Hollywood might be more than 2,500 miles away, but did you know that Tampa Bay has its fair share of movie magic?
Between the abundance of talented production workers, the beautiful + diverse scenery, and other industry incentives the government offers, the Tampa Bay area is a leading city for making movies outside Hollywood.
Dozens of flicks have been filmed here on the Suncoast — here are 10 of our faves:
🚔 Cop and a Half (1993) | Port Tampa Bay, George Washington Junior High School
This family buddy cop-comedy film was directed by Henry Winkler and starred the legendary Burt Reynolds. Watch this incredible Channel 10 news report from on-set in 1992.
✂️ Edward Scissorhands (1990) | Wesley Chapel, Lutz
The house at 1774 Tinsmith Cir. in Lutz is where Johnny Depp’s Edward Scissorhands character lived in the Tim Burton cult classic.
🏡 Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) | St. Petersburg, Tampa, Gandy Bridge
The second Burton flick was filmed at multiple locations throughout TBAY, one being a now-shuttered grocery store at 2333 34th St. South in St. Pete.
🦁 Goodfellas (1990) | ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Feed him to the lions. Robert DeNiro + Ray Liotta dangle a man by his feet over ZooTampa’s lion exhibit after he refuses to pay up.
🪄 Magic Mike (2012) | St. Pete Beach, Ybor City, Treasure Island
Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey took their talents to the always bustling The Bricks in Ybor and a Caddy’s on the Beach on Treasure Island.
👨🏫 Sex Ed (2014) | Sacred Heart Academy
This raunchy indie stars Haley Joel Osment, and according to a producer, the goal of shooting here was to “show people that Florida is more than just beaches.” The crew shot half of the movie at the Sacred Heart Academy, a Catholic school that closed in 2012
🩸 The Punisher (2004) | Fort De Soto Park, The Claw at USF, 2001 Odyssey Strip Club, and a lot more
Marvel Comics took a trip around town to tell this classic comeback tale. The Fort De Soto Park Pier was even blown up in one scene using computer-generated graphics. Check out this list of before and after pics of the film locations.
👨👩👧👧 The Parent Trap II (1986) | Robert E. Lee Elementary, Mitchell Elementary School
The exteriors of Tampa Heights’ Robert E. Lee and the interiors of Mitchell Elementary were used as the summer school that both main characters attend. Supposedly, filming took place for three weeks in the Tampa area alone.
🐬 Dolphin Tale 1 and 2 (2010, 2014) | Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Admiral Farragut Academy
Inspired by actual events, Dolphin Tale documents the story of Winter the Dolphin and her prosthetic tail. But you should know this if you live in the Bay area, DT1 is a must-watch. Side note: the star of the film Winter passed away in 2021.
🎰 Ocean’s Eleven (2001) | Derby Lane
This all-time heist movie stars film legends Brad Pitt and George Clooney as they set out to rob a casino. Derby Lane, a former greyhound racing track turned poker room on Gandy Boulevard, was featured as Pitt tries to convince Carl Reiner to come out of retirement for one last job.
To read more about other movies with TBAY ties – and to learn about our local film industry – check out Film Tampa Bay.