POSTED Mon. Jul 18, 2016
Cinematic New Orleans
Written by LB KOVAC

If you happen to be wandering the streets of New Orleans and think that a building or a restaurant seems familiar, you might not be overdoing it on the daiquiris. Going all the way back to the 1938 classic The Buccaneer, New Orleans has been a regular fixture in the film industry for 75 years.

The mixture of historic French and Spanish influenced architecture, rotting facades, live oak trees, and Mississippi River-front views make the city a great set piece. If you’re looking for something a little bit different to do with your day, take a stroll around town through some of these local film locations.

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 / Garden District
One of the most iconic features of this cemetery are it’s highly-ornate above-ground mausoleums. Built for turn-of-the-century affluent New Orleans citizens, these crypts allow bodies to rest well above New Orleans’ notoriously high water table.

Several directors have taken advantage of this Gothic backdrop for some unsettling and haunting scenes. The second season of American Horror Story made extensive use of the cemetery for both the show and promotional materials, but most notably for the jazz funeral scene in Episode 10.

No. 1’s most iconic role was in the film adaptation of Anne Rice’s best-selling novel Interview with a Vampire. The vampire Lestat is often seen visiting his “final resting place,” a family mausoleum modeled after the Karstendiek crypt in the cemetery.

No. 1’s other claims to fame include a feature in the Ashley Judd film Double Jeopardy, several cameos in the Vampire Diaries spin-off The Originals, and extended appearances in the Wes Craven-helmed Dracula 2000. The cemetery is located at 1427 Washington Ave.

Algiers Point / West Bank
Algiers Point, located right across the Mississippi River from Jackson Square, is favored by directors for its views of the city skyline, the Mississippi River itself, and the Crescent City Connection bridge – all great backdrops to make a scene feel bustling.

The Ryan Reynolds superhero movie Green Lantern made extensive use of this vista. New Orleans also fill in for Mobile, AL in the action-star-filled Red. Other movies that have made use of this scenic location are Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables, Mark Wahlberg’s Contraband, and the 2005 biopic Ray.

Café du Monde / The French Quarter
Many tourists feel as if they haven’t visited New Orleans without a stop at the iconic Cafe du Monde. And while you’re enjoying a plate of the cafe’s signature piping hot beignets and cup of rich cafe au lait, you might recognize a few things; namely, the classical green and white striping.

You can see the same striping in the background of two scenes of the 2003 film-adaptation Runaway Jury, both times behind stars Dustin Hoffman and Rachel Weisz. Fun fact: the Josh Grisham novel on which the movie was based was set in Biloxi, MS; the film’s location, along with one of its major plot points, was changed to accommodate a lengthy pre-production process.

The green and white can also be seen behind Woody Harrelson’s character Merritt McKinney in the first installment of Now You See Me (you might not have been paying attention because McKinney’s hypnotist skills were really impressive).

Six Flags New Orleans / New Orleans East
One of the most famous filming locations in New Orleans is a little ways out of the city proper. Six Flags New Orleans, an amusement park that was shuttered after Hurricane Katrina, lies just off the interstate to Slidell (the technical address is 3011 Michoud Blvd). The amusement park is closed to the public, but you can get a good glimpse of it from the road.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and Matthew McConaughey’s Killer Joe have all made use of the park and its surrounding facilities. Most recently, the Six Flags location served as the Jurassic World park in the latest installment of the Jurassic Park franchise.

If you’re willing to the make the drive, take exit 246A going towards 510-S off of I-10. Much of the set pieces involved in the movies have been torn down, but you might recognize some of the buildings from the scene when flying dinosaurs are loosed on park attendees.

These are only a few of the New Orleans locations that have been used in films. More films on their way – more than nine New Orleans-based movies are set to be released by the end of the year, including Bad Moms starring Mila Kunis and Tom Cruise’s other action franchise sequel Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back.

Image: Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, via Wikipedia.


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    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



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