Famous Movie Locations
Would you enter the world of your favorite movie or television show if you could? Most of us would respond “yes” without hesitation. While there is no way to magically move oneself into the movie of your choosing, you can visit the real-life sites where some great films and television shows were shot.
When it travels outside its backlots, Hollywood favors distinctive and lavish locations, ranging from entire towns to tiny, off-the-beaten-path jewels (think ancient Middle Eastern temples, otherworldly terrain, and the glamorous streets of Manhattan). However, this is not the case. For instance, our list includes an unpretentious New Mexico gas station and a pair of Bronx city steps.
Whether you want to live out your Lord of the Rings fantasy or take a selfie in front of Walter White’s Breaking Bad residence, the list below will tell you just how and where to do so. And who knows what else? Perhaps a handful of these famous movie locations are close enough to inspire a summer road trip!
1. The Beach—Thailand
The island of Ko Phi Phi Leh is part of Thailand’s Phi Phi Archipelago, located in the Malacca Strait. When it comes to Hollywood movie settings, it doesn’t get much more picturesque than this. The filming site for Alex Garland’s novel-turned-film ‘The Beach’ was this paradise-like island with its sugar-soft white sand and clear sea flanked by magnificent mountains.
Because of the movie, the island became extremely popular, and people rushed here in droves, causing environmental problems. In July 2018, Phi Phi Leh Island’s principal beach, Hat Maya, was closed due to an indisputable example of over-tourism wreaking havoc. You may, however, explore other Phi Phi Islands for their beauty and wonderful Thai countrysides.
2. Ghostbusters—Hook & Ladder Company 8 Firehouse, New York
Prepare to capture some ghosts in the Ghostbusters’ New York City headquarters, the Tribeca firehouse Hook and Ladder Company 8 in New York. The fire station was featured in the ‘Ghostbusters’ films; however, it was originally built in 1903 and has remained in use over the years.
While the façade of the headquarters is in New York, the inside was shot at a Los Angeles firehouse that was decommissioned in 1960 and was designated a historic-cultural monument by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission.
You may still visit the Hook and Ladder 8 Fire Station in New York to follow in the footsteps of our three weird parapsychologists, but be cautious of on-duty trucks.
3. Amityville Horror—Amityville, New York
To continue the horror theme, if Timberline Lodge didn’t terrify you to death, we have another ‘Amityville Horror.’ This Hollywood production site, located 30 miles outside of New York City, is recognized as one of the scariest places in America.
The film ‘Amityville Horror,’ based on Jay Anson’s novel, depicts the story of the Lutz family, who move into a Dutch Colonial-style mansion at 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville but only stay for 28 days before fleeing. They were allegedly haunted by the ghosts of Ronald DeFeo Jr’s victims, who murdered his six family members there in 1974.
The house depicted in the 1979 film is located at 18 Brooks Road in Toms River, New Jersey, whereas the mansion shown in the 2005 version is located at 27618 Silver Lake Road in Salem, Wisconsin.
4. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider The Cradle Of Life— Cambodia
The awesome video game franchise of The adaptation of Lara Croft, titled ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider—The Cradle of Life,’ was mostly shot in Cambodia, at the magnificent temple complex of Angkor Thom, so it’s definitely a spectacular movie location.
You may journey on your own Illuminati-thwarting quest and end up in the 12th-century Bayon temple in the Khmer Empire’s last city, Angkor Thom, by following in the footsteps of the extremely bright and athletic English archaeologist Lara Croft.
King Jayavarman VII erected the temple with its sea of over 200 huge stone faces in the late 12th century as part of a vast expansion of his city Angkor Thom.
5. Lord of The Rings— New Zealand
Over several years, the majority of JR Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings films were shot in New Zealand. The sets used for Hobbiton in the Shire in both ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies are still standing just outside the country’s charming rural hamlet of Matamata.
These Hollywood movie sites, nestled in the heart of the Waikato area (North Island), whisks you away to Middle Earth, with their little homes, gardens with carefully groomed hedges, and a functional tavern at The Green Dragon Inn. Don’t forget to pay a visit to Bilbo Baggins’ home at Bag End!
6. The Dark Knight Rises—India
During Bruce Wayne’s (aka Batman) training, after successfully escaping the depths of a filthy underground jail, he is met with the majestic Mehrangarh Fort. This behemoth of a palace originates from the 15th century and is positioned 400 feet above the city of Jodhpur. It is now a museum.
This enormous palace serves as an appropriately scary backdrop for the “pit” that once housed the invincible Bane. Chand Baori was chosen as the Hollywood filming site for the scenes inside the jail. It is an even more remote location, almost eight hours distance from the metropolis.
7. The Godfather— Italy
The Corleone family came from the Sicilian town of Corleone in the definitive gangster film series, ‘The Godfather.’ However, because of Corleone’s overdeveloped appearance, the producers opted to shoot the iconic gangster film in the neighboring towns of Savoca and Forza d’Agro, near Taormina.
Savoca tucked away in the hills of Santa Teresa di Riva, is a little community only eight kilometers long with a population of less than 2,000 people. The medieval hamlet has a deep blue sky, guarded walls, rustic stone homes, and spooky cathedrals that will make you feel like you’re in a movie.
8. Harry Potter— Scotland
Glenfinnan is a picturesque village in the Scottish Highlands, as well as the location of the Hogwarts Express track, commonly known as the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
The elevated track, which appeared in the second and third Harry Potter films (“The Chamber of Secrets” and “The Prisoner of Azkaban,” respectively), attracts visitors from all over the world. The Glenfinnan Viaduct may be seen by stopping at the Glenfinnan Visitor Center or by taking a train journey through it.
Remember Rocky exercising on the Philadelphia stairs as ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ played in the background? The same steps, now known as the “Rocky Steps,” may be climbed outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
These are the 72 renowned stone stairs leading up to the museum entrance, where Sylvester Stallone filmed the famed training scene from the 1976 film ‘Rocky.’ Although admission to the museum requires a ticket, running up the steps is free.