Let's See Those Iconic Movie Sets That Never Left

Just about everyone has some favorite movie locations they wish they could visit. While many sets are torn down as quickly as they were erected, or the locations are turned back into their original state, a few have remained unchanged since the day the director yelled, “that’s a wrap!” These leftover movie monuments are places where film buffs can walk in the footsteps of their silver screen icons.


(Image: J. Miers/Public Domain)

In the remote stretches of Tunisia, just outside Nefta village, you can still find the remains of Luke Skywalker’s childhood home, otherwise known as the Lars Homestead. Built as a location in a galaxy far, far away, it has survived on our planet all these years. In Höfn, Iceland visitors can walk through a reconstructed Viking village, designed for the film, Vikingr that may or may not be still in production. At 3159 West 11th Street in Cleveland, Ohio you can visit the home of Ralphie Parker seen in the holiday classic, A Christmas Story. The house has been transformed into a museum, leg lamp and all. Just don’t shoot your eye out. These and many other locations from the movies can still be found all across the globe, and now we want to hear about the greatest filming locations and leftover movie sets that you’ve ever discovered.

In the thread below, tell us about some of your favorite movie sets or filming locations that you can still visit. Where are they located and what film did they appear in? Let us know why it’s meaningful to you, and whether you’ve been able to visit? Be sure to include any pictures you might have as well. Your response may be included in an upcoming round-up article on Atlas Obscura.

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From the last set location of the final reel of 1995’s Waterworld, plus one of the descendants of the original actors.

Waipio Beach, where they finally found Dry Land. Sadly, most of the horses never made the breakthrough to Hollywood, and get by panhandling from tourists. Still, they get to live in Hawaii…

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Gammon’s Gulch Movie Set outside Benson, AZ is a great place to visit if you like the wild, wild, west:-)

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On my sand bucket list! There is a great documentary for those who are interested; “The Lost City of Cecil B Demille” . Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center – The Lost City of Demille

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Kootenai Falls, MT, from the movie Revenant

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The opening scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, in Arches National Park.

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I mean, if you’re a John Waters fan, the entire town of Baltimore is still here.

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Bit of the obvious choice, but it would be remiss to not mention Hobbiton in this topic. The New Zealand set was built in completely temporary fashion for the shooting of the original “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Following the massive success of those movies, the terrain where the set was built (originally a farm) was acquired by the studio for tourism development.

When “The Hobbit” was greenlit, the film crew made the most of the opportunity, went to the site and this time re-built the set out of more permanent materials for even heavier tourism.

I visited a few years ago, the visits system works by tour only, you must be with a guide at all times and the whole thing is limited to about 90 minutes, with most of the “free time” dedicated to a functioning Hobbit pub on site. While this was a tad disppointing (my favorite moments were the slow lulls as we waited for the group to move along, when you could take the place in at a better pace), I completely understand the need for it as they get A LOT of visitors and it’s so easy for even the best destinations to become spoiled with that kind of volume.

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I don’t have any picture unfortunately as just passed through the town a couple of times years ago when living and working in the area. But in the Sierra de Guadarrama (Madrid , Spain) there is the town of Hoyo de Manzanares that were the film sets for the Clint Eastwood / Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns like “Fistfull of dollars” and “the Good the bad and the Ugly”.

Obviously things have changed a bit since the 60’s , no more mules and plenty of cars , but the town still has a lot of that sort of provincial /lawless/ tough ambience character that made it such a good stand in for the Wild West/ Mexico for a cash strapped Sergio Leone.

I believe (not a film buff so please correct me if I’m wrong) , judging from the look of the town square even today that this iconic scene was shot there :

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Old Tucson in Ariz still has some original sets but a fire in 1995 destroyed much of the original buildings including the Little House On The Prairie set & costumes. New sets were built for the movies and TV shows filmed since the fire. Some of the original sets were also moved to Mescal, AZ in Chocise County. This set only open by request.
See oldtucson.com

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I live in LA. The whole town is a film location. But I’ll mention some cool ones.
The Hollywood Heritage Museum is one of those places the locals never visit but always casually plan on getting around to. It is also known as the DeMille-Lasky Barn and is the site of the first feature film shot in Hollywood. Moved from its original location, it’s now in a parking lot across the street from the Hollywood Bowl.


Don’t be like procrastinating locals. Go see it. It’s cool.

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Pioneertown is just outside of Joshua Tree. It was a fake Old West set that evolved into a real town. All the facades were turned into legit buildings (mostly small gift shops) and the saloon turned into a restaurant/rock club. I played at Pappy and Harriet’s a couple years ago. The sets served a lot of low budget fare, so you won’t see this set in too many Western classics. But it’s still friggin cool to walk down Main Street.


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Just because it’s the site of one of my favorite Keaton gags, I walked this alley the other night.
giphy

The same alley is featured in Chaplin’s The Kid and Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last.
Cahuenga just south of Hollywood Blvd.

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Puente Hills Mall - City of Industry, CA

Twin Pines / Lone Pine Mall
Back To The Future

I took this picture when they were still filming at the Puente Hills Mall
I was standing near the Twin Pines/Lone Pine Mall sign the production crew erected ( https://goo.gl/maps/hwiHdt6cAvnNb4WHA )

Filming took place in the south parking lot

Several years ago they marked the date (the future date) by parking Dr.Brown’s van in roughly the same spot in the parking lot, had a replica DeLorean inside the mall center court , and the mall sign inside the mall (it’s still there in an alcove right off the center court)

A small note of trivia, in my pic just to the Left of Dr.Brown’s van you can see the lit up (older) logo of Puente Hills Mall. The production crew neglected to cover this sign up and you can spot it in the final print of the film if you look closely enough

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A couple of years ago, a great friend of mine and I took a road trip around Washington to visit the Twin Peaks sites from the movie and show. I miss living in the Pacific Northwest so much. :broken_heart:

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Brilliant pics explodingirl !

The picture of the house especially gives me the creeps , it was creepy in the series with Laura’s fathers homicidal psychotic break but what I really remember is this scene with the entity BOB (who looks uncannily like a former junior professor of mine who also incidentally looks and acts like Oswald Mosley) in “Fire walk with me” :

By the way , have to ask , see any owls ?

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Seasonal favourite movie of the masses, “A Christmas Story” had filming locations in my small Canadian hometown of St. Catharines. The school, for example, Victoria Public School, was a neighbourhood haunt of mine, having played there as a child many times. Also had some trips through the halls when the school was still open. These days, the school has been converted into a women and children shelter.

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The Sophie’s Choice house was around the block from the house I was born in. It’s still there at 101 Rugby Rd

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Awesome collection of photos, thanks for sharing

That’s my dream TV-related vacation. DON’T TRUST THE OWLS!

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