Co-written and directed by Harold Ramis, ‘Groundhog Day’ is a fantasy comedy movie that follows a cynical and self-centered weatherman named Phil Connors who is assigned to cover the story about the annual Groundhog Day event which is about the emergence of the groundhog from its hole. Although the frustrating day of February 2 comes to an end, the next day when he wakes up, Phil realizes it is the same Groundhog Day yet again. Now, Phil finds himself caught in a time loop that makes him relive the same day over and over again.
Therefore, Phil soon starts using this to his advantage but later realizes that he might never be able to get out of this vicious cycle until he gets certain things done right. While the surreal nature of the story of the 1993 film intrigues many viewers, the recurring visuals of the locations where Phil lives the same day again and again only make one more curious about the actual filming sites of ‘Groundhog Day.’ If you have been wondering the same, allow us to fill you in on all the details!
Groundhog Day Filming Locations
‘Groundhog Day’ was filmed in Illinois, California, and Pennsylvania, specifically in Woodstock, Algonquin, Rockford, Waukegan, Cary, Loves Park, Los Angeles County, Pittsburgh, and Blairsville. As per reports, the principal photography for the Bill Murray starrer commenced in mid-March 1992 and wrapped up after around 86 days or so, in June of the same year.
As summer commenced toward the end of the shoot, the production team reportedly used fake snow to maintain the winter setting while the actors wore winter gear despite the hot weather. Now, let’s follow Phil as he relives the same day again and again, and get a detailed account of all the specific sites that feature in the comedy movie!
Although most of the story is set in Punxsutawney, the filming unit utilized the locales of Woodstock, a city in Illinois’ McHenry County, to make it stand in for the Pennsylvania town. The bed & breakfast scenes were lensed in the Cherry Tree Inn B&B (formerly the Royal Victorian Manor) at 344 Fremont Street. The Woodstock Square Historic District served as one of the primary production locations for the movie as several scenes, including the daily encounter between Phil and insurance salesman Ned Ryerson, were recorded around 100 Cass Street on the northeast corner of the Town Square.
The Tip Top Cafe, which features many times throughout the film, was purpose-built for the movie. However, it gained so much popularity that it resulted in a real-life cafe around the same location, The Tip Top Bistro. Unfortunately, though, the restaurant closed its door permanently in 2012. While the exteriors of Rita’s hotel, Pennsylvania Hotel, were shot at Woodstock Opera House at 121 West Van Buren Street, the interiors were taped in the bar of the Old Courthouse Arts Center at 101 North Johnson Street.
There are several other locations across Woodstock that make an appearance in the movie. They are Wayne’s Lanes at 109 East Church Street (where the bowling scenes were shot), the Old Jail, Classic Cinemas Woodstock Theatre at 209 Main Street, Woodstock Moose Lodge at 406 Clay Street, and 348 South Madison Street.
Other Locations in Illinois
For shooting purposes, the production team of ‘Groundhog Day’ traveled to other locations across Illinois. For instance, the opening scene with the Punxsutawney sign was actually shot in the village of Algonquin. As for the scene where Phil drives his car over a cliff, it was lensed in Nimtz Quarry at 5300 Nimtz Road in Loves Park. Other important locations utilized for the film are the cities of Rockford and Waukegan, and the village of Cary.
Los Angeles County, California
Additional portions for ‘Groundhog Day’ were also taped in Los Angeles County, the most populous county in California and the United States. The cast and crew members were spotted utilizing the backlot area of the Universal Studios Lot at 100 Universal City Plaza in Universal City. The film studio is home to numerous sound stages ranging in size and a massive backlot area that consists of various locations, such as Alleys, Brownstone Street, Central Park, Elm Street, European Street, and more. The Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles also served as a key filming site for the movie.
To shoot a few exterior scenes for ‘Groundhog Day,’ the filming unit also reportedly utilized the locales of Pennsylvania, after all, the story is set in the Keystone State. In particular, the city of Pittsburgh and the borough of Blairsville served as a couple of important production locations for the comedy movie.
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