Tour the Twin Cities through the films that have been shot at these historic landmarks

Photo by jpellgen/flickr

By Claire Noack

The Twin Cities’ iconic cityscapes, abundance of lakes and beautiful seasons make it a prime film destination. Check out the local spots that were made famous by being shown on the big screen.

Mickey’s Diner
The historic diner in downtown St. Paul has been a hot filming location for several movies. Perhaps the most recognizable films shot at Mickey’s were all three of The Mighty Ducks (1992, 1994, 1996). The iconic diner has been open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year since 1939, and became the local hangout spot for the young hockey players in the movies. The rail-car-turned-diner was also featured in Jingle All the Way (1996) and Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion (2006). | 36 W. Seventh St., St. Paul, 651-698-0259,

Fitzgerald Theater
Keillor’s hit radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” was brought to the Fitzgerald Theater in 1981, making the venue Minnesota Public Radio’s largest broadcast studio. So, it was natural that the theater be used as the primary location for the film version of A Prairie Home Companion (2006). In fact, all but one scene in the movie was shot in St. Paul’s oldest active theater. Formerly called The World Theater, it was renamed in 1933 to honor author and St. Paul native, F. Scott Fitzgerald. | 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul, 651-290-1200,

Photo by prolost/flickr

Bryant-Lake Bowl
This bar-meets-theater-meets-bowling-alley was featured in the drama Beautiful Girls (1996). The Lyn-Lake hotspot supports local musicians and actors who perform in its 85-seat theater. The film told the story of a piano player who returned to his hometown in Minnesota, and included an all-star cast with actors Matt Dillon, Timothy Hutton, Uma Thurman and Natalie Portman. | 810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-825-3737,

Mall of America
The largest shopping and entertainment destination in the U.S. was an obvious choice for the holiday movie Jingle All the Way (1996). One scene from the film features actor Arnold Schwarzenegger tackling shoppers as he attempts to find the perfect Christmas gift for his son. The Mall of America is a major tourist attraction in Bloomington, bringing in 40 million visitors per year from all over the world to shop at more than 500 retail stores. | 60 E. Broadway, Bloomington, 952-883-8800,

Image courtesy of Visit Saint Paul

Rice Park
The original Mighty Ducks (1992) movie was shot at several locations throughout the Twin Cities, including this park in downtown St. Paul. In the film, ice sculptures stand tall in Rice Park as part of the annual Saint Paul Winter Carnival. The public square acts as a hub of downtown and connects travelers and business people to surrounding destinations like the Landmark Center, St. Paul Public Library and the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. | 109 W. Fourth St., St. Paul, 651-266-6400,

Eden Prairie Center
Home of the modern mall, Minnesota was a clear pick for the setting of the hilarious ‘90s comedy, Mallrats (1995). Although the first enclosed mall was Southdale Center in Edina, Eden Prairie was chosen for the film, which portrayed the mall as the hangout place for every ‘90s stereotype. | 8251 Flying Cloud Dr., Eden Prairie, 952-941-7650,

Half Time Rec
This Irish pub was the location for the memorable bar scene in Grumpy Old Men (1993). The lively St. Paul sports bar serves up Irish pub fare, hosts live bands and has indoor bocce ball. Although the film is set in a fictional town called Wabasha, no scenes were actually shot in the real town of Wabasha (located in southeast Minnesota). But that doesn’t stop the city from celebrating its annual Grumpy Old Men Festival every February. | 1013 Front Ave., St. Paul, 651-488-8245,


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