Real places inspire scenes in Oscar-nominated films

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.Updated 41 minutes ago A diner in Miami, a house in Pittsburgh and a pier in Los Angeles: All of them are real places where movies nominated for the best picture Oscar this year were filmed. Part of “Moonlight”...

Real places inspire scenes in Oscar-nominated films

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Updated 41 minutes ago

A diner in Miami, a house in Pittsburgh and a pier in Los Angeles: All of them are real places where movies nominated for the best picture Oscar this year were filmed.

Part of “Moonlight” was shot in Jimmy's Eastside Diner in Miami. Scenic spots around Los Angeles featured in “La La Land” included the Hermosa Beach Pier. And in Pittsburgh, “Fences” was filmed in a house that perfectly evokes playwright “August Wilson's world,” according to his widow.

Other movies with connections to real places include “Manchester by the Sea,” filmed in coastal towns near Boston, and “Hidden Figures,” about African-American women who worked for NASA in Virginia, where several attractions may be of interest to fans.

Here are some details.

“Fences”

“Fences,” a movie adapted from the August Wilson play, was set and shot in Wilson's hometown, Pittsburgh. Many of the scenes were filmed in a small brick house at 809 Anaheim St., in the Hill District. Wilson's widow, Constanza Romero, visited the house, escorted by the film's star and director, Denzel Washington, and said that she felt like she was “inside August Wilson's world. ... It was just such a feeling that August's words had become three-dimensional.”

Wilson's actual childhood home, is about 2 miles away at 1727 Bedford Ave., and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Moonlight”

Much of this story of a young black man coming of age was set and shot in and around Miami's Liberty Square housing project. One of the most tender scenes depicts the protagonist as a child being taught to swim by a drug dealer who serves as a father figure. That scene was shot on Virginia Key beach, a black-only beach during the segregation era on the Rickenbacker Causeway that connects mainland Miami to Key Biscayne.

“Moonlight” is structured in three parts. The final segment centers on a reunion shot in a real restaurant, Jimmy's Eastside Diner, where fans can grab breakfast or lunch.

“La La Land”

This musical love letter to Los Angeles includes shots of many recognizable destinations around the city. Among them: Griffith Observatory, the Hermosa Beach Pier and nearby Lighthouse Cafe, the Hollywood Walk of Fame mural, Angels Flight Railway, Grand Central Market and the Smoke House restaurant. There's even a scene staged amid traffic on a freeway overpass.

“Hidden Figures”

This movie tells the story of African-American women who worked at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., in the early 1960s. Their work helped put John Glenn into orbit. The movie was mostly filmed in Atlanta, but Hampton offers several attractions worth visiting.

“Manchester by the Sea”

The movie was filmed in parts of Cape Ann and the North Shore of Massachusetts. Gloucester served as the backdrop for a number of scenes, including the pivotal tear-jerking scene between Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck. Central Street in downtown Manchester was also in the film, and cemetery scenes were filmed in the Rosedale cemetery. Local spots like the Willow Rest on Holly Street in Gloucester and Fibber McGee's in Beverly also figure in the movie locations.

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