Any way you slice it, movies are one of the major American exports, and across fifty states there’s plenty of natural and manmade beauty to mine for blockbusters. Whereas many countries can claim only a few instantly-recognizable wonders (Jordan’s ancient city of Petra from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade comes to mind), virtually every landmark in the U.S. has grabbed a little screen time. From Westerns and indie flicks to true classics like The Shining and Blade Runner, America boasts a wealth of must-see tourist attractions familiar to filmgoers everywhere. Below, 10 of the coolest film landmarks to visit in the USA.
The church from the closing scene of The Graduate (1967) is still standing and in much the same condition, which probably prompts an annoying number of reenactments from tourists looking to capture some of the magic of the classic Dustin Hoffman vehicle (the final of scene of which was also parodied on-location in Wayne’s World 2). In the center of the town of La Verne, this functioning church is a beautiful location all on its own, Mrs. Robinson or no Mrs. Robinson.
The legendary firehouse from Ghostbusters (1984) is, in reality, a functioning FDNY fire station in Tribeca. Built in 1903, the firefighters of Hook & Ladder No. 8 are real-life heroes on par with their fictional counterparts: They were among the first responders to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Facing closure in 2011, this landmark was saved by the intervention of Bill de Blasio and remains in service after a $6 million renovation.
Doubling for the fictional Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard (1988), the real Fox Plaza is a Los Angeles landmark that has also appeared in movies like Airheads, Fight Club, and Lethal Weapon 2. With such a vaunted career in movies, it’s easy to overlook the architectural marvel that it really is, having been co-designed by architect and Space Age enthusiast William Pereira.
The unmistakable OCP Headquarters from Robocop (1986) is in actuality the Dallas City Hall, a staggering pyramidal design by I.M. Pei that slops at a 34° angle, shielding the downtown area from the blistering Texas sun. A landmark of modernism, the City Hall is a perfect double for the dystopic corporations of Robocop’s futuristic version of Detroit, which has its own Robocop-themed tourist attractions including a statue of Robocop himself to be unveiled sometime in 2018.
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