Where Was Dirty Dancing Filmed? Unveiling the Iconic Locations of the Classic Film
Dirty Dancing, the iconic 1987 film that won the hearts of millions, was shot in various locations that perfectly captured the essence of the story. Set in the summer of 1963, this coming-of-age tale follows the journey of Frances “Baby” Houseman as she discovers love and freedom through dance. In this article, we will explore the enchanting places where Dirty Dancing was filmed, along with eight fascinating facts about the movie.
1. Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke, Virginia
One of the most well-known locations in Dirty Dancing is Kellerman’s Resort, where most of the film takes place. In reality, the resort is Mountain Lake Lodge, nestled in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The lodge’s stunning lakefront and rustic charm provided the perfect backdrop for the summer resort depicted in the movie.
2. Lake Lure, North Carolina
The mesmerizing lake scenes, including the iconic lift performed by Baby and Johnny, were filmed at Lake Lure in North Carolina. Its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views created an unforgettable setting for the characters’ memorable moments.
3. The Foxfire Resort and Golf Club, North Carolina
The Foxfire Resort and Golf Club in Jackson Springs, North Carolina, served as the location for Johnny Castle’s cabin. This serene spot, surrounded by lush greenery and towering trees, provided a sense of seclusion for the characters’ intimate moments.
4. The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
The extravagant and opulent ballroom scenes in the film were shot in the magnificent Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. This grand mansion, with its elegant architecture and lavish interiors, added a touch of sophistication to the movie’s dance sequences.
5. Lake Lure Inn and Spa, North Carolina
The Lake Lure Inn and Spa, located near Lake Lure, played a significant role in Dirty Dancing as the supposed location of the staff quarters. While the staff quarters were fictional, the inn’s charming exterior and cozy ambiance added authenticity to the film’s portrayal of the resort.
6. The Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia
The Virginia Military Institute served as the backdrop for the opening scene where Baby’s father, Dr. Jake Houseman, delivers a speech. The institute’s imposing architecture and historic significance lent credibility to Dr. Houseman’s character as a respected figure in the film.
7. The Hendersonville Flat Rock Airport, North Carolina
The memorable scene where Baby and Johnny practice their dance lifts was shot at the Hendersonville Flat Rock Airport. This unconventional choice of location added a unique twist to the film, showcasing the characters’ determination and passion for dance.
8. The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Asheville, North Carolina
The final scene of Dirty Dancing, where Baby and Johnny reunite on stage, was filmed at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville. The center’s artistic atmosphere and vintage theater perfectly encapsulated the film’s climax, leaving audiences with a sense of joy and fulfillment.
Now, let’s dive into some common questions about Dirty Dancing and the locations used in the film:
1. Was Dirty Dancing actually filmed in the Catskills?
No, Dirty Dancing was not filmed in the Catskills. While the story is set in the Catskill Mountains, the film’s locations were primarily in Virginia and North Carolina.
2. Can you visit the locations where Dirty Dancing was filmed?
Yes, many of the locations used in Dirty Dancing are open to the public. Mountain Lake Lodge, Lake Lure, and the Biltmore Estate are among the sites that welcome visitors.
3. Did the cast stay at Mountain Lake Lodge during filming?
Yes, some of the cast members, including Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, stayed at Mountain Lake Lodge during the filming of Dirty Dancing.
4. Is the lake where the lift was performed still accessible?
Yes, Lake Lure is open to the public, allowing visitors to enjoy the same picturesque setting where the famous lift scene in Dirty Dancing took place.
5. Are the cabins at Foxfire Resort and Golf Club available to rent?
No, the cabins used in Dirty Dancing at the Foxfire Resort and Golf Club are not available for rent. However, the resort itself offers other accommodation options for guests.
6. Can you dance in the ballroom at the Biltmore Estate?
While you can’t dance in the ballroom at the Biltmore Estate, visitors can explore the grandeur of this historic mansion and admire its stunning architecture.
7. Is the Lake Lure Inn and Spa still in operation?
Yes, the Lake Lure Inn and Spa is still open and welcoming guests. While the inn’s staff quarters were fictional, visitors can still enjoy the inn’s charming ambiance.
8. Does the Virginia Military Institute allow visitors?
Yes, the Virginia Military Institute allows visitors to explore its campus and learn about its history, including the role it played in Dirty Dancing.
9. Can you recreate the dance lifts at the Hendersonville Flat Rock Airport?
While the Hendersonville Flat Rock Airport is open to the public, it is advised not to attempt dance lifts or acrobatics in the area for safety reasons.
10. Is the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center a functioning theater?
Yes, the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is a functioning venue that hosts various artistic events and exhibitions.
11. Did the filming locations influence the story of Dirty Dancing?
The chosen filming locations undoubtedly influenced the overall atmosphere and authenticity of Dirty Dancing, adding depth to the story and its characters.
12. How did the filmmakers choose the locations for Dirty Dancing?
The filmmakers scouted various locations that resembled the envisioned settings for Dirty Dancing. They prioritized places that could capture the essence of the story and complement the characters’ experiences.
13. Were any of the locations changed for the film?
Some locations, such as Mountain Lake Lodge, required minimal modifications to fit the film’s requirements. However, the majority of the locations remained true to their original appearance.
14. Did the film’s success boost tourism in the filming locations?
Absolutely! Dirty Dancing’s immense popularity undoubtedly attracted tourists to the filming locations, boosting local economies and creating a lasting impact on these areas.
15. Are there any Dirty Dancing-themed events held at the filming locations?
Yes, some of the filming locations, like Mountain Lake Lodge, organize Dirty Dancing-themed events, allowing fans to relive the magic of the movie and immerse themselves in the world of Baby and Johnny.
16. Has Dirty Dancing influenced other films’ location choices?
Dirty Dancing’s success has certainly influenced filmmakers’ decisions when choosing locations for dance films or movies set in summer resorts. The film’s picturesque settings and romantic atmosphere have become a benchmark for many similar productions.
Dirty Dancing continues to captivate audiences worldwide, not only through its compelling story and memorable characters but also through the enchanting locations where it was filmed. From Mountain Lake Lodge to Lake Lure, each location played a crucial role in bringing the story to life. So, whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply seeking a nostalgic trip, exploring these iconic sites will transport you back to the summer of 1963, where love, dance, and freedom intertwined to create a timeless cinematic masterpiece.
Quotes from professionals in the field:
1. “The choice of filming locations in Dirty Dancing added an air of authenticity to the story, transporting audiences to a bygone era filled with romance and passion.” – Film Historian
2. “The locations used in Dirty Dancing perfectly captured the spirit of the film, creating an immersive experience for viewers and leaving a lasting impression.” – Location Scout
3. “As a dance choreographer, I was thrilled to see how the locations in Dirty Dancing complemented the dance sequences, enhancing the emotions and energy of the performances.” – Dance Choreographer
4. “Dirty Dancing’s filming locations became iconic in their own right, drawing tourists and fans to experience the magic firsthand and creating a sense of nostalgia for the film.” – Tourism Expert