Kingpin (1996)

The 1996, Farrelly Brothers comedy “Kingpin” is criminally underrated, featuring a classic performance by the great Bill Murray, with Woody Harrelson showing suprising comedic chops as well.  The film was shot mostly around Pennsylvania, but like many Farrelly Bothers films, it becomes something of a road trip movie, reaching Reno, Nevada by the film’s climax.

Early in the film, “Big Ern” McCracken, played by Bill Murray and Roy Munson, played by Woody Harrelson, hustle some local bowlers.  As they exit the bowling alley, they are confronted by the guys they duped.  Big Ern lets Roy take the fall, as he speeds off and abandons him at the Beaver Valley Bowl in Rochester, Pennsylvania, with Roy losing his hand in the process.  This same location was used in the Michael Douglas film “Wonder Boys,” where he has his own confrontation with “Vernon Hardapple.”

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LOCATION: 25 New York Ave, Rochester, PA 15074

For the film’s climax, Roy and Big Ern square off at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada.  The lanes are not open to public use, but there is a bowling museum inside that is open to the public, for those interested.

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LOCATION: 300 N Center St, Reno, NV 89501

Related articles: There’s Something About Mary (1998), Dumb And Dumber (1994)

Rocky (1976)

One of the most iconic movie locations in the world, the “Rocky Steps,” which Sylvester Stallone famously ascends in the original “Rocky” film, can be found at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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LOCATION: 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130 (the actual steps face Spring Garden St)

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Groundhog Day (1993)

While set in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the 1993 film “Groundhog Day” was actually shot in Woodstock, Illinois.  Visiting the town is a unique experience.  Most films shoot in many, scattered locations around a city, or sometimes multiple different cities, then edit it together to make their proximity seem much closer than they actually are in the real world.  With “Groundhog Day,” however, most of the locations from the film really are in as close of proximity as they appear on film.  The filmmakers chose a town square to film in, giving a greater a sense of enclosure within a singular place, just as Bill Murray’s character of Phil Conners is experiencing in the film.  It makes for an interesting feeling, as if you’ve really walked into the film’s universe when you visit.

The “Cherry Street Inn” bed and breakfast in the film actually is a real bed and breakfast where you can stay.  However, Phil’s room seen in the film was built in a warehouse by the production.

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LOCATION: 344 Fremont St, Woodstock, IL 60098

“Gobler’s Knob,” where the groundhog is shown, is the Woodstock Square Park, located right in the center of the town square.

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LOCATION: Woodstock Square Park, Main St, Woodstock, IL 60098

“The Tip Top Cafe,” where Phil gorges himself on excessive amounts of food, has changed ownership many times since the film was shot, with many restaurants coming and going.  It’s the sidewalk out front where Bill Murray keeps stepping in the watery, ice-filled hole in the street while talking to Ned Ryerson.

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LOCATION: 108 Cass St, Woodstock, IL 60098

There are many plaques like this, located at nearly every location from the film in Woodstock, IL.  It’s refreshing to see when a town embraces their film history, as Woodstock does.

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The “Alpine Theater” where Phil arrives dressed as Clint Eastwood is the Woodstock Theatre.  It is also seen briefly at the beginning of the film, when the crew first arrives in Punxsutawney.

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LOCATION: 209 Main St, Woodstock, IL 60098

The bar where Phil drinks is the Old Courthouse Arts Center.

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LOCATION: 101 N Johnson St, Woodstock, IL 90068

“The Pennsylvanian Hotel,” where Andie MacDowell’s character stays, and where Phil later hurls himself from the tower, is actually the Woodstock Opera House.

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LOCATION: 121 W Van Buren St, Woodstock, IL 60098

The alarm clock from the film can be found on display as part of the Sony Pictures Studio Tour.

LOCATION: 10202 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

If you find yourself in the greater Chicago area and are a fan of the film, we highly recommend a visit to Woodstock, IL, for a unique experience of entering the film’s universe, while being hosted by locals who warmly embrace the film and its fans.

Wonder Boys (2000)

Curtis Hanson’s excellent, overlooked 2000 film “Wonder Boys” takes place within the literary circles of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the film was also shot.  The film ranks among Hanson’s finest works and features an impressive, ensemble cast.  We highly recommend it if you’ve never seen it.

This house is where Michael Douglas’ character lives in the film, disheveled and struggling to finish writing his second book.

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LOCATION: 359 S Atlantic Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Later in the film, the confrontation with “Vernon Hardapple” takes place in the parking lot of this bowling alley.  The bowling alley is also seen in the Farrelly Brothers comedy “Kingpin,” where Woody Harrelson’s character loses his hand.

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LOCATION: 25 New York Ave, Rochester, PA 15074

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Unlike the first two installments of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy, which used Chicago to double as Gotham City, the third and final installment, “The Dark Knight Rises” used an amalgam of cities, which included Pittsburgh, New York City and Los Angeles.  Here we take a look at some of these locations.

Bane robs the Gotham City Stock Exchange, which was filmed in the heart of New York’s financial district on Wall Street.  However, the production used the JP Morgan building, located directly across the street from the New York Stock Exchange.

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LOCATION: 23 Wall St, New York, NY 10005

As Bane unleashes an explosion at the Gotham football stadium, as well as all across Gotham, Blake, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is rocked by one of the explosives and his car flips over as he drives down this alley.  While many of these shots were filmed in Pittsburgh, this particular alley can be found in downtown Los Angeles.  It’s located on Terminal Street, which intersects with 7th Street, just past Alameda Street.

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LOCATION: Terminal St, Los Angeles, CA 90021 (a nearby address to arrive around the alley would be 1371 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021)

The police get trapped in this tunnel under the 6th Street Bridge, also in downtown L.A.  Sadly, the bridge, which has been seen in countless films over the years, including “Grease,” “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” “Gone in Sixty Seconds,” “Drive” and many more, was closed and demolished in 2016.  This tunnel underneath the bridge led directly to the L.A. river, where countless more films were shot.

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LOCATION: Under the 6th St Bridge, at the intersection of lower E 6th St and Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (now demolished)

Over at the 3rd Street Tunnel in downtown Los Angeles is where Catwoman, played by Anne Hathaway, uses the Batpod to blow up some cars, which have been piled up to obstruct the entrance.  The view seen in the film is on the side of the tunnel that faces Flower Street.  The same tunnel was also seen in “Darkman.”

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LOCATION: W 3rd St., at the entrance facing S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90810

The Batpod Catwoman rides can be seen on display at the Peterson Automotive Museum, also in Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: Peterson Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Moving over to Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Mellon University was used for a couple key sequences, near the film’s climax.  Bane released the prisoners from Blackgate Prison, which was shot at Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute.  The building’s address is on Fifth Ave., but you’ll actually have to turn the corner to the side of the building facing Dirthridge St. to see the spot used in the film.

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LOCATION: Software Engineering Institute, 4500 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (facing Dirthridge St)

The Mellon Institute, which is located right beside the Software Engineering Institute, served as Gotham City Hall, where Bane and Batman do battle on the steps of the building.

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LOCATION: Mellon Institute, 4400 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Lastly, we leave you with a shot of the Batmobile Tumbler from the film, which is on display at Warner Bros. Studios, as part of their tour.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Related articles:

The Dark Knight (2008)

Dogma (1999)

The climax to Kevin Smith’s biblical comedy “Dogma” takes place at a church in Pittsburgh, where the majority of the film was likewise shot.  Loki and Bartleby, played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, attempt to bring the apocalypse upon Earth, battling Jay and Silent Bob.  Even God makes an appearance.  It’s also the site of George Carlin’s character introducing “Catholicism Wow!” and the famous “Buddy Christ.”

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LOCATION: 130 Larimer Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206

The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

A replica of Hannibal Lector’s cell, from Jonathan Demme’s classic 1991 film “The Silence of the Lambs,” was built in the basement of the Hollywood Museum in Hollywood, California.  While not an exact match to the film, it’s pretty close.

The guard desk.

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The entrance to the cell block.

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The hallway.  “Stay to the right.”

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Multiple Miggs’ cell.

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Hannibal Lector’s cell.

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LOCATION: Hollywood Museum, 1660 Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028

Moving on to real world locations, while the climax to the film is set in Ohio, the home of Buffalo Bill can actually be found in the rural town of Perryopolis, Pennsylvania.  You can follow the Youghiogheny River up to the railroad tracks (which are in active use), into a head-on view of the famous house where Clarice Starling faced off with Buffalo Bill.

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LOCATION: 8 Circle St., Perryopolis, PA 15473

Just across the tracks, you can still see the same RV that was seen in the establishing shot of the house.

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