Movies and TV Shows Filmed in Baltimore

Does that scene look familiar? Baltimore is no stranger to the big screen—or to the television set. The city has been the backdrop for many on-screen stories, and also served as a stand-in for New York City and Washington, D.C., among other cities. Below is a selection of recognizable movies and television shows set in Charm City.

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Blockbusters Set In Baltimore

”Diner” (1982), “Tin Men” (1987), “Avalon” (1990), and “Liberty Heights” (1999)

Director Barry Levinson set several films in his hometown of Baltimore. The first was “Diner,” which was filmed in the chrome diner that now sits vacant at 400 East Saratoga Street. The building was a central cast member in the film, and also made appearances in Levinson’s “Tin Men” (1987) and "Avalon" (1990), as well as in Nora Ephron’s “Sleepless in Seattle.”

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Blockbusters Set In Baltimore

“Pink Flamingos” (1972), “Female Trouble” (1974), “Hairspray” (1988), “Cry-Baby” (1990), Cecil B. Demented (2000), and more

John Waters grew up and still resides in Baltimore, and it’s where he has set many of his films. An itinerary that traces Waters’ filming locations would be incomplete without the Senator Theatre, which is shown in “Cecil B. Demented” and was where many of Waters’ films premiered, as well as The Avenue (36th Street) in Hampden, where scenes from both “Hairspray” and “Pecker” were filmed. While in Hampden you can take a detour to Atomic Books; Waters receives fan mail through this independent shop—you might catch him picking it up!

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Blockbusters Set In Baltimore

“Sleepless in Seattle” (1993)

In this romantic comedy, Meg Ryan plays Annie Reed, a Baltimore Sun reporter. The recognizable rowhouse that she lives is located adjacent to Broadway Pier in Fell’s Point. If you stop by in the summertime on a Wednesday evening, you can catch a free outdoor movie as part of Films on the Pier. The Mount Vernon neighborhood is also featured in the film—you’ll easily spot the Washington Monument and the George Peabody Library.

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Blockbusters Set In Baltimore

“He’s Just Not That Into You” (2009)

Several Baltimore neighborhoods—including Mount Vernon, Brewer’s Hill, and Federal Hill—star in this romantic comedy. Watch carefully and you’ll spot the Domino Sugar sign, a neon sign that was first illuminated in 1951, as well as Baltimore water taxis, National Bohemian beer labels, and other familiar sights.

Other Scenes Shot In Baltimore

“Runaway Bride” (1999)

Baltimore was a stand-in for New York City in this romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. The iconic white church from the movie is about a half hour northeast of Baltimore in Glen Arm, and many of the main-street scenes were filmed in Berlin, a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

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Other Scenes Shot In Baltimore

“The Replacements” (2000)

Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman star in this sports comedy about the fictional Washington Sentinels. Many of the team’s on-field performances were filmed on the Ravens’ home turf, which was called Nextel Stadium but is now M&T Bank Stadium. Oriole Park at Camden Yards also makes an appearance—and it’s where stadium scenes from “Major League 2” were shot.

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Other Scenes Shot In Baltimore

“Live Free or Die Hard” (2007)

Die-hard Baltimoreans will recognize that scenes set in the traffic-congested streets of Washington, D.C. were actually filmed in Charm City. At one point, Baltimore’s Battle Monument is clearly in view. The monument commemorates the Battle of North Point and the Bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, which inspired Francis Scott Key to compose “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The helicopter chase scene also gives a bird’s-eye view of Baltimore’s central business district.

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As Seen on TV

“Ace of Cakes” (2006–2011)

“Ace of Cakes,” one of the highest-rated shows in Food Network’s history, was shot on location in a converted church in Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood. Charm City Cakes, celebrity chef Duff Goldman’s custom cake shop, has since expanded—but the headquarters remains in Baltimore. If you want to learn from the pros, cake-decorating classes are offered to the general public throughout the year.

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As Seen on TV

“Veep” (2012–2015)

For four years, this political satire TV series starring Julia Louise-Dreyfus was filmed mostly in Baltimore and other parts of Maryland. Although an entire episode was filmed at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, for the most part Baltimore was made to look like historic buildings—such as the U.S. Capitol—in Washington, D.C.

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As Seen on TV

“House of Cards” (2013–present)

Fans of this political drama set in Washington, D.C. will immediately recognize many exteriors that were filmed in Baltimore. Among them are the residence of Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), the apartment of reporter Zoey Barnes (Kate Mara), The Washington Herald offices (the Baltimore Sun’s offices), Hotel Cotesworth (The Peabody Conservatory), and more. The Baltimore Museum of Art, Wit & Wisdom Tavern at the Four Seasons, and Tio Pepe restaurant also make appearances on this hit program.

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As Seen on TV

“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”

TV host Guy Fieri has visited Baltimore on numerous occasions—around 20 restaurants in the city have been featured on his show. Among them are Joe Squared, Miss Shirley’s Cafe, Slainte, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, and more.