A Walk Through Boston’s Movie History

 Spotlight on Boston

Boston has been a favorite of movie makers for some time. One common theme in many of the movies filmed here is a gritty realism, which Boston can do like no other. No one will deny Boston is a quaint Northeastern gem but it is also a real working class city. Films made here include, The Departed, Alex and Emma, A Civil Action, Good Will Hunting, Malice and Mystic River. It was also the setting for many TV shows including Cheers and Ally McBeal.

There are several movies slated to be filmed in Boston in the coming weeks as well including Bachelor Number 2, Pink Panther 2, and last month Denzel Washington was in town filming The Great Debaters. Here is our guide to movie locations and other can’t miss activities in Boston.


A good portion of Good Will Hunting was filmed in Toronto but there were also scenes filmed in Harvard Square.

The “Harvard bar” in the movie is Bow and Arrow Pub which is now gone but was at 1 Bow St.


Will tries to explain himself to Skylar at Au Bon Pain on 27 Brattle St.

Boston’s Movie Mile

Movie Mile is located in the Beacon Hill area. It runs up Charles St and moves left onto Beacon St, ending at 1 Beacon. The “movie mile” has been used as a gimmick by tour companies for some time but it really is a fascinating part of the city if you are interested in film and TV history. Here is a walking tour of the area:


Scenes from Good Will Hunting were filmed in the Public Garden at Charles St and Beacon St.


The original Cheers is located at 84 Beacon St.


The exterior of Ally McBeal’s building were shot at 14 Beacon St.


Scenes from Malice were filmed at 1 Beacon St.


Matt Damon’s Apartment in The Departed (exterior shots) was located at 120 Tremont Ave. And here is a map for your walking tour of movie mile.

There are other locations in the vicinity you may want to check out. Exterior shots of the Police Dept used in The Departed were filmed at the Hurley Building, 19 Staniford St. Also in the heart of Boston are two of the locations used in Mystic River, Doyle’s Pub and Franklin Park (where Katie’s body was found).

While in Boston you can also check out:

The City’s History

Freedom Trail

Faneuil Hall

Shopping and Restaurants

Ten Best List- Shopping in Boston Boston USA Restaurant Guide

Boston Globe Restaurant Listings


Boston MFA

New England Aquarium


Boston Nightclub News

Getting Around

Boston’s T

Logan Airport

Car Rental

Guide to Driving in Boston (humorous)

Where to stay

Yahoo’s Hotel Guide

Orbitz Boston Hotel Deals

Here is a recent hotel review from the NY Times.

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