“Hollywood magic” is not limited to Hollywood.
From blockbuster movie franchises to beloved teen dramas, a number of big-name movies and TV shows weren’t filmed in North Carolina. Some of their stories are set in the Tar Heel State, while others reimagine local spots in a different world.
And the trend continues, with more productions moving to Charlotte and other parts of the state this year.
“Productions continue to be attracted by the state’s highly skilled film workforce, its well-established infrastructure, the quality and variety of locations, and the 25% discount offered through the bipartisan grant for North Carolina film and entertainment,” the North Carolina Film Office previously said. told The Charlotte Observer.
Here’s a sampling of some of the hottest movies and TV shows filmed in North Carolina, and where to watch them yourself:
Films shot in North Carolina
This beloved sports film, which stars Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, was shot and filmed in and around Durham.
Super fans can visit real sites seen in the film using a state tourism department guide.
How to watch: Bull Durham is available to stream on Amazon Prime. A subscription is required to watch.
Dirty Dancing may have been shot in the Catskills, but parts of the movie were actually shot in the mountains of North Carolina, specifically in the Lake Lure area.
Lure lake itself organizes an annual “Dirty Dancing Festival” to commemorate the community’s role in the iconic film and raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.
How to watch: Dirty Dancing is available to rent on several streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
Significant portions of “The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” were filmed in and around Charlotte, including around Lake Norman and the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The mansion where the famous dinner scene was filmed actually sold for millions in 2018.
How to watch: Talladega Nights is available to stream for free on Amazon Prime.
The purple color
Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning novel was filmed in Marshville and Anson County.
The Anson community has organized events over the years to commemorate the film.
How to watch: The Color Purple is available to stream on HBO Max. A subscription is required to watch.
The hunger Games
The first installment of the film adaptation of the bestselling young adult book series has transformed locations in Charlotte and other parts of North Carolina into the post-apocalyptic world of Panem.
Fans looking to retrace Katniss’ steps can use the state tourism department guide to the sites seen in the films to get around.
How to watch: The Hunger Games is available to stream on EPIX. A subscription is required to watch.
TV shows filmed in North Carolina
The fictional town of Capeside, Massachusetts, where the Dawson’s Creek teenagers lived, was actually Wilmington. All six seasons of the show – which helped launch the careers of Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson and Michelle Williams – were filmed in Wilmington. And the sites on and around Duke University were used as fictional college campuses as the characters reached their college years.
North Carolina-native creator Kevin Williamson actually billed the show as taking place in North Carolina, but the location of the fictional town was moved north after notes from the network, Williamson has told reporters over the years.
You can take a walking tour of real sites seen in the show
How to watch: Every season of Dawson’s Creek is available to stream on HBO Max and Hulu. A subscription is required to watch.
East and down
HBO’s Eastbound & Down, a comedy that follows the antics of a former professional baseball player who returns to the North Carolina town where he grew up, filmed in various locations across the Carolinas, including Wilmington.
Shooting brought stars such as Lindsay Lohan to the region.
How to watch: Eastbound & Down is available to stream on HBO Max. A subscription is required to watch.
Charlotte was the original homeland of Showtime’s spy thriller.
Various locations around Charlotte — such as Queen’s University of Charlotte and the Cambridge Corporate Center — can be seen in the early seasons of Emmy darling as Claire Danes lead. Filming moved to South Africa in subsequent seasons to accommodate the show’s plot developments.
How to watch: Homeland is available to stream on Hulu and Showtime. A subscription is required to watch.
The Andy Griffith Show, while set in North Carolina, did not actually film in Griffith’s home state. But the final seasons of another of his iconic shows, Matlock, have been filming in the Wilmington area.
Griffith, who lobbied for the series to move filming to North Carolina from California after switching networks in the early 1990s, is credited with help make Wilmington a popular destination for movies and TV shows with the move.
How to watch: Matlock is available to stream for free on Pluto TV.
A tree hill
Tree Hill, North Carolina isn’t a real town, but nine seasons’ teen favorite was filmed in North Carolina. Filming, which featured popular 2000s actors such as Chad Micheal Murray, Sophia Bush and many more, took place primarily in Wilmington.
The state remained special for the cast, with some cast members reunite in the Tar Heel State in 2021 for charity fundraising.
You can take a walking tour of real sites used in the show.
How to watch: One Tree Hill is available to stream on HBO Max and Hulu. A subscription is required to watch.