By Kate Morgan
Dallas. It’s not anyone’s first thought when it comes to lights, camera and action, but it’s certainly not an afterthought. We lay claim to many locations that Tinseltown uses when the studio seems a little too flat. The sheer number of movies and TV shows filmed on location in the Big D is staggering. but it’s not a stiff competition to see which ones are the best. In honor of Stephen King’s upcoming Hulu Series, 11/22/63, here are the top nine:
Tree of Life (Reunion Tower and Thanksgiving Plaza)
A Palme D’or award winner and critical favorite, this film features no specific scene that is identifiable as “Dallas.” It does, however provide several clear shots of landmarks that can be viewed in the downtown area that comprise its unnamed city.
Reunion Tower at 300 Reunion Boulevard is where you’ll find the identifiable landmark. The spiral stained glass window that appears at the beginning of the film is located in Thanksgiving Square at 1627 Pacific Ave.
RoboCop (Dallas City Hall)
Dallas takes pride in the design of its city hall. Though it was a stand in for a building in future Detroit, the inverted pyramid standing at 1500 Marilla St. houses more than permits. It holds memories.
Several locations in the Metroplex were stitched together to form the infamous OCP building in this nightmare police state of the future. You can also find the elevator from the scene where RoboCop goes to arrest Dick Jones at the Plaza of the Americas, and the OCP boardroom window Dick Jones crashes through on the 40th Floor of the Renaissance Tower at 1201 Elm St.
JFK (Dealy Plaza)
Dealey Plaza is a place that is famous for its infamy. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated here, and many of the people who visit it are looking for more clues as to what transpired on that fateful day.
Oliver Stone covered it well in his 1991 biopic JFK starring Kevin Costner, Jack Lemmon and Gary Oldman. Not too far from this location, if you’re up for a visit, is the Sixth Floor Museum, that is the book depository, where many more clues to the mystery behind the late President’s death lie. Both are located at 411 Elm St.
State Fair (Fair Park)
This musical from the early 1960s features many shots from the Fair Park grounds (1121 1st Ave.). There are 30 structures in the park that have remained in-tact since the 1930s still standing at this location, so there’s a lot to take in. The original Big Tex in this scene, that we all knew and loved, was consumed by fire in 2012, and now remains a memory.
One of the most iconic places from the movie, still standing, however, is the Art Deco band shell where bands occasionally still play. Problem Child, a strange little flick from the ’90s, was also filmed here.
Logan’s Run (Former First National Bank Tower)
Sometimes, we all feel like we have a Sandman coming after us. It’s a good thing we’re a little late on reaching “critical mass,” but there are days it feels like the population in DFW never quits climbing.
Scenes for Logan’s Run were shot over many locations across the Metroplex, and many of the indoor locations are now no longer recognizable since the Market Center Mall was demolished in 2006. A standing location that can be easily found in Dallas is found at 1401 Elm Street which was used for exterior shooting. Rumor has it this building is scheduled for redevelopment, if it can dodge foreclosure.
Office Space (LBJ Freeway)
While the most memorable things about Office Space are a red stapler and TPS reports, it’s a well-known fact that Mike Judge likes to incorporate as much of Texas as he can in his work.
This scene is just the first few seconds of Office Space, but it is easily one of the most typical of Dallas life. Dallasites often sit in traffic on a freeway.
There are several other locations in Las Colinas and Austin that fans can visit to pay homage to this film if the LBJ doesn’t quite do the film justice.
Boys Don’t Cry (Mesquite, Greenville)
This film often gets overlooked because the locations are found just outside of Dallas and serve as stand-ins for rural Nebraska. Nonetheless, this film makes it on the list because of its prestige.
Bottle Rocket (Grand Prairie, Dallas, Hillsboro )
There are too many awesome Dallas locations in this movie to list just one. In fact, someone has gone out of the way to develop an entire tour.
The barbershop and pinball machine scenes were shot in Grand Prairie, the fireworks stand, motel and gas station scenes were filmed in Hillsboro, and multiple scenes were shot in Dallas.
But if you’re just looking for one, go with Hinkley Cold Storage (now the Texas Ice House) at 4009 Commerce.
Dr. T and the Women (The Dallas Arboretum)
Being a doctor is tricky. So is navigating Dr. T’s personal life and his daughter’s relationships. Life is tricky. But she’s getting married anyway, and there’s nothing that can stop it, except the obvious reason, if you know anything about this movie’s lot.
You’ll see the Dallas Arboretum installation “A Womans’ Garden” in the wedding scene. It’s a fairly accurate representation.