Group Travel Guide Notes: Philadelphia In The Movies

Philadelphia has starred in numerous blockbuster movies, showcasing the city’s iconic sights. Due in large part to its diversity of landscape, architecture, neighborhoods and population, the City of Brotherly Love has solidified its place as a major filmmaking hub in the United States. Discover Philadelphia’s innovative spirit through the movies.

  • ROCKY and CREED: “Rocky,” “Rocky II,” “Rocky III,” “Rocky V,” “Rocky Balboa,” “Creed” and “Creed 2.” You may recall the famous scenes where Rocky runs through the Italian Market in South Philadelphia. Challenge yourself to a run up the famous steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, then throw your fists in the air and pose with the bronze Rocky statue that can be found at the bottom of the steps.
    • CREED 2: The latest in the Rocky franchise stars Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed, trained by Rocky (Sylvester Stallone), as he takes on the son of the man who killed his father, Apollo, in the ring. Laurel Hill Cemetery, Victor Café, the Rocky steps, Eastern State Penitentiary, Girard College, and North and South Philadelphia neighborhoods provide the backdrop. In this film alone, Philadelphia locations are used in place of New York, Los Angeles, Russia and Ukraine.
  • THE UPSIDE: An American remake of the French film, “Les Intouchables,” the picture tells the touching story of an unlikely friendship between a wealthy paraplegic, Oscar-nominee Bryan Cranston, and his caretaker, played by Philadelphia-born comedian Kevin Hart. Prominently featured locations in the film are the Kimmel Center (home of the Philadelphia Orchestra), XIX restaurant, John F. Kennedy Boulevard and nearby Hawk Mountain.
  • SHAZAM!: Philadelphia is home to no shortage of real-life super heroes, but it’s also the perfect backdrop for fictional feats of strength and great deeds on the silver screen. Set in Philadelphia, DC Comics returns to quirk with Shazam! The film follows Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a 14-year-old orphan who discovers he can transform into a comically muscle-bound superhero (Zachary Levi) simply by uttering the word – yes, that’s the one – “Shazam!” The story takes place in Philadelphia, but the majority of filming actually was done in Toronto. Look for some iconic shots on location in the City of Brotherly love, including aerial skyline shots and establishing exteriors, as well as one scene on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Christmas time. Other callouts include LOVE Park’s Christmas Village, Philadelphia’s historic City Hall and the city’s public transit service, SEPTA.
  • GLASS: The thrilling culmination of his super hero trilogy (after Unbreakable and Split), M. Night Shyamalan’s film stars Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy and Bruce Willis. The on-screen action plays out at various South Philadelphia locations (near Girard Estates and Broad and Snyder), Frankford Arsenal (Bridesburg, lower NE Philadelphia) and Allentown State Hospital, about an hour outside the city.
  • 17 BRIDGES: Starring Taylor Kitsch, J.K. Simmons, Sienna Miller and Chadwick Boseman, 17 Bridges follows a disgraced detective looking for redemption on a manhunt through the the Rittenhouse, Chinatown and Callowhill neighborhoods of Philadelphia.
  • LIMITLESS: The action-thriller stars Philadelphia native, Bradley Cooper. The final scene of the film was shot with Cooper and Robert DeNiro in the heart of Philadelphia’s business district, Center City west. The corner of 21st and Market streets was transformed into 57th Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City for the climactic finale.
  • SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK: The dramatic film, starring Bradley Cooper, is based on a true story and takes place in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. Feel the sense of community as parts of the city and both sides of the Delaware River fill the screen. See Ridley Township, Upper Darby and a taste of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in this award-winning romantic comedy.
  • PHILADELPHIA: Starring Academy Award-winners Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, the movie was directed by Academy Award-winner Jonathan Demme and was filmed in many locations throughout Philadelphia, notably City Hall.
  • THE SIXTH SENSE: Starring Bruce Willis, the movie was filmed throughout Philadelphia including Boathouse Row and the streets of the Fairmount Neighborhood, known for its young artsy vibe and grand architecture.
  • BABY MAMA: Philadelphia is home of many firsts — including the first female head writer of Saturday Night Live, Tina Fey. This comedic mastermind starred in “Baby Mama” with Amy Poehler. Head to Love Park, the University of Pennsylvania or Rittenhouse Square to follow in the footsteps of this hilarious duo.
  • TWELVE MONKEYS: Starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, this film features the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Eastern State Penitentiary and the historic Girard College.
  • TRANSFORMERS: Philadelphia welcomed plenty of blockbuster entertainment when “Transformers Revenge of the Fallen” was filmed all over our city. Some of the most iconic locations of the film include the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, where visitors can get a great view from the Race Street Pier, The University of Pennsylvania where Shia LeBouf’s character was a student, and Eastern State Penitentiary, where LeBouf and co-star Megan Fox take shelter after running from the Transformers along the Schuylkill River.
  • NATIONAL TREASURE: Philadelphia’s incredible historic monuments help star Nicolas Cage of “National Treasure” throughout his journey. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are featured prominently – as well as a prized possession of Philadelphia’s favorite founding father, Benjamin Franklin.
  • UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer star in this film that features Philadelphia’s local television scene. Head to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for a glimpse into one of its settings.
  • TRADING PLACES: The iconic film starring Eddie Murphy, Dan Akroyd and the late Don Ameche, has memorable scenes in and around one of Philadelphia’s most beautiful parks and buzzing restaurant scenes, Rittenhouse Square, and on the steps of the Curtis Institute of Music.
  • WITNESS: Starring Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis and Danny Glover, this film tells the story of a Philadelphia cop who tries to solve a murder witnessed by a young Amish boy. The most memorable scene is set in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.


The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) is the official tourism promotion agency for the City of Philadelphia globally.

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