The 2021 Shaka King film “Judas and the Black Messiah” is set in the Chicago area, but was actually shot in Cleveland, Ohio. In an early scene, Bill O’Neal, played by LaKeith Stanfield, impersonates an FBI agent and steals a car at Leon’s Bar. The real building is the Croatian Tavern.
LOCATION: 3244 St Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, OH 44114
Here is a full view of the building.
Daniel Kaluuya plays Fred Hampton, the leader of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. Fred and the Panthers meet The Crowns at this church.
LOCATION: 4015 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103
Here is a full view of the church building.
Jimmy, played by Ashton Sanders, gets into a shootout with the police at this market.
LOCATION: 6501 St Clair Ave, Cleveland, OH 44103
This building served as the headquarters of the Black Panther Party, where a major shootout scene takes place.
LOCATION: 5450 Broadway Ave, Cleveland, OH 44127
The back of the building is also seen as Bill escapes. There is an alley that runs behind the building, offering a clear view of this area.
The Menard prison where Fred gets released is none other than the Ohio State Reformatory, which is of course most famous for being the prison from “The Shawshank Redemption.” It has been featured in other films as well, however, such as “Air Force One” and “Tango & Cash.” No longer an operating prison, the facility is now run by The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society, which offers seasonal tours in and around the property. We highly recommend it if you’re in the area.
LOCATION: 100 Reformatory Rd, Mansfield, OH 44905
Fred gives his “I am a revolutionary” speech inside this church, which is only seen from interior views in the film.
LOCATION: 2131 E 46th St, Cleveland, OH 44103
Late in the film, Fred’s apartment is featured in a climactic scene.
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.”
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
The 2013 coming of age comedy “The Kings of Summer” was filmed entirely in Northeast Ohio. Joe Toy, played by Nick Robinson, lives with his father Frank, played by Nick Offerman, at this house located in the town of Lyndhurst. After some family disagreements, Joe and his friends decide to leave and build their own home out in the woods.
LOCATION: 4867 Edsal Dr, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
The Chagrin River is seen several times in the film as Joe rides his bike down Cleveland St. In another scene, the boys are walking through the water.
LOCATION: 218 High St, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022 (as seen from Cleveland St)
Joe attends school in Chagrin Falls. The high school and middle school are on the same property and the area seen in the film is actually the middle school at the rear of the property.
LOCATION: 342 E Washington St, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
Patrick, played by Gabriel Basso, lives with his parents at this home in North Royalton.
LOCATION: 13940 Quail Oval, North Royalton, OH 44133
The pipe where the boys drum with broken tree branches and dance was featured prominently, both in the film itself, as well as the marketing campaign leading up to its release. While it appears to be a remote location, the spot is not as difficult to find as you might expect. It can be found in Whitesburg Park in Chagrin Falls. We’ll explain how to reach it.
LOCATION: Whitesburg Park, Chagrin Falls, OH 44022 (GPS coordinates approximately: 41.440071, -81.380063)
These final two photos are not shown in the film itself, rather they are included here in an attempt to illustrate how to get to the above location. To reach the pipe, you simply drive down High St, which is initially a paved, residential street. If you continue down it, the road becomes unpaved and will lead you straight to the trailhead. It’s not a particularly far drive and there are some unmarked parking areas available. The ground can get muddy, however, so be mindful of weather conditions. If you take the road until it dead ends, you’ll be pretty close to the right spot. There’s a couple different trails in that vicinity. The one pictured below is on the left side, just before the road dead ends. This is what the trailhead looks like on the ground, the GPS coordinates are approximately 41.439869, -81.380259. If you proceed ahead on the trail, the pipe would be in the woods on the right side and you can start to see it pretty quickly.
However, the easiest way to identify it is by simply continuing straight up the trail until you reach this pedestrian bridge. It is only a couple minutes walk from the trailhead and it directly overlooks the area of the pipe where the scene was filmed. It is a good spot for photography and recommended to those not wanting to wander off the trail. The park seemed safe from our experiences, with many people from the community out walking the trails. The pipe is within sight of the main trail, so you don’t need to walk far to reach it. However, going off trail of course presents possible hazards, such as loose debris on the ground or any of the usual risks involved in roaming around the woods, so proceed at your own risk.
The 1994 comedy “Milk Money” was filmed around Cincinnati, Ohio. In the film, a young boy named Frank, played by Michael Patrick Carter, lives at this home with his father Tom, played by Ed Harris.
LOCATION: 1330 Hayward Ct, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Frank’s school can be found about one block over from the house. Both locations are easily within walking distance from one another.
LOCATION: 1339 Herschel Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Frank and his friends travel to the city, where they end up meeting a prostitute named V, played by Melanie Griffith. V brings the boys back to her hotel, which was filmed at the Fort Washington Hotel in Cincinnati. The large sign is gone, but the building otherwise still looks similar to how it appeared in the film.
LOCATION: 621 Main St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Tom and V kiss in from of an ice cream parlor, which is located in Lebanon, about 30 minutes north of Cincinnati.
LOCATION: 22 S Broadway St, Lebanon, OH 45036
The same ice cream parlor was seen in the 1978 film “Harper Valley P.T.A.”
The interior can be seen as some confused locals are under the impression Tom and V are siblings.
The building across the street is also seen briefly in the film. Tom and V are out for a date and run into one of the families of Frank’s friend. The father has clearly been a past client of V and the encounter ends awkwardly, with V leaving.
In the 2011 film “Take Shelter,” Curtis, played by Michael Shannon, has visions of an apocalyptic storm. Curtis lives at this home with his wife Samantha, played by Jessica Chastain. The house can be found in the town of Lagrange, Ohio.
LOCATION: 41800 Biggs Rd, Lagrange, OH 44050
The house is mostly seen from a side view. The front of the home is only briefly seen in one shot when Curtis is driving.
The 1997 Harrison Ford action movie “Air Force One” was filmed in several different locations, including Ohio, California, Washington D.C. and Russia.
When Vice President Kathryn Bennett, played by Glenn Close calls Russian President Petrov, he speaks to her from his bedroom. This was filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. The same room was used in “The Big Lebowski,” “There Will Be Blood” and “Flowers In The Attic.”
LOCATION: Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
The scenes of General Alexander Radek being released from prison were filmed at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio. The former prison is of course most well known for being featured in “The Shawshank Redemption,” but it was also featured in the 1980s action film “Tango & Cash.” This gate is seen in the establishing shot of the prison. It’s not a real gate and was built by the production specifically for the film. There was also a longer wall built on each side of the gate. After filming completed, the property had the wall taken back down but left the gate. Seeing it in person, it looks a bit strange, as it’s a gate to nothing on the side of the building.
LOCATION: 100 Reformatory Rd, Mansfield, OH 44905
The camera then moves above the gate and we see these stairs leading into the prison.
The Ohio State Reformatory does offer tours and inside they have a couple photos from the production. On the right, you can see the full wall.
Here is an autographed poster from the film.
If you find yourself in Ohio, it’s well worth it to make a stop at the Ohio State Reformatory. It’s one of the most memorable filming locations we’ve visited.
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.
LOCATION: 3159 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH 44109
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
One of our favorite movie locations is the prison from “The Shawshank Redemption.” While the film is set in Maine, tucked away in the fields of Mansfield, Ohio, the Ohio State Reformatory hosted the production of the film in 1993, after it had permanently closed from active prison use three years prior.
Originally built between 1886 to 1910, the facility was built in three architectural styles; Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne. In the wake of a class action suit by the prisoners, which cited overcrowding and inhumane conditions, the prison was shut down in 1990, with a replacement prison built directly behind it, which is still active today.
After the enduring success of “The Shawshank Redemption,” The Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society began work to restore the facility to its original state, as well as recreate many of the film’s sets. They offer daily tours from April to September and weekend-only tours during the remaining seasons. The restorations are funded through donations and tour fees. The building housed a great deal of horrors, which can be felt as you explore the facility. Over 200 people are said to have died inside the prison walls. During Halloween season, the Preservation Society offers haunted tours in lieu of the film tours and a number of ghost-themed television shows have filmed at the location. Yet outside, the place feels quiet and serene. Other films to have shot at the prison include “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Air Force One” and “Tango & Cash.”
If you find yourself in the area, I highly encourage you to take the tour, as it remains one of our all-time favorite film locations. We do not wish to overlook the unfortunate history of this facility, however, with all of the atrocities that took place here.
LOCATION: 100 Reformatory Rd, Mansfield, OH 44905
The front of the prison. During tour hours, music from the film score plays over loud speakers.
“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” The back of the prison is particularly difficult to photograph, as the tours do not cover this area, due to the facility directly facing an active prison. You are not allowed to turn your camera towards the active prison at any time, under the warning of immediate expulsion from the property, if you are caught doing so. There are guards from the active prison on constant lookout, to make sure no one is photographing the wrong prison. However, we can provide a brief glimpse of the “yard” where Red and Andy would meet.
The parole room, where Red keeps returning for his hearings. The table and chair props are not the originals, however, if I recall correctly.
This is where the inmates first line up to face the warden.
This is the warden’s office, where Andy locks the door and plays the music. The actor playing the captain really did break the window to the door in the scene, which is still missing today.
The warden’s office, where his fate is met.
This is where the production cut a hole in the wall, for the warden’s safe.
The showers seen in the movie were the prison’s real showers.
The hole Andy makes in the pipeline. This is the actual prop from the film.
This is a wide shot of the pipeline prop that Andy crawls through. Might ruin a little movie magic for you.
While similar looking, this is the prop used for the hole in the wall, behind the Rita Hayworth poster.
Brooks’ apartment. It was actually another room inside the prison.
This is unfortunately a replica. The real ceiling beam was, at one time, located in this room, but it was stolen. The Preservation Society recreated it.
Autographs from the film’s actors.
The cover from the crate prop, holding the library books that Andy had so frequently requested.
There’s really so much more to see inside the prison tour, such as the world’s tallest prison cell block. These were not the cell blocks seen in the film, however. The production opted to rent out a nearby warehouse and build their own set for the cell block, likely due to the unsanitary conditions of the real cell block. You are warned not to touch anything in this area, for risk of needing a tetanus shot. Since the rest of the features of the tour do not directly relate to the film, we will leave you with just one image of the many other, highly interesting things the tour has to offer.
Last, but not least, we leave you with one of Red’s prison shirts, which can be seen on display at Planet Hollywood in Florida.
LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830