10 Old Movie Sets You Can Still Visit Today
Since CGI is a product of modern technology, older movies tend to be filmed on actual locations, either natural or artificially formed. Even though CGI has set a greater world of possibilities, there is a charm that these physical set can present to us that CGIs cannot, they bring their fantastical world to our, giving us the ability to experience the place where our favorite movies took place.
Here are ten old movie sets you can still visit today:
1. Jurassic Park
Originally meant to be filmed in the coast of Costa Rica, the film which features dinosaurs rampaging in our modern world was ultimately shot at the island of Isla Nubar, part of the Cincos Muertes island chain, because Steven Spielberg believed that it is a more accessible, not to mention stunning, location for a park to be filled with dinosaurs.
Universal Studions recreated the magnificent world of dinosaurs in the Hawaiian island way before big-budget films and TV series like Godzilla and Lost followed suit. Until now, tourists are allowed to explore the island, either via horseback or in Jeeps. You can still see the plains where Malcolm and Ellie spotted a giant brachiosaurus, or the valley in which the massive T-rex tries to eat Grant, Tim, and Lex.
2. The Goonies
The Goonie House can still be found at 368 38th Street in a small town of Astoria near Cannon Beach in Oregon, which is know as a great destination to have a walk in the beautiful sand or buy fresh produce from the flea market, and most importantly the home of one of the most famous film of the 80s. The scene in which the pirate ship emerges to the sea will forever be a cherished moment in movie history.
You could still see the place where the ship emerge in one of the rock outcroppings, or the beach in the film, including the Goonie Rock which is just a few miles away. Just a couple of trips down the coast at Goat Rock State Beach in California tourists could also visit the beach where the final scene what shot.
3. Shawshank Redemption
Shawshank Redemption was shot inside a prison in the 30s, namely the Ohio State Reformatory. Although closed in 1990, it was reopened as a preserved site. Tourists could still see the prison in which the characters played by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman spent their lives seeking its meaning while serving their life sentences. You could see where a poster of Rita Hayworth and a small rock hammer freed Andy Dufresne from his life sentence.
4. Planet of the Apes
Surprisingly, the apes and monkeys of Planet of the Apes do not live in a distant planet away from our solar system. In fact they inhabited a physical space here, in various places in Arizona. The cliff walls where several of the scenes were shot are still visible today. The lake in the movie, Lake Powell, is located in Utah and was built in the early 60s. It looks a lot different now that it did when they filmed it for the movie. It currently supply water to Phoenix, Flagstaff and other cities along the Colorado River.
With just a boat trip and some hiking, you could also see the canyons where most of the film was shot, and while you are there you could even cliff-dive, if that’s your thing.
5. Harry Potter Series
Harry Potter movies are perhaps the most famous movies about magic and wizardry. Hogwarts School of Wizardry, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione learned their craft, is an actual location, although its rooms are filmed on a mix of different locations. But hey, you wouldn’t need an acceptance letter nor ride a train on platform 9 3/4 just to visit them.
Most of the hallway scenes were shot at the Gloucester Cathedral, which currently hosts tours for tourists who wants to see the magical hallways where Harry and his friends scatter about, while most of the interior scene where shot at the Christ Church College in Oxford, where the dining hall was recreated for Hogwarts. Mourning Myrtle’s favorite spot can be found at Gloucester Castle in Scotland in you are brave. Other locations include Bodleian Library in Oxford and Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire.
6. Indiana Jones Trilogy
A lot of exotic places where used for the Indiana Jones trilogy. One of the most famous of them is the temple in which the Holy Grail is hidden from The Last Crusade. The interior shots of the temple might be shot on a soundstage in Holywood, but the exterior of it was shot can be found in Jordan, the cliff dwelling of Petra. You visit it to see the impressive temple in all of its hand-carved glory.
The rope bridge used in The Temple of Doom in which the battle between Jones and the shaman took place, located over the gorge at Victoria Falls, Sri Lanka, can still be visited today. Unfortunately, the Temple of Kali is just purely fictional.
7. Back To The Future
A lot of film were shot at the Courthouse Square on the Universal Studios Hollywood, this includes Back to the Future I and II, Batman and Robin, Gremlins, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bruce Almight, and The Ghost Whisperer, to name a few. Many buildings are located at the lot, and they are constantly changing. One that’s easy to recognize is the Clock Tower. Even though two fires, one in 1990 and the other in 2008, destroyed most of the original sets there, including the King Kong set and the “New York Street”, the Clock Tower and it’s surrounding remains intact.
Tourists can still take the studio tour in which they get to see the square and take a quick picture, or take a VIP tour for a much more interactive tour.
8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The house where the famous family of inbred cannibals is sold and have been moving to different places since filming ended. Although originally built in Round Rock, Texas, it was moved to Kingsland and was converted into a restaurant complete with its own Leatherface atop the stairs. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed.
It was later reopened as the Grand Central Restaurant at Antlers Hotel. Even though the new owners did not put much emphasis on its interesting history, it welcomed tourists who wants to experience dining in the same place the cannibalistic family dine, hopefully there is no human flesh involved.
9. Friday the 13th
This cheesy horror movie of the 80s is shot at one of the camping cabins used by the Boy Scouts of America located at the NoBeBoSco campground in Blairstown, New Jersey. Until now, the cabin still stands.
The Camp Crystal Lake where a lot of campers got killed can still be visited by tourists by asking for permission from the group. Although seldomly granted, mostly during off-season, you would try your luck and wander through the creepy abandoned camps.
10. Night of the Living Dead
Even though most of the filming location in this 1965 film were destroyed, like the farmhouse that had been demolished, the cemetery from the opening scene and the chapel still stands and are located near Evans, Pennsylvania which is George Romero’s, the film’s director, hometown. However, they are almost unrecognizable due to their old state.
The chapel was almost demolished if not for a group headed by Gary Streiner who were called “Fix the Chapel”. They had the roads get paved and the fields have been developed. The undead residents are nowhere to be found, but you could still visit the place for a hit of nostalgia. The Evans City Cemetery and the monument Barbara leaned against, on the other hand, are still standing and looks just like in the movie. The farmhouse of the 1990 remake also still stands on Jefferson Street.