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Filming locations from the best action movies shot in Atlanta
2021 was a monumental year for Georgia's film industry with around $4 billion being spent on film productions within the state. While this is partly due to increased demand since the onset of COVID-19, the state has long prided itself as a strong economic and cultural option for filmmakers. Taking notes from then-Gov. Jimmy Carter's 1973 film commission, the Georgia Film Office was created with the primary focus of drawing productions to the Peach State—and it has definitely worked.
Outside of Georgia's lucrative tax breaks, a main component of the state's appeal is its capital and most populous city: Atlanta. The city has its own unique cultural appeal while also possessing the capability of being transformed into other major metro centers when needed. Not to mention Atlanta has especially proven its dedication to action films by going so far as shutting down major streets and even an entire interstate to allow for "Baby Driver" to shoot its car chase scenes.
With this kind of reputation, it's no surprise that Giggster looked at noteworthy shooting locations you can visit from the best action movies shot in Atlanta. And, of course, to qualify as one of the best, the film had to have at least a 7.5 user rating on IMDb.
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The robbed bank in 'Baby Driver'
- Location: Candler Building, 127 Peachtree St NE
One of the most iconic scenes from Edgar Wright's 2017 film "Baby Driver" is its musical opening (a concept tested in an early Wright short film), where Miles "Baby" (Ansel Elgort) is the getaway driver for a bank robbery. Sitting in his car, Baby perfectly lip syncs to the song "Bellbottoms" by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion while his coworkers rob the First Bank of Atlanta—the First Bank of Atlanta actually being Atlanta's Candler Building. While the only glimpses of the building's interior in "Baby Driver" are shot through a window, the beautiful Beaux-Arts decoration is captured through numerous exterior shots.
Created by Coca-Cola founder Asa Griggs Candler, this building stands at 17 stories tall, making it the tallest in Atlanta at its inception in 1906. The Candler is located on the famous Peachtree Street, a street that originally served as a Native American trail and was written about in the classic book "Gone with the Wind." Today, the Candler Building serves as a Curio Collection of Hilton Hotel, welcoming any avid "Baby Driver" fans spend the night in an iconic film set.
The District 12 Justice Building from 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
- Location: Goat Farm Arts Center, 1200 Foster St NW
"Catching Fire" is widely considered the best installment of the "Hunger Games" franchise in both its narrative and filmmaking (and the winning addition of Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair). This film sees Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) return to the killing field for an all-star tournament of past Hunger Games survivors, and the duo receives this news in the Justice Building of their home base, District 12.
In reality, this Justice Building is Westside Atlanta's Goat Farm Arts Center, a 10-acre compound dedicated to artists and education. Consisting of buildings from the 19th century, the Arts Center provides studio space to around 450 artists, four stories of apartments, and a 125-room hotel for the arts. A 2019 renovation and 2022 announcement revealed that the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia is adding a new facility within the Center's many acres, complimenting its other free-to-access galleries and performances. It's no surprise that this artistic hub allows film productions to utilize its extensive resources, including "The Walking Dead."
An abandoned town from 'Zombieland'
- Location: Jefferson St, Newnan
When you think of 2009's "Zombieland," the first thing that typically comes to mind is the iconic set of rules for survival ("Always wear your seatbelt" and "Double tap," among them) laid out by Jesse Eisenberg's character, Columbus. However, another hallmark of the film is its frighteningly accurate depiction of what a post-apocalyptic America would look like.
The characters travel from zombie-filled Texas to equally zombie-filled Los Angeles with a pitstop in the Midwest, but the vast majority of the film was actually shot in Atlanta—including the abandoned town Columbus and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) wander aimlessly around after being robbed by Wichita (Emma Stone) and and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). The two men are actually on Jefferson Street in Atlanta's suburb of Newnan, which leads to the charming Newnan Court Square. This downtown square has a well-preserved history stemming from the Civil War and architecture going back to the late 1800s. That said, the area still manages to have a successful contemporary commercial district—contrary to its ghost town appearance in the film.
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The Dairy Queen Ego and Meredith sneak behind in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'
- Location: Beauty Galore Studios 5039 Memorial Dr
With a film mostly set in space, it's no surprise that "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" has very few practical shooting locations. The only narrative scenes that take place on Earth occur in Peter Quill's (Chris Pratt) home state of Missouri, but, naturally, were filmed in the outskirts of Atlanta. These scenes open the film, following Peter's mother, Meredith, as she's courted by a Celestial named Ego (a very fitting name as it turns out) who is revealed to be Peter's father.
Seeing as how they're in the Midwest, of course the first place they stop is a Dairy Queen—or rather, they pull into the DQ to then run through the woods behind it. One avid Marvel fan took it upon themselves to root through every single Dairy Queen in Atlanta to find this filming location, only to discover that the building is not only bordering Atlanta in Stone Mountain, Georgia, but also no longer a Dairy Queen. To visit this location now, you have to schedule a reservation as it's currently the well-reviewed Beauty Exposed Salon.
Tony Stark's lake house in 'Avengers: Endgame'
- Location: Bouckaert Farm, 9445 Browns Lake Rd
"Avengers: Endgame" provides three hours of action-packed drama stuffed to the brim with just about every single Marvel character in existence. Out of all these protagonists, the undisputed hero of the film is Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who chose to leave a cushy retirement with his family to construct a quantum time machine and enter into his final battle. Before the plot unfolds, however, we get a glimpse into Stark's domestic retired life—and more importantly, we get to see the lakeside cabin he calls home.
This cabin is just one building within Bouckaert Farm (since renamed Chattahoochee Hills Eventing), located around 20 miles from Atlanta in a small town called Fairburn, Georgia. Bouckaert Farm has 8,000 acres of land, including a competition venue, nine barns, and a slew of equestrian trails. If that wasn't enough, it hosts various festivals and concerts across their extensive greens and weddings in the aptly named Horse Mansion. Tony's cabin is a definite draw for the Farm, and they've even gone so far as to list the property for $800 per night, advertising, "Avengers Endgame fans… Would you like to stay in Tony Stark's cabin? This is the iconic cabin in the movie!"