Julia Roberts stars in ‘Mystic Pizza,’ a romantic comedy-drama that was released in 1988. The film, directed by Donald Petrie, marked his directorial debut along with Matt Damon’s debut as an actor on the silver screen. Other notable members of the ensemble include Annabeth Gish, Lili Taylor, Vincent D’Onofrio, William R. Moses, and Adam Storke.
‘Mystic Pizza’ revolves around two sisters, Kat and Daisy Araújo, and their best friend, Jojo Barbosa. The three Portuguese-American girls have freshly graduated high school and are waitressing at the local pizza parlor, Mystic Pizza. A prominent aspect of the film is its beautiful location. If you are curious to know where the places used in the film are, we have you covered.
Mystic Pizza Filming Locations
Filming began on October 12, 1987, and rolled through for six weeks, finally ending in December 1987. Even though the plot of the film is set in Mystic, the film uses locations from many neighboring towns. The actual Mystic Pizza restaurant, however, was not used due to a shortage of space and a disagreement with the owners to close the restaurant for the duration of the shooting. Here are all the locations seen in the film.
Screenwriter Amy Holden Jones was spending her summer around the quaint village of Mystic, Connecticut, when she came across the local pizzeria called Mystic Pizza. She was inspired by the little shop and chose it as the epicenter of the story about the three young waitresses. The real-life Mystic Pizza is located on 56 W Main St. in Mystic and is still operational. The restaurant also sells the famous “Slice of Heaven” t-shirt that Julia Roberts can be seen sporting in the movie.
You guys remember Julia Roberts?
Well, here is a VERY RARE photo of her wearing a pizza t-shirt on the set of Mystic Pizza. 🍕🍕 pic.twitter.com/jYvpbu9cpE
— Indiana Pizza Club (@TheIndianaPizza) October 14, 2020
The scene where Jojo is seen yelling at Bill for changing his boat’s name from “Jojo” to “Nympho” was shot on the scenic Mystic Bridge. The sequence where astronomer Kat delivers her lecture on navigating with stars was shot at the Treworgy Planetarium at the Mystic Seaport on 75 Greenmanville Avenue. Mystic Seaport was also used in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amistad.’
The location which was converted into the Mystic Pizza restaurant, as seen in the movie, is the building that is currently the New England Science and Sailing Foundation, on Water Street in Stonington. The scene where Jojo and Bill have a walk and talk about the incidents that had gone down during their almost-wedding was also shot in the vicinity.
In the movie, Charlie and Daisy have their first date at the Mystic Harbor Yacht Club. The location that was used for this scene was Skipper’s Dock restaurant, which has permanently closed. When Daisy impresses her crush Charlie (Storke) with her impeccable pool skills, they are at the Peg Leg Club, for which Zack’s Bar and Grill on 201 North Main Street was used.
The restaurant is currently operational as of December 2020 and is a town favorite. All scenes at Charles’ family residence, including the family dinner scene where we see a young Matt Damon playing Charles’ little brother, were filmed in the Windsor Family House on Church Street. The building is currently a private residence. Apart from this, Groton, 730 State Pier Road, and Yale University were also used as filming locations.
The scenes showing the residences of the three girls were all shot in Pawcatuck, a quiet little village in Stonington. The house used for the Araújo family residence is located on 187 Mechanic Street while the Barbosa family residence was shot at 185 Mechanic Street. Apart from this, Kat delivers pizza to her mom at Ferriera Lobsters. In real life, a restaurant called Ford’s Lobsters on 15 Riverview Avenue was selected for this scene. They remain temporarily closed as of December 2020.
The state of Rhode Island also appears on the list of filming venues. Known for its sandy shores and colonial seaside towns, it made for a fitting location. Cast and crew headed over to the affluent village of Watch Hill and the town of Westerly to capture a few scenes for ‘Mystic Pizza.’
Before Mystic Pizza was filmed, a location scout for the film talked to my aunt and uncle about possibly using their marina for some scenes. Their marina is near Watch Hill, RI. It would’ve been pretty cool to have Lili there and see them filming the movie.
— Kris Capalbo 🃏 (@kristen_capalbo) October 13, 2019
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