Many fans of the Lord of the Rings trilogy may already know where to go to experience Middle-earth on Earth. But what if you are a fan of other films or franchises? Here are some of the real-world locations from famous films that you can actually visit:
Tribute’s Quarters and Training Centre from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
When the protagonists, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, and their team arrived at the Capitol to compete in the Quarter Quell, they were housed and trained in the lavish and newly-renovated Tributes’ Quarters and Training Centre. In real life, the scenes were shot in the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel in Georgia, U.S.A.
The hotel was reportedly chosen for its posh glass elevators and enormous atrium, which was the largest in the world at one time. Scenes in the tributes’ living quarters were shot on the 10th floor and a set was built on the rooftop to film a certain scene from the book. However, the rooftop scene did not make it to the film’s final cut.
Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters from the X-Men (Twentieth Century Fox) franchise
In the X-Men universe, Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is where young mutants can go to receive specialised education and guidance on how to wield their mutant abilities. If you have seen any of the Twentieth Century Fox X-Men films, you might remember the school’s distinctive exterior. You can actually visit this at the Hatley Castle in British Columbia, Canada.
Its first appearance as the famous school for X-Men mutants dates back to 1996, in the made-for-TV movie ‘Generation X‘. Throughout the 2000s, Twentieth Century Fox used it in other X-Men movies, such as X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). Other filming locations for Xavier’s School in Canada include Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ontario and Casa Loma in Toronto.
Yavin IV from Star Wars
While shooting in London, director George Lucas saw a travel agency’s poster of the Mayan temple ruins in Guatemala’s Tikal National Park. He later filmed at this location for the original Star Wars film, specifically for the Massassi Outpost rebel base on Yavin’s fourth moon.
Tikal National Park is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is believed to have been inhabited by the ancient Mayan civilisation from 6th century B.C. to 10th century A.D.
Café des 2 Moulins from Amélie (2001)
Amélie is one of the most beloved films of all time and the quaint Parisian café where the whimsical titular character worked is a real place! Located at 15, rue Lepic, 775018, Paris, right at the junction of Rue Lepic and Rue Cauchois in the Montmarte area, the interior of the Café des 2 Moulin (or 2 Windmills Cafe) consists of a bar area and multiple small tables. Near the cafe are two historical windmills, namely Moulin de la Galette and Moulin Rouge (another cinematically famous location).
We have film producers and film production fixers to thank for the locations that made our favourite movies even more remarkable. If you choose to visit any of these locations, however, consider appreciating the area as it is in the real world and not only as the place where a movie was filmed.