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  1. Default Lets go to the movie location..

    My wife and I are movie buffs and love to visit filming locations, places portrayed in movies, movie star home/biographical locations. Does anyone know of resources (other than IMDB) that identify these places for trip planning?

    What a great site, great advice and great community. Of course Murphy's Law has decreed that I found it at the end of planning out our 2016 Summer Road Trip - 17 States, 5 Canadian Provinces, 9300 miles in 32 days. But there is always next year's trip.
    Last edited by adh3; 05-02-2016 at 08:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default Just a few to start.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Not being a movie buff, there is not a great deal I can help with, but I do from time see locations and such mentioned on these forums, so I suggest you start by looking around the planning forums. You may find something in the attractions, and I know for a fact that a little known fact about movies was mentioned in this thread.

    Other than the intersection where James Dean was killed, I am not aware of any others.

    However, as a thought, did you keep any notes on your trip this year? It sounds like it must have been a great trip. Many of us would like to read about it, so if you possibly can, would you be able to give us a report in our Road Trip Field Reports forum...... and show us your pictures. I'm interested to know which Canadian provinces you travelled, as I am about to head up that way, on my way to Alaska.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Southern California
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    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I don't know of any resources online, but perhaps some of us here can contribute the ones we know! For me, I would only be doing the movies I have seen and/or liked, and the same with TV shows. Sometimes, a place has been used for multiple TV shows or movies. If you are a fan of a particular TV show, sometimes the fan websites will list them (or perhaps give reports on them).

    For instance, Zuma Beach/Westward Beach, near Point Dume in Malibu, CA, has been used several times. It was the beach used in the pilot show for I Dream of Jeannie, it was used in the movie Spaceballs, and most recently, TV commercials for a Ford van were filmed there.

    The Moab area has been used in countless westerns, with stars such as John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and more filming there.

    The current hit TV show NCIS is mostly filmed in the areas around Valencia, CA. I'm not sure if that's true about NCIS: New Orleans or NCIS: Los Angeles.

    Somewhere in Minneapolis, there's a statue of Mary Tyler Moore. In Weatherford, TX, there is a statue of Larry Hagman and also his boyhood home. Nearby Dallas, in Parker, TX, is Southfork Ranch (filming location for the TV show Dallas *and* its reincarnation a few years ago). In Chicago, on Navy Pier, is a statue of Bob Newhart, from his TV show in the 70s. I believe Milwaukee has a statue either already completed, or in process, of Laverne and Shirley.

    Near Tucson, AZ, is an old filming site now theme park, called Old Tucson. It's kinda pricey, but can be fun, especially for kids. Lots of Westerns were shot there, including an old 70s show called High Chaparral as well as some episodes of Little House on the Prairie.

    Malibu Creek State Park is the location for the M*A*S*H filming. Unfortunately, the original set pieces were all destroyed in a fire a few years back. Some have been rebuilt, I guess, but not like it was before.

    We came across a film site in the Valley of Fire State Park, down at the bottom of a trail.


    Donna

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Somewhere in Minneapolis, there's a statue of Mary Tyler Moore. I believe Milwaukee has a statue either already completed, or in process, of Laverne and Shirley.
    Mary Tyler Moore's statue is on Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis (Just a few blocks away from the famous 1st Avenue nightclub, featured prominently in Purple Rain). There is no Laverne and Shirley statue in Milwaukee that I'm aware of, however, there is a tribute to the Happy Days in the form of the Bronze Fonz, located on the city's riverwalk.

    Both of those attractions are listed as part of RTA's Map Center, which while not movie/tv specific could be another tool you could use to find more unique locations.

    The difficult thing can be that places depicted in movies are often quite different than where they are actually filmed. For example, Groundhog Day is famously set in Punxsutawney, PA, but it was actually filmed in Woodstock, Illinois. Wabasha, Minnesota proudly declares itself the home of Grumpy Old Men, and the town bar Slippery's is featured in the movies, however, little to nothing was actually filmed in Wabasha - instead being done at a variety of locations around Minneapolis/St. Paul.

  5. #5
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    Default

    If you look on the IMDB listing for your favorite TV shows and movies, often times they will list filming locations. Michael is correct in that places in movies and TV shows are often supposedly in one location, but filmed elsewhere. For instance, my favorite golden-oldie show was set in Cocoa Beach, FL (a very real place near Cape Canaveral/Cape Kennedy), but in reality, it was filmed on the Columbia Studios lot and on the Columbia Studios Ranch (now the Warner Ranch). Same is done for my current favorite show, which is supposedly set in Washington DC, but in reality is filmed in the Valencia area.


    Donna

  6. Default Thanks Lifey

    The trip I mentioned is coming up this Summer. It will be from San Antonio to Nova Scotia then West across Canada to re-enter US in Minnasota and home. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Ontario are the Provinces we will visit. We have driven extensively around the US and Mexico. With this trip we both will have travelled to all 50 States.

    I have been at the location of James Dean's death. These sites are always around us if we know what we are looking at. Guide books and wikipedia often mention them. I can name many we have been to but there are thousands of movie and TV shows. Sometimes we recognize them retroactively - we always watch the credits to the end and we always look up film locations in the IMDB.

    When we travel I like to suprise my wife by taking her to a film location unexpectedly. I took her to the Whistlestop Cafe for lunch that was specifically built for the movie Fried Green Tomatoes as a real cafe. Beufort SC is a popular film location - Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, Forest Gump, GI Jane, The Big Chill, Forces of Nature etc. On a more obscure note there is a restaurant on the cliffs of Big Sur that was a private home in the 40's where Orsen Wells and Rita Hayworth spent their honeymoon. Last year we went on a grand trip around the West and drove through Monument Valley UT where John Ford and others filmed Westerns and drove by the house in Astoria OR used as location in The Goonies.

    We rely on knownledge from our favorites or recently seen. Anywhere you want to go you can search on IMDB database or the web "Beufort SC film location" etc. It would be nice to have a website or app that was an atlas of film locations and trivia.

    We have travelled extensively and I look forward sharing info and suggestions on the forums. I will offer lessons learned and remembrances over time.

    Thanks for your warm welcome
    Last edited by adh3; 05-02-2016 at 08:24 PM.

  7. Default

    Thanks Donna, great info. I replied more extensively to lifey. Perhaps the community here can assemble their knowledge here.

  8. Default

    Thanks Michael. We will be in Minneapolis and Milwaukee this Summer.

  9. #9
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    Default Another thought.

    Every village, town or city where I stop, be it for lunch, just to look around, or stay overnight, the first place I go is the visitor centre or chamber of commerce. I feel confident that people who staff them would be able to give you all that information, and add to your list of 'surprises'.

    Lifey

  10. #10
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    Default

    It's funny, I'm not a huge movie guy so I've rarely planned trips around movie spots, but I have stopped at quite a few over the years. Your post reminded me, I have actually been inside the Goonies house - we were taking pictures outside and the owner at the time actually invited us in for a tour, although I've read the current owner isn't quite as welcoming, after getting fed up with bad behavior by visitors. Savannah, GA is also a place where you'll find some Forest Gump history - including the park where he is waiting for the bus (the actual bench is now in the town's museum).

    For your upcoming trip, if you continue to Chicago, Union Station has been used in several films, probably most famously in the "stroller" scene of the Untouchables. Milwaukee's been home to at least 2 baseball movies - most notably it played the role of Cleveland in the original Major League, although that was shot at County Stadium, which was knocked down years ago. Also speaking of baseball, Field of Dreams in Iowa might be worthy of a stop.

    I spent a couple weeks in Nova Scotia, PEI, and New Brunswick last summer - it's a fantastic and often overlooked spot for a vacation. I don't know much for movie locations in that regard, but if you have any questions about the area, be sure to ask.

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