In 1933, Seattle sailed onto movie screens in “Tugboat Annie,” and it’s had starring roles ever since. In 2015, Amazon Studios’ drama “The Man in the High Castle” was shot around town, and rumor has it that new “Twin Peaks” episodes will be filmed here.
The gorgeous landscape surrounding Seattle has also been captured on film. Scenes for “Harry and the Hendersons” (1987) were shot in and around the Cascades: Visit the Espresso Chalet (State Route 2 at milepost 36) in Index, Wash., to snap a photo with the Harry Henderson statue and explore the area where parts of the movie were filmed. “The Ring” (2002) features a few notable spots 90 minutes west of Seattle, including Deception Pass, Fidalgo Island and the Port Townsend Ferry Terminal. The original 1991 incarnation of “Twin Peaks” included a number of locations 30 miles east of Seattle. Among these is Snoqualmie Falls, whose falls you’ll recognize as White Tails Falls; and the Salish Lodge, the stand-in for as the Great Northern Hotel. Don’t forget to visit Twede’s Café, aka the Double R Diner, where you can still get a slice of Twin Peaks Cherry Pie.
While many stories are set in the city, not all have been filmed here. In the recent movie adaptation of the book “50 Shades of Grey,” Christian Grey lives in the Escala, an upscale condo at Fourth Ave. and Virginia St. In the film, Vancouver, British Columbia, stood in for the Emerald City—as it has in many films—but fans shouldn’t be too disappointed: the Escala is real. (Take a selfie outside the building.) The popular television show “Frasier” was also set in the city: Queen Anne, specifically. The series’ 100th episode was filmed around town, but all other episodes were shot elsewhere.
The city and its surrounding towns have also been home, at one time or another, to a variety of actors and actresses, including Josie Bisset, Rainn Wilson, Anna Farris, Carrie Brownstein, Jean Smart, Ryan Stiles, Richard Karn, Joel McHale, Tom Skerritt and Bruce Lee.
Movie fans won’t want to miss the Wing Luke Museum exhibition “Do You Know Bruce?” which includes items from Lee’s life in Seattle. The museum also offers the Bruce Lee’s Chinatown tour. The EMP Museum recently debuted “Star Wars and the Power of Costume,” a behind-the-scenes look at the costumes that shaped the movies’ characters.
Below, a starting point of places around town featured in films and television shows if you’d like to explore the famous side of Seattle.