Back to Atlanta Wrap-Up Blog

Have You Watched the Watchmen? We’re Not in Tulsa Anymore!

Image courtesy of HBO

There are no shortage of opinions on the new Damon Lindelof series Watchmen, a sequel (of sorts, though more of a retelling) and adaptation of Alan Moore, John Higgins and Dave Gibbons’ comic creation, so we will only dwell for a second on that side before diving into the awesome #GeorgiaFilm locations! We also want to make sure we don’t spoil anything for you in case you haven’t seen any of it yet and a lot of character discussions will do that…though locations can too so you may want to binge it all first!

The show is trippy! It’s emotional, thought-provoking in parallels it attempts to draw to the current day, at times confusing and quite a ride, which leads to some amazing discussions! There’s a little Lost in there, some Leftovers, Westworld-type thoughts thrown in and a whole lot of great actors playing great characters. Regina King, Louis Gossett Jr, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Jeremy Irons, the list goes on and on. The biggest shocker?!? That they and the show were all snubbed by the Golden Globes…what gives?!? Some say it’s a timing thing, but I don’t buy it, feels like a snub. The musical score is killer too and amongst the various amazing hits from almost every decade, which HBO has released on Spotify, was the genius of NIN bandmates Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, which were released in 3 volumes.

The 9th and final episode aired Sunday, December 15, 2019 after filming throughout 2018 and thankfully it was long enough to shore everything up, amazing with all the questions left in episode 8! If you haven’t started yet, you now have the luxury of bingeing the whole thing!  According to Lindelof towards the beginning of the season, the intent was that the season would be self-contained so that a season 2 wouldn’t be required for the answers we seek and personally I feel he was spot-on! If there’s a season 2, great, especially if they film here in Georgia, but they did it and it was brilliant!

Tick-tock-tick-tock…let’s dive into these locations! While set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the majority of the production outside of Wales, was right here in our backyard! We are working on adding these to our tours, at least those that coincide with current routes and have a new tour we’re working on that will take you to even more, but in the meantime you can go have a little Watchmen fun on your own and then come Get. In. Geek Out. with us! We are going to try and be cryptic, again, so not too spoilery, but will have to say a few things for context so if you want no spoilers then watch first and come back and we’re breaking it up by episode since it’s even more confusing if we don’t. As always, remember to be a good fan, don’t trespass on private property, if entering an establishment, buy something, it contributes to the economic impact of #GeorgiaFilm, thank you!

Quick note, that numerous interior shots throughout the series were done at Atlanta Metro Studios (AMS) in Union City, not far from the airport, but as you’ll see, there are soooooo many places they filmed on location. AMS is just 1 of over a dozen purpose-built studios across Georgia comprising over 1.2 million square feet of soundstages.

Episode 1 – It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice

  • The beginning of Will Reeves/Hooded Justice’s story arc w/ the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921,  which started shooting May 31, 2018, the 97th anniversary of the massacre, was on Main St in Cedartown, GA with the prominent A.C. Cobb Co. building present. However, the Dreamland theatre they start inside of was none other than the historic Douglass Theatre in Macon, GA (can you tell this is already going to get confusing?).
  • Squids! That’s right, we said squids and the scene was shot on the Jackson Street Bridge, a popular filming location and best shot of the Downtown Atlanta skyline for those wanting the perfect selfie, now for that squid filter.
  • Our first scenes of Decatur Square are of Angela heading towards her “bakery” passing by the Decatur MARTA station, up the stairs, with a Dreamland Theatre mural on the side of the Squash Blossom building. Milk & Hanoi Bakery, Angela’s lair, if you will, is next door to Worthmore Jewelers, also visible in numerous scenes. The car speeding out of the alley is between Brick Store Pub and The White Bull, which was also extras holding during scenes. We also get a shot of the  exterior of the Dreamland Theatre in present-day staged in the Masonic Temple building across E Ponce de Leon…not close at all to Macon, but they needed a lot of locations to play Tulsa, OK.

Episode 2 – Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship

  • The Nixonville trailer park scene was shot in East Point, GA, though in residential neighborhoods, which we and you should steer clear of #beagoodfan. If you want to check out East Point though our Atlanta Upside Down Tour gets you up-close-and-personal for Stranger Things filming locations.
  • The Greenwood Center for Cultural Heritage scenes appropriately used the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Downtown Atlanta, which is attached to Centennial Olympic Park. Definitely add this to your itinerary when touring Atlanta!

E3 – She Was Killed by Space Junk

  • Agent Blake in a taxi, passing Lady Trieu’s Millennium Clock (CGI’d), with the Paul D. Coverdell Legislative Office Building on right and Trinity United Methodist Church straight ahead, Atlanta City Hall is across the street from this church and played the United Nations in Black Panther. Agent Blake then walks into a bank on Walton St in Downtown Atlanta a block away from Cafe Lucia, one of our stops on the Best of Atlanta tour with a mural painted next to it for Jumanji: The Next Level. This whole area is ground zero for many Marvel and other locations you can visit on many of our tours.

Top image courtesy of HBO – Bottom image courtesy of Atlanta Movie Tours

  • The interrogation scenes are at the old Pullman Yard, now called the Pratt Pullman District, purchased by Atomic Entertainment and slated to be developed into a mixed-use entertainment and film district, open to both the public and productions. The remediation work has begun while working through historic and landmark concerns with the property, but filming continues! Along with Watchmen, the property was used in Hunger Games, Baby Driver and Bad Boys for Life, amongst countless others.
  • Not to be morbid, the funeral/cemetery scenes are quite entertaining from a location standpoint. Starting with the motorcade right through Downtown Decatur, GA on E. Ponce de Leon w/ Parker’s on Ponce visible along with Iberian Pig and The Square Pub seen beyond the Dr. Manhattan telephone booth, all great foodie finds. While entering the cemetery, they are clearly at the Historic Oakland Cemetery in Downtown Atlanta, boasting 48 acres and Atlanta’s oldest public park, a great spot for pictures. The interior daytime scenes were shot at Decatur Cemetery with night scenes back at Oakland, the locations dept on this show must have had a blast!

Top image courtesy of HBO – Bottom image courtesy of Atlanta Movie Tours

  • Various scenes of Viedt’s Castle and the neighboring fields may not appear to be Georgia, but while the castle itself is Penrhyn Castle in Bangor, Wales in the UK, the fields are not! They’re right here near Chattahoochee Hills Eventing in Fairburn, GA #moviemagic.

Episode 4 – If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own

  • We get another great shot of the Square in Decatur as Angela heads back to the bakery and after a quick pop back to the Greenwood Center for Cultural Heritage, we have more awesome shots of Decatur Square w/ Agent Blake, the stunning Jean Smart and Regina King as Angela Abar/Sister Night.

Top image courtesy of HBO – Bottom image courtesy of Atlanta Movie Tours

  • The chase scene w/ “Lube Man” is a fun little escape, though odd to say the least and starts with Angela tossing something from the Sam’s Crossing bridge in Decatur near the Waffle House Museum in Avondale Estates…yes it’s a thing since all the scattered-smothered-covered goodness started in that spot (fun fact, there are now over 2,100 WaHos with about 350 in GA).
  • Enter Viedt’s trebuchet, a type of catapult and Google Maps managed to snag this awesome shot from near Chattahoochee Hills Eventing in Fairburn…well done Google! Yeah, this show is weird in the most awesome way!

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Episode 5 – Little Fear of Lightning

  • 1985 Hoboken carnival/squid scenes were filmed on Washington St in Downtown Newnan, GA. Yep, we said squids again and it’s quite a scene! Newnan is another popular filming spot for The Walking Dead, House with a Clock in Its Walls, Zombieland, Marvel and more.
  • Fast forward to present day with Wade and Renee getting to know each other at a restaurant, the Southern Country Steakhouse in Senoia, GA, land of The Walking Dead following a survivor support group of sorts. Soon after Wade follows her to the Seventh Calvary’s hideout, which just happens to be North Dekalb Mall in North Decatur.

Episode 6 – The Extraordinary Being

  • 1938 New York was actually filmed around 2nd Street in Macon, GA where Will Reeves sees the Deli being firebombed by Fred T. at Cotton/Mulberry across from the Confederate Building. Hooded Justice soon appears and later raid’s Fred’s Original Market in Queens, which is actually the former Karsten Denson Hardware on 3rd St in Macon, where the Cyclops hang out, you can see the gorgeous J.H. Napier Building across the street when HJ crashes through the window. The NYC riot was again in Macon with the Capitol Theatre playing the exterior and the Plaza Theatre on Ponce de Leon in Atlanta playing the interior. While I love the B&W effect in this episode, The Neon Co. sure had some gorgeous neon installed that would have been so much more fetching in color.

Episode 7 – An Almost Religious Awe

  • Saigon 1985: Enter Griffin, oops, I mean Saigon and a young Angela Abar at a Vietnamese street fair. This is a pivotal scene in Angela’s young life, enter “Sister Night” and while the City of Griffin really doesn’t resemble Saigon in its everyday life, those set decorators sure know how to jazz things up along Hill St! You’ll see the “new” American flag touting 51 stars thanks to Dr. Manhattan and the Comedian helping make Vietnam the U.S.’s 51st state. Another popular filming location, including for The Walking Dead and Marvel productions, amongst others. Make sure to stop by their welcome center (weekdays 8am-5pm) and check out the history behind the town, but to be in the middle of “Saigon” I suggest starting at Safehouse Coffee Roasters which they filmed in front. You can match up a number of the building facades against the show while browsing the shops up and down Hill St. Disney+ has been down there recently if you happen to see some activity. The orphanage scene with the suspect is at the old Plott Hide & Fur building at 312 W Solomon St.

Episode 8 – A God Walks into Abar

  • Back in Saigon, read Griffin, GA and you’ll notice the building with the Dr. Manhattan mural is at the corner of N Hill St and W Bank St. The streets behind this were also popular filming location for The Walking Dead, seen on our Big Zombie 3 tour. The entryway into Eddy’s Bar was just behind this on State Alley, with a lot of thanks to the set dec department.

Episode 9 – See How They Fly

  • The only real shoutouts here are again Downtown Decatur and the hairpin-turn parking lot that is E Court Sq, but man does it shine! You’ll see what we mean.

And there you have it! Tons of fun locations all around the state making for a fun #GeorgiaFilm day trip! Make sure to tag us on social media if you make it to these spots so we can share the geeky fun and use #getingeekout along with #GeorgiaFilm!

Top image courtesy of HBO

Review by Carrie Burns