Bringing Hollywood to Massachusetts
The iconic filming locations that gave Massachusetts a claim to fame.
By Caroline Faubert
Photo by Amanda Miller
When people think of Massachusetts, the film industry isn’t usually top of mind. With its frigid temperatures and minimal celebrity sightings, Massachusetts may not be the obvious choice for a movie set. However, many iconic movies have used the history and beauty of the state as the backdrop for their stories. Here is a list of some filming locations you can visit right here in the Bay State.
Little Women (2019)
The 2019 remake of a well-loved classic story about four sisters growing up in Massachusetts in the 19th century kept true to its story, by filming at historic estates in towns northwest of Boston. Fans of the film can visit some of these mansions, like the Gardiner House in Ipswich, used as a set for Paris in the film, or the Louisa May Alcott House in Concord, which was recreated at a different location in Concord since the original house couldn’t accommodate the large scale production.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
This beautiful coming-of-age story takes place entirely in Boston, and the filmmakers used the city as its set for many scenes. One of the most memorable scenes between Matt Damon and Robin Williams occurred on a park bench in the Boston Common. Film fans can still visit this bench, now famously recognized as “The Good Will Hunting Bench.”
Hocus Pocus (1993)
A Halloween classic, this beloved fall favorite was shot and based in Salem, Massachusetts, where the Salem Witch Trials took place in the 17th century. Some of the most notable film locations of Hocus Pocus include the Ropes Mansion, Salem Common, and Pioneer Village, all of which can be seen during a tour of Salem! To gain the most accurate feel of the film, be sure to visit during the month of October when fall festivities are in full swing.
Jaws is one of the few cult classics filmed here in Massachusetts, specifically on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. This summertime film cast widespread fear, making the people of Massachusetts scared to swim at their local beaches for decades. Joseph Slyvia State Beach is home to the infamous filming location where the shark attacks took place. Plus, the iconic bridge from the movie is now known even to locals as, “The Jaws Bridge,” where brave souls can jump into the potentially shark-infested waters.