Lights, camera, action, and happy traveling! Pennsylvania’s charm and iconic destinations make the perfect film locations for the silver screen. From diners and cemeteries to theaters and churches, we’ve got an endless supply of movie (and tv!) magic. The cameras are rolling, so come to Pennsylvania and recreate your own Oscar-worthy production — or simply flaunt your superior pop culture knowledge.
1. Philadelphia Art Museum Steps - Rocky
Perhaps one of the most iconic scenes in movie history is Rocky Balboa running up Benjamin Franklin Parkway and victoriously climbing the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Can you hear that? It’s “Eye of the Tiger” playing in the distance as you ascend all 72 steps and stand, victorious, on the marker with Rocky’s footprints. Don’t forget to take a picture with the larger-than-life statue of the famous boxer.
2. Llanerch Diner - Silver Linings Playbook
Have a budding romance? Take your first date to the same place where Pat (Bradley Cooper) and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) struck up their romance in “Silver Linings Playbook”: the Llanerch Diner in Upper Darby. You can even sit in the exact booth the movie was filmed in 2012 and take a picture with the plaque to mark your visit!
3. Bethlehem Steel Blast Furnaces - Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen
The epic opening robot battle in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is set against a unique industrial PA backdrop: the former Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces. Today, what was once one of the largest steel producers in America has been transformed into the SteelStacks, a 10-acre campus dedicated to arts, culture, and large-scale events like Musikfest.
4. Cambria County War Memorial Arena - Slap Shot
Diehard fans of the 1977 hockey film “Slap Shot” can visit the 1st Summit Arena at Cambria War Memorial in Johnstown, the featured setting for the fictional Charleston Chiefs’ big game at the . The team featured in the film was based on Pennsylvania’s Johnstown Jets of the North American Hockey League. Some of the Jets’ current players were even featured in the cast as the film’s famous Hanson Brothers. Today, the arena is home to the junior team the Johnstown Tomahawks — stop by and catch a game!
5. Fort Pitt Tunnel & Bridge - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Pittsburgh is known for its tunnels and bridges, but the Fort Pitt Tunnel got its time in the spotlight in the 2012 flick, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Directed and based off the book written by Pittsburgh native Steven Chbosky, the film features a scene where Sam (Emma Watson) rides in the back of a pickup truck with her arms spread wide through the tunnel onto the Fort Pitt Bridge.
6. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Mansions on Fifth - The Fault in Our Stars
Lovers of the young-adult author John Green are familiar with the screen adaptation of his popular book, “The Fault in Our Stars,” but did you know it was filmed in and around Pittsburgh? The church where Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort) meet and later hold Gus’ mock funeral is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon. And, in a little bit of movie magic, the hotel the couple stayed at in Amsterdam actually had the interior shots filmed at the Mansions on Fifth in Pittsburgh!
7. PA Dutch Countryside - Witness
Lancaster, Philadelphia, Strasburg, Intercourse
The 1985 thriller “Witness,” starring Harrison Ford, told the story of an Amish boy who witnessed a murder — contrasting the grim events with the pastoral PA Dutch countryside. Besides filming scenes at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, the film features numerous southcentral PA small towns like Strasburg, Intercourse, and Lancaster. Fans of the movie can get an authentic Lancaster experience on The Amish Farm and House tours.
8. Omni William Penn Hotel and The Kovalchick Convention & Athletic Complex - Southpaw
Directed by Pittsburgh native Antoine Fuqua, “Southpaw” was filmed at locations around western Pennsylvania. The scene where Billy (Jake Gyllenhaal) gets into a fight in the lobby and his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) was shot was at the Omni William Penn Hotel. The Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania stood in for Madison Square Garden to portray Billy’s visceral matches in the ring.
9. Cooper’s Seafood House - The Office
We’ve all seen the hit TV show “The Office” and dreamed of working with its iconic characters like Dwight, Pam, and Jim. You can relive a little piece of the show’s magic at Cooper’s Seafood House in Scranton! Famously mentioned throughout the series and featured on Michael Scott and Holly from HR’s dinner date, Cooper’s has been a Scranton staple for more than 70 years.
10. Hersheypark - The Goldbergs
Produced by Philadelphian Adam Goldberg and loosely based on his real family, ABC’s hit show “The Goldbergs” follows a family in the 1980s living in Jenkintown. Growing up, Goldberg visited Hersheypark on a school field trip and decided to replicate his trip in an episode, as well. In the episode, the TV character Adam can be seen wearing an “I survived the sooper dooper Looper” shirt, which he rode on his school field trip against his mother’s wishes, as he walks down the Hershey Kiss lamppost-lined Chocolate Avenue.
11. Evans City Cemetery - Night of The Living Dead
If you’re a fan of classic horror, then you’re likely already familiar with Evans City Cemetery, which was made famous in “Night of the Living Dead” — the film that introduced the zombie into pop culture. Some of the most iconic scenes from the 1968 film were filmed here, including the one at the old chapel and Nicholas Kramer’s tombstone, which Barbara famously clung to after the first zombie attack. The nearby Monroeville Mall was featured both in this film and more prominently in George Romero’s next Night of the Living Dead series entry: Dawn of the Dead.
12. Raystown Lake - Hoffa
Based on Jimmy Hoffa, the notorious American labor union figure that mysteriously disappeared, the movie “Hoffa” had scenes filmed on the land in and around Raystown Lake. A cabin and dock for a seaplane were built especially for filming, and stars like Danny DeVito and Jack Nicholson spent time wandering the region. The movie also features Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, where Hoffa spent a few years behind bars.
13. Colonial Theatre - The Blob
Beware of the Blob! Fans of the B sci-fi film “The Blob” will relish a visit to The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, the iconic theater from which panicked patrons made their (much parodied) escape. You’ll have the chance to help recreate that well-known shot during Blobfest, which will celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2020! Get ready to purchase your tickets before they’re gone.
14. Ontario Street Comic Book Shop and Parc Restaurant - Glass
Philadelphian M. Night Shyamalan is known for filming his legendary plot twisting movies in Pennsylvania. “Split,” Shyamalan’s movie featuring a man with 23 personalities, has a scene outside the Philadelphia Zoo, as well as 30th Street Station. His 2019 sequel to “Split” and “Unbreakable,” “Glass,” was filmed at Stephen Starr’s Parc restaurant and at the Ontario Street Comic Book Shop.
15. Buffalo Bill’s House – Silence of the Lambs
Horror movie buffs will want to make a pit stop right outside of Pittsburgh to tour Buffalo Bill’s House where the climatic finale of “Silence of the Lambs” was filmed. Visitors can enter the home of the most prolific cinematic serial killer of all time – even stepping foot in the world-famous basement where guests can see where Buffalo Bill’s Workshop of Horrors interactive film set is located. Browse “Silence of the Lambs” memorabilia and recreate your favorite scenes from the film throughout your tour. Have your own “Precious” moments at this iconic film destination.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don’t forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.