Courthouse Square on the Universal Studios back lot, Universal City, 1963

Courthouse Square on the Universal Studios back lot, Universal City, 1963This telling aerial shot is of what’s known as Courthouse Square on the Universal Studios back lot. We’ve probably all seen it a ton of times, but it’s most famously known as Hill Valley, where Doc Brown and Marty McFly powered the DeLorean with lightning in Back to the Future. As we can see, the courthouse was just a front—and all this time we thought it was for realsies. This shot from Life magazine is from 1963, around the same time Hitchcock was filming The Birds.

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