‘Queen Bees’ by Michael Lembeck is a heartwarming comedy that follows Helen Wilson (Ellen Burstyn), an independent senior, as she reluctantly moves into a retirement community temporarily while her house is renovated. Initially resistant to the community’s social activities, Helen finds herself entangled in the spirited dynamics of the clique of women known as the queen bees. Noticing Helen’s feisty nature, they invite her into the fold. As she navigates her new environment, Helen forms unexpected friendships, especially with the charismatic and flirtatious new resident, Dan (James Caan).
The film explores themes of friendship, love, and rediscovery as Helen and her fellow residents challenge stereotypes associated with aging. The 2021 film presents a delightful mix of humor and poignant moments, showcasing the characters’ bonhomie and the universal desire for connection and fulfillment at any stage of life. The plot revolves around the picturesque Pine Grove Senior Community, where seniors are treated to water aerobics, bridge, and a variety of group activities, sparking curiosity regarding where exactly the movie was filmed.
Queen Bees Filming Locations
‘Queen Bees’ was filmed in the Georgian cities of Atlanta and Duluth. Principal photography was carried out in August of 2018 under the working title, ‘Welcome to Pine Grove!’ The cast and crew seem to have really enjoyed their time on set, interacting with residents of senior centers, most of whom recognized the veteran actors. Allow us to take you through the exact sites used for the creation of the film.
Said goodbye to the best cast ever Ellen Burstyn, Christopher Lloyd, Alec Mapa, Loretta Devine, me Marianne Muellerleile, Jane Curtin, French Stewart, Ricky Russett, Matthew Barnes, Elizabeth Mitchell, Ann-Margaret and James Caan. Whew!#WELCOMETOPINEGROVE pic.twitter.com/OvKRifT2Zl
— MarianneMuellerleile (@MMhereandnow) August 29, 2018
Within the thriving metropolis of Atlanta, the film crew lensed various scenes around senior communities and centers. These included sequences of the characters outside of the old age home, with the city serving as a backdrop. The King’s Bridge Retirement Community on 3055 Briarcliff Road became a major filming site for the movie’s scenes of a retirement center. Within the storied neighborhoods of Druid Hills, the center promotes both independent and assisted living, with modern interiors and stately exteriors. The film crew was spotted at the institution in mid to late August of 2018.
On location in Atlanta shooting the feature film WELCOME TO@PINE GROVE means I also get to see my niece her husband and my great nephews. Christine & Jim Bertrand & sons : Chris, John Michael , JD. pic.twitter.com/qL3yZ1sSFj
— MarianneMuellerleile (@MMhereandnow) August 14, 2018
A prominent hub for the film industry, Atlanta is renowned for its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant urban sprawl. The city’s iconic skyline, a blend of sleek modern architecture and historic landmarks, provides filmmakers with a dynamic visual backdrop. Georgia’s favorable tax incentives and film-friendly policies have turned Atlanta into a major filming destination. The city’s well-established infrastructure, professional film crews, and diverse talent pool further contribute to its appeal. The movies created in the city include ‘The Family Plan,’ ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘Pain Hustlers.’
The central filming site of ‘Queen Bees’ is found in Duluth, northeast of Atlanta. In particular, the Parc Retirement Community at 3315 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, stood in for the Pine Grove retirement home seen in the movie. The refined Gwinnett County senior living community even surprised the film’s cast with its standards and residents. “You know, it was such a beautiful place. I must say, I didn’t really realize there were such beautiful retirement homes,” said actress Burstyn. “People there are having a very good time. And there’s a lot of couples formed like there are in our film.” The retirement home conducts most of the activities seen in the film and sports a similarly lively atmosphere.
The hidden suburban gem of Duluth emerges as a charming filming location for ‘Queen Bees.’ It offers a blend of Southern hospitality, historic charm, and modern amenities to create a comfortable environment for the elderly. It provides filmmakers with a unique canvas that seamlessly marries a small-town feel with the convenience of urban accessibility. With part of the film being shot in the city, many of its quaint streets and green neighborhoods would be recognized by residents.
I am working with the extraordinarily talented Ellen Burstyn on a feature called WELCOME TO PINE GROVE. She is so beautiful so talented and so gracious. It is a thrill to be in a scene with her. pic.twitter.com/j7DQyjlHGG
— MarianneMuellerleile (@MMhereandnow) August 16, 2018
Duluth is renowned for its historic downtown and open green spaces, with its brick-lined streets, Victorian-era architecture, and a number of historical sites. The Southeastern Railway Museum contains 90 pieces of rolling stock and locomotives from bygone eras. Additionally, the town’s parks, like McDaniel Farm Park, provide picturesque natural settings, hosting various community events and free concerts. Therefore, for a film like ‘Queen Bees,’ the verdant historical city of Duluth creates a classic American backdrop, evoking a sense of nostalgia and lending itself to the film’s poignant moments.
Duluth’s close-knit atmosphere and welcoming spirit extend to filmmakers, making it a conducive environment for capturing genuine moments on screen. The town’s proximity to Atlanta, with its well-established film infrastructure, creates a draw for filmmakers to set their scenes in the picturesque suburban expanse of Duluth. As such, the films and shows made here include titles such as, ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘I, Tonya,’ ‘Freaky,’ and ‘Holidate.’
Read More: Where To Stream Queen Bees?