The 1990s skating classic “Airborne” was primarily filmed around Cincinnati, Ohio and just across the Ohio River into Kentucky, with a few additional scenes filmed in Southern California. In the film, Mitchell Goosen, played by Shane McDermott, uproots from his Southern California home to Cincinnati to stay with his cousin’s family, while his parents work abroad. His cousin is Wiley, played by a young Seth Green. Wiley’s home can be found in the town of Newport, Kentucky, which is just a short distance away from Cincinnati over the state border.
LOCATION: 711 Linden Ave, Newport, KY 41071
Wiley’s house is mostly seen in brief glimpses from a side angle, but here is a full view of the home.
Mitchell begins attending school at Western Hills University High School, where he struggles to fit in with the other boys, but catches the interest of a girl named Nikki, played by Brittney Powell.
LOCATION: 2144 Ferguson Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45238
Mitchell ends up taking Nikki on a date to the Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati. Mitchell skates around inside the conservatory, which hasn’t changed all that much since filming took place. The property does charge an admission fee, but is open to the public.
LOCATION: 1501 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Mitchell and Nikki end up on another date along the riverfront of the Ohio River, with the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge and Cincinnati skyline in the background. This area is known as Covington Plaza, but it has been remodeled a bit and the area where the characters stand in the film was actually off to the left of Covington Plaza.
LOCATION: Near 1 Madison Ave, Covington, KY 41011 (GPS coordinates: 39.090460, -84.511880)
Mitchell and Wiley go on a double date at this restaurant in Newport, Kentucky, where Nikki’s brother Jack, played by Chris Conrad, spoils their evening. Outside, Mitchell and Wiley get into an argument. Inside, there is a sign for the film, featuring autographs from the cast and crew, but it was closed at the time of our visit. The same restaurant was famously featured in the film “Rain Man.”
LOCATION: 600 Washington Ave, Newport, KY 41071
The parking lot hockey game, where Mitchell finally wins over his classmates, was filmed at the Longworth Hall Parking Lot in Cincinnati.
LOCATION: Longworth Hall Parking Lot, W Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
This climax of the film is when Mitchell’s classmates are challenged by a rival crew to an inline skating race down what is known as “Devils Backbone.” While there is a real Devils Backbone Rd in Cincinnati, the version seen in the film is a composite of multiple roads scattered around Cincinnati and Kentucky. The race first begins on the street in front of 7012 Springdale Rd Cincinnati, OH 45247 and continues past this intersection.
LOCATION: Fairview Park Rd / Ravine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219
They continue past this building.
LOCATION: Sycamore St / Dorchester Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45202
As the race winds down, the skaters make their way into the city.
LOCATION: Near Wareham Dr / Van Meter St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
They head into this pedestrian overpass on the right.
Mitchell jumps his way down these stairs on the other side of the overpass.
LOCATION: Near Gilbert Ave / E Court St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
After passing through the former Riverfront Stadium (201 East Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202), which has since been demolished, the race finally ends at the intersection of Broadway / Ohio River Scenic Byway, Cincinnati, OH 45203.
For even more “Airborne” filming locations, we recommend this excellent video from Going To the Movies, which extensively covers most of the locations and uncovers a couple previously unknown spots as well.