From Amélie’s macarons to Memorial Stadium: 10 Charlotte staples you’ve seen on the big screen

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Amélie’s macarons in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

In the second installment of the Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins’ Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are on the train headed for the Capitol and surrounded by mountains of fancy food. Blink and you may miss the display of Amélie’s macarons.

Charlotte Motor Speedway in Days of Thunder, Logan Lucky and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

John C. Reilly is no stranger to Charlotte Motor Speedway, as he co-starred with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in the 1990 Days of Thunder before returning with Will Ferrell for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby in 2006.

The Speedway plays a huge part in the upcoming Logan Lucky, starring Channing Tatum, who decides to turn his family’s 90-year streak of bad luck around by teaming up with a gang of West Virginian thieves to rob the Speedway of $14 million. As one does.

Crowders Mountain in Max

In the simultaneously heartbreaking and heartstring-pulling movie about war dog and hero Max, who has just lost his best friend, Crowders Mountain’s Tower Trail, forest near the Ridgeline Trail and peak serve as a backdrop.

Freedom Park in Shallow Hal

The 2001 rom-com centered on the story of Hal (Jack Black), who falls in love with Rosemary (Gwenyth Paltrow) but can’t see past her inner beauty to actually see her physical self, was filmed exclusively in Charlotte, with locations in Uptown, South End, Dilworth and the surrounding areas. This includes Freedom Park, more than once – first, when Rosemary is introduced to Hal’s best friend and again in the final scene.

Knight Theater in The Hunger Games

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is introduced by Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci) as “The Girl on Fire” in the Charlotte Convention Center before moving to the Levine Center for the Arts’ Knight Theater for her pre-Hunger Games interview.

Latta Arcade in Shallow Hal

Look for everyone’s favorite niche in the scene that Hal (Jack Black) learns from Mauricio (Jason Alexander) that the women he’s been seeing, are not, in fact, “pretty.” What a blow to an ego.

Memorial Stadium in Leatherheads

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The 2008 movie about a 1925 football team that’s just recruited a college football star (John Krasinski) to keep the league from falling off of the nation’s radar was directed by George Clooney, who also starred in the movie. Though the movie was filmed mainly in Winston-Salem, the games in the beginning and end of the film were played at Memorial Stadium.

Pike’s Old Fashioned Soda Shop in Shallow Hal

Because if you don’t have a milkshake at Pike’s, were you even there?

Whitewater Center in Vacation

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The sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation, starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate, put Rusty Griswold and his family right in the middle of Class IV rapids in the Grand Canyon – thanks to some slick movie magic, that is. In reality, the scenes were filmed at the Whitewater Center.

And, making its big-screen debut this year, Alexander Michael’s in the upcoming American Animals

The movie about four men who start to believe that their life is a movie and set out on a heist, starring Evan Peters, was recently filming in locations around Charlotte and used everybody’s Fourth Ward staple Alexander Michael’s as a backdrop.

 

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Kylie Moore
Writer doubling as a travel, wine, and Oxford Comma enthusiast.