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Philadelphia Film Guide

September 27, 2022

Philadelphia has an impressive film history. Consider this your guide to some of the most iconic filming locations for movies and TV shows throughout the city.

Rocky

One of the most recognizable Philadelphia-based films (and winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1977), Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky profiles underdog boxer Rocky Balboa as he trains his way towards a bout against champion boxer Apollo Creed. Undeniably the most iconic moment from the film is Rocky’s training montage that takes him throughout the city – passing through the Italian Market, running by the Delaware River Waterfront, along the Schuylkill River Trail, and eventually up the 72 steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Creed was also shot at locations throughout Philadelphia, including Temple University, Johnny Brenda’s, and the Electric Factory, while making a return to Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Fans can also find Rocky’s home at 1818 Tusculum Street and Adrian’s Restaurant from the Creed films at 1303 Dickinson Street (the current home of the opera-focused Victor Café). Mighty Mick’s Boxing Gym, which is where the Italian Stallion spends his time training, can be found at 2147 N Front Street.

TIP: Visitors looking to explore all of the Rocky and Creed filming locations should schedule a tour.

The Sixth Sense

The thriller that put Philadelphia-raised director M. Night Shyamalan on the map, The Sixth Sense was filmed entirely in the City of Philadelphia. Many scenes are filmed around the Rittenhouse and Graduate Hospital neighborhoods (look for Bruce Willis’ character’s home along Delancey Place), but one of the film’s recurring locations is St. Augustine’s Church (243 N Lawrence Street) in Old City.

With an affection for his hometown, Shyamalan has filmed the majority of his other projects in the Greater Philadelphia region, including Unbreakable, Split, Glass, The Happening, and The Village.

12 Monkeys

This science fiction film about time travel stars Bruce Willis beside an up-and-coming Brad Pitt, with portions of the film set in Philadelphia and Baltimore. A trip from the year 2035 to 1990 lands the protagonist Cole (Willis) in a mental hospital where he connects with patient Jeffrey Goines (Pitt). The crumbling walls of the institution are actually those of the historic Eastern State Penitentiary, where gangster Al Capone once served time.

Other filming locations for the movie include The Met, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Wanamaker Department Store (now Macy’s), and City Hall.

Silver Linings Playbook

Director David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook stars Jennifer Lawrence and Philadelphia-native, Bradley Cooper. Set in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the film features key scenes at the historic Lansdowne Theater and the Llanerch Diner, both in Delaware County.

Other filming locations include Jeweler’s Row, a parking lot at Lincoln Financial Field, and The Franklin Residences.

Hustle

A more recent contribution to Philadelphia’s film repertoire, Hustle starring Adam Sandler was filmed in Philadelphia at locations like Wells Fargo Center, Old Pine Church, and Capitolo Playground on federal Street. Hotels shown in the film include the Loews and Four Seasons. Restaurants Butcher and Singer and Melrose Diner are also shown in the film.

Keep an eye out for other Philadelphia references in Hustle by paying attention to Adam Sandler’s character Stanley Sugerman’s shirts. One sweatshirt pays homage to Federal Donuts, a beloved spot serving up doughnuts and fried chicken. Johnson and Hardwick, residence halls at Temple University, also gets some screen time.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Though the time spent in Philadelphia on the show is brief and mainly in the introduction, there is a fleeting glimpse of Will Smith’s hometown in the iconic intro reel. Roberto Clemente Park in the Fairmount neighborhood features a basketball court that flashes at the beginning of the reel.

Other Films and TV Shows

  • National Treasure (scenes at Independence Hall, Reading Terminal Market)

  • Shazam! (scenes at LOVE Park, Philadelphia Museum of Art)

  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (scenes at Eastern State Penitentiary, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Philadelphia (scenes at City Hall)

  • 21 Bridges (scenes in Chinatown, Fern Rock Transportation Center Station)

  • Netflix’s Queer Eye Season 5 (Reading Terminal Market, The Italian Market, La Colombe)

  • Dispatches From Elsewhere (Rittenhouse Square, Curtis Center, Fishtown)

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