Magic Mike (2012)

The 2012 Steven Soderbergh film “Magic Mike” depicts the behind the scenes life of a stripper played by Channing Tatum, loosely based on the actor’s own experiences in the world of male stripping.

The film was shot mostly in the Tampa, Florida area.  The group performs at Club Xquisite, where they are led by Dallas (Matthew McConaughey).  The club was actually a composite of two separate buildings.  The exterior was filmed at Wilson’s Sports Lounge in St. Petersburg.

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LOCATION: 3030 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704

The interiors were filmed across the country at the former Platinum Live in Studio City, California (11345 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604), which shut down not long after the film was shot.

Top Gun (1986)

In the town of Oceanside, California, about 40 miles north of San Diego, you’ll find the iconic house from the 1986 hit “Top Gun.”  Charlie, played by Kelly McGillis, lives at this beachfront cottage, where she is visited by Maverick, played by Tom Cruise.  The two make love while Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” plays, in one of the most famous love scenes of the 1980s.

The house now sits vacant and boarded up, having fallen into a state of disrepair, with fencing erected around it in an effort to minimize vandalism.  At the time of filming, several other houses existed along the block, but all have been demolished except for this one.  Hotel development is reportedly planned for the block, but the “Top Gun” house drives tourism to Oceanside, so rather than demolition, the house is set for relocation and restoration (much like what happened with the Michael Myers house from the original “Halloween“).  While the restoration is much needed, we wanted to capture it at it’s original site while it still remains there.

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LOCATION: 102 N Pacific St, Oceanside, CA 92054

Here is a front facing view of the house, where you can see a poster for the film over one of the boarded up windows.

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For scenes set at the back of the house, a completely different location stood in, behind the medical building of Paramount Studios.

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LOCATION: 5555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2016)

For Tim Burton’s 2016 film “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” the filmmaker returned to his old stomping grounds of West Central Florida, where he famously shot “Edward Scissorhands” sixteen years prior.  Jake’s house can be found in the town of Largo, in a small neighborhood built on a peninsula.

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LOCATION: 101 Poinciana Ln, Largo, FL 33770

One of the more memorable locations in the film, besides of course the titular home of Miss Peregrine (located in Belgium), is the house of Abe, which sits before of a long row of ominous looking trees.  The house can be found in Sun City Center, Florida.

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LOCATION: 1007 Hacienda Dr, Sun City Center, FL 33573

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

For the 1989 sequel “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” most of the story is set in Chicago, Illinois, but production took place primarily in Burbank, California, with a few exteriors filmed in Chicago and Colorado.  The Griswold house is not a real house, rather a set on the Warner Bros. Ranch.  The ranch is located separate from the main Warner Bros. Studio lot and is unfortunately not open to public tours.  The house has since changed a bit, but still bears some resemblance.  The same house can be seen in “American Beauty,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Small Soldiers,” “Pleasantville” and more.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Just next to the Griswold house is the neighbors’ house of Todd and Margo, played by Nicholas Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  It too is a set, but of all the houses on the ranch, it has the most functional interior, having been used in many productions.  The house is mostly shown from side angles or close-ups, likely due to having been used in another popular film series at that time, “Lethal Weapon,” where it served as Danny Glover’s house.  Known as the Lindsay house, it has also appeared in “American Beauty“, The Three Stooges serials, “Pushing Daisies,” “The Middle” and many more.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Clark flirts with an attractive woman working at a department store, before his son busts him.  This was filmed at Bullocks Wilshire, a famous art deco building on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.  Once a luxury department store, the building now operates as a law school.  The building is only seen from interior views in the film.  While the inside is typically closed to the public, there are occasional public tour opportunities.  The building has also been seen in the films “The Aviator” and “Dunston Checks In,” the TV series “Moonlighting” and Areosmith’s music video for “Love in an Elevator,” as well many other productions.

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LOCATION: 3050 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

Later in the film, Clark fantasizes about the same department store woman, undressing at a pool in his back yard.  The pool is also located at the Warner Bros Ranch.  While it is located fairly close to the Griswold house, it’s actually on the opposite side of the street (known as Blondie St), not in back of the house as depicted in the film.  If not for the trees in the background of the photo below, you could see the Griswold house in the distance.

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LOCATION: 411 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

Near the end of the film, Cousin Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, abducts Clark’s boss from his home after he stiffs his staff of their Christmas bonuses.  This was filmed at the Mattison Boyd Jones house in Glendale, California.  The house can be a bit tricky to see from the road, as the front of the property has a long fence with high shrubs and the driveway is gated.  However, from the right angle you can still catch a view.  Currently a private residence, the house has been seen in many television shows, primarily from the 70s and 80s, including “Flamingo Road,” “Columbo,” “Knight Rider” and “Emerald Point N.A.S.”

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LOCATION: 727 W Kenneth Rd, Glendale, CA 91202

Related articles: National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

The Walking Dead

“The Walking Dead” is famously shot around Atlanta, Senoia and the surrounding towns of Georgia.  The former Raleigh Studios Atlanta is the central hub of the show, but many famous locations have shot beyond the studio property.

Early in season 1, Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, awakens from this “hospital” to discover a world in chaos.  This scene was filmed at the back of the Atlanta Mission Administrative Offices.

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LOCATION: 2353 Bolton Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Rick can be seen walking out of the door and down the stairs.

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Rick’s house can also be found in Atlanta.

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LOCATION: 817 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

Right around the corner from Rick’s place is Morgan’s house, where the two meet for the first time.

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LOCATION: 376 Ormond St SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

The sheriff’s office where Rick worked is part of a long strip of commercial lots.  It’s a bit further down Ellsworth Industrial Blvd, with a sign stating “Complex F” (though the building itself is labeled “G”).

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LOCATION: 1737G Ellsworth Industrial Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

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The iconic shot of the post-apocalyptic freeway, used as the poster for season 1, can be seen from the Jackson Street Bridge, overlooking the 10 freeway leading into the Atlanta skyline.  Some CGI was added to achieve the exact look the production wanted.  The same shot (minus the CGI) can be seen in the 2015 remake of “Vacation.”

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LOCATION: Jackson Street Bridge, Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312 (near 210 Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312)

Season 1 concludes with the group reaching the Center for Disease Control.  This unique building is the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

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LOCATION: 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30339

Season 2 was primarily set on Herschel’s Farm.  The farm is a real location, not a set.  However, it sits on private property on a gravel road off GA-85.  The owners are rumored to have distanced themselves from the show, due to the excessive attention it brought.  The property can be found at 33°18’01.5″N, 84°31’22.4″W in Senoia, Georgia, but it is not accessible to the public.

Season 3 largely took place at a prison, which was actually a set at Raleigh Studios Altanta.  After the prison story arc was completed, the set was heavily overhauled and became the Savior’s Sanctuary in later seasons.  The studio can be found at 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276, but until 2018 was entirely inaccessible to fans.  The building still remains, but the fences and towers are now gone.  At first glance, you’d probably not even recognize it as being the prison at this point.

Also in season 3, the fictional town of Woodbury plays a key role.  Main Street in Senoia stood in as Woodbury, with some sets and art decoration added.  Due to the popularity of the show, many of these properties have since become shops and restaurants themed around the series, which we’ll get to later in this article.

Here is a view of the main strip of Woodbury.  The Governor’s house was a set that has since been removed, but the area is still recognizable.

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LOCATION: 9 Main St, Senoia, GA 30276

If you’re headed to the former Raleigh Studios in Senoia, along the way you’ll pass this restaurant, which stood in as a bar where Merle has a drink in season 3, episode 15.

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LOCATION: 34 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276

As you approach the main studio, you’ll pass Crook Rd, which has been used in countless episodes of the show, any time a wooded road is needed.  Even though the road is not on studio property, it is scarcely used by motorists and is therefore easy to obtain filming permits, hence the frequent appearances.

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LOCATION: Crook Rd, Senoia, GA 30276

Also in Senoia, in season 4, episode 9, Carl sits atop the roof of this house eating a can of pudding.  This house is located near the the “Alexandria” site.

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LOCATION: 239 Pylant St, Senoia, GA 30276

In season 5, “Terminus” plays a central role.  The Terminus site is a real location in Atlanta.  Although there are some walls along Windsor Street obscuring the view a bit, it can still be seen with relative ease by simply looking over top.

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LOCATION: 799 Windsor St SW, Atlanta, GA 30315

Back in Senoia, another location that’s very close to the studio is Dwight’s house, seen in season 7, episode 11.

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LOCATION: 30 Golfview Ct, Senoia, GA 30276

In 2017, AMC purchased Raleigh Studios Atlanta, renaming it Riverwood Studios.  This paved the way for something the fans had long been requesting; a studio tour.  Beyond the studio itself, the tour also takes guests inside the walls of “Alexandria.”

Alexandria is filmed in a real neighborhood in Senioa, just past Main St (“Woodbury”).  Originally the area was a developing neighborhood and open to the public.  You can even see old google street views taking you through it, before the show sealed it off.  At the time AMC took interest, only one brownstone building was there, with tenants already occupying the units.  The rest of the land was vacant lots planned for residential development.  The network worked out a deal with the existing tenants to allow them to film and Alexandria was born.  They then began purchasing the empty lots and constructing houses for the show.  Due to the fact the buildings needed to remain standing for years on end, state laws required them to meet actual building codes, meaning the houses in Alexandria are fully functional.  Likewise, the massive walls surrounding the neighborhood is also built to code, which is to say they are dug deep and very sturdy.

There is a security guard posted at the main entrance of the neighborhood and the whole area is surrounded by cameras.  Tenants are allowed to come and go as they please, but pedestrians and motorists are not allowed in.  That changed slightly in 2018, however, with the launch of the Walking Dead Studio Tour.  Fans are now able to enter within the walls and see pretty much everything there as part of the tour.  Photo privileges are very strict, however.  There is unfortunately only one spot in the entire neighborhood where photos are allowed, which is facing toward the windmill.  Eventually after the show has ended or no longer uses the site, the neighborhood will hopefully return to being open to the public.  As is, key sites such as Rick and Michonne’s house are prohibited from photography.

This is the main entrance into the neighborhood, where the security guard is posted.  If you attempt to approach Morgan St (outside of the tour), you’ll quickly be asked to turn back.   There are signs posted stating the road has no public access.

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LOCATION: 132 Morgan St, Senoia, GA 30276

Here is another entrance, which remains closed unless the production is using it.

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This is the sole permissible photo location inside Alexandria on the studio tour.

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Here’s another look at the completed windmill, taken during the filming of the show.

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Moving on to Riverwood Studios itself, quite a lot of the show has been filmed there.  In addition to the previously mentioned prison set, Hilltop, Oceanside and the Sanctuary are all there as well.  Hilltop is a real building built to code on the outside, but the inside is completely empty.  All interior Hilltop scenes are filmed on a sound stage. The show’s production offices are also based at Riverwood Studios.

The tour opened in late 2018.  Prior to that, the studio grounds were fenced off and guarded by security.  It’s a very large place, surrounded by woods full of animals and insects, so it’s probably not the kind of place you want to go wandering around unprepared.  You’re much better off purchasing a tour ticket.  For the most part, the tour is a very enjoyable experience.  Due to the size of the property, as well as potential safety hazards, much of the time is spent in tour buses, guided by a very friendly and well-informed staff.  There are select spots where you can exit the bus for closer looks.

The biggest drawback of the tour is the strict policy on photography and video.  Video and audio is prohibited altogether. There are some areas that can be photographed.  However, they are mostly limited to the sites no longer used in active storylines on the show.  Anything being used in current seasons, while still showcased on the tour itself, is unfortunately off-limits for photos or video.  This includes Hilltop, Oceanside and the Sanctuary.  Alexandria is the only exception, but it’s very limited, allowing the aforementioned single photo spot.

While there are some minor spoilers involved with some of the sets, if specific parameters were set, as with Alexandria, the photo rules could be a bit more relaxed.  These sets have been shown on screen to millions of viewers for years, so they’re not exactly top secret places.  Having said that, the tour is otherwise excellent from top to bottom and it’s a very welcome change that the studio is finally open to fans.  However, the tour seasons are limited only to times when the show is not filming, so you need to plan in advance.

We’ll now take a look at the sites at Riverwood Studios that can be photographed.  First up is the site where (*spoilers*) Negan kills Glenn and Abraham.  The show was so secretive about which characters would be killed off that they actually filmed scenes of Negan killing every major character, in order to maintain the mystery of which ones would make it to air.

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LOCATION: 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276

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Next is the lake where Rick and Aaron search a houseboat for supplies in season 7, episode 7.  It’s a nice touch that they kept some body props in the water.

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LOCATION: 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276

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Arguably the best site that can be photographed at the studio is the Scavenger’s junkard, also known as “The Heaps.”  It’s right next to the Sanctuary, but the junk is piled so high, you’d never know by the photos alone.

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LOCATION: 600 Chestlehurst Rd, Senoia, GA 30276

The junk is actually just a top layer.  Just beneath are large piles of dirt, giving the appearance of more junk than is actually there.

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Also on the tour are many vehicles used in the show.  These too were prohibited from photography, for reasons unknown.  Overall, if you’re a fan of the show, we still highly recommend the tour.  You’ll see virtually all of the sites available there and gain a lot of knowledge about the show, even if only a few spots can be captured.  The tour hosts did say that it’s a work in progress, so perhaps the policies and places will change as time goes on.

Beyond the actual filming locations, there are several show-themed business in Senioa.  The Woodbury Shoppe sells a wide variety of show merchandise.  The store is located along Main St in Senoia, which served as the fictional town of Woodbury on the show.

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LOCATION: 48 Main St #1A, Senoia, GA 30276

The basement of the store also features a Walking Dead museum, which houses props, posters, artwork, memorabilia and more.  There’s autographs from nearly every cast member scrawled across the walls.  Here we’ll take a look at a bit of what can be seen in the museum, but not everything.  Here is one of the motorcycles Daryl rode in the series.

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One of the main cell blocks from the prison in seasons 3 and 4, on loan from AMC.

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A kid’s bedroom in the prison from season 4, episode 9.

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To the left is the “W” zombie, on loan from executive producer Greg Nicotero.  To the right is a dental chair from season 3, episode 16, in which Andrea is handcuffed to the chair by The Governor and left for dead.

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Some knives from the show.

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Some pieces of the Woodbury Town Hall, from season 4, episode 6.  This was part of a set, which was later destroyed, but these fragments were collected.

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A prop mirror broken by Beth, when she attempts to kill herself in season 2.  Actress Emily Kinney has signed the prop.

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Also on Main St in Senoia is The Walking Dead Cafe.

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LOCATION: 48 Main St, Senoia, GA 30276

For those looking for a full course meal, just a few buildings down is Nic & Norman’s, owned by executive producer Greg Nicotero and actor Norman Reedus.

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LOCATION: 20 Main St, Senoia, GA 30276

Here is some artwork inside the restaurant, done in the style of the famous closing photo from “The Shining,” depicting most of the cast from the show.

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It’s always a challenge photographing anything actively in production.  It’s usually easier to do after filming has ended, so production agendas won’t interfere.  In some cases, however, sites only exist as long as the production does.  We’ve tried to show a mixture of both and we’ll add what we can when the opportunity presents itself.  It’s likewise a challenge capturing the sheer volume of filming locations a long-running show such as “The Walking Dead”  has utilized over its run. We barely scratched the surface here. There are of course dozens more locations we did not cover and new ones always keep popping up as the show continues onward. Atlanta has a lot of sites to offer fans of the show, particularly from the early seasons. The town of Senoia in particular thrives on the show, driving tourism, employing locals at the studio and inspiring show-themed businesses.

Pineapple Express (2008)

In the 2008 comedy “Pineapple Express,” Dale, played by Seth Rogen, witnesses a murder at this unique house in Glendale, California.

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LOCATION: 1845 Niodrara Dr, Glendale, CA 91208

Dale then rushes to the apartment of his drug dealer Saul, played by James Franco, as the two go on the run.

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LOCATION: 118 N Westmoreland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

A Star Is Born (2018)

Bradley Cooper directed and starred alongside Lady Gaga in the 2018 remake of “A Star is Born,” which was filmed largely around Los Angeles.  Early in the film, Ally, played by Lady Gaga, quits her job at a restaurant.  This was filmed in the kitchen of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.  Ally can be seen walking up the loading ramp just past the hotel on S Grand Ave.  The same ramp can be seen from the reverse angle in “Seven” and “Chinatown.”

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LOCATION: 530 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Ally’s house can be found in Angelino Heights, almost directly across the street from Dominic Toretto’s house in “The Fast And The Furious.”

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LOCATION: 739 E Kensington Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Another view of Ally’s house.

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Jack and Ally sit in front of the Super A Foods market late at night as Ally nurses an injured hand.  The same market was used in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

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LOCATION: 2924 Division St, Los Angeles, CA 90065

The famous Chateau Marmont is where Ally sees the billboard promoting her album release.

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LOCATION: 8221 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

Jack and Ally begin living together in a house near the woods, located in Calabasas.  Since filming completed, the property is now surrounded by a fence.  However, due to the downward slope of the land from the road, the house is still easily visible from several areas.

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LOCATION: 481 Cold Canyon Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302

Jack’s garage, seen in several scenes in the film, is not fenced off and sits very close to the road.

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Jack is awoken on the street curb in front of his friend Noodles’ house, supposedly located in Memphis.  The real home can be found in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of East L.A.

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The home itself is only seen from interiors and side angles from the opposite side of the fence in the film.  The same house can be seen as the party house in the 1980s comedy “Teen Wolf” and was featured on an episode of the TV series “This Is Us.”  Directly next door is also the house of Chloë Grace Moretz’s character in “(500) Days Of Summer.”

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LOCATION: 5223 Shearin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90041