Filmed in Philadelphia? And … Action!

Philadelphia has long been a popular place to film movie and TV shows. Here’s a guide to some famed Philly area screen locations, from the Italian Market in Rocky to the cornfield in Signs. Chances are quite a few of your favorites were filmed here!

Filmed in Philadelphia? Movies and TV shows have often been produced here over the years. It’s always fun to recognize a local setting when watching a movie or TV show, and a spin through the neighborhoods of this great city and suburbs can transport you to your favorite Philadelphia story!

Going back in time, there’s the classic The Philadelphia Story, starring the amazing Katharine Hepburn as Main Line heiress Tracy Lord. Alas, this gem was not filmed in Philadelphia, but on the backlots of Hollywood. That was the case for most movies of that era. In recent years, however, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office has encouraged writers, directors, and producers to actually shoot their tales in and around the City of Brotherly Love.

No movie tour of Philly can begin without a visit to the various sites of the Rocky series. Sylvester Stallone is a Philly native, and lovingly featured his town in scene after scene of the blockbuster franchise, up to and including the new and acclaimed Creed. Who can forget the young contender’s early morning run through the Italian Market, ending with a sprint up the Art Museum steps? To this day, many thousands of visitors flock to those steps to replicate the Rocky climb and view the Rocky statue at the top.

Driving on the winding Lincoln Drive along the Wissahickon Creek? That’s the site of the car crash in the 1981 Brian DePalma thriller Blow Out, starring John Travolta. Are you a fan of the great filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan? He has filmed every one of his movies in the greater Philadelphia area, including The Sixth Sense (a climactic scene was filmed in Philadelphia at St. Augustine’s Church), Unbreakable, and Signs (the crop circle cornfield was located on the campus of Delaware Valley University.) And just a couple of years ago, Silver Linings Playbook, starring Philadelphia native Bradley Cooper, spotlighted several local institutions, including Lincoln Financial Field and the Llanerch Diner.

If you are a television fan, you may recall the award-winning 1980s series Thirtysomething. This drama about adults making their way with budding careers and babies, referenced Philadelphia as its setting, and while most of the shooting took place in California, there were many scenes shot “on location” here. Years later, Philadelphia actor David Morse’s gritty TV show about a Philly cab driver, Hack, utilized lots of local spots, including West Philly’s Clark Park. Currently, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a huge TV comedy hit, and the show is often filmed in Philadelphia, with episodes on Boathouse Row, at The Helium Comedy Club, and the in the trendy Center City restaurant Pub and Kitchen.

And more movies and TV shows are being filmed in Philadelphia each year. This city’s beautiful buildings, the area’s spectacular scenery, and a host of fascinating residential neighborhoods, from Fishtown to Chestnut Hill, make Philly and environs the perfect locale for comedy, drama, and romance. If you are ready to star in your own Philadelphia story by making this YOUR location … lights, camera, action!

Image Source: Flickr/Todd Van Hoosear


Elise Seyfried is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of two books of humorous spiritual essays, and a playwright (co-author of 15 plays for children). Her work regularly appears in the Chestnut Hill (PA) Local and The Word in Season (devotional). She has also written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lutheran Digest, Guideposts magazine, Metropolis and The Wittenburg Door. Elise was the lyricist for the Stanley Drama Award-winning musical Flight, based on the life of Howard Hughes. Elise has served as publicist for the Lewes (DE) Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, ME.She is the mother of five children, and her family life is prominently featured in her writing. Elise's topics to date have included children/parenting issues, humor and spirituality. An avid cook, Elise also enjoys writing about food and dining. Since 2002, Elise has been Director of Spiritual Formation at Christ's Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA; previously, she worked for years as an actress. She blogs at

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