Air Force One (1997)

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” and “There Will Be Blood.”

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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.

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LOCATION: 100 Reformatory Rd, Mansfield, OH 44905

The camera then moves above the gate and we see these stairs leading into the prison.

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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.

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Here is an autographed poster from the film.

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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.

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.  For tickets and information on visiting the house, you can find their website here.

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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 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.

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LOCATION: 733 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

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 “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

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The front of the prison.  During tour hours, music from the film score plays over loud speakers.

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“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.

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The parole room, where Red keeps returning for his hearings.  The table and chair props are not the originals, however, if I recall correctly.

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This is where the inmates first line up to face the warden.

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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.

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The warden’s office, where his fate is met.

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This is where the production cut a hole in the wall, for the warden’s safe.

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The showers seen in the movie were the prison’s real showers.

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The hole Andy makes in the pipeline.  This is the actual prop from the film.

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This is a wide shot of the pipeline prop that Andy crawls through.  Might ruin a little movie magic for you.

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While similar looking, this is the prop used for the hole in the wall, behind the Rita Hayworth poster.

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Brooks’ apartment.  It was actually another room inside the prison.

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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.

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Autographs from the film’s actors.

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Autographed poster.

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The cover from the crate prop, holding the library books that Andy had so frequently requested.

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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.

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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.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830