The 1996 Farrelly Brothers comedy “Kingpin” was shot mostly around Pennsylvania, but like many Farrelly Bothers films, it becomes something of a road trip movie, reaching Reno, Nevada by the film’s climax. In the opening scene of the film, a young Roy Munson practices bowling with his father at the Munson Service Center. The scene is supposedly set in Ocelot, Iowa. It was actually filmed in Mars, Pennsylvania.
LOCATION: 255 Mars Valencia Rd, Mars, PA 16046
Roy bowls with his father at the side of the building, using a homemade lane and bowling pins.
Roy’s father sees him off at P.J.’s Soft Serve. The building was in poor condition when the filmmakers first found it. It is shown in this state when Roy, played by Woody Harrelson, returns to his home town later in the film. The production then fixed it up for the early scenes. The building has since been completely demolished, with a different one now standing in its place, but the surrounding areas still match up. This is located one mile from the Munson Service Center, on the same road.
LOCATION: 441 Mars Valencia Rd, Valencia, PA 16059 (now demolished)
After winning a bowling tournament, Roy takes his car to a mechanic, who tells him someone put sugar in his gas tank. This scene was filmed just a few buildings down from the Munson Service Center and is easily within walking distance.
LOCATION: 229 Mars Valencia Rd, Mars, PA 16046
Only a small part of the building is seen in the film. However, this house across the street is also seen in the background of the scene, confirming the location.
“Big Ern” McCracken, played by Bill Murray, hustles some local bowlers and Roy finds himself in over his head. As they exit the bowling alley, they are confronted by the guys they’ve hustled. Big Ern lets Roy take the fall, as he speeds off and abandons him at the Beaver Valley Bowl in Rochester, with Roy losing his hand in the process. This same location was used in the Michael Douglas film “Wonder Boys” and the TV series “I Am Not Okay With This.”
LOCATION: 25 New York Ave, Rochester, PA 15074
The home of Roy Munson is supposedly located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The real building is actually located in the town of Trafford. Roy’s neighbors sit outside and complain about life, while his landlady lives next door as well. The building has been slightly updated, but is still very recognizable from how it appeared in the film.
LOCATION: 533 5th Street Ext, Trafford, PA 15085
Later in the film, Roy stages a purse snatching on his landlady, in which he rescues her in hopes she’ll cut him a break on his late rent.
Right around the corner from Roy’s apartment was another scene from the film. Roy helps a mother get her stroller up on the sidewalk and then steals the baby’s milk for his coffee.
LOCATION: 5th St / 5th Street Ext, Trafford, PA 15085
Roy first meets Amish bowler Ishmael, played by Randy Quaid, at the Lancaster Bowl. This scene was actually filmed at Mars Lanes, located right across the street from the Munson Service Center.
LOCATION: 262 Mars Valencia Rd, Mars, PA 16046
Ishmael lives at this farm, where Roy tries to persuade him to become business partners. Ishmael’s farm can be found in Fombell. The long path leading down to the farm is located at the intersection of Harvest Ln / PA-288.
LOCATION: GPS coordinates: 40°49’41.2″N 80°11’51.2″W (near Harvest Ln / PA-288, Fombell, PA 16123)
When Roy first approaches Ishmael, who is riding his bicycle on the left side of the road, the barn on the right can be seen in the background. This is the same location as above, facing toward PA-288 (also known as Zelienople Rd).
After Ishmael loses a bowling match to a club player, Roy nearly decides to abandon their partnership. They stop on PA-528 (also known as Prospect Rd), where Roy quickly changes his mind and tells Ishmael he was just testing him.
LOCATION: PA-528, Slippery Rock, PA 16057 (near the 528 Boat Ramp, GPS coordinates: 40°57’03.3″N 80°02’34.9″W)
Depending on the map you use, this area may be listed as Slippery Rock, Prospect or Lake Arthur. It is located near the Frank W. Preston Conservation Area.
Roy and Ishmael unsuccessfully attempt to run the same hustle that cost Roy his hand at the former McKnight Lanes in Pittsburgh. The bowling alley has long since closed.
LOCATION: 7507 McKnight Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 (since remodeled)
Roy and Claudia, played by Vanessa Angel, get into an argument the Jolly Jumper Motel, prompting Ishmael to run away. These scenes were filmed at 100 Blue Spruce Way, Murrysville, PA 15668, but the building has since been demolished.
Roy and Claudia go in search of him at Uncle Willees Reptile Farm, where a rattlesnake bites the owner in the face. The real building is a restaurant known as Willees Tavern and has operated for more than 80 years. The filmmakers clearly gave a nod to the real establishent when naming their fictional reptile farm. It is not far from the early locations seen in the film, such as the Munson Service Center and P.J.’s Soft Serve.
LOCATION: 11150 Babcock Blvd, Valencia, PA 16059
For the film’s climax, Roy and Big Ern square off at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada. The lanes are not open to public use, but there is a bowling museum inside that is open to the public, for those interested.
LOCATION: 300 N Center St, Reno, NV 89501
Related articles: Dumb And Dumber (1994), There’s Something About Mary (1998)