Running close behind New York and LA as the next centre for movie productions is the city of Atlanta. We list six sites in the “Hollywood of the South” that has been a part of famous movies.
1. Swan House in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Whether it’s the strikingly outlandish people or their opulent parties, the Hunger Games’ Capitol is always a feast for the eyes. Edward H. Inman’s classically styled mansion earned its place in the Capitol as President Snow’s mansion in the filming of the second Hunger Games installment: Catching Fire. Often called the Swan House because of the amount of swan-inspired decorations in the house, the mansion’s antique furniture and interior became its number one appeal. Through computer-generated images and slight renovations, the historic house looks bigger in the movie, fit to host Snow’s daunting parties and his ‘honoured’ guests Katniss and Peeta. The Swan House now gives both open house and Capitol tours for visitors almost daily.
2. Serenbe in The Divergent Series: Insurgent
If harmony, cordiality, and connection to the earth are major characteristics of the Amity Faction in The Divergent Series, then there is little doubt that Serenbe is a perfect match for filming the second movie of the trilogy: Insurgent. Serenbe, a living community in Chattahoochee Hill Country, was built in an effort to protect the rural land just outside Atlanta. As opposed to deforestation, construction of Serenbe enabled the protection of over 70 percent green space. The Serenbe community also believes in biophilia: there is an instinctive bond between humans and other living systems. This explains the organic farms that supply Serenbe’s local restaurants and farmers market. Serenbe also encourages a simpler life and tighter community through its architectural elements and communal activities. No wonder Tris and Four find refuge in this serene compound.
3. Georgia World Congress Center in Furious 7
Tyler Perry, Robert Downey Jr., Stanley Tucci and Jennifer Lawrence all have stood before the massive Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), and it wasn’t to attend a conference. The GWCC’s four million square feet of space have often been used for filming thanks to the versatility of its two grand ballrooms, 12 exhibit halls, and 106 meeting rooms. The similarity of its façade and interior to an airport became one of its biggest strength; airport scenes from Due Date, Las Vegas, Endless Love, and even the Southwest Airlines commercial have been filmed in this facility. The cast of Furious 7 joined this lineup as the underground tunnel of GWCC was used to film the much-awaited movie.
4. Henry W. Grady High School in The Duff
Midtown Atlanta’s Grady High School is transformed into Malloy High School while filming begins for The Duff. The movie is a comedy starring Mae Whitman as Bianca Piper, a teenager dubbed as the “Designated Ugly Fat Friend” or the Duff. The Duff, the movie explains, is not necessarily fat or ugly, but is the more accessible person in a popular people group. Like Rutledge Baptist Church, Grady High School also features the traditional redbrick building. The school, also used for filming other movies such as Disney’s Remembering the Titans, is right across from Piedmont Park, also known as the Central Park of Atlanta.
5. Olympic Flame Diner in Vacation
The classic American restaurant, with classic American food like cheeseburgers and hot dogs, has become the filming site of the National Lampoon’s Vacation series. The movie, a fifth installment following the Griswold family’s various travelling misadventures, now follows Rusty Griswold and his family for a bonding time and road trip to amusement park Walley World. When the comedy is released on July 2015, be sure to spot Olympic Flame’s 1970s-looking façade.
6. Georgia Archives Building in Marvel’s Ant-Man
Designed by A. Thomas Bradbury, this 14-story marble building is often called “the White Ice Cube.” It houses the state’s archival collections until 1998, when the “Ice Cube” was reported to be sinking due to ground water and nearby interstate construction. Dubbed as the most modern archival facility in the country on 1965, the facility has officially closed in 2012 as a new facility opens in Morrow, Georgia. As reported by atlantamagazine.com, the building is used in Marvel’s Ant-Man as the comic’s Pym Industries.