By Josephine Matyas
Maine Office of Tourism
Everyone loves the movies. Letting your clients know about famous film locations at their holiday destination is definitely “value added.” Whether signing up for an organized film site tour or just cruising by spots that may be familiar from the big screen, movie lovers are sure to come across classic moments from the big screen. Here are a few suggestions.
Where: Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Movie: Dolphin Tale
The Scoop: Clearwater Marine Aquarium was the filming location for the blockbuster family movie Dolphin Tale, based on the true story of a wild dolphin that lost her tail in an accident.
The Stars: Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman and the dolphin “Winter,” who was saved by the Aquarium staff and fitted with a prosthetic tail.
Don’t miss: Guests can visit “Winter” at the Aquarium.
Get info: www.seewinter.com
Where: Verde Canyon Railroad
Movie: How the West Was Won (1962 Academy Award winner)
The Stars: Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Debbie Reynolds, Eli Wallach, John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Lee Marvin and Walter Brennan.
The Scoop: At the historic Perkinsville depot – which is still standing – Debbie Reynolds steps off the train to meet her nephew, and a cloud of dust rises up thanks to Eli Wallach and his band of bad guys.
Get info: Ask about Room, Ride and Meal Packages in beautifully appointed vintage rail cars. 800-293-7245 or www.verdecanyonrr.com
Where: Smithville (just 70 kilometres southeast of Austin)
Movies: More than 20 films have been shot in Smithville, including the blockbusters Tree of Life, Bernie and the Sandra Bullock hit, Hope Floats.
The Scoop: The neighbourhoods of Smithville substituted for 1950s architecture in Tree of Life. Smithville provides the perfect small town backdrop for the Sandra Bullock romantic hit film.
Get info: www.smithvilletx.org or governor.state.tx.us/film
Movies: Iconic Maine locations featured in the books and movies of best-selling author Stephen King.
Don’t miss: Bangor’s Tommyknockers and More Bus Tour, a unique motorcoach tour cited as one of the Best Tour of Stephen King-dom.
Get info: www.visitbangormaine.com/index.php?id=2&sub_id=409
Movie: Bull Durham
The Stars: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.
The Scoop: 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of Bull Durham, the ultimate big screen, baseball romance. Visitors can see the ballpark where Crash and Nuke play, the house where Annie Savoy lived, the ballpark and the original “Hit Bull Win Steak” sign.
Get info: www.durham-nc.com/film/film_history.php
Where: San Francisco Bay Area
Movies: Mrs. Doubtfire, Bullitt, Interview With the Vampire, Princess Diaries, Foul Play, The Maltese Falcon . . . plus dozens of others.
The Scoop: The unmatched beauty of San Francisco combined with its instantly recognizable landmarks attracts filmmakers from around the world.
Don’t miss: San Francisco Movie Tours includes over 65 movie clips from over 50 of the most famous movies made in San Francisco. The three-hour tour includes many filming locations, including Fort Point, where Kim Novak leaps into the water at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge and Jimmy Stewart saves her in Vertigo.
Incentives: Canadian-based travel agents or tour operators who book a ticket with San Francisco Movie Tours before March 31, 2013, will receive a special commission of 25 per cent on each ticket booked.
Get info: 415-624-4949 or www.sanfranciscomovietours.com
Where: New York City
Movies: NYC has been the backdrop for dozens of hit films and television shows, including Glee, Friends, Seinfeld, Enchanted, Spider-Man, Men in Black, How I Met Your Mother, The Devil Wears Prada, Moonstruck, Sex and the City, When Harry Met Sally, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Don’t Miss: On Location Tours Inc. specializes in TV and movie location tours, offering five separate bus tours and one walking: New York TV & Movie Sites; Sex and the City Hotspots; Gossip Girl Sites; Brooklyn TV & Movie Sites; and Central Park TV & Movie Sites. TV theme songs and video clips from the actual television shows and movies seen on the tour are part of the overall experience.
Canadian-based tour operators: Thomas Cook North America, Alio, Air Canada Vacations, WestJet Vacations, Merit Loyalty Group, Canadian Forces, Ellison Tours and Travel, Recreation Urbaine, ISX, Zeste Incentive, Voyages A+.
Get info: Advance purchase is required at212-209-3370 or www.screentours.com