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Forget Hollywood. Florida has been a backdrop for plenty of movies. Our Tampa Bay region has been prominently featured on the silver screen.

Florida has beaches, theme parks, big cities, swamps…great settings for movies. The Sunshine State has been the location for films big and small. When they said “lights, camera, action!”, Florida did not disappoint. Here are some of the movies that used Tampa Bay as a location:

 

[SOURCE Herald Tribune]

 

  • Cocoon

    1980’s St. Petersburg was a backdrop for Ron Howard’s Oscar winning film about three retirees who discover alien cocoons in their neighbor’s swimming pool. Seems that these cocoons have special powers, making our octogenarians feel youthful…or was it the St. Pete Shuffleboard Club’s court?

     

  • Deathdream (aka Dead of Night)

    Filmed in Brooksville, this 1970’s horror film is about a soldier killed in Vietnam who mysteriously returns home. It oozes those creepy vibes that movies from this era are known for.

     

  • Dolphin Tale

    This movie is based on the story of Winter the dolphin. Filmed all over Pinellas County, you’ll recognize places like Admiral Farragut Academy and the world-famous Clearwater Marine Aquarium where you can visit Winter and her pal Hope, who was featured in the sequel.

    Here’s a pic of Winter, because we can!

     

  • Edward Scissorhands

    An artificial man with scissors for hands discovers the world around him. Who would have thought with an elevator pitch like that, this movie would be a hit? Director Tim Burton added his touch to the Hillsborough, Pasco, and Polk County locations that gave this film such a distinct look.

  • Magic Mike

    By day he sweats as a roofer under the Florida sun. By night he sweats under the lights as a male stripper in the Kings of Tampa. Channing Tatum based this movie on his own experiences as an exotic entertainer in 1990’s Tampa. Many Tampa Bay locations were used to keep the film true to life!

  • Out of Time

    Taking place in the fictional Florida town of Banyan Key, Denzel Washington plays the police chief who has to solve a double homicide and also gets wrapped up in some trouble of his own. Besides Miami, Sarasota and the fishing town of Cortez in Manatee County are great Florida backdrops in this film.

  • Spring Breakers

    How do you pay for a spring break vacation? The stars of this movie decide to rob a restaurant to fund their trip! It goes downhill from there. Plenty of Pinellas County locations feature prominently in this motion picture.

  • Summer Rental

    The late John Candy always knew how to make us laugh. A month of paradise in the film isn’t what it’s cracked up to be! St. Pete Beach takes center-stage while John Candy’s character tries to find fun under the Florida sun.