Posted Jan 19, 2015

What It’s Like to Live in Oscar Nominated Movie Locations

Academy Awards season is upon us, which means the movie locations of some of the highest-rated films of the year are taking the spotlight. The big screen is a place where fantasy comes to life, and immersing yourself in one of these environments can add a little silver-screen magic to your everyday life.

What It's Like to Live in Oscar Nominated Movie Locations

After all, who doesn’t want to stand in the same spot that Clint Eastwood shouted directions at Bradley Cooper, or where Matthew McConaughey explored an alien landscape? Check out these destinations where some of 2015’s Oscar nominated films were brought to life:

Birdman: New York City, New York

Countless classics have been filmed in New York City over the past century, from the 1908 silent film “The Thieving Hand” to the 2015 Best Picture nominee “Birdman.” Most of this film was shot in St. James Theatre in the Midtown West neighborhood, the city’s vibrant Theater District.

What It's Like to Live in Oscar Nominated Movie Locations - 'Birdman' New York City, New York

According to Lovely’s Q4 2014 quarterly report, an apartment rental in the Big Apple tends to cost about $2,650, but Midtown West rates may run a bit higher due to its close proximity to Manhattan.

However, many find that the extra expense is well worth the benefits of living in this prime spot: It’s only 20 minutes by train to Lower Manhattan– ideal for those traveling to work and school, but still contains some of the world’s most famous attractions, including Broadway and Times Square.

Boyhood: Austin, Texas

Austin is a cultural mecca known not only for its standing as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” but also its array of museums, theaters, and LGBTQ organizations. So it’s no wonder the locale is home to a plethora of Oscar nominated movies, including 2014’s coming-of-age drama “Boyhood.”

What It's Like to Live in Oscar Nominated Movie Locations - 'Boyhood' Austin, Texas

While culture is rich here, the cost of apartment rentals is quite cheap compared to other major cities, with apartments running at a median rate of about $1,250 per month, according to Lovely’s Q4 2014 quarterly report. That means you’ll have plenty of dough left in the bank to save up for the South by Southwest film and music festival held every year in March.

The city also has several one-of-a-kind attractions that make Austinites proud to call it home. Peek underneath Congress Avenue bridge to see some 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats that live under there between March and November; and use your bike to get around in this cyclist-friendly city– bike lanes run along most major streets, and the Yellow Bike Project provides tools and space for cyclists to fix their own bikes for free.

American Sniper: Seal Beach, California

Located near Long Beach, this town is laid out along the Southern California coast, where sparkling waters meet warm sands. The gorgeous backdrop can be seen in “American Sniper,” and its beauty is second only to the magnetic good looks of its stars, Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller.

What It's Like to Live in Oscar Nominated Movie Locations - 'American Sniper' Seal Beach, California

Upscale Seal Beach has a small population of about 24,000, and demand for housing pushes rentals up to a mid-range price of $2,100, according to Lovely reports. The town’s population is largely elderly, as it’s home to the gated retirement community Leisure World, which houses about 9,000 senior citizens.

Those looking for less expensive living and a more youthful atmosphere might seek apartment rentals in Long Beach, where rentals cost a median rate of $1,350. Movie buffs will be interested to know that Long Beach is the setting of other Oscar nominated movies, including “Thelma and Louise” and “There Will Be Blood.”

Foxcatcher: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Set in the Steel City of Pittsburgh, “Foxcatcher”  depicts the true story of Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz, a wrestler whose life is changed forever when he is recruited to convicted murderer, John du Pont’s wrestling training facility in Newtown Square.

What It's Like to Live in Oscar Nominated Movie Locations - 'Boyhood' Austin, Texas- 'Foxcatcher' Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Newtown Square is a small township with a rich history, but housing and jobs are limited. For that reason, it’s best suited as a vacation spot where you can settle into a bed and breakfast for a short getaway from your home in nearby Pittsburgh.

As Lovely’s Q4 2014 quarterly report revealed, rentals go for a median rate of about $925 here, which means you’ll have plenty of room in your budget for these mini-breaks, not to mention the Carnegie Museums, Phipps Conservatory, and other world-class institutions.

The best part for those who are drawn to the small-town feel of Newtown, is that Pittsburgh is made up of many tight-knit neighborhoods with the same quaint community vibe, from Squirrel Hill to Shadyside to Bloomfield– each just a train or bus ride away from downtown Pittsburgh.

Interstellar: Los Angeles, California 

It’s no big surprise that Los Angeles, the city of glitz, glamour, and lofty apartment rental prices (a median rate of $1,900), is the setting of the high-production science fiction film “Interstellar.” Movie lovers and aspiring actors flock to this metropolis in part because of the daily celebrity sightings.

What It's Like to Live in Oscar Nominated Movie Locations - 'Interstellar' Los Angeles, California

Whether you’re walking along the bustling Hollywood Boulevard or hiking the trails at Runyon Canyon, there’s a good chance you’ll bump into a movie star.

Even if this locale is out of your price range, you’ll find simple ways to save money in other ways with a little experience. Grab a burger on the cheap at Southern California’s beloved In-N-Out, shop at the local farmers market and sign up for Goldstar to get half-price tickets to everything from movies to bungee jumping.

L.A.’s public transit system has gotten a bad rep in the past, and many people prefer to get around by car. In fact, driving is almost mandatory if you live in the City of Angels– the area is sprawling and practically designed for cars. However, you can save money on gas and spare the ozone toxins by opting to cycle when possible– the mild climate makes for a delightful ride as you pass those suckers sitting idly in traffic.

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Photo credit: Craig PiersmaDavis StaedtlerEd Schipultdlucas5000Ron ReiringDongyi Liu


Stacee is the Content Manager at Lovely. She is an ice cream connoisseur who loves traveling, baking, and animals. Her guilty pleasures are karaoke and Flaming Hot Cheetos.

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