Fan ordeal of owner of Marty McFly's Back to the Future house (2023)

It's a small, unremarkable suburban home like any other.

But to fans of the classic 1985 film Back to the Future, this Los Angeles property is instantly recognizable as the house where Marty McFly lived.

Michael J Fox, who played McFly, and the cast and crew spent days and nights filming at the pretty residential street in Arleta - still recognizable to this day with its perfect alignment of hanging trees.

The home eventually appeared in all three films in the Back to the Future trilogy cementing its place in movie location history.

But for the family still living in the house the famous connection has become a living 'nightmare'.

The global success of Back to the Future - now celebrating its 30th anniversary - quickly turned this quiet street into a hub for thousands of film fans and 'nostalgia tourists' who visit every year desperate to see the house in person.


Fan ordeal of owner of Marty McFly's Back to the Future house (1)

Fan ordeal of owner of Marty McFly's Back to the Future house (2)

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Then - and now: The ordinary suburban house is instantly recognizable as the home of Marty McFly

Fan ordeal of owner of Marty McFly's Back to the Future house (3)

Fan ordeal of owner of Marty McFly's Back to the Future house (4)

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Where's the DeLorean now? In almost every detail the street in suburban Los Angeles is identical - but the car which traveled time is absent

(Video) Back to the Future | Marty McFly Plays "Johnny B. Goode" and "Earth Angel"

Unmistakable: The house is still almost identical to the one filmed for the classic movie in this scene

Beloved: Such is the following for Back to the Future - released 30 years ago this month - and its sequels that fans still inundate the street where it was in part filmed.

For years homeowner Mary Fentriss has been inundated with requests by eager fans from all over the world to come into her home.

Film geeks ring her doorbell day and night, to ask for a peek inside.Some fanatics have even gone as far as to move her trash cans to recreate scenes from the hit sci-fi flick.

And Mary is now so fed up with the unwelcome visitors she often pretends she is not at home or hides when people call.

The 60-year-old rues the day she allowed Hollywood cameras to film the outside of her property and also in her kitchen and bedroom for scenes set in the 1950s and 1980s.

Asked about her feelings on the Back to the Future 30th anniversary and her memories of the shoot, she told Daily Mail Online: 'I am really not interested. We get people all the time. It never ends and we have had bad experiences and we do not do anything connected to the film.

'People are not respectful, they get in my neighbor's stuff. They steal stuff from my yard and I am not doing anything more with the film ever again. I am done.'

Asked if she regretted lending her home to the movie, she said: 'Yeah.'

Neighbor and close friend Joan Lewis says she has witnessed Mary's hell over the years and has sympathy for her.

The 72-year-old, originally from Manchester, England, said: 'It is tough for Mary and it really bothers her. She won't talk to anyone ringing or knocking on her door.

I had that DeLorean in my driveway: Filming in the street for the first Back to the Future. Crews returned for the next two films in the franchise.

An cut: Michael J. Fox in between scenes outside the Marty McFly house. Now its owner is fed up with it being a site of pilgrimage for fans

(Video) Marty McFly & Doc Brown Visit Jimmy Kimmel Live

Actually shot in a studio: The interiors of the houses in suburban Los Angeles were not used in the film, as they were actually filmed in a studio, including Marty McFly's house and his mother's house when he was a teenager (pictured)

'After all these years she has just had enough. And people keep coming all the time. It never stops. So many people love that film and want to see the home and street where it was filmed still to this day - it means so much to so many people around the world.'

Because of fan pressure, and with the 30th anniversary of of the film's release this month, Joan believes Mary is also trapped when it comes to redesigning her home.

'Poor Mary. She could not even get her garage door changed,' she said.

'Mine is an automatic. Hers is the same old wooden door. Mary believes she cannot change anything. But she can sell the house for millions of dollars.

'People do like to knock on Mary's door. A lot of people that want to do documentaries. She says no, and yells at them.


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'She is actually nice. She really is. But because it is her home, it is a bit much. I say all the time, "I do not care how many pictures you take of me, but stay off Mary's property."'

Unlike Mary, neighbor Joan still beams with joy as she recalls the friendship and close bond with stars Fox, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd and Robert Zemeckis during shoots on their doorsteps.

'People set up their tripods, they dress up as Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox and go up and down the streets on skateboards. That can sometimes get a little annoying.

'They come from all over the world. People from England, Australia, Russian and even Japan. And it's put Arleta on the map.

'You meet some very interesting people. It is interesting to see. It is not annoying to me. Everyone is very respectful.

'On the side between the houses is where they put the trash cans where Christopher comes flying in to get Michael, and knocks the trash cans all over, and people ask if they can put a trash can there.

'And I say, "No, you cannot put a trash can there".'

Fan ordeal of owner of Marty McFly's Back to the Future house (7)

Fan ordeal of owner of Marty McFly's Back to the Future house (8)

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(Video) Back to the Future Part 2 (3/12) Movie CLIP - Hover Board Chase (1989) HD

Just like then: Little has changed at the entrance to the 'Lyon Estates' where Marty McFly lived

Back to the past: Marty McFly's fictional address was flashed on screen during Back to the Future, but it didn't take long for fans to work out the real address - and head there in their droves. They have been doing so for the last 30 years

Joan's home can be seen in the backdrop in all three of the movies when the leads are filming scenes on the driveway of her neighbor's home.

The whole experience for Joan was an exciting one.

'It was fun because we had never seen it before,' she revealed.

'We had never seen a film crew. I mean, for what they did. They blocked the street off. There were policemen on their motorbikes watching traffic.

'We were allowed to go into Mary's house. Michael [J Fox] would come in. I had just got back from the Seychelles. Michael came in, and I was so excited. He sat with Mary and I got a picture.

'Michael sat on the couch with the kids when they were little. He was so friendly. You couldn't believe it.'

The three films produced two different 'Jennifer Parker' (Marty's girlfriend in the films) actresses, played first by Claudia Wells, and later in parts two and three by Elizabeth Shue.

Joan recalls how she didn't take so kindly to the latter.'The first actress that played Jennifer was so nice,' Joan said.'The second Jennifer, well…I am not going to say what she was, but she was not friendly. She had the attitude of "don't bother me, I'm a star."

'But this was our friends' house. You are intruding on us, you know?

'But Michael, Christopher, the crew were all so lovely when they came back to film the second one, so it made up for it.

'We ate like queen and king with them,' she said. 'In the back garden, it was open and they had all of their trailers there. So, they would feed them all.

(Video) The WEIRD Reason Back To The Future Fired Marty McFly

Pride: Joan Lewis is happy her street is associated with Back to the Future and remembers the filming fondly, but her neighbor whose hosue was Marty McFly's is fed up of it

Pleasure to have as guests: Christopher Lloyd and Joan Lewis, who was holding a neighbor's daughter, and who spoke of how the filming was fun for everyone

Off and on set: Michael J Fox holds Joan Lewis's daughter during a break from filming - and then is filmed alongside Christopher lloyd

'Whatever they ate, we were allowed to eat. Lobster, whatever food they had leftover, fruit or candy, they would tell us to take it. They actually fed the neighborhood.

'Michael would let anyone that was on the street take a picture with him. So people have got a lot of souvenirs.

'Michael ate candy like crazy, He ate candy all the time. He loved M&Ms, he lived off the candy. He was very young.'

Joan recalls how film producers had a fit when they returned to film the second movie.

She said: 'When they came back for the second one, the council had cut the trees. They trimmed them back.

'The crew had a fit when they came out because that was the scene with the DeLorean – when it shoots off into the sky.

'They had to get fake trees for that scene. They put fake branches on top of the original trees to make it look identical.'

Joan believes their street was chosen to be the Marty McFly home because its landscape hasn't changed since the 50s.

'These houses are built in 1954, so they're right. And they haven't changed since,' she said.

(Video) Back to the Future: Two McFly HD CLIP

'We wondered at first what makes you want to come to Arleta? It's simply because the houses have not changed, it's a clean, nice block of homes.'

At the time, Joan didn't realize how important the Back to the Future movies were going to be for some people.

'I never thought it would be as big,' she said.


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