Vancouver’s Hidden Stars: Uncovering the Lower Mainland’s Pop Culture Filming Locations

From Pretty Little Liars to Twilight, explore the lesser-known spots that have graced our screens

Vancouver, often referred to as Hollywood North, has long been a hub for film and television production. While the city is renowned for its ability to stand in for other major cities, it also boasts a collection of hidden gems that have made appearances in some of pop culture’s biggest hits. From luxury department stores to quaint cottages, these easy-to-miss locations have left their mark on the silver screen. Join us as we uncover the Lower Mainland’s unsung heroes of the entertainment industry.

Holt Renfrew in Pretty Little Liars:

In the pilot episode of the popular series Pretty Little Liars, downtown Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew takes center stage as the backdrop for a shoplifting adventure. The marble white floors and shelves of the accessory and jewelry departments, along with the iconic freestanding escalators, provide a glimpse into the glamorous world of Rosewood.

Point Grey Secondary School in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before:

West side Vancouverites will recognize Point Grey Secondary School in Kerrisdale as the fictional Adler High School from the beloved Netflix film, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. The blue running track serves as the backdrop for the budding romance between Peter and Lara Jean, capturing the hearts of viewers worldwide.

Foxglove Cottage in The Vampire Diaries:

Langley’s Foxglove Cottage sets the stage for the moody Salvatore Boarding House in the pilot episode of The Vampire Diaries. The ivy-covered cottage, with its enchanting charm, has also made appearances in films such as Age of Adaline and the Archie Comics-inspired Riverdale, cementing its place in pop culture history.

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Hatley Castle in Arrow:

Victoria’s Hatley Castle, a Scottish baronial-style mansion built in 1906, becomes the iconic residence of Oliver Queen in the hit series Arrow. The castle’s grandeur and elegance make it the perfect setting for the fictional Star City. Hatley Castle has also graced the silver screen as Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men films and as a backdrop for an epic fight scene in Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool.

Rocko’s Diner in Riverdale:

Mission’s Rocko’s Diner takes on a new identity as Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe in the world of Riverdale. Archie and his friends find solace in the diner, discussing drama and solving mysteries over milkshakes. The real Rocko’s Diner has become a pilgrimage site for fans of the show, offering the chance to step into the world of their favorite characters.

Paramount Theatre in Twilight:

While the Twilight saga may have come to an end, the fanbase remains devoted. One easily accessible filming location for fans to visit is the Paramount Theatre in New Westminster. Standing in for a theatre in Port Angeles, Washington, the Paramount Theatre is the backdrop for a memorable scene in New Moon, where Bella and Jessica exit the theatre and find themselves in a potentially dangerous encounter.

The Watershed Grill in Virgin River:

Netflix’s Virgin River showcases the natural beauty of Vancouver, Bowen Island, and Squamish. The real-life Watershed Grill in Brackendale becomes Jack’s Bar in the series, a gathering place for the show’s characters. Martin Henderson’s Jack and Alexandra Breckenridge’s Melinda can be seen in several scenes at this picturesque location.

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Vancouver’s hidden stars have left an indelible mark on the world of film and television. From luxury department stores to quaint cottages, these lesser-known locations have played a vital role in bringing our favorite stories to life. As Vancouver continues to shine as Hollywood North, we can only anticipate the next batch of hidden gems waiting to be discovered by eager fans and aspiring filmmakers alike.