Randy's Donuts

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Randy's Donuts
Randy's donuts1 edit1.jpg
Randy's in 2005
General information
TypeRestaurant, doughnut shop, bakery
Architectural styleNovelty architecture
Town or cityInglewood, California
CountryUnited States
Coordinates33°57′42″N 118°22′13″W / 33.9618°N 118.3703°W / 33.9618; -118.3703Coordinates: 33°57′42″N 118°22′13″W / 33.9618°N 118.3703°W / 33.9618; -118.3703
Opened1953 (1953)
Design and construction
Architect(s)Henry J. Goodwin

Randy's Donuts is a bakery and a landmark building in Inglewood, California which is near Los Angeles International Airport. It is built in a style that dates to a period in the early 20th century that saw a proliferation of programmatic architecture throughout Southern California. This style had its heyday from the mid-1920s to the mid-1930s. By the 1950s however, the trend of designing structures in the shape of the product sold there had changed to focus on signs rather than architecture itself. Randy's is represented by a giant doughnut on the roof of an otherwise ordinary drive-in that is a dedicated doughnut bakery. The building was designed by Henry J. Goodwin.[1]

Colossal donut signs atop Randy's stores vary in size. Most locations use a 32 ft 6 in (9.91 m) diameter version that sits atop the building and faces an intersection. In Roadside Giant by Brian and Sarah Butko, the Weintraubs climbed on top of the doughnut with a tape measure and confirmed the measurements for the authors. The Bellflower and Reseda locations, however, feature a smaller version of the doughnut on top of a pole in front of the building. This may be 23 feet (7.0 m) in diameter, as is widely reported.

The 24-hour drive-in is at 805 West Manchester Boulevard and it intersects with La Cienega Boulevard. It is near the Manchester Boulevard off-ramp of the San Diego Freeway (I-405).

The shop's exterior has made numerous television and film appearances including Logorama, Arrested Development, Masked Rider, Entourage, The Golden Child, Get Shorty, Problem Child 2, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Californication, Earth Girls Are Easy, Iron Man 2, The Kissing Booth 3, Runaways, Dope, 2012, Life After People, and the pilot episode of The Bernie Mac Show. Music videos of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Californication", Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop The Feeling!," Becky G's "Becky from the Block" and "Zooted", as well as Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." were filmed at a Randy's Donuts.[2][3][4]


In the late 1940s, doughnut machine salesman Russell Wendell founded a chain of drive-in doughnut shops named Big Donut. The first location opened in 1951 in Westmont. The second location which is now a Randy's Donuts, was opened in 1952.[5][6] Designed by architect Henry Goodwin and structural engineer Richard Bradshaw, the rooftop doughnut is constructed out of rolled steel bars covered with gunite.[1]

In 1976, after shifting focus to his Pup 'N' Taco chain (bought by Taco Bell in 1984), Wendell sold the Big Donut Inglewood location to Robert Eskow who re-named the location "Randy's Donuts" after his son. In 1978, Eskow sold the shop to Ron and Larry Weintraub, who decided to retain the name for the business.[5]

In 2015, Randy's Donuts was purchased by lawyer and entrepreneur Mark Kelegian.[7] Since that time the brand has added franchise locations in Southern California, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Las Vegas.[8][9][10]

In popular culture[edit]

The building was featured in the films Earth Girls Are Easy,[11] Mars Attacks!, The Golden Child, Into the Night, Stripped to Kill,[11] Problem Child 2,[11] Breathless,[12] Californication, California Girls, 2012,[12] Iron Man 2,[12] Get Shorty, Volcano, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Escape from Petropolis, Blood In Blood Out,[citation needed] Dope, and Love Letters. It can be seen briefly with other world-famous monuments in the Futurama episode "When Aliens Attack."

It was also featured in the music videos for Becky G's "Becky from the Block",[13] Randy Newman's "I Love LA"[14] and The Prodigy's "Wind It Up",[15] as well as the music video for Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Californication."[16]

Similar buildings with giant donuts, under different names, are featured in the video games Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, City of Heroes, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as well as in "Marge vs. the Monorail", an episode of The Simpsons. Garth can be seen slurping jelly from a Randy's Donut in Wayne's World. In Steven Universe, a building known as the "Big Donut" was shown in the show.

The iconic structure was shown on the History Channel series Life After People, showing what would happen to the building without human repair.

The building was shown in the Masked Rider Episode "Ferbus Maximus" where an overgrown Ferbus takes the giant doughnut and tries to eat it, only to reject it for being fake.

The building's famous doughnut can be spotted in the scene changes of the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious.

In the episode "Pier Pressure" of Arrested Development, in a sequence showing Buster's medical trial for THC, medical marijuana, a picture is shown of Buster standing next to Randy's Donuts on the roof attempting to eat his way through it.

In the film Iron Man 2, protagonist Tony Stark is seen eating donuts while reclining inside the doughnut sign.

In the film 2012, the doughnut sign can be seen rolling through the streets in Los Angeles during the earthquake.

The store was mentioned in The Big Bang Theory as Howard (Simon Helberg) tells of a prank pulled on Sheldon (Jim Parsons) while pretending to be Dr. Stephen Hawking to meet at the Randy's Donut at 2 in the morning.

The building was used in Ken Block's "Gymkhana 7" video.

On 4 July 2017, Inglewood rapcore band Fever 333 had their first public performance in a U-Haul truck in the shop's parking lot.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "LA Conservancy, Randy's Donuts". Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  2. ^ Alexander, Bryan (June 23, 2015). "Randy's Donuts is on sweet Hollywood roll". USA Today. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  3. ^ Simmons, Andrew (June 3, 2011). "Top Five Giant Doughnut Sign Sightings". LA Weekly. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  4. ^ "The Kissing Booth 3 trailer featuring Joey King". MSN.
  5. ^ a b Harvey, Steve (2009-08-30). "The numbers have fallen, but giant doughnuts are still around". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2022-06-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Nichols, Chris (2021-06-04). "Randy's Donuts Says It's Been Famous Since '62. History Tells a Different Story". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 2022-06-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Randy's Donuts is coming to Costa Mesa, but its iconic sign may crumble city's design standards". Los Angeles Times. 2020-10-14. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  8. ^ "Don't be jelly: Randy's Donuts is on the rise in the hands of a Newport Beach family". Los Angeles Times. 2021-02-27. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  9. ^ "LA's iconic Randy's Donuts opens first location in the San Fernando Valley". FOX 11. 2022-06-01. Retrieved 2022-06-18.
  10. ^ "Randy's Donuts to roll into Las Vegas on August 16". 12 August 2022.
  11. ^ a b c Bishop, Greg; Oesterle, Joe; Marinacci, Mike (2006). Weird California. Weird (Travel Guides). Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. p. 159. ISBN 1-4027-3384-4.
  12. ^ a b c Geoff Boucher: Sweet! The story behind that ‘Iron Man 2′ doughnut scene Hero Complex, Los Angeles Times, 2010-04-10
  13. ^ Music Video for Becky G's "Becky from the Block". YouTube.
  14. ^ Music Video for Randy Newman's "I Love LA". YouTube.
  15. ^ Music Video for The Prodigy's "Wind It Up". YouTube.
  16. ^ Music Video for Red Hot Chili Peppers "Californication". YouTube.
  17. ^ FRAGASSI, SELENA (11 May 2018). ""We're Going to Make A Point": The Fever 333 is Taking Action, and You Can Too". Retrieved 28 February 2020.

External links[edit]