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Forget Sleeping – See Seattle

Seattle has been the backdrop for some very successful movies and remains a favoured filming location. Given it is Oscars season, here are a few movies shot in the Emerald City, as well as experiences for film fanatics. 

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, the Oscar nominated 1993 film played homage to many iconic spots around the Emerald City. Visitors can retrace the footsteps of Sam Baldwin (played by Hanks) by visiting Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continuously operated farmers markets in the US, seeing the floating home of Sam and his son on Lake Union, and strolling along the hidden gem, Alki Beach. 

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Based loosely on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You follows the dazzling Julia Stiles and late Heath Ledger through Seattle as they’re falling in love. With paintballing at Gas Works Park, prom at Paramount Theatre and the Fremont Troll as a backdrop, the film shows off the city’s most famous landmarks. 

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

A romantic comedy starring the talented Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, and Jake Johnson, Seattle played an important role in the plot of Safety Not Guaranteed. The story unfolds when the main character, a reporter at the Seattle Magazine is told to respond to a unique advert from an aspiring time traveller. The film was shot at 32 different locations around Seattle.

KIMI (2022)

Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Zoë Kravitz, KIMI is a thriller about an agoraphobic tech worker wanting to bring wrongdoers to justice. Protest scenes were filmed at Seattle’s Westlake Park and the movie includes many shots of the city’s exterior to give the cinematography a grunge atmosphere.

Fun for film fanatics

Seattle International Film Festival (14-24 April)

Being one of the top cinema gatherings in the USA, the Seattle International Film Festival has more than 400 films from 90 countries during its 11 day programme and is well attended. Founded in 1976, it’s one of the greatest cultural events Seattle has to offer, with 40% of featured films being made by women. Screenings can be watched in downtown Seattle as well as online. SIFF is known for appreciating films that don’t fit standard industry niches. 

Visit the Museum of Pop Culture 

A favourite venue for culture vultures, the Museum of Pop Culture is overflowing with behind-the-scenes magic. Taking a permanent place in the museum, Scared to Death: The Thrill of a Horror Film explores the most terrifying monsters in horror cinema. Featuring over 50 props and costumes from film and television including A Nightmare on Elm Street and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, themed sections hope to evoke unsettling sensations in visitors. Another permanent fixture, Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and magic takes visitors on a magical journey to unfold the inspiration behind the world’s most mythical cinematic beasts. See the weaponry from The Lord of the Rings, and go behind the scenes with Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. MOPOP also holds special exhibitions such as Heroes and Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume, taking place until 17 April with over 70-original costumes on display.

Big Picture 

As the first cinema on the West Coast to offer a waiting service whilst visitors watch their chosen film, Big Picture is a great way to experience a new blockbuster. Located in Issaquah, on the outskirts of Seattle, the 33-seat theatre includes a full bar, lounge and a tasty menu with double smash burgers and Chicago-style hot dogs, offering a memorable night out. 

For more information, please visit: www.visitseattle.org 

Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen has been managing director of a media production studio for nearly 20 years working on projects for a global clientele. He has worked in the travel industry for over a decade and as a travel journalist since 2015. He is passionate about travel, film & photography. He also has a keen interest in emerging technology.


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