American Film Landmarks Stretch Coast to Coast. Which can you recognize?
From the iconic Hollywood sign to the Empire State Building, America sometimes seems like one giant movie set. Here are four iconic film landmarks that tourists from around the globe add to their travel itineraries.
Fork in the map
In looking for a home for her star-crossed lovers, “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer did a Google search for the rainiest place in America. The result: Forks, Washington. Since the “Twilight” mania, the town has welcomed 300,000 visitors from Greenland to Ghana. “People want to walk through the woods and see what Edward and Bella saw,” says Lissy Andros, director of the Forks Chamber of Commerce. Even though the series has ended, Forks still embraces all things “Twilight,” with restaurants serving “Twilight”-themed food and hotels featuring Bella suites and Jacob cabins.
A devilish encounter
Tourists worldwide still trek to Devils Tower hoping for a close encounter of their own. Left photograph courtesy Columbia Pictures; right photograph by BRADLEY DAVIS/BackpackPhotography.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established Devils Tower in Wyoming as a U.S. National Monument. Over 70 years later, Steven Spielberg’s aliens descended upon it in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” “We get a lot of visitors from Australia and many Asian countries,” says Nancy Stimson, chief of interpretation and education at Devils Tower National Monument. “People constantly ask whether real aliens have ever visited, and whether Richard Dreyfuss is around.”
If you preserve it, they will come
After 25 years, the only things absent from the “Field of Dreams” baseball diamond are the ghosts. Left photograph courtesy Universal Pictures; right photograph © AP Images.
Since its release in 1989, the baseball drama “Field of Dreams” has taken on a life of its own. The cornfield-turned-baseball-diamond used in the film is still preserved in Dyersville, Iowa, attracting 85,000 tourists by 2014. The largest group of foreign tourists hails from Japan. “A well-known sports writer from Japan told me more Japanese have watched ‘Field of Dreams’ than Americans,” says Denise Stillman, who oversees management of the “Field of Dreams” movie site. Today, the field is used for weddings, TV commercials and, of course, baseball games.
Step right up
Rocky’s climb up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art has come to symbolize triumph. Today, Rocky’s perseverance is immortalized in a statue near the steps. Left photograph courtesy United Artists; right photograph © AP Images.
Former Philadelphia city representative and director of commerce Dick Doran once said that Sylvester Stallone had done more for the city’s image “than anyone since Benjamin Franklin.” In the “Rocky” movie series, Stallone’s run up the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s steps turned them into the most famous flight of stairs in America. Nearly 40 years later, the film still inspires tourists from all continents to dash up the steps, paying homage to cinema’s ultimate underdog.
Text courtesy share.america.gov