Acton Lane Power Station, London
Appearances: Aliens, Batman
Why It’s So Popular: It's an industrious area (now decommissioned) that helped sell the idea of a space junkyard in Aliens and also doubled as the Axis Chemical Works in Batman .
Oh, that reminds us: whatever happened to the Batman vs Alien comic-book that WE'VE WANTED ALL OUR LIVES?
Senate House, London
Appearances: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang, The Hunger
Why It’s So Popular: With it’s imposing structure, Senate House was used as multiple locations throughout Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, including the courthouse in Batman Begins and the scene where Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle dance in The Dark Knight Rises .
Perhaps someone could have pointed out the rest of the street – and London – to Nolan so he could branch out a bit.
Monroeville Mall, Pennsylvania
Appearances: Dawn Of The Dead, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, Flashdance
Why It’s So Popular: George A. Romero put this place on the map as a shopping centre for the undead.
Later, when Kevin Smith went on to film Zack And Miri Make A Porno , he would pay tribute to the legendary zombie film.
Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii
Appearances: Jurassic Park, Godzilla, Windtalkers, 50 First Dates, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Tears Of The Sun
Why It’s So Popular: A leafy open green area perfect for isolated island scenes, and for showing off a dinosaur stampede.
Y’know, all of them dinosaur stampede scenes that you see all the time in movies these days.
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Appearances: X-Men: The Last Stand, The Accused, Josie And The Pussycats, Night At The Museum, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, The Core
Why It’s So Popular: A cultural hotspot in the middle of the cheap-to-film Vancouver? It’s a no-brainer.
The exterior shows off some stunning architecture too, as seen when X-Men ’s Angel soars over it.
Stoke Park House, Buckinghamshire
Appearances: Goldfinger, Tomorrow Never Dies, Layer Cake, Bridget Jones’s Diary, W.E.
Why It’s So Popular: It’s a very distinctive building that backs on to the Goldfinger golf course and can also be seen in the background as Bridget Jones rows past with Hugh Grant’s cad Daniel Cleaver. In an alternate dimension, Bridget Jones would be a Bond Girl and James Bond would teach Cleaver a thing or two about how to treat women properly. Oh actually, this is Sean Connery era Bond. Scrap that last part.
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
Appearances: Pirates Of The Caribbean: The World’s End, Independence Day, Con Air, The Tree Of Life, The World’s Fastest Indian, Gerry
Why It’s So Popular: It's a desert-like stretch of land that is completely flat. The kind where vehicles can reach too speeds and planes can crash without harm to other people. It's also makes for a good purgatory for Captain Jack Sparrow apparently. Either way, you can guarantee that every establishing shot in this location will begin with the classic 'shimmering mirage in the distance effect'. The temptation is too great.
Columbus Circle, New York
Appearances: Taxi Driver, I Am Legend, Die Hard With A Vengeance
Why It’s So Popular: Right by Central Park, Columbus Circle is a large area that has great views of the park behind it and is, apparently, a good place to hold a political rally.
Flatiron Building, New York
Appearances: Spider-Man, The Usual Suspects, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Armageddon
Why It’s So Popular: It’s such an iconic building (we’ve always wondered how they fit desks into the offices right at the centre of the point). Thanks to Sam Raimi, the building is also remembered as the Daily Bugle offices, as opposed to… whatever it is in real life. Let’s just all agree to call it the Daily Bugle offices from now on, right?
Agnes Scott College, Georgia
Appearances: The Blind Side, Scream 2, Driving Miss Daisy, Legend, Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe
Why It’s So Popular: It’s a standard, leafy college area, perfect for students to experience coming-of-age tales and knife-wielding psychopaths in equal measure.
Randys Donuts, Inglewood
Appearances: Iron Man 2, Mars Attacks!, Earth Girls Are Easy, 2012
Why It’s So Popular: Surely, just for comedy value? And frankly, what’s not funny about a giant plastic donut? Whether it’s got Tony Stark sitting in it, or it’s rolling away from an explosion.
Pacific Electric Building, Los Angeles
Appearances: Se7en, Face/Off, L.A. Confidential, Forrest Gump
Why It’s So Popular: With grand, imposing architecture, LA's Pacific Electric Building makes a great double for official-looking settings, such as Se7en 's police HQ. Plus, it used to be a rail station so may film crews think it would be an easy commute to work?
John Burroughs Middle School, Los Angeles
Appearances: Pretty In Pink, Teen Wolf, Prom, Never Been Kissed, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Agent Cody Banks, Bad Teacher
Why It’s So Popular: Films set in high schools need high schools to film in, we suppose, and this LA location is right on Hollywood's doorstep. Where else are they going to tell that coming-of-age-rom-com/monstrous horror film/werewolf comedy story?
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
Appearances: Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, Elizabeth, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves
Why It’s So Popular: Sometimes the movie industry just needs a castle. Or somewhere to teach a young boy wizard to fly.
Hampton Court, Surrey
Appearances: Jack The Giant Slayer, The Libertine, Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger ides, Vanity Fair, The New Worlds, The Young Victoria
Why It’s So Popular: With it's grandiose design and incredible gardens, Hampton Court is just as appealing for film location scouts as it is for tourists. It's great for period-set films and movies about young men killing giants.
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
Appearances: Underworld: Awakening, Spy Game, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Fallen, Agent Cody Banks, The 6th Day, Antitrust
Why It’s So Popular: The contemporary architecture suits sci-fi films or those that deal with cutting-edge technology. In the case of Agent Cody Banks , it also gave Frankie Muniz a glimpse at real university life.
Edwards Air Force Base, Lancaster
Appearances: Man Of Steel, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Transformers, Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, Armageddon
Why It’s So Popular: When making an epic blockbuster film that contains a global threat, sooner or later you'll have to show the military getting involved. Whether its Superman and Iron Man keeping soldiers at arm's length, or Optimus Prime actively conferring with them, sooner or later, we need to see an army base primed for action (when we all know that they can't possible help).
Van Nuys High School, Los Angeles
Appearances: Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Grease, Class Act, Christine, Sleepwalkers, My Stepmother Is An Alien
Why It's So Popular: It looks like the perfect clean-cut American high school. That is until you get to the toilets and find that someone has scribbled 'Jeff Spicoli Was Here' on the cubicle walls. Probably.
Union Station, Chicago
Appearances: The Untouchables, Man Of Steel, Public Enemies, Death Wish, The Sting, Flags Of Our Fathers, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Derailed
Why It’s So Popular: It's the location for The Untouchables ' great climactic shootout scene and a host of other 'catching a train' scenes. It also formed the setting for Superman's final confrontation with Zod in Man Of Steel . Perhaps there's just something about dangerous situations around bustling commuters that's so appealing?
Park Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles
Appearances: Drive, The Prestige, The Bodygueard, Changeling, Stargate, Hocus Pocus, Chaplin, The Hunt For The Red October, Tango and Cash, Naked Gun, Barton Fink, The Majestic
Why It’s So Popular: The hotel has lots of different areas perfect for many different scenes. The rooms and corridors served as the apartment in Drive, the lobby provided the setting for Naked Gun's shoot out scene and the Grand Terrace Room is not only where Tesla tested his machine in The Prestige , but also where The Mask attended the Coco Bongo Club.
Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire
Appearances: Shakespeare In Love, 3 Men And A Little Lady, Jane Eyre, Made Of Honour, The Madness Of King George
Why It’s So Popular: A monumental historical site, Broughton Castle is a perfect location for films set in Ye Olden Times, as well as... um... 3 Men And A Little Lady .
Griffith Park Tunnel, Los Angeles
Appearances: Back To The Future 2, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, War Games, Nancy Drew
Why It's So Popular: We guess that, if a script calls for a scene in a tunnel, this one, located in the popular filming location of Griffith Park, is convenient. At least, that's what Robert Zemeckis thinks, having given us two scenes that, when put together, amount to Marty McFly trying to escape from Biff by riding his hoverboard to Toontown.
Appearances: Catwoman, I, Robot, The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, 21 Jump Street, Romeo Must Die, The NeverEnding Story, Legends Of The Fall, Good Luck Chuck
Why It’s So Popular: It's a town area that's a national historical site and is steeped in period features and memorable little landmarks. Oh yes, and it's cheaper to film movies in Canada.
Casa Loma, Toronto, Canada
Appearances: X-Men, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Chicago, The Tuxedo, The Pacifier, Strange Brew, Darkman, Maximum Risk, Robocop
Why It's So Popular: It's a majestic gothic castle that sits isolated atop a tall hill. In the right light, it can pass itself off as the home of a rich recluse, or a Transylvanian-style supervillain's lair.
650 South Spring Street, Los Angeles
Appearances: The Prestige, Se7en, The Wedding Singer, 13 Going On 30, Spider-Man 2, Ghost, The Mask
Why It's So Popular: A former Bank Of America building in LA's Financial District, this easily recognisable site (thanks to striped interior balconies) is the go-to for Hollywood bank scenes as well as other officious settings, like the courtroom scene in The Prestige . For all you fan fiction fanatics, have fun thinking about Doc Ock robbing the bank where Stanley Ipkiss works.
Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
Appearances: Jurassic Park, The Terminator, Rebel Without A Cause, GoldenEye, The Rocketeer, Transformers, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Bowfinger, Yes Man, Terminator Salvation
Why It's So Popular: It may have been erected with one eye looking up at the stars, but it also has great views down below at the rest of LA, with both Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles visible from the top. Plus, thanks to being featured prominently in Rebel Without A Cause , a bust of James Dean now sits on the grounds, perhaps serving as inspiration for future filmmakers (that is until they have to work around it to get the shot they want).
Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens, San Marino
Appearances: Iron Man 2, Serenity, Charlie’s Angels, Anger Management, Mystery Men, American Wedding, The Holiday, Starsky & Hutch, Memoirs Of A Geisha, Intolerable Cruelty, The Nutty Professor, Indecent Proposal, The Wedding Planner
Why It’s So Popular: They're stunning gardens that provide a serene contrast to day-to-day grind of city life. Or, y'know, you could just lure a bunch of robots there and shoot them to bits, eh Tony?
Golden Ears Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada
Appearances: First Blood, X-Men: The Last Stand, Twilight
Why It's So Popular: It's a forest area that suggests wilderness and seclusion from the rest of the world. It's where Rambo roamed in his first cinematic outing, where Magneto gathered his mutant brotherhood and... um... where Edward ran around a few trees with Bella in his back.
Torrance High School, Torrance
Appearances: She’s All That, Bruce Almighty, Not Another Teen Movie, Bring It On, Cursed, Less Than Zero, Whatever It Takes, Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series, Beverly Hills 90210
Why It's So Popular: Because high school stories need to be filmed somewhere and this grandiose school building is as convenient as any. Also, Beverly Hills 90210 really set the precedent for a high school should look, so it's a no-brainer for other projects to return to the same location.
Old Royal Naval College, London
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The King's Speech, The Dark Knight Rises, Les Misrrables, Thor: The Dark World, Four Weddings And A Funeral, The Madness of King George, The Mummy Returns, The Avengers (1998), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Why It's So Popular: It's a huge grandiose site that blends together old architecture with modern sensibilities. It's perfect for period-set blockbusters as well as any film wanting to convey England's high society (it even doubled for Buckingham Palace in The King's Speech ). And, there's also a food court, which came in handy for that final cafe scene in The Dark Knight Rises .
Somerset House, London
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes, GoldenEye, The Duchess, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Day Of The Jackal, King Ralph, Sense And Sensibility, The Portrait Of A Lady, Wilde
Why It's So Popular: Soaked in period features, Somerset House serves well as an opulent home of yesteryear. Plus, in James Bond's case, the outside courtyard doubles as St Petersburg Square. Apparently.
Hatley Castle, British Columbia, Canada
Appearances: X-Men, Masterminds, Fierce People, The Changeling, Arrow TV series, Smallville TV series
Why It's So Popular: Apparently, if you want to find a setting for a rich comic-book character's luxurious home, this is the place to use. In what is the most brazen Marvel/DC crossover to date, Hatley House serves as Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters in all the X-Men films as well as the Queen family mansion in TV's Arrow AND it was Luther's home in Smallville .
The Ebell Of Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Appearances: Forrest Gump, Wedding Crashers, The Social Network, Catch Me If You Can, old School, Cruel Intentions, Air Force One, Ghost, Death Becomes Her
Why It's So Popular: The Ebell of Los Angeles is a women's club that contains a small theatre and is an incredibly versatile space. It has served as a wedding reception in Old School , the hospital where Forrest Gump recuperates and the university where Frank Abagnale recruits young air stewardesses.
Parkwood Estate, Ontario, Canada
Appearances: X-Men, Charlie Bartlett, Billy Madison, Chicago, Fever Pitch, Bulletproof Monk, The Tuxedo
Why It's So Popular: Parkwood Estate is a luxury house in a beautiful and serene location; perfect for doubling as hideaways for wealthy folk. Or as training grounds at a school for gifted children.
Grand Central Station, New York
Appearances: Arthur, Conspiracy Theory, Unbreakable, The Avengers, Cloverfield, I Am Legend, The Bone Collector, Carlito’s Way, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Friends With Benefits, Hackers, Men In Black, The Taking Of Pelham 123, Superman, The Perfect Score, Midnight Run, North By Northwest, One Fine Day
Why It’s So Popular: It's a busy entry point for New York, where busy people can run for a train, lovers can greet each other or say goodbye, and danger can be afoot putting the general public at large at risk. It also contains some beautiful architecture, which is more easily seen in Russell Brand's Arthur when he has the station completely emptied so that he can enjoy a first date.
Times Square, New York
Appearances: Captain America: The First Avenger, Spider-Man, Tower Heist, The Smurfs, Enchanted, Hancock, Date Night, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Vanilla Sky, Jerry Maguire, Big, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, Midnight Cowboy, Fame
Why It’s So Popular: It possibly the flashiest, most media-billboard-saturated place on earth and is perfect for when you need a scene to convey the busy hubbub of modern life. Or, indeed, when you need Captain America to wake up and realise that times have really moved on from when he was last standing upright.
Battersea Power Station, London
Appearances: Children Of Men, 1984, The Dark Knight, Sabotage, The Meaning Of Life, High Treason, The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, Full Metal Jacket, Happy-Go-Lucky, RocknRolla, The King's Speech.
Why It's So Popular: With its four huge, grimy chimney stacks, Battersea Power Station really helps to sell the idea of a heavily industrialised dystopia, as in 1984 or its use as the 'Ark Of Art' in Children Of Men . Meanwhile, the interior is perfect for use as an abandoned warehouse (where Batman would have found Rachel Dawes tied up in The Dark Knight ) and the techy control room doubled easily for the BBC's control room in The King's Speech . It really is the multi-purpose coal-fired power station.
Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles
Appearances: Chinatown, A Star is Born, Splash, Bachelor Party, Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters, Dave, True Lies, Independence Day, Heartbreakers, Blow, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Ocean's 11, The Nutty Professor, Bugsy, Blue Streak, In The Line Of Fire, Wedding Crashers, The Italian Job, Daredevil, National Treasure, Spider-Man, Alien Nation, Prom Night, Fight Club, Vertigo
Why It’s So Popular: It's a big, swanky hotel, which means the film gets to have a nice fancy location and, inevitably, gets to make fun of all the posh is that usually frequent there. Whether it's Axel Foley, Peter Venkman or Bachelor Party 's young Tom Hanks, there's nothing better than seeing a working class hero stick one to the rich hoi-polloi.
The Bradbury Building, Los Angeles
Appearances: The Artist, Chinatown, Blade Runner, (500) Days Of Summer, Disclosure, Wolf, Lethal Weapon 4, Pay It Forward
Why It's So Popular: The iconic architecture. From the lacework staircases where The Artist 's George and Peppy meet, to the climactic rooftop showdown in Blade Runner , this is a building that makes an impact on the eye.
Bronson Canyon, Los Angeles
Appearances: The Searchers, Star Trek VI: An Undiscovered Country, Army Of Darkness, Invason Of The Body Snatchers, Cabin Fever, George Of The Jungle, The Scorpion King, the original 60s Batman TV series
Why It's So Popular: Used for countless adventure serials throughout the 30s, this section of LA's Griffith Park is suitable for both westerns and sci-fi films thanks to looking like a craggy, undisclosed remote location (whereas it is actually just up the road for Hollywood filmmakers).
Bourne Wood, Surrey
Appearances: Gladiator, Children Of Men, Snow White And The Huntsman, The Golden Compass, Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, Robin Hood, The Wolfman, Thor: The Dark World, Jack The Giant Slayer, Captain America: The First Avenger, Dark Shadows, War Horse, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 and 2)
Why It's So Popular: It's a dense forest that can serve as any wooded area, whether its for fantasy films like Snow White And The Huntsman and The Golden Compass , or movies based on cold, hard historical fact like... um... Robin Hood and the Sherlock Holmes sequel.
Hatfield House, Hertfordshire
Appearances: Batman, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Shakespeare In Love, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Tomb Raider, Sherlock Holmes, Get Him To The Greek, Orlando, V for Vendetta.
Why It's So Popular: It's a massive house, perfect for selling the idea of a multi-millionaire who may or may not be fighting crime on the side. Movie owners include Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton's version), Lara Croft and Tarzan. We, of course, like to imagine them all as quarrelsome flatmates.
Sixth Street Viaduct, Los Angeles
Appearances: Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Grease, Drive, Freaky Friday, In Time, To Live And Die In LA, Be Cool, Gone In 60 Seconds, SWAT, Repo Man, The Mask
Why It's So Popular: it's perfect for isolated set-pieces, particularly those involving fast vehicles because not much around to get damaged. Hence how two time-travelling cyborgs get locked in a deadly chase on the same strip where Danny Zuko wins his car race.
Vasquez Rocks, Los Angeles
Appearances: Star Trek, John Carter, Blazing Saddles, Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, 127 Hours, Little Miss Sunshine, Jay And Silent Bob Strikes Back, Army Of Darkness, Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey, Alpha Dog, The Flintstones, Star Trek: The Original Series
Why It's So Popular: Ever since Captain Kirk fought a Gorn here, the Vasquez Rocks have formed the backdrop for a number of sci-fi locations, as well as other remote California settings. It even appeared twice in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey : once when they watch the classic Star Trek episode, and again when they are thrown off the rocks by their evil robot doubles.
Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills
Appearances: The Muppets, The Big Lebowski, The Prestige, The Dirty Dozen, Batman & Robin, Eraserhead, There Will be Blood, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, X-Men, The Social Network, National Treasure: Book Of Secrets, The Bodyguard, Ghostbusters II, Stripes, Lincoln, Death Becomes Her, The Dirty Dozen, The Witches Of Eastwick
Why It's So Popular: Another huge estate for rich superheroes and other wealthy characters, this time with a memorable checked floor to make for easy spotting. It boggles the mind to think that There Will Be Blood 's Daniel Plainview, the older Lebowski, Norman Osborne and Kermit all share the same taste in decor.
Courthouse Square (Universal Studios backlot), Los Angeles
Appearances: Back To The Future trilogy, To Kill A Mockingbird, Gremlins, Weird Science, The Nutty Professor, Jingle All The Way, Escape From LA, Batman And Robin, Amistad, Bruce Almighty, The Campaign
Why It's So Popular: Basically because it's supposed to look like a real-life square in LA, but has all the convenience of a closed-off studio set thanks to being on Universal's home turf. Of course, now it's hard not to instantly recognise the courthouse as being Back To The Future 's famous clock tower.
Monument Valley, Utah
Appearances: Mission Impossible II, Back To The Future Part III, The Searchers, Stagecoach, Forrest Gump, Wild Wild West, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Easy Rider, Lone Ranger, Once Upon A Time In The West
Why It's So Popular: Ever since director John Ford used Monument Valley for the setting of his 1939 film Stagecoach , the area has become synonymous with westerns (thanks in part to Ford himself returning for many future films).
It is also, however, the area where Marty McFly drives through when travelling to 1885. It's also where Tom Cruise dangled from a cliff face at the start of Mission: Impossible II .
The Quality Cafe, Los Angeles
Appearances: (500) Days Of Summer, Mr And Mrs Smith, Training Day, Old School, Million Dollar Baby, Se7en, Ghost World, Catch Me If You Can, Gone In 60 Seconds
Why It's So Popular: It's there's such a thing as the quintessential diner scene, this is usually the quintessential diner in which was filmed.
Just imagine how much exposition has been given while sipping coffee out of the EXACT SAME MUGS.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Appearances: X-Men: The Last Stand, The Pursuit Of Happyness, Hulk, Big Trouble In Little China, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Escape From Alcatraz, Dirty Harry, The Day The Earth Stood Still, A View To A Kill, The Birds, Basic Instinct, Milk, The Graduate, Flight Of The Navigator, The Book Of Eli, The Abyss, The Rock, Superman, Zodiac, Pacific Rim
Why It’s So Popular: Frankly, we love to see places we know - preferably iconic landmarks - ripped apart and demolished by whatever monstrous force takes our fancy.
That and it's just good to provide some context for the setting. Like seeing a red bus onscreen so that everyone knows the scene takes place in London.
Central Park, New York
Appearances: The Avengers, Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, Men In Black III, Alfie, Premium Rush, You’ve Got Mail, Arthur, Friends With Benefits, Mr Popper’s Penguins, Remember Me, When Harry Met Sally, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Almost Famous, Date Night, Anger Management, The Royal Tenenbaums, Eat Pray Love, Maid In Manhattan, Get Him To The Greek, Morning Glory, Cruel Intentions, Hitch, Elf, Made Of honour, Cloverfield, Righteous Kill, The Happening, Borat, Enchanted, I Am Legend, Jumper, Spider-Man 3, The Incredible Hulk, The Devil Wears Prada, Vanilla Sky, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York – THERE ARE TOO MANY.
Why It’s So Popular: It's a huge, beautiful park slap bang in the middle of the otherwise bustling chaos of New York. It's full of lovely, quiet paths and corners and sometimes it's nice to show the contrast between these and the 'concrete jungle'. Mostly though, in a film about two people falling in love, it's more romantic to have them walking in Central Park than down Fifth Avenue.
Oh, and it also provides an excellent shortcut for one desperate John McClane.