Wicked Awesome Movies Made in Greater Boston

AAA/Maria White
By AAA Travel Editors
July 17, 2018
Greater Boston, with its diverse neighborhoods and historic landmarks, has provided the perfect backdrop for countless productions, from zany comedies to Oscar contenders. While Hollywood’s love affair with “The Hub” has been going strong in recent years, hearing a crew member with a thick Bawstin accent shout “Lights. Camera. Action!” isn’t anything new—the Massachusetts state capital made its cinematic debut back in the silent film era. Keep an eye out for the filming locations we’ve included below as you explore “America's Walking City” on foot.
Reflecting pool at The Christian Science Plaza in Boston Massachusetts
AAA/Maria White
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Boston University, The Christian Science Plaza
Starring Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne and Kevin Spacey, this 2008 drama centers on a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology students who use a card-counting system to win big in Vegas. Most of the campus scenes, including dorm room interiors, were filmed at Boston University (881 Commonwealth Ave.), as commercial shooting at MIT is generally not permitted. The Christian Science Plaza (210 Massachusetts Ave.), the location of the world headquarters of the Church of Christ, Scientist, also is seen in the movie. (Fun Fact: The plot is loosely based on the story of a real group of student gamblers known as the “MIT Blackjack Team.”)
Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts
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“Fever Pitch”
Fenway Park
Although Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon got top billing, it could be said that Fenway Park (4 Yawkey Way) is the “real” star of this 2005 Farrelly brothers romantic comedy. A Yankees supporter in actual life, Fallon plays a diehard member of “Red Sox Nation” in the movie, which, as you’d expect, includes plenty of shots of the Green Monster and other well-known facets of Boston’s venerable baseball stadium. (Fun Fact: Johnny Damon, Jason Varitek and Trot Nixon—Red Sox teammates at the time—make cameo appearances, as does Stephen King, a New England native and wicked huge Sox fan.)
Chinatown in Boston, Massachusetts
AAA/Maria White
“Ghostbusters”
Emmanuel College, Wang Theatre, Chinatown
Though set in New York City, this 2016 reboot starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig was primarily shot in Massachusetts. Boston’s Emmanuel College (400 Fenway) filled in as Upper Manhattan’s Columbia University, and the head-banging concert scene was shot at the historic Wang Theatre (270 Tremont St.). The production team also gave a building on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Essex Street in Chinatown a Hollywood makeover, transforming it into the all-girl, apparition-fighting team’s headquarters. (Fun Fact: One of the original Ghostbusters, Dan Aykroyd, co-founded House of Blues, the first of which opened in Cambridge in 1992.)
Mount Auburn Cemetery is a garden burial site in Boston, Massachusetts
Wikimedia Commons/Daderot
“Gone Baby Gone”
Chart House, Murphy’s Law, Mount Auburn Cemetery
Ben Affleck directed his baby bro, Casey, in this award-winning production. While investigating a child abduction, Casey’s character has drinks at South Boston dive Murphy’s Law (837 Summer St.). Critical scenes also were shot in nearby Cambridge at Mount Auburn Cemetery (580 Mount Auburn St.), a picturesque garden burial site founded in 1831. (Fun Fact: Boston-born hunk Chris Evans auditioned for the lead, later describing the tryout as “a complete disaster.”)
George Washington Statue in Public Garden  in Boston, Massachusetts
AAA/Maria White
“Good Will Hunting”
L Street Tavern, Public Garden
We’d be remiss if we left off our list the film that catapulted Cambridge boys Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to superstardom. Since its 1997 release, many a thirsty movie fan has stopped in at L Street Tavern (658 E. 8th St.), a neighborhood bar seen in the movie. The Public Garden (Beacon and Arlington streets) shelters the bench used in the scene between Robin Williams’ and Damon’s characters; located on the west side of the park, it temporarily became a makeshift memorial to Williams after his death in 2014. (Fun Fact: Matt Damon wrote an early treatment of the screenplay while attending Harvard University.)
Exterior of the Thirsty Scholar Pub, Somerville, Massachusetts
Courtesy of Thirsty Scholar Pub
“The Social Network”
The Thirsty Scholar, Wheelock College
Geeky Jesse Eisenberg plays geeky Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in this 2010 film, an adaptation of Boston native Ben Mezrich’s book about the social networking website’s Cambridge roots. In the opening scene, Zuckerberg, then a student at Harvard, gets dumped at cozy Somerville pub The Thirsty Scholar (70 Beacon St.). In addition to other area schools, Wheelock College (200 Riverway), in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, doubled as Harvard University. (Fun Fact: The making of the 1970 romance “Love Story” caused physical damage to the Harvard campus, eventually leading school officials to stop allowing on-location shoots at the famous Ivy League institution.)
The Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston in Massachusetts
flickr/Alan Light
“Zookeeper”
Franklin Park Zoo, The Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston
The storyline of this romantic comedy, which stars Kevin James, revolves around the lead zookeeper at Franklin Park Zoo (One Franklin Park Rd.). Opened in 1912, the enduring Boston attraction is home to more than 220 animal species. AAA Four Diamond The Fairmont Copley Plaza Boston (138 St. James Ave.), and Dorchester native Donnie Wahlberg also appear in the family-friendly movie, which, unfortunately, flopped at the box office. (Fun Fact: Another lighthearted Kevin James flick, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” was shot at the Burlington Mall in eastern Massachusetts.)
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