New Jersey is 3,000 miles away from Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a little bit of Hollywood in the Garden State. In fact, NJ has served as the backdrop for a number of TV shows and movies.
Of course, The Sopranos used every inch of the state while filming for eight years, but some of the biggest blockbusters took advantage of what we have to offer as well. And the good news is many of these places are still around to visit.
Here are 8 filming locations to check out without ever hopping on a plane.
- The Sopranos, Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery Ice Cream Parlor
After James Gandolfini – who played Tony Soprano passed away in 2013, the Bloomfield diner kept the booth where the Soprano family once sat reserved for a month, in homage to the actor. The table is now available to sit at throughout the week but remains reserved for Saturdays when the Soprano’s tour bus stops by.
- A Beautiful Mind, Princeton University
Many visitors will recognize Holder Courtyard and Firestone Common Room from the movie starring Russell Crowe. The ‘faculty dining room’ in the film is actually the Rockefeller College common room and many scenes were filmed at Holder Hall during three separate visits since the movie was shot largely in sequence.
- Bounty Hunter, Borgata and Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City
Even though the movie didn’t do well at the box office, take a trip down to AC to visit where Gerald Butler and Jennifer Aniston shot this movie. They filmed around Atlantic City; some of the locations include the Borgata and the Trump Taj Mahal hotels.
- Friday The 13th, Camp NoBeBoSco in Hardwick Township
This camp was the main filming location and many of the structures are still the same. This is a functioning Boy Scouts Camp, so make sure to check with the managers before coming to the campsite. It may be best to visit the camp off-season. You can see the fictional ‘Welcome to Camp Crystal Lake’ sign and the Van Dusen cabin where Alice barricaded herself after finding the bodies.
- Annie, Monmouth University
Annie was filmed in a couple of different areas in New Jersey. The grounds of Oliver Warbucks’ mansion and front of the mansion were filmed at Monmouth University. The limestone mansion is now the centerpiece of the Monmouth University campus and is modeled after Versailles.
- Independence Day, Donnelly Memorial Park and 36 64thStreet, West New York, New Jersey
You can visit Julius Levinson’s house where David makes his way to his father’s house so they can leave the city together. There is also the park where David plays chess with his father.
- Burn After Reading, Goodwill Store on Route 17, Paramus
Brad Pitt was a person trainer in this movie and you can see where they filmed the gym scene of this movie – at a record store, no less. Goodwill was the backdrop for Hardbodies gym.
- The Sopranos, Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus
At least five episodes were filmed here for the show. In real life, it’s a two-story, upscale shopping mall. You may remember in one of the episodes, Vito Spatafore approaches Tony at the mall while his brother, Bryan, stands guard.