City Paper is not for tourists
Now that every TV camera in the nation has turned it’s lonely lens to Washington, it is only fitting that a bus tour has been arranged to guide tourists past the filming locations of every notable DC movie or TV show. On Location Tours, Inc., the New York-based company behind the Sex and the City and Gossip Girl tours of Manhattan, leads bus tours every Saturday morning. But where do they take you?According to their website, “the tour of Washington DC TV and movie sites takes you on a journey of the timeline of filming in DC.” Among the movies listed are Wedding Crashers, Thank You for Smoking, St. Elmo’s Fire, and Independence Day, all of which do take place in Washington, but are people shelling out $35 a ticket to see the sets or to see the monuments?
Tour highlights include the steps where The Exorcist was filmed and the mall where True Lies and No Way Out were filmed. The Exorcist stairs are one of DC’s claims to movie fame, but the mall in Georgetown where Jamie Lee Curtis walked around? Not so exciting, even if Nicole Richie does shop there. And for other movies, the DC locations are the monuments and other places along the Mall, which are tourist-havens even without their movie connections. Take the Reflecting Pool, for example. Martin Luther King and Marian Anderson inspired thousands of people there. Oh, and Forrest Gump and Jenny reunited in the same location, hence the significance.
As for TV shows, the tour visits shooting locations from 24 and The West Wing, supposedly while singing the theme songs. So they drive in a bus past the White House and look at the street where Jack Bauer and Jed Bartlett supposedly walked? And, by the way, the theme songs have no words to sing along to. It’s all in good fun, but why not scenes from real DC movies like All the President’s Men? The Watergate’s good fun for all!
For movie buffs, seeing the Hollywood side of “Hollywood for Ugly People” offers a different insight into the city, but there’s more to see than the stomping grounds of pretend politicians. We’ve got the real stuff and we like to show it off.
(Image courtesy of Flickr user bog_king, Creative Commons Attribution License.)