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Great Movie Filming Locations to Visit and Explore

If you’re a movie buff, it’s interesting to travel to the locations where your favorites were shot. You’ll find that some were shot at the same location in which the storyline was set and others may have been filmed in a totally different region of the world.

Black Panther

African utopia, Wakanda, is just a fictional location. However, you can visit many of the places in which the 2018 movie, “Black Panther” was filmed. It was mainly shot in Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta’s City Hall and High Museum of Art are two of the filming locations in Atlanta, while much of the movie was filmed on set at Pinewood Studios and Tyler Perry Studios. If you go to Busan, South Korea, you can visit the streets that hosted some of the main characters walking the city streets and then the car chase through the city. Busan’s Gwangan Diamond Bridge and Jagalchi Market are two places featured.

Kill Bill: Volumes 1 and 2

Director Quentin Tarantino’s action/martial arts movies released in 2003 and 2004, “Kill Bill: Volumes 1 and 2” were actually shot as one movie and released a year apart. Major parts of the movie were filmed in Japan, China and Los Angeles. Although it was supposedly El Paso, Texas, the “Massacre at Two Pines” was shot in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles. The final sequence of the movie at Bill’s hacienda was shot south of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in Costa Careyes. Interestingly, this was also Seal and Heidi Klum’s estate in real life. A trip to Los Angeles or a Puerto Vallarta cruise would be perfect for a stop-off to see a few of these filming locations.

The Shining

If you’re a horror movie fan, visiting the filming locations of Stephen King’s “The Shining” (1980) is a must. “The Shining” was partly filmed (exterior shots) at Timberline Lodge in Government Camp, Oregon, on Mount Hood. A frightful stay in room 217 at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado in 1973 inspired Stephen King’s 1977 best-selling novel on which the movie is based. The interiors of the fictional Overlook Hotel were shot in Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England. However, the hotel’s interiors weren’t based on the Timberline or the Stanley, but instead on the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, California. The infamous maze was also created in Hertfordshire at the old MGM Borehamwood Studios. The opening shots from the helicopter of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) driving to the hotel were shot above Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, near Kalispell, Montana. It’s also interesting that part of this same footage was added to the end of the “happy ending” version of the movie, “Blade Runner” (1982). This road was also briefly shown in Forrest Gump’s cross-country run in the 1994 movie.

Napoleon Dynamite

After debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, “Napoleon Dynamite” turned out to be one of the biggest comedies of the year. The entire film was shot in Preston, Idaho, a small town about 100 miles north of Salt Lake City on Highway 91. Visiting this tiny Idaho town might not be as exciting as hunting wolverines in Alaska, but it could be a freakin’ sweet vacation for a fan of this cult classic. You can travel around town seeing the homes of the characters, including that of Napoleon, Kip and Grandma at 1447 East 800 North Road. See where Napoleon fed Tina the llama in the adjacent field.  Pedro’s home is at 59 South 2nd East — see where the “sweet jump” was attempted (and failed) by Napoleon on Pedro’s Sledgehammer bike. Be sure to look out for the “Vote for Pedro” sign that the current homeowner keeps in their window. Preston High School is definitely a must-see. After all, it’s where tetherball, tots and other major events occurred. The store, Deseret Industries Thrift Shop (36 South State Street) is where Napoleon got his brown retro tux. By the way, this store provided most of the movie’s wardrobe.

Being a movie buff isn’t all about sitting in a movie theater or in front of a television. Create a movie-location-based vacation, or take advantage of nearby places along the way.