Take a Hollywood tour without leaving the state

By Bryan Gallion
Staff writer

Sometimes television and film fans believe the storylines and locations they see on screen are far out of reach, but others feel closer to home. Several shows and movies have been filmed in Maryland, making many film sets easily accessible for loyal fans to immerse themselves in the lives of their favorite characters and relive their favorite on-screen moments.

Netflix’s political drama series House of Cards follows Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, a congressman who ascends through the political ranks and ultimately becomes president of the United States. While the series is set in Washington, D.C., interior scenes are filmed at a Joppa, Maryland, warehouse and exterior shots are filmed in Baltimore.

Want to see the backdrop for the season 1 presidential inaugural ball with your own eyes? Visit the Baltimore War Memorial Building. This scene was one of the season’s biggest productions.

The Baltimore Museum of Art sets the scene for Underwood’s first meeting with Washington Herald reporter Zoe Barnes, who is played by Kate Mara. The headquarters of the show’s fictitious newspaper are actually based out of The Baltimore Sun’s unoccupied office space.

To get a glimpse of where political business is handled on the show, take a trip to Baltimore’s City Hall. The building stands in for D.C.’s city hall in a season 3 scene where the D.C. mayor makes an announcement endorsing a political plan proposed by President Underwood.

For “Cards” fans who wish to dine like their favorite pretend politicians, they can visit some of Baltimore’s best restaurants. Red Maple stands in for D.C.’s DuPont Circle Bar where Barnes has many of her post-work drinks. Scenes were also filmed at Tio Pepe’s and The Golden West Cafe during the first season.

Baltimore is big enough for two political shows – the first four seasons of HBO’s political satire series Veep were also filmed there. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Selina Meyer, former Maryland senator-turned vice president of the United States who ultimately becomes president. Season 5 will be filmed in Los Angeles, but fans can still visit Maryland landmarks seen in the first four seasons. While interior scenes were filmed on a soundstage in Columbia, exterior shots were filmed in and around Baltimore.

The Belvedere hosted a luxurious law enforcement retirement party, while Baltimore’s Ottobar was disguised as D.C.’s Black Cat nightclub in season 1.

Veep filmed scenes at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, but characters did not  fly out of Baltimore. BWI was transformed into a Finnish airport in season 2, while Helsinki was replicated at The Engineer’s Club.

Want to know how it feels to run a campaign? Stay at the Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Meyer and her team use the hotel to strategize and slumber while on the road. And if you ever need to purchase a book, consider visiting Columbia’s Books-A-Million: Meyer conducts a book-signing there in season 3.

Many blockbuster movies have also been filmed in Maryland. The Blair Witch Project, a 1999 “found footage” horror film, is set in Burkittsville. This eerie tale became a runaway hit, and horror junkies can follow the path that the filmmakers took.

First stop: Stup’s Market in Adamstown where the students learn about several murders. Dare to step foot in the iconic “Black Hills Forest”? Take a stroll through the real filming location: Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg.

The 2005 romantic comedy Wedding Crashers was filmed in St. Michaels, Maryland. The waterfront wedding reception was filmed at the Inn at Perry Cabin, and some cast and crew members even stayed there throughout the duration of filming.

One scene portrays Christopher Walken as William Cleary, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, sailing a schooner called the Woodwind II. The yacht was rented out for nine days of filming on the Choptank and Miles Rivers in May 2004, according to the sailing company Annapolis Woodwind. For fans who want to relive this scene, the boat is open to the public during sailing season.

The 2010 drama The Social Network might show what Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard experience was like, but many of these scenes were actually filmed at Johns Hopkins University. Stop by the Keyser and Wyman quadrangles on the university’s Homewood campus if you’re ever in the area. Jesse Eisenberg portrayed  the Facebook founder on this part of campus in November 2009.

Several top-notch shows and movies have been filmed around Maryland, and Hollywood greats have filmed at some of the state’s coolest locations. Now it’s your turn to explore.

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