In the movie Drive (and many others) the main characters are driving within some sort of a canal:

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What is the exact location of this canal in LA? And is it legal/possible to drive there?

  • 1
    funnily enough it's not a canal - simply "a river". (Rivers get concreted, in many cities.)
    – Fattie
    Jul 30, 2016 at 20:48
  • 1
    Always makes me think of this Grease scene Jul 30, 2016 at 23:34
  • 1
    It could be a "canalised river".
    – vclaw
    Jul 31, 2016 at 9:33
  • Were you on 30th July currently travelling, or planning to travel, to visit roads with canals in LA? It doesn't matter and no-one needs to know if you had a "roads with canals tour" planned, but, you know, rules is rules... Aug 8, 2016 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


It is the Los Angeles River, not a canal. They paved it with cement to control erosion and such since it runs through a major city. Part of the year it is dry, part of the year water flows through it.

The public can not drive through it. Film crews get permits to shoot there and can only film certain times of year. Otherwise the only other folks there are city employees on maintenance type duties.

I am not sure which section of the river they filmed Drive along.

  • 2
    It's the section between Reseda Blvd and the Sepulveda Basin, which is an unpaved area that serves recreational purposes in beween the 100-year floods. The Sepulveda Dam is itself a recognizable landmark and popular filming location. Jul 30, 2016 at 17:50
  • 5
    How much would a film permit cost (if someone wanted to shoot a small independent film there, for example), and what part of the year is the dry season?
    – Random832
    Jul 30, 2016 at 19:46
  • 2
    Los Angeles is frequently dry, oten with an annual rainfall of under 10 inches. For your project, start at www.FilmLA.com, a non-profit created by LA city and county to facilitate filming. Through it, you pay applicable fees and obtain required permits and permissions.
    – Giorgio
    Jul 30, 2016 at 20:41
  • 2
    Is it possible/allowed to walk or cycle along the river?
    – vclaw
    Jul 30, 2016 at 21:57
  • 2
    @MichaelHampton There are cyclists on regular roads, too. Not hitting cyclists should already be a part of any driver's skill set. Jul 31, 2016 at 11:44

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