It gives you a goofy little thrill when you see your town in the movies, doesn't it? It's even better than finding your house on Google Maps. Maybe you're immune to it if you live in New York, L.A., or Chicago, since about half of all movies are filmed in one of those places, but for the rest of us, it's like the Hollywood magic factory has sent us a personal shout-out. Even the often-used cities can give locals a thrill when the locations are especially vivid -- though the article seems to have disappeared from his website now, Roger Ebert recently waxed rhapsodic over Nothing Like the Holidays' use of Chicago's Humboldt Park.
Portland has been home to several films recently, including Twilight, the Diane Lane thriller Untraceable, Paranoid Park, and 2007's Feast of Love and Music Within. The town I grew up in, Lake Elsinore, Calif., hasn't been nearly as lucky. Our biggest claim to fame is that the Mystery Science Theater 3000 subject The Skydivers was filmed there. (We had a small airport that was good for parachuting. Johnny Carson jumped there once for a Tonight Show stunt!)
So tell us: Have you ever spotted your neighborhood on the big screen? Recognized some streets signs or landmarks? Wondered why the filmmakers tried to make it look like Street X intersects with Street Y when everyone knows those two streets are in different parts of town? What's your hometown's brush with fame?