Movie locations and art
"Unbreakable" stadium where Bruce Willis worked
This trip evolved from Ben's interest in M Night
Shyamalan's movies "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable".
Instead of just visiting the touristy spots in
Philadelphia, we spent two days in late August traveling all over the city to the
locations where major scenes were shot from the movies.
We took digital video in some spots and to a degree,
recreated some of the scenes. We also used the
opportunity to visit two museums, the Rodin (with the
largest collection of his sculptures outside of Paris)
and the Museum of Art (which also happens to be the
movie location for Rocky Balboa's famous training run up
The original 1976 movie "Rocky"
was shot mostly on location in Philadelphia in the Italian
Market area. The budget for the film was under $1M and the
total filming schedule was 28 days. It won best picture and
director. The famous scene at the end of Rocky's training
where he runs up steps and does a celebration dance at the top
was filmed outside of the
Philadelphia Museum of
Art. Ben brought appropriate Rocky attire and, despite the
hot August morning, we filmed several takes and snapped pictures of the
run (first three pictures below).
"The Sixth Sense" anniversary dinner @ Striped Bass
M Night Shyamalan's 2000 film "Unbreakable"
is a dark thriller about David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis)
who can not be harmed and slowly realizes his mission to
protect others through a stranger Elijah (played by Samuel L.
Jackson). We visited many locations from the movie. We started
with the interior shot from the memorial service for the train
wreck which David Dunn miraculously survives - St Marks Church
(fourth picture above). Across the street (1620 Locust St.) is
the location of the comic store "Limited Edition"
where David Dunn and Elijah first meet (original movie scene -
first picture below, and our shot - second picture below).
The stadium where David Dunn worked as a security guard was
actually Franklin Field on the campus of the University of
Pennsylvania. The exterior "atmosphere" shot taken from the South
St. Bridge was used before many scenes (original movie scene -
third picture below, and our shot - fourth picture below, also
the large picture at top left with Ben).
Luckily for us, the Penn football team
was practicing when we got to Franklin Field so we snuck in
for some shots. Inside the stadium, we recreated the scenes of
David Dunn in his dark poncho emerging into the stands (first
picture below) and the concession stand where he confronted
the man with the hidden gun (second picture below). Outside
the stadium, we shot the hallway where the chase happened
(third picture below) and the nearby University City subway station where
Elijah was injured on the steps (fourth picture below).
There was an interesting restaurant interior scene where David
Dunn and his wife Audrey tried to mend their problems by going
on a "date". It was shot in the lobby of the Curtis Office
Building, across the street from Independence Hall, which had
been set up to look like a restaurant (original movie scene -
first picture below, and our shot - second picture below). We
traveled to several other Unbreakable locations; the Packard
Building, an office building where a train station interior
location was set up, the Naval Shipyard, where a warehouse
scene was filmed and a street carnival site southeast of the
city at 2nd and Oregon.
The Sixth Sense
M Night Shyamalan's 1999 breakthrough film "The
Sixth Sense" is a supernatural story of a boy, Cole, with powers
to see the dead and Malcolm, a psychiatrist on the mend played by
Bruce Willis. One famous interior scene was Malcolm and his
wife's first anniversary dinner after they were attacked,
at the Striped Bass Restaurant. Ben and I ate lunch there (an
outstanding but pricey restaurant, by the way) and had our
picture taken at the same table where Malcolm and Anna sat
(large picture at top of page right side). Exterior
shots of Cole's home were done by putting two existing houses
together on St Albans St. in southeast Philadelphia (third
picture below). The garden on the lower right of that picture
was put in as a thank you to the neighborhood for allowing the
filming. Exterior scenes of Cole's grade school were actually
at Peirce College at 1420 Pine (fourth picture below). We
traveled to St Augustine's Church, but were unable to get
inside to copy an interior scene where Malcolm met with Cole.
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