Courthouse Square is a backlot located at Universal Studios. The set is composed of several facades that form an archetypal American town square with a courthouse as its centerpiece. The set is most famous for being featured as downtown Hill Valley in the Back to the Future trilogy, and as Kingston Falls in the Gremlins series.
Prior to the Back to the Future series, the area was known as Mockingbird Square due to its role in the film To Kill a Mockingbird. It has been severely damaged by fire several times, including in 1957, 1990 and 2008. It was reconstructed after each incident.
A three-alarm fire broke out at the Universal back lot in the early morning hours on June 1, 2008. It was reported that Courthouse Square was destroyed, though the Courthouse facade and town facade to the north are still standing. The King Kong attraction and New York Street were destroyed. The set had previously been damaged by fire in 1990.
Following is a list of productions that used the Courthouse Square set:
- An Act of Murder (1948)
- Ma and Pa Kettle (1949–1954)
- It Came from Outer Space (1953)
- Tarantula (1955)
- The Monolith Monsters (1957)
- Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958)
- Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963)
- The Twilight Zone: "Where Is Everybody?" (1959; first episode)
- Inherit the Wind (1960)
- To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
- Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
- Village of the Giants (1965)
- How to Frame a Figg (1971)
- The Alpha Caper (1973)
- The Incredible Hulk (1977–1982)
- The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo (1978)
- Psycho II (1983)
- Simon & Simon (1981–1988)
- Knight Rider (1982–1986)
- Street Hawk: "Vegas Run" (1984)
- The New Leave It to Beaver (1984–1988)
- Gremlins (1984)
- Back to the Future (1985)
- Magnum, P.I. (1986)
- Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)
- Back to the Future Part II (1989)
- Sneakers (1992)
- Weird Science (1994–1998)
- Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1994)
- Three Wishes (1995)
- The Nutty Professor (1996)
- Jingle All the Way (1996)
- Escape from L.A. (1996)
- Batman & Robin (1997)
- Casper: A Spirited Beginning (1997)
- Amistad (1997)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1998)
- Sliders (1999)
- The Offspring: "Why Don't You Get a Job?" (1999)
- Bruce Almighty (2003)
- The Cat in the Hat (2003)
- Ghost Whisperer (2005–2010)
- Falling Skies (2011–2015)
- The Campaign (2012)
- House M.D., 8x5 "The Confession" (2011/12)
- "Hairspray Live!" (2016)
It is often reported that the set was used for the filming of Gilmore Girls, however, this is a widely conceived misconception. Gilmore Girls was actually filmed at the Warner Bros. backlot in Burbank, California.
- 6/3/08 – Universal Studios Hollywood Backlot Fire Update – News and Photos – MiceChat Archived June 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 3, 2008. Retrieved June 1, 2008.
- the studiotour.com – 1990 Fire Archived April 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- the studiotour.com – Courthouse Square – Universal Studios Hollywood Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.