Photo: Steve Schaefer
Photo: Steve Schaefer

5 must-visit places in Atlanta for film fanatics

When it comes to entertainment, Atlanta is a central hub for the film industry, in large part due to Georgia’s enticing and well-received tax credits for filmmakers. Atlanta features some of the biggest film production studios in the country, such as Atlanta Filmworks, as well as being the home to several actors and actresses, including timeless staple Jane Fonda and rapper-turned-actor Ludacris. Yet, Atlanta’s most significant contribution to the industry might be the city itself. Over the past few years, Atlanta and areas in Georgia have become major set pieces in many hit TV series and Hollywood blockbusters such as “Black Panther,” ‘The Walking Dead,” “The Hunger Games,” and “Stranger Things.” Every film fanatic in the city should make it a priority to visit at least one, if not all, of these five camera-worthy places.
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Midtown Art Cinema

The Midtown Art Cinema is a go-to in Atlanta to catch foreign and indie movies. The Midtown Art Cinema is a part of the Landmark Theatre chain, and they specialize in marketing and exhibiting independent films. They have a collection of films that includes some of the most popular movies playing overseas, such as “Hotel Mumbai.” The Midtown Art Cinema also features a new selected indie film every week.

Opens daily 15 minutes prior to the first scheduled showtime. $11; children $9. Midtown Promenade, 931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta. 404-879-0160,
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Swan House at the Atlanta History Center

If the Swan House looks familiar, that’s because the elaborate residence is the home of the antagonist of one of the biggest movie series. The Swan House is prominently featured in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay: Part 2” as the mansion of President Coriolanus Snow (played by Donald Sutherland), the tyrannical leader of the movie, but the mansion also makes appearances in “Mockingjay: Part 1.” Film director Francis Lawrence says he aimed to have a classical mansion as the home base for the fictional character, President Snow, and The Swan House, built in 1928, fit the bill. Aside from being a set piece for “The Hunger Games,” the Swan House is open daily for tours.

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday. $9-$21.50. Behind-the-scenes tours at 4 p.m. daily (for an additional $10). Groups tours are offered for parties of 10 or more and require advanced booking. 130 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta. 404-814-4000,

Swan House was featured in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Mockingjay” Part 1 and Part 2. As a result of this, the Swan House have a Hunger Games tour of the housed called the Capitol Tour. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
Photo: For the AJC

Plaza Theatre

The Plaza Theatre first opened its doors in Dec. 1939, making it one of the longest running movie theaters in Atlanta, according to its website. Since then, the building has gone through several major renovations and is a regular venue for the Atlanta Film Festival. This theater shows classic movies, current Hollywood blockbusters, and memorable productions, such as the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975).

The box office opens 30 minutes prior to the first show of the night. $11-$15. 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 470-225-6503,

Plaza Theatre in Atlanta November 10, 2017. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: For the AJC


During a time where streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, are prolific and home video stores signify a past era, Videodrome has stood its ground. Videodrome is a membership-based video rental store located in Poncey-Highland. Membership is free, although members do have to use a debit or credit card to sign up. Their collection showcases an extensive list of foreign films, cult classics, and seasons of hit TV series such as “South Park” and “Game of Thrones.” DVD rentals are $4.25 for three nights, and everything else is the same price for an entire week.

Noon to midnight daily. 617 North Highland Ave., Atlanta. 404-885-1117,

Videodrome boasts 23,000 DVDs and 2,000 Blu-ray discs for rent. Many of its films are not available via streaming. CONTRIBUTED BY STEVE SCHAEFER
Photo: For the AJC

Tyler Perry Studios

Fans of Tyler Perry films and TV shows should visit Tyler Perry Studios. The eponymous film studio is located on a decommissioned Army base, Fort McPherson, and is the set location of many Tyler Perry films including multiple Madea-themed movies and Perry’s popular TV series, such as “The Haves and Have Nots.” The studio sits on more than 330 acres.

No public tours offered. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 315 Deshler St. SW, Atlanta. 678-500-3710,

Tyler Perry directs on the set of “Boo! A Madea Halloween.” Photo Credit: Eli Joshua
Photo: For the AJC

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