Based on Alice Sebold’s eponymous novel, director Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lovely Bones’ is an ethereally beautiful yet terrifyingly dark movie that focuses on a teenage victim of rape and murder as she floats in a purgatory-like state, looking down on her loved ones. George Harvey rapes and kills Susie Salmon, the 14-year-old protagonist. The movie then follows Susie as she examines how her passing leaves her family in tatters. She is unable to mend the broken relationships but still cannot find it inside her to leave them and ascend to heaven.
The movie beautifully depicts how the innocent Susie fights with her desire to stay close to her loved ones and portrays her struggle to come to terms with knowing that she will never be able to fulfill the hopes and dreams that she had. It is a treat to watch how the movie unfolds and comes to a bittersweet conclusion, granting Susie eternal rest. The film stays on in the viewers’ minds long after the credits, mostly because of the terrific performances and the stunning visuals. Naturally, one might wonder where ‘The Lovely Bones’ was shot. Well, let’s find out, shall we?
The Lovely Bones Filming Locations
‘The Lovely Bones’ was primarily filmed on location in Pennsylvania. The crew also had to travel to New Zealand for an in-studio shoot. A few scenes were also filmed in Philadelphia. According to reports, filming for the movie began in Fall 2007 and took several weeks to conclude. Lets’ take a look at the locations that offer the backdrop to this beautiful film.
Chester County, Pennsylvania
Located in Malvern, Chester County, the Seeley’s home and its surrounding areas were also used as a filming location by the production crew. Constructed in 1957, the house provided the backdrop for the Salmon Family’s dining scenes. In 2020, it was put on the real estate market. The crew also used the General Wayne Middle School in Malvern and the town of Phoenixville for filming a few sequences.
Two houses in Paoli in Chester County near Philadelphia were used to depict the Salmon family residence and the residence of George Harvey, the murderer.
Filming also covered parts of the East Fallowfield and Coatesville townships. Several sequences were shot in the Double D Family Restaurant, located at 1323 Lincoln Highway E, in Coatesville. The production team chose the South Brandywine Middle School for shooting a few of the indoor school sequences. It falls in the Coatesville Area district and is located in East Fallowfield Township.
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
The Royersford Main Street in Montgomery County, especially the area between the 3rd and 4th Avenues, served as the principal filming area where several outdoor street sequences were shot. The scene where Susie takes her brother to the hospital was shot in the area.
A few scenes were also shot in Norristown. In the borough of Hatfield, Montgomery County, the crew reportedly filmed several scenes in a warehouse located on Clemens road. It was later revealed that the crew reconstructed the interior of the Salmon house, inside the warehouse, and shot some indoor scenes in the location.
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
The AKSM Film Studio served as the filming site for a few indoor sequences. It is located precisely at 3000 Valley Forge Cir, in King of Prussia, four miles from Berwyn. The production site has also served as a shooting site for ‘The Cost of Dreaming,’ ‘Temporary,’ and ‘Emily’s Story.’ A few scenes were also filmed at the King of Prussia Mall, located at 160 N Gulph Road. It features over 450 stores, restaurants, and boutiques and is considered America’s third-largest mall with respect to its leasable retail space that stands at 2,793,200 square feet.
Valley Forge is a village located at the convergence of Valley Creek and the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania. Filming here mainly took place in the Valley Forge National Historical Park, located at 1400 North Outer Line Drive in King of Prussia. The location provides many of the breathtaking views we enjoy in the movie.
Delaware County, Pennsylvania
The crew utilized the McDade Mall in Ridley Township of Delaware County, to feature as a part of 1970s Norristown in the movie. Custom-made signs were put up around the mall, and the crew managed to give the entire area a makeover which gave the film an authentic 1970s feel. The production team of ‘The Lovely Bones’ also used Wayne in Radnor Township and Glenolden as a shooting location for the film.
Wairarapa, New Zealand
The crew traveled to the region of Wairarapa in southeast New Zealand, where they shot several sequences on location in Masterton and Greytown. Some sequences were also shot indoors at Stone Street Studios, located in Miramar, Wellington. The eight-acre production facility is co-owned by Peter Jackson, who is also the director of ‘The Lovely Bones.’
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