Visiting the filming locations of the classic 1994 film “Forrest Gump” is a staggering feat, as the story unfolds all across the United States and the production likewise followed that path.
The famous opening scene of the feather falling was filmed at Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia. It descends past the steeple of The Independent Presbyterian Church Administration Building.
LOCATION: The Independent Presbyterian Church Administration Building, Savannah, GA 31401
Here is a wider view of the full building.
As the feather falls closer to the ground, we see the First Baptist Church in the distance.
LOCATION: First Baptist Church, 223 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401
The feather finally reaches the ground and settles on the shoe of Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks. Forrest sits at a bus stop and recounts the story of his life to strangers sitting on a bench waiting for their bus rides. The location where Forrest sits is at the intersection of Hull Street and Bull Street in Chippewa Square. In reality, there is no bus stop or bench there. They were added for the film. Instead, there are just some plants.
Here is a wider view of the area.
LOCATION: Chippewa Square, Savannah, GA 31401 (at the intersection of Hull St / Bull St)
The actual bench from the film can be found at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California. It can be seen on their studio tours.
LOCATION: 5555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
The exterior of the lounge where Forrest finds Jenny, played by Robin Wright, performing nude, can also be found in Savannah. The name of the restaurant is Love’s, just as depicted in the film, but it is a seafood and steak joint and you won’t find any nude performers there.
LOCATION: 6817 Chief Of Love Rd, Savannah, GA 31419
The interior of the scene was actually filmed at the former Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, which has long since been demolished. The hotel was a staple of film and television, appearing in such films as “The Graduate,” “True Romance,” “Seven,” “Bobby,” “True Lies,” “L.A. Story,” “Catch Me If You Can” and dozens more. Only this post and statue from the original building remain at the location.
LOCATION: 3400 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (now demolished)
Forrest celebrates New Year’s Eve with Lieutenant Dan, played by Gary Sinise, in what is supposed to be New York City. This was actually filmed on 6th St in Downtown Los Angeles. This area is right next to the locations used for the Nite Owl Coffee Shop from “L.A. Confidential” and Wild Bill’s Leather from “Seven,” both of which were fictional businesses.
LOCATION: Near the intersection of E 6th St / S Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
On the same street, as Forrest exists a TV studio, Lieutenant Dan is waiting for him outside. This was actually on a ramp built above this sandwich shop, which has since been removed. The same sandwich shop has appeared in the films “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Rumor Has It” and “A Lot Like Love.”
LOCATION: 118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Lieutenant Dan then loses control of his wheelchair and slides down the ramp into this wall at the same location.
Later in the film, Forrest begins running, from coast to coast. He is seen reaching the famous Santa Monica Pier.
LOCATION: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
He reaches the end of the pier and turns around to begin running back across the country. There is a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant located on the pier itself as well, although of course it was not a filming location.
As Forrest runs through Flagstaff, Arizona, he steps in a pile of manure and helps coin the phrase “Shit happens.”
LOCATION: Near 106 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Also in Flagstaff, Forrest runs past the former Twin Arrows Trading Post. The building featured two large, wooden arrows piercing the ground. Some mud splashes on Forrest and he uses a t-shit to clean off his face, creating the famous smiley face t-shirt. The building now unfortunately sits abandoned.
LOCATION: Twin Arrows Trading Post Ruins – Historic Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Here’s a closer look at the arrows, which are slowly deteriorating.
Forrest’s running attire from the film can be found on display at Planet Hollywood in Florida.
LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Late in the film, Jenny is working as a waitress and sees Forrest on television. This was filmed at Debi’s Restaurant in Savannah, located just a few blocks away from the opening scene of the film.
LOCATION: 225 E Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401
The restaurant is quite proud of their connection to the film and the front is decorated with quotes from the film and a shot of the scene.
We’ve only covered a portion of the vast filming locations here. The production also shot scenes in South Carolina, Utah, Arizona, North Carolina, Vermont, Maine, Montana and Washington D.C.