The Late Movies: "Pop Pilgrims" Visit Pop Culture Sites
The Onion's AV Club has been traveling the U.S., visiting significant locations from film, TV, and music. I've collected some of my favorites from their series, which is currently 32 episodes long. These are bite-sized collections of trivia and pop culture lore, and are a lot of fun -- though the theme song and sponsor branding might drive you nuts after the third or fourth video.
New York: The Ghostbusters firehouse
Only used for exteriors, this firehouse is still in use, and 9/11 first responders were dispatched from it. In this clip, we learn some Ghostbusters history and trivia as well as some New York history.
Austin: We're gonna need you to go ahead and visit the Office Space building
"For the ultimate in dull, [Mike Judge] looked to southeast Austin and found the Southpark office complex, where his workers suffered five days a week and sometimes even on Saturday."
San Francisco: Jimmy Stewart's Vertigo apartment
Near the "crookedest street in the world," we find 900 Lombard, the house from Vertigo. Jeffrey M. Anderson calls Vertigo the "ultimate San Francisco movie."
San Francisco: City Lights Books, birthplace of a literary revolution
A hugely significant independent bookstore (and publisher). Features an appearance by Daniel Handler!
Memphis: Sun Studio - Home to Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis
I've heard of Sun Studio (and Sun Records) forever, and have seen fictionalized versions of it in movies, but hadn't seen the real thing -- or at least I thought I hadn't, until I realized it was in Rattle & Hum, including the "Angel of Harlem" video. The studio is surprisingly small for its massive cultural impact.
Austin: We visit fictional Dillon, TX, home of Friday Night Lights
See also Friday Night Nights. Interestingly, the show never used sound stages -- everything used a real location (although "East Dillon" had to reuse space from existing parts of "Dillon" proper).
Seattle: The diner from Twin Peaks, Twede's Cafe
Oh, the Double R Diner and its cherry pie -- "this must be where pies go when they die." As fans know, there was a major fire in 2000, so the interior has been replaced.
Chicago: The Blues Brothers bridge
Jake Blues hates Illinois Nazis.