Hollywood keeps calling, and Cincinnati keeps answering. In a city that’s ready for its close-up, you can find a number of places where you can step into the footsteps of the stars. Start with these five.
The Old Man & the Gun (2018)
The film was shot at several area locations—mostly banks, fitting the titular character’s (Robert Redford) propensity for bank robbing—but few were as recognizable as Northside’s Blue Jay Restaurant (above).
The Public (2019), The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, downtown
Cincinnati was more than just a filming location for The Public—it’s the movie’s central character. (Writer, director, and star Emilio Estevez even called the motion picture “a love letter to the city.”) The social advocacy drama spotlights the plight of homelessness and the role public libraries play as a shelter from inclement weather. Most of the film takes place within the downtown branch, but watch out for other local references, like the Cincinnati Police Department, the Museum of National History & Science’s taxidermy polar bear (housed at the library during the Museum Center’s renovation), frequent neighborhood name-drops, and yes, even LaRosa’s pizza.
John Travolta stars in this biopic of late mob boss John Gotti, with the Hamilton County Courthouse serving as the backdrop for the film’s courtroom scenes.
The Ides of March (2011)
Hometown boy George Clooney wrote, directed, and starred in this political drama. Many scenes were filmed downtown, including one on Fountain Square, where actor Ryan Gosling uses a fictional pay phone to have a secret conversation with competing campaign manager Paul Giamatti.
Rain Man (1988)
Pompilio’s in Newport set the scene for one of the film’s most memorable moments, where Dustin Hoffman’s character correctly guesses the number of toothpicks (246) the waitress (Bonnie Hunt) spills on the floor. The decor remains mainly intact today, including the pay phone Tom Cruise uses in the scene.