Edit ModuleShow Tags

On Location: Twin Cities Destinations Found on the Big Screen


Growing up, I remember finding it so cool that a classmate of mine had a speaking part in The Mighty Ducks (1992) and that a few friends in my high school's choir sang in a scene from Jingle All the Way (1996). I also remember being so bummed that I missed seeing Jason Lee filming Mallrats (1995) at the mall in Eden Prairie. More recently, it was pretty cool that Coen Brothers filmed A Serious Man (2009) in town. There’s something fun about seeing someone or someplace familiar on the big screen. Here are a few places you might recognize as you stroll through the Twin Cities:

Mickey’s Diner
This Art Deco dining car in St. Paul is on the National Register of Historic Places. Open 24 hours, every day all year, Mickey’s is the place to go for thick malts and juicy hamburgers. The restaurant has been featured in the film version of Garrison Keillor's beloved radio show, A Prairie Home Companion (2006), The Mighty Ducks series (1992, 1994 & 1996), and the Arnold Schwarzenegger holiday movie Jingle All the Way.

Mall of America
Of course, the nation’s largest mall has had its moments on camera. In fact, the Bloomington mall, which has more than 520 stores, had its own TV show for a while. Mall Cops: Mall of America followed the security staff inside the mall. You’ll also glimpse the mall if you watch the The Mighty Ducks or Jingle All the Way.

Mall of America, Bloomington  Mickey's Diner, St. Paul  First Avenue, Minneapolis

mall of america, mickey's diner and first avenue
Photos By Todd Buchanan

First Avenue
This beloved downtown Minneapolis concert venue ranks tops by Metromix and is set to complete renovations this year. First Ave has been a destination for music lovers for more than 40 years. Just stroll by and you’ll see the iconic stars listing the artists, like Prince, who have taken stage at the venue. First Ave even played an important role in Prince’s movie Purple Rain (1984).

Bryant-Lake Bowl
This Minneapolis restaurant also is an entertainment destination with a bowling alley and a theater on site. Bryant-Lake Bowl is a favorite place to take a date or gather with friends, and was a location for several scenes in Beautiful Girls (1996), which starred Matt Dillon, Timothy Hutton, and a young Natalie Portman.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
Yep, America's best airport (Travel + Leisure) was featured in the Coen Brothers' Academy Award-winning movie Fargo (1996). Though I must point out that Fargo itself is actually a city in North Dakota.

There are more movie destinations in the Twin Cities and around the state, but this list should give you a taste of Minnesota’s cinematic history. For more Minnesota movies, check out this list from Explore Minnesota Tourism and this one from WCCO.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Journeys: How to Love Baseball While Knowing Little to Nothing about It

Whether you’re a fan for life or an ultra casual like me, baseball is a sport for the summer

A Gala Befitting Glensheen

At the Glensheen Gala, you can explore the gardens, see normally closed-off spots, and relish in the after party along Lake Superior

Seven Days of California Adventure

New adventures await in California, even for Travel Club guide and travel editor Todd Walker

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Traditional Powwow This Weekend

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe welcomes the public to enjoy traditional dancing, drum ceremonies, and contests

A Day Trip to the North Loop

Just north and west of Target Field, North Loop has some of the best restaurants and shops in Minneapolis

The Museum of Pizza Has Minnesota Ties

Todd about Town: New York's new museum dedicated to pizza came from a U of M alum

Spa Central

When it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation, the Twin Cities do it right

A Bay Area Break

Go on a worry-free, weeklong vacation to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley, with the Minnesota Monthly Travel Club

This Week’s Top Artist Picks

Sam Smith, Reba McEntire, and Rod Stewart come to Minnesota

3 Fairs This Weekend

Celebrate Minnesota’s heritage—by raising a glass at the country’s biggest free Irish fair, by marveling at fierce lumberjack competitions, or by slipping into Civil War re-enactments

Ramsey Falls: A Photo Essay

Picturesque bridges, four miles of hiking trails, a gorgeous waterfall, and more await at Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls

Journeys: A Civil War Woman

Pipestone Civil War Days reenactor Kate Heller talks about what the festival is like, how she began reenacting, and how her Civil War Days wedding went

Destination: Pipestone

Civil War Days and Pipestone National Monument make Pipestone a rich historical destination

Irish Fair of Minnesota

Pure bagpipin' bliss
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags