‘Hollywood of the South’
New Orleans, Louisiana
Unlike many of the previously mentioned film locations, New Orleans is a city that’s hard to identify with just one film. From recent blockbusters like “21 Jump Street,” “Green Lantern” and “The Expendables” to enduring classics like “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Interview With a Vampire” and “Easy Rider,” New Orleans has earned a special place on the silver screen.
Known colloquially as the Hollywood of the South, New Orleans is the third-most-popular place in the United States to film movies, according to Jonathan Ray, who runs New Orleans Movie Tours. Interested groups can often visit the set of a film currently being shot in the city, as there is typically at least one going on.
Film tours in New Orleans may take place on foot or on a motorcoach, depending on whether the group prefers to focus on one neighborhood or take in an overview of the city’s major film locations. In two hours by bus, groups can visit the most well known New Orleans film locations, such as the rail track from “Streetcar Named Desire” and Benjamin Button’s house, before stopping in to have a drink at the Fairmont or the F&M Patio Bar from “Ray.” Tours can also incorporate drive-bys of the homes of prominent actors who live in New Orleans, like Sandra Bullock and Brad Pitt.
Robert Florence, author and owner of Historic New Orleans Tours, has created a special tour around the HBO series “Treme,” which follows New Orleans residents in the Treme neighborhood rebuilding their lives after Hurricane Katrina. The historic neighborhood is a particular melting pot within the heady mix that is New Orleans, epitomizing the interaction of Creole and African-American culture.