As a leader in scrap metal recycling for the past 50 years, we here at Gardner Metals are passionate about our business. And while our facility is much cleaner and more organized than the typical overflowing junk yards you see in the movies, we can’t help but have a fondness for those. We were curious to see how other scrap yards have been used and celebrated in our favorite movies and TV—and here’s what we found.
Back when Saturday morning cartoons ruled the lives of kids in the 80s—and the parents who couldn’t leave the house until they were over—junk yard culture was celebrated on our TV sets. The Catillac Cats were a part of Heathcliff, the animated series that ran from the mid to late 80s.
Because these cats were alleycats (in comparison to Heathcliff, a domestic cat who lived in a proper home), their home was a classic junk yard, featuring stacks of old tires, mounds of electronics and heaps of trashed car parts. It was the backdrop to the cats’ crazy hijinks, which mostly involved wild goose chases and scrounging for food. Head honcho cat Riff-Raff epitomized recycling culture with the old kitchen table leg he used as a walking cane.
Junkyard Wars—and the UK version, Scrapheap Challenge—was a long running TV game show that truly celebrated the power and creativity of recycling. Each week, contestants were assembled into teams and given 10 hours to complete a build challenge, using only materials from the scrap yard in front of them.
But these weren’t your average builds. The teams showed incredible ingenuity and craftsmanship, building anything from a working rocket to a hovercraft to a steam-powered car. The fierce competition and genuine humor of this show almost made it easy to forget at times that it was an educational program that was good for the whole family, and that it shined a light on the incredible benefits of recycling.
As metal sculpturists who use recycled materials, Kreatworks may not be your average junk yard in the traditional sense, but boy do they do the pop culture aspect down. These recycled metal artists create stunning sculptures of favorite Hollywood movie characters and icons like the Terminator, the Predator, Alien and even Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow. Specializing in a steampunk and diesel punk aesthetic, these metal sculptures feature a look that’s both edgy and futuristic, proving that the metal arts are innovative and timeless.
Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking Lot
Not all junk yards are exciting enough to make it onto a must-see list for visitors to Los Angeles, but the Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking Lot sure was. For more than 50 years, this Hollywood scrap yard was the epitome of pop culture junk—literally! In addition to the usual heaps of rusted automobiles, this lot was home to nearly every used movie and TV prop in all of Hollywood, including “Bruce” the great white shark bust made from the mold for Jaws. The lot was also used as the set for more than two hundred Hollywood movie shoots, including The Hangover, The Fall Guy, The A-Team and more.
No matter what type of metal you need to get rid of, Gardner Metals is here to help take those scraps off your hands—we even offer payment for materials and offer pickup service. After all, why keep that material waste sitting around on your own lot when it could become the next great Hollywood movie memorabilia?