Beyond Singles: A Sneak Peak At Movies And TV Shot In Seattle

Nov 1, 2013

You know that "Singles" and "Sleepless in Seattle" were shot in Seattle, but what about Cameron Crowe’s "Say Anything"? Or "Humpday" and "It Happened at the World’s Fair," starring Elvis (in Technicolor)?

There’s also "Streetwise," the gritty 1980s documentary about street kids, the TV series "Frasier" (which wasn’t entirely shot in Seattle, but we’ll let that slide), "American Heart," starring a much younger Jeff Bridges, and "Here Comes the Bride." 

The Museum of History and Industry celebrates how the city has been represented – and misrepresented – over the years.

The exhibit, called Celluloid Seattle, in honor of the film used to shoot motion pictures, includes posters and props from films shot here, like the steam whistle from "Tugboat Annie," a 1933 movie based on the real-life Thea Foss of Tacoma, Wash., a Norwegian immigrant who founded the largest tugboat company in the western US.

Film critic Robert Horton toured KUOW through the exhibit, which is divided into eras.

There’s the economic downturn era of the 1970s and 80s, when "Streetwise City" was shot, and when Hollywood started to come to Seattle more often.

“I think partly because the city projected this very interesting, maybe down-at-the-heels image, and you could really get some flavorful waterfront stuff,” Horton said.

And there was Horton’s favorite Seattle movie, "Say Anything." Horton said that Lloyd Dobler, the character played by John Cusack, is the quintessential Seattleite: “He’s just coming into himself, he’s a little diffuse, he’s not quite sure who he is.”

The Sleepless City portion of the exhibit features the 1990s, when Seattle became more hip in the eyes of the rest of the world. It was a time when we became known for our software, our music and our good coffee.

“You had this phenomenon of people saying, where should we shoot this so that it seems cutting edge?” Horton said. “Oh, of course. It’s going to be Seattle.”

There’s also a mock-up of the set for "Frasier," and the polar bear costume for the film "Grassroots," a fictionalized account of an actual Seattle City Council race (which, we have to mention for the film geeks among you, includes a short scene at KUOW).

Celluloid Seattle also showcases the grand movie houses of Seattle’s past that were demolished or repurposed in a photo exhibit. The exhibit has been extended to Dec. 1.

Here’s a partial list of movies shot or set in Seattle.