article we did on Breaking Bad film locations. I was in ABQ yesterday and did a bunch of Saul location visits. The one that excited me was the Texas mural - it's still up!

    Here's my article: http://www.popcultureonwax.com/2016/03/better-call-saul-filming-locations-19.html

  2. I've always wondered where Mike's truck robbery scene in "Pimento", took place. Do you know where it happened. In the scene the truck driver goes past a mileage sign that says Socorro 14. Thinking they must have staged that sign.

    1. Not just the Socorro sign was staged, by other things too, like the Oasis Motel sign! They were up on Tetilla Peak Road, near the town of La Bajada. I have more on the place in my Season 2 post: http://marcvaldez.blogspot.com/2015/08/better-call-saul-filming-locations.html