Hollywood, meet Houston. The photogenic city on the Bayou has acted as a backdrop for a number of blockbuster movies and independent films through the years. Think you know the highlights? Here's a handy guide to some of the film locations you can visit.
The thirdTransformersmovieDark Side of the Moon(2011) was one of the highest-grossing films of all time. It was also partially shot at Houston's ownLyndon B. Johnson Space Center. In the movie, when a spacecraft carrying a key invention crashes on the moon, it is the control center in Houston that leads the mission to recover the ship. Since the scene takes place in the late ‘60s, production firm Paramount sought 130 extras that were outfitted according to period style.
As part of the NASA tram tour at theSpace Center Houston, the historic Mission Control center as well as the Neutral Buoyancy Lab can be visited daily. The latter is a six million-gallon water tank that made an appearance inArmageddon(1998) when Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck complete an astronaut-training course.
Cuba Gooding Jr. in Pearl Harbor
Maybe they didn't save the world in the Academy Award-winningTerms of Endearment(1983), but Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine certainly took over theRiver Oaksneighborhood. Their characters, the wealthy widow Aurora Greenway and retired astronaut (no movie in Houston without astronauts!) Garrett Breedlove, live in two neighboring villas that still stand today. The entire area offers views of stunning million-dollar homes on tree-lined streets that are great for a stroll - or to pitch future investment plans. If you worked up an appetite on your tour through River Oaks, head toBrennan's of Houston to enjoy some exceptional Texas creole cuisine. Ask for the dining room that is named after the movie and you may sit in the same seats as Aurora and Garrett during their lunch scene.
A 1996 sequel,The Evening Star, focused on Aurora's relationship with her grandchildren. While not in the exact same house as the first movie, her home is still in River Oaks. Another new location joins in on the screen:Tootsieson Westheimer Road was the scene of Aurora and Patsy's contentious shopping spree. The store has since moved to the nearby West Ave development, but the fashion remains cutting edge.