It’s exciting to visit or move to the city in which one of your favorite movies was filmed and to see the real-life locations it featured. Fans of the Rocky movies, starring Sylvester Stallone, have plenty of opportunities to see the real spots scattered throughout Philadelphia. The Rocky movies were set in South Philadelphia, Center City, and the Kensington section. While some of the locations in the movies aren’t around anymore, those that remain are visited by fans of the franchise on a regular basis.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art was already known as a world-class museum before Rocky dashed up the steps to its east entrance. Thanks to its appearance in the movie, the art museum has become an even more popular tourist attraction. People might not venture inside the museum, but they will take the time to sprint up the stairs and raise their hands over their heads once they get to the top. At the bottom of the stairs, a statue commemorating the character of Rocky serves as a popular location for a photo op.
In Rocky Balboa, the sixth film in the series, Rocky owns a restaurant named Adrian’s. In real life, the restaurant is the Victor Cafe at 1306 Dickinson Street, and it’s a South Philadelphia institution. The cafe first opened as a gramophone shop in the early twentieth century. After the end of prohibition, it became a restaurant. Today, it features live opera and singing waiters. It has a menu of classic Italian dishes and is open seven days a week for dinner.
A few blocks northeast of the Victor Cafe is the Italian Market, an open-air market that sells produce, fish, meats, and cheeses. In the films, Rocky is seen running through the market in the early morning hours. He actually buys fish from one of the market vendors in Rocky Balboa. At the southernmost end of the market is Pat’s King of Steaks where Tony Gazzo bought Rocky a cheese steak. There’s a plaque on the sidewalk outside Pat’s today that reads, “On this spot stood Sylvester Stallone filming the great motion picture Rocky. Nov. 21, 1975.”
The ritzy Rittenhouse area featured prominently in the film franchise. Rocky’s son, Robert, lived in a brownstone apartment building on Walnut Street. The apartment is a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square, the park through which Rocky and Adrian were walking after learning that Adrian was pregnant.
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Adrian isn’t really buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, the renowned graveyard located in Fairmount Park, but her grave marker is near the main entrance. The cemetery is worth visiting for other reasons besides seeing the character’s fictitious grave. It is a National Historic Landmark and is the final resting place of a number of well-known former Philadelphia residents, such as David Rittenhouse (of Rittenhouse Square fame) and a number of congressmen and senators from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Photo Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Philadelphia_Art_Museum.jpg