Considering that British Columbia is the third-largest film production region in North America, it shouldn’t be surprising that a wealth of genre film and television shows are shot there. And Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia has been used as the backdrop of many science fiction, fantasy and horror films and television shows.
In fact, according to Lonely Planet, in the last three decades, more than 3,000 film and television projects have been shot in British Columbia, including genre shows such as The X Files (1993), Battlestar Galactica (2004), Smallville (2001), Supernatural (2005), Sliders (1995), Outer Limits (1995), Highlander (1986), Fringe (2008), V (2009), Eureka (2006) and the all of the Stargate franchise shows [SG-1 (1997), Atlantis (2004) and Universe (2009)] have shot at numerous locations throughout the Lower Mainland.
Vancouver is a town that many studios and production companies call home. This makes it a genre traveler’s dream vacation spot. So the next time you find yourself there, you might want to check out these science fiction, fantasy, and horror film locations.
Bridge Studios, Burnaby, east of downtown VancouverOnce a steel manufacturing plant — in fact part of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge was made there — the Dominion Bridge plant is now home of Bridge Studios.
Scenes from Night at the Museum (2006), The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (2009) and Jumanji (1995) were shot here. The Jean Claude Van Damme film, Timecop (1994), was shot in Burnaby, as well.
Orpheum Theatre, 884 Granville Street, VancouverBuilt in 1927 as a movie theatre in the grandiose Moorish style, the Orpheum showed up in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus as the theatre where Tony 3 (Colin Farrell) attends the disastrous children’s charity bash.
Scenes from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica TV series were also shot here. And, more recently, several CW DC Comics shows has used this location, including The Flash (2014), Arrow (2012), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2016) and Supergirl (2015).
Gastown, VancouverEstablished the same year Canada became a nation, Gastown has served as the backdrop to many a film and television show. The opening and ending sequences of The Neverending Story (1984), where the bullies chase Bastian, were shot near the Gastown Steam Clock in Trounce Alley, between Water and Cordova.
Also, scenes from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) were shot in Gastown.
Downtown VancouverAs you tour through downtown Vancouver, you’ll probably recognize a number of locations from your favorite genre TV shows.
In fact, it served as Metropolis for Smallville. Stop by the Marine Building on 355 Burrard St. and you’ll see not only the last art deco building still standing in the city but the exterior of The Daily Planet. The Marine Building was also used in Blade: Trinity (2004), and both Fantastic Four (2005) and Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).
This boutique hotel has served as the backdrop of at least 60 productions since March 2009, including the pilot for the recent remake of V. Other genre shows that have used the location include The X Files, The Dead Zone (2002), Blood Ties (2007) and Tru Calling (2003).
Once the dormitory for cadets and staff officers at Royal Roads Military College and now the administrative center of Royal Roads University, it makes sense that this modern-day “castle” build in 1908 would make a good stand-in for Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in both X-Men II (2003) and III (2006). It is also used as the exterior of Lex Luthor’s mansion in Smallville.
If you don’t want to create a do it yourself tour, there is one tour companies in Vancouver that will be happy to help you out. Fans of Vancouver hosts walking tours downtown Vancouver that include locations from Supernatural and The Flash.