Scnet bttf1 1548

Hill Valley's Courthouse Square in 1955.


Marty McFly crosses the street in the square in 1955, unaware that he is blocking the path of a car.

"They [Marty and Jennifer] were opposite the former Courthouse Building of Town Square, which had seen better days. The 1950s, in fact, had been the heyday of this part of town. Then people gathered at Town Square to socialize, do business, simply pass the time of day or evening. There had been a Texaco station here then, a soda shop, florist, the Essex movie house, a record store, a realtor's office, women's dress shop, Studebaker dealer, barber's, an Ask Mr. Foster travel agency, stationery store, Western Auto appliance center and numerous other small businesses. Now nearly all were gone, victims of progress and lack of adequate parking. Many of the building facades were boarded up, covered with peeling notices and signs."
—From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, pages 19 and 20)

The Courthouse Square was the central point of downtown Hill Valley.

It was comprised of a square of buildings surrounding the Hill Valley Courthouse. Hill Street and Main Street intersected at the square.


The face of Courthouse Square changed considerably with certain lots changing numerous hands over the decades. In the period of 130 years, the square went from bustling and prospective, to lively and youthful, to aging and decrepit, to revitalized and techno-modernized.

In the square itself in 1955 were several cannons from World War I.[1] By 1985, the grass had been converted to parking for the Department of Social Services hosted in the Courthouse. By 2015, the parking lot was removed and the square had been converted into an artificial lake and an underground mall.

With Biff Tannen's changing of history by giving his younger self the Grays Sports Almanac, he altered the face of Courthouse Square into a gathering hole for bikers, police, criminals, gamblers, and perverts. His Pleasure Paradise was the centerpiece of his empire centered around BiffCo Industries. This was undone when Marty McFly retrieved and burned the almanac in 1955, using a matchbook he had taken from the Pleasure Paradise.

Clocktower1955 This article is a stub about a general location. You can help Futurepedia by expanding it.

Businesses around the square (clockwise)[]

1885 1931 1955 1985 1985A 1986 1986A 1986G 2015
Hill Valley Courthouse Hill Valley Courthouse Hill Valley Courthouse Hill Valley Courthouse (Department of Social Services) Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise Casino & Hotel Hill Valley Courthouse Hill Valley Courthouse Hill Valley Courthouse Courthouse Mall
Sherwin-Williams Sherwin-Williams Office building
Allstate Insurance State Farm Insurance
Gaynor's Hideaway Gaynor's Hideaway Dee Dee's Delight
Under construction Essex Theater Essex Theater Essex Theater Hill Valley Theater of Live Sex Acts Holomax Theater
Broadway Florist Broadway Florist
Lawrence Building Lawrence Building
Hal's Bike Shop Hog Heaven (motorcycles) SEX The Bot Shoppe
Texaco Texaco 7-Eleven (first floor), Texaco (second floor)
Hill Valley Police Station Roy's Records The Third Eye Time to shoot Photo Store Hill Valley Bureau of Discipline Blast From the Past
Palace Saloon Sisters of Mercy Soup Kitchen Lou's Cafe Lou's Aerobic Fitness Center The War Zone SoupMo Cafe 80's
Bank (Formerly Bank of Italy) Bank of America Bank of America Office building All Citizen's Bank
Law Offices of Gale, Zemeckis, & Fine Ask Mr. Foster Ask Mr. Foster Stemmles's Staycations Uniglobe Travel
Lamont's House of Ermine Armstrong Realty Abrams Brokerage Company (bail bonds) Citizen Reading Room True Blues
Hill Valley speakeasy Zales Jewelry Pawn shop Valley Video E. Brown Industries Pizza Hut restaurant
Hill Valley Stationers Hill Valley Stationers Cupid's Adult Book Store Hell Hole Right side of The Combformist Mr. Perfect - All Natural Steroids
O'Malley & Sons Barber Shop Elite Barber Shop Barber shop (closed) Bangkok Left side of The Combformist Eclipse Jewelry
Majestic Arms Inn Bluebird Motel Bluebird Motel (Closed) Ministry of Tourism Bottoms Up!
Eastern Auto Sales Western Auto Wilson campaign headquarters Torn down for the expansion of Court House Hill Valley Gifts
Jacobson & Field, Attorneys at Law Attorneys (closed) Bad Rap Bail Bonds Simulex
Ruth's Frock Shop Goodwill industries Tanya's Hyatas
Honest Joe Statler (possibly) Statler DeSoto Statler Studebaker Statler Toyota PIG Mart Pontiac dealership
Town Theater Town Theater Assembly of Christ Torn down for the expansion of Courthouse Hill Valley Museum of Art
Holt's Elmo's Rib Cafe Torn down for expansion of Courthouse Part of Hill Valley Museum

Behind the scenes[]

  • In George Gipe's novelization (see Quote above), Courthouse Square is referred to as Town Square.
  • It appears that in order to go from one side of town to the other, one must go through downtown.
  • In 1931, a band rotunda existed in the center of the square. This may or may not be a reference to the band rotunda currently standing in the real Courthouse Square in the Universal Studios Backlot.


Futurepedia has a collection of images and media related to Courthouse Square.


Notes and references[]

  1. BTTF novel p. 178