Courthouse Square

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The rebuilt Courthouse Square set.

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.[1] The King Kong attraction and New York Street were destroyed.[2] The set had previously been damaged by fire in 1990.[3]


The square redressed for Ghost Whisperer with the pediment portion of the courthouse covered with a different façade.

Following is a list of productions that used the Courthouse Square set:[4]

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.

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Coordinates: 34°08′29″N 118°20′59″W / 34.141395°N 118.34978°W / 34.141395; -118.34978