February 19 2016
The third-largest film production centre in North America, Vancouver has long held the moniker, “Hollywood North” because of the blockbuster movies and TV shows that have come here to film. Recent credits include Fifty Shades Darker, The BFG, Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, Star Trek, X-Files, Deadpool, George Clooney’s Tomorrowland, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla, The Twilight Saga and X-Men. In addition to feature films, hundreds of TV shows have been filed in Vancouver including Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, Bates Motel, The 100 and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Michael J. Fox, Ryan Reynolds, Joshua Jackson, and Stranger Things breakout star, 13-year-old Finn Wolfhard all grew up in Vancouver as did writing partners and actors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, who wrote the film Superbad about their experiences as teens in Vancouver. Meanwhile, animation and digital film production thrives here, too. Post-production for Life of Pi, District 9 and Cloud Atlas all happened in Vancouver. And British Columbia fires up its right brain with a decent roll call of film companies such as Vancouver-founded Lionsgate Films. Vancouver earns a good living as an impersonator that easily steals the faces of dozens of communities ranging from Seattle to Mumbai. Some popular filming locations in Vancouver include:
- Hotel Europe The triangular "flatiron" style Hotel Europe in Gastown, which is one of Vancouver's most distinctive structures.
- Orpheum Theatre Built as a vaudeville house in 1927 for $1.25 million, the Orpheum was then Canada's largest theatre. Currently home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Orpheum's interior has been used for dozens of productions including Psych, Fringe, The X-Files, Fantastic Four 2 and Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.
- Riverview Hospital: Riverview opened in 1913 as a mental health hospital; a century later, the complex has proved a blessing for filmmakers seeking multiple locations. Among the productions filmed here are Elysium, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Fringe, The Killing, Falling Skies, Psych and Supernatural. Excluding studios, Riverview Hospital's grounds are the most filmed-at site in all of Canada.
- Simon Fraser University Architect Arthur Erickson’s SFU's Burnaby Mountain campus was designed in the early 1960s with inspiration drawn from the Acropolis in Athens and Italian hill towns. SFU has stood in as CIA and FBI headquarters, an advanced race's planet, as well as various corporate headquarters and schools in productions such as The Day the Earth Stood Still, Personal Effects, Two For The Money, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Millennium and The X-Files.
- Terminal City Iron Works Sprawling over an entire city block just off Hastings Street, Terminal City is a turn-of-the century iron foundry that provides 100,000 square feet of multi-use warehouse space for productions including Fringe, Smallville, Catwoman, Underworld, Dark Angel and X-Men.
- University of B.C. and the Chan Centre The futuristic architecture of the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts has attracted dozens of productions, since opening in 1997 including Josie And The Pussycats, Catwoman, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Tomorrowland.
- The Marine Building The Art Deco tower at Burrard and Hastings streets is widely regarded as one of the finest buildings in Vancouver. Built in 1930, its lavish art deco lobby has features in productions such as Smallville, Fantastic Four, Blade: Trinity and Timecop.
- Britannia Mine Museum A short drive from downtown Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway, the Britannia Mine Museum has become a magnet for film and television producers thanks to its 210 km of dark tunnels and a 20-storey mountainside mill. Productions ranging from Scooby Doo Two and The X-Files to Once Upon A Time, Continuum, Fantastic Four, Smallville and Dark Angel have mined the museum's rich visual reserves.