American Splendor (2003)

The 2003 film “American Splendor” tells the story of local Cleveland, Ohio legend Harvey Pekar and his autobiographical comic book series of the same name. The film was likewise shot primarily around the Cleveland area, with a few additional scenes filmed in New York City and Los Angeles. Harvey, played by Paul Giamatti, lives at this home, located in Lakewood.

LOCATION: 12962 Clifton Blvd, Lakewood, OH 44107

Harvey has lunch with famed cartoonist Robert Crumb at Shay’s Restaurant, a local favorite which is still going strong.

LOCATION: 4007 St Clair Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103

Just before Harvey enters a bakery, the Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral is seen in one of the establishing shots. The church was also famously featured in the film “The Deer Hunter.”

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LOCATION: 733 Starkweather Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113

The bakery where Harvey runs into an old college classmate is the Elmwood Home Bakery, exactly as depicted in the film. It too is still going strong at the same location nearly twenty years after the film.

LOCATION: 15204 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107

Harvey takes Joyce, played by Hope Davis, to dinner at Gene’s Place. The restaurant is only seen from interior views in the film.

LOCATION: 3730 Rocky River Dr, Cleveland, OH 44111

A Christmas Story (1983)

For years, the house from “A Christmas Story,” located in Cleveland, Ohio, remained a private residence and had undergone many updates, until 2004, when a private developer purchased the home and restored it back to how it appeared in the film.  The buyer purchased with the intent of converting it into a tourist attraction.  Today, the home is available for tours and you can even book the house to stay in overnight.  The owner also purchased two properties across the street, converting one into a museum of memorabilia from the film, while the other was turned into a gift shop.

Located in the Tremont section of Cleveland’s West Side, the house has become a beacon for film lovers since it first opened to the public in 2006.

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LOCATION: 3159 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH 44109

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The interiors were actually shot on a sound stage in Toronto, Canada, but the owner remodeled the inside as well, to make it appear exactly as it did in the film.

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A replica of Ralphie’s father’s “major award.”  The owner of the house and museum actually runs a business selling these replica lamps, which is how he came up with the capital to invest in purchasing the properties when they went on the market.

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The back yard.  The shed is the one structure on the property than has not been restored in any way.  It is original to how it appeared in the film.

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A few behind the scenes photos.

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Some props and wardrobe from the film.

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A miniature model of the house.

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A French poster for the film.

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The Avengers (2012)

The 2012 Marvel film “The Avengers” shot in a wide variety of locations, including Cleveland, Ohio, New York City, New York, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Los Angeles, California and more. In an early scene in the film, Cleveland stood in for Russia. Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, is bound to a chair being interrogated at this warehouse when she gets a call from Agent Coulson.

LOCATION: 2175 Ashland Rd, Cleveland, OH 44103

Having visited a lot of filming locations throughout many cities, this stood as one of the more precarious spots we’ve been. As such, we caution visiting yourself. While there were no signs posted prohibiting entrance and the building appears to be abandoned, it is in a derelict area and the building itself is in very poor condition. Entire portions of walls were missing and only an old, narrow staircase leads you to this top level where the scenes were shot.

While we encountered no issues during our visit, the building and surrounding area houses many potential hazards. Standing there in person, it is hard to believe a major motion picture shot here, but there’s no denying it offers a unique and interesting appearance.

While it is never seen from this exterior angle in the film, we have included an image of what the building looks like from the outside.

Cleveland also stands in for Stuttgart, Germany, where Loki descends down these stairs as he grabs the attention of the party guests. They all flee when Loki attacks a man. These scenes were filmed inside the Probate Court of Cuyahoga County. The building is open to the public, albeit with a security screening required upon entry. Photos are permitted inside.

LOCATION: 1 W Lakeside Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113

As Loki makes his way outside what is supposed to be the same building, he orders the frightened crowd kneel before him. This is followed by a brief battle against Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow. These exterior scenes were filmed at a completely different location in front of Tower City Center, part of Cleveland Public Square.

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LOCATION: 230 W Huron Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113

Most of the climactic battle was filmed in New York City. Thor can be seen from the top of the Chrysler Building wielding his hammer to battle enemies in the sky. The same building can be seen in the background of Stark Tower, a CGI created building which does not actually exist.

LOCATION: 405 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10174

Related articles: Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Michael Cimino’s classic film “The Deer Hunter” is primarily remembered for it’s harrowing scenes set in the Vietnam War (which were actually shot in Thailand).  However, the first half of the film is set in a blue-collar town in Pennsylvania.  The town was comprised of quite a few different locations.  For example, the deer hunting scenes were shot at Mount Baker, Washington.

The wedding of Steven and Angela was shot at the Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which is actually located in Cleveland, Ohio.  The building considered to be one of the finest examples of Russian architecture in the United States. The same location briefly appears in the film “American Splendor.”

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LOCATION: 733 Starkweather Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113