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15 Abandoned Movie Sets

Remember the good old days, when everything in the movies seemed magic and wasn’t tampered with CGI and all that digital stuff? Well, I do, and I’m helping you do the same. Movies are the coliseums of our day and have left behind equally magnificent and haunting ruins. It’s not every day you get to visit an alien world, or first century Rome. I was surprised to find out that thiese epic locations are left for dead and totally ignored by both authorities and movie fans. Why?

1. Star Wars, Tatooine

Star Wars, Tatooine

The vast Mars-like Grande Dunes of Tunisia and Morocco were the only places on the planet that could play host to this strange alien world. Sets from the original movies and the prequels still litter the desert, waiting for the return of our space heroes.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean, Port Royale

Pirates of the Caribbean, Port Royale

Wallilabou bay, which once acted as Port Royale in Pirates of the Caribbean is still home to many of the props, including replica cannons. I wonder if Jack is lurking around.

3. Hunger Games, District 12

Hunger Games, District 12

The slums of District 12 were filmed in an already abandoned 1920s textile community at Henry River Mill Village, North Carolina. I wouldn’t know, I didn’t watch the movie.

4. Lord of the Rings, The Shire

Lord of the Rings, The Shire

Now occupied by sheep rather than hobbits, the set has been ripped of everything except the hobbit holes. Matamata, New Zealand seems like a good place to visit.

5. Schindler’s List, Płaszów Labor Camp

Schindler's List, Płaszów Labor Camp

This dilapidated replica of the Płaszów Labor Camp is almost as haunting as the real thing. The remains can be found in used in Krakow, Poland, and wil probably creep you out.

6. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Augsburg

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Augsburg

With the movie largely panned by critics, the set used to portray a German town was quickly left to it’s own devices. You can find the remains in a forest a few miles away from Berlin, Germany. I loved it, by the way.

7. Cleopatra and The Passion of the Christ, Rome

Cleopatra and The Passion of the Christ, Rome

Cinecittà Studios were built in the late 1930s just outside of Rome. Following the decline of the Italian movie industry, the classic Roman streets were abandoned. A darn shame, if you ask me.

8. Blue Brothers, Mall Chase

Blue Brothers, Mall Chase

The Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois, was already abandoned when it was wrecked for the iconic chase scene. The Toys R Us sign remains to this day. God, I love that scene!

9. Full Metal Jacket, Vietnam

Full Metal Jacket, Vietnam

Because director Stanley Kubrick didn’t like to travel, Full Metal Jacket, set mostly in Vietnam, was fully shot in London, England. The abandoned Beckton Gas Works were used to shoot the major battle scenes. I remember the movie, but didn’t really enjoy it.

10. M*A*S*H, The Sign

M*A*S*H, The Sign

M*A*S*H was shot 25 miles south of Los Angeles in what is now Malibu Creek State Park. But some of the more recognizable parts of the set were left behind. I want that sing!

11. Batman (1989), Gotham City

Batman (1989), Gotham City

The set of Gotham City was left to rot after Batman ended shooting. Although the site in Buckinghamshire, England now seems to have been demolished, for a few years after shooting, you could visit Gotham bank and various other buildings and props – including Batman’s safe. Would you want to?

12. Lone Star, Township

Lone Star, Township

Contrabando, Texas looks pretty much deserted, but  that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of your visit.

13. The Abyss, Submarine

The Abyss, Submarine

The remains of the unfinished Cherokee Nuclear Plant were used to film underwater scenes in The Abyss, the massive structures were filled with water to create an ocean.

14. Popeye, Popeye Village

Popeye, Popeye Village

Robin Williams’ Popeye, was filmed in a small village in Malta, built specifically for the movie. After filming ended, it was cheaper to leave the village than to knock it down. That doesn’t seem right to me.

15. The Patriot, Spanish Mission

The Patriot, Spanish Mission

The old Spanish Mission set from The Patriot was left behind in a stagnant swamp after filming was completed. Located in Cypress Gardens, South Carolina, this place looks almost genuine.

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