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It’s always exciting when we see a building or area that was featured in a movie. The location has become a part of the city’s (or state’s) history, which can be a big help to its tourism. Yet, many do not realize how much time, effort and money goes into finding the perfect location that will make a scene (or the movie) memorable. There are many landmarks that are used in movies mainly because of the fact that they are iconic. Take the Empire State Building, for example. Everyone knows about this famous building because of its size and history. The observation deck has been used in many movies, such as Sleepless in Seattle and On the Town. There a myriad of reasons why a location is chosen to be in a movie, such as geographical location, size, and views. However, sometimes it just comes down to the cost. Let’s take a look at some movie locations that are instantly recognizable from movies we love. 


  1. The House in A Christmas Story — The 1983 movie is set in the 1940s surrounding Ralphie Parker and his perfect Christmas gift, a Red Ryder air rifle. The movie is based on the life of author Jean Shepherd, who grew up in Hammond, Indiana. Yet, the movie was shot in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio (3159 W. 11th Street) because the neighborhood closely resembled the Indiana suburb in the 1940s. Ironically, the street Shepard grew up on was Cleveland Street. The home features a beautiful front window where the leg lamp is proudly displayed. To make your season bright, you can rent out the home. 
  2. The Firehouse in Ghostbusters — Who can forget the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or the huge Ecto-1 Cadillac from the movie? Another memorable piece of the movie was the fire station in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. Hook & Ladder Company #8 was the Ghostbusters’ headquarters and is a working firehouse. The red garage door of the fire station can be clearly spotted from blocks away. It’s easy to imagine the bulky Ecto-1 barreling out of it on a call. 
  3. Yarvin IV in Star Wars — For those die-hard Star Wars fans, visiting the Massassi Outpost Rebel Base is not that far of a trek. It is actually Mayan temple ruins in the Tikal National Park in Guatemala. The jungle and large vegetation provided the perfect backdrop for the outpost, which was the headquarters of the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. George Lucas chose the location because he saw the ruins on a travel poster while filming in London. 
  4. Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men Franchise — This school is actually a castle, Hatley Castle, in British Columbia, Canada. The exterior and parts of the property were used in the movies, such as X-Men and X-Men: The Last Stand. In the early 1940s, the castle was used as a dormitory and mess hall for the Royal Roads Military College. It now houses the administration offices of Royal Roads University. It is not hard to think of the castle as a school as many castles and old estates were bought up by Universities for their grandeur and space.