Philadelphia through the Screen

| May 8, 2015

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Philadelphia throught the screen

Philadelphia throught the screen


When we think of the settings of some of our favourite films and television shows, we automatically think of places like New York and Los Angeles. Even if they aren’t filmed there, they’re often the centre point of entertainment.

But sneakily, over the decades, Philadelphia hasn’t just been creeping up on the tourism world, but the entertainment industry as well; with multiple programmes and movies set there.

Here’s our top five films and television shows that incorporate the streets of Philadelphia; there may even be a few surprises.

  1. The Rocky films

The Fresh Prince may have name-checked Philly in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune, but the Rocky film series embraced Philadelphia for everything it was. This was probably down to lead actor Sylvester Stallone’s affinity with the city, which allowed him to showcase much of the city’s famed landmarks. Walk in the underdog’s steps as you pass the magnificent City Hall and the delightful Italian Market, or visit the Rocky statue that sits at the bottom of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, before you take the challenge of running up the 68 steps like Rocky in that infamous scene.

Philadelphia Art Museum

Philadelphia Art Museum

  1. The Office USA

Like a lot of successful British shows, The Office was remade for an American audience back in the mid noughties. Whereas the UK version was based in Slough, at the Wernham Hogg Paper Company, the American version focused on the employees of the Dundler Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. If you head to 215 Vine Street you’ll be able to grab yourself a photograph outside the Penn Paper & Supply, which acted as the exterior shots in the opening titles, and there’s even a Dundler Mifflin promotion banner hanging in downtown Scranton. Surprisingly the remainder of the show was actually filmed in Chandler Valley Center Studios in Los Angeles,

  1. Night Shyamalan films

Although you don’t see any major landmarks from Philadelphia in the films from this master of tension, three of his most known pieces of work, The Sixth Sense, The Village and Unbreakable, were all based here. If you want to trace the steps of the dead fuelled Sixth Sense, then head to the historic Old City and Society Hill where the majority of it was filmed, whereas the isolated setting of The Village can be found in the charming wooded areas around Center City. Unbreakable on the other hand was filmed mostly in districts outside the city, Franklin Field and Manayunk.

  1. Boy Meets World

The hugely popular coming-of-age sitcom was watched by millions during the nineties, focussing on its main cast growing up in Philadelphia. When visiting Philly you can stop by many of the places mentioned, and even spectate at a number of sporting events involving the Eagles, 76ers, Flyers and Phillies; the four major sports teams constantly name dropped throughout the show’s run. Other cultural experiences include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which featured in the episode ‘Starry Night’. Interestingly, despite its constant mention of Philadelphia, the show was in fact filmed at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank in California.

  1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

This action packed global blockbuster from Michael Bay focuses heavily on the city, with many major landmarks seen by the likes of Optimus Prime and his army of Transformers. Places like the University of Philadelphia, Drexel University, Philadelphia City Hall, the historic Chancellor Street, Wanamaker’s, Rittenhouse Square, Fairmount Park and the Eastern State Penitentiary, where Megan Fox and Shia LeBouf’s characters run for cover, before the auotobots take a break in the Penitentiary’s courtyard all feature in this action packed robot bat

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary

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Category: North America, Philadelphia

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