The Great Lillian Hall: All Filming Locations Explored

Helmed by director Michael Cristofer, ‘The Great Lillian Hall’ chronicles the story of Lillian Hall, a veteran theater actress who is diagnosed with dementia but persists in carrying out a performance on her latest production. Lillian Hall is a widely acclaimed star of Broadway, known for her unyielding resolve when it comes to practicing her art form. In her decades of acting, she has not missed a single performance. However, when her latest production is being rehearsed, she can’t seem to remember her lines. A visit to the doctor reveals that she has dementia and will begin losing her memory rapidly.

While some of the production crew find it unacceptable to make the play’s debut without her, others argue that the show must go on. In the meantime, Hall comes to terms with her reality and attempts to mend a fractured relationship with her daughter. The HBO drama film transports us to the heart of Broadway in New York City, treating us to scenes of bright theatrical stages as well as its glimmering nightscape. Curious minds may seek to dig further into the filming locations serving as backdrops in the movie.

Where Was The Great Lillian Hall Filmed?

Filming for ‘The Great Lillian Hall’ primarily took place in Atlanta, Georgia, locations around which stood in for NYC, New York. The production team reportedly began shooting on May 22, 2023, and wrapped up in over a month by June 30, 2023. The project was initially slated to film in NYC under the tentative title ‘Places, Please,’ but was later shifted to Atlanta. NYC’s cityscape can still be seen in establishing shots of the film. “This was such a gift of a film to be but a small snippet of,” wrote actress Rebecca Watson in an Instagram post. “A whole group of us quickly became like family, loved working with director (Michael Cristofer)… and getting to work with (Jessica Lange) is absolutely everything you could possibly hope for.”

Metro Atlanta, Georgia

The Hollywood of the South was chosen as the filming destination for ‘The Great Lillian Hall,’ with the crew employing its diverse landscapes to emulate Broadway and parts of NYC. The production team effectively recreated the backdrops of Central Park and Broadway Street using sites around Metro Atlanta. The theater where Hall rehearses and performs her final play becomes a central backdrop and was actually depicted using the Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre. Situated at 117 North Park Square, the Strand Theatre is an iconic cultural landmark in Downtown Marietta.

As seen in the film, its marquee lights up the night, becoming a beacon of artistic expression, drawing audiences for movies, theater, stand-up comedy, and concerts. The theater’s interiors are extensively featured in ‘The Great Lillian Hall,’ with three rows of red velour seats arranged towards the stage on a decline, while the balcony rows provide a top-down view. Much like in classic Broadway theaters, the Strand Theatre is draped with red velour, from its seats to its carpets. This is not only because it provides a high-end velvet and luxurious look but also because it efficiently absorbs sound and light, preventing echoes and becoming nearly invisible to the performers in dim lighting.

The Strand Theatre’s programming reflects its commitment to diversity, with a wide range of performances and events catering to audiences of all ages and interests. From Broadway musicals and theatrical productions to comedy shows, concerts, and film festivals, there is always something exciting happening at the Strand Theatre. The theater’s roots can be traced back to 1885, when its plot was built after the town was burned in the Civil War, becoming a grocery store.

In 1935, the Manning-Winks Theatre Company took over the site, building a highly advanced Art Deco movie theater for the time. It included air conditioning, heating, acoustical systems, and seating for 1000 audience members. Atlanta’s status as a burgeoning filmmaking hub is powered by the local government’s generous tax incentives and is further fueled by the rise of advanced movie production studios and a growing pool of filmmaking talent. Some other noteworthy films and shows shot around the city include ‘The Color Purple,’ ‘I, Tonya,’ ‘The Founder,’ ‘First Man,’ and ‘Pieces of Her.’

Read More: Best Existential Movies on Netflix