Dogma Movie Locations Part 1
By Lando Da Pimp
In the movie Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob go on a quest to find "Shermer, Illinois" the fictional setting in John Hughes films. Like Jay and Silent Bob, I wanted a connection to one of my favorite movies.
A majority of the film Dogma was shot in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately I was in college at the time and was unable to witness any of the filming. I thought it would be an interesting article to track down all of the shooting locations from the film and show how they look today and where they are located. I have found a majority of the locations that are located in the Pittsburgh area but my research has found that a number of locations are in the small town of New Kensington just north of Pittsburgh as well in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. I was able to find these locations with the help of the Pittsburgh Film Office as well as the technical commentary on the special edition DVD. This is only Part 1 of the article as I hope to find the remaining locations later this year.
(Saint Michael's Church)
St. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church
130 Larimer Ave.
The most recognizable location from the film is Cardinal Glick's church. The birthplace of Catholism Wow! The name of the church in the film is Saint Michael's Church located in Redbank, New Jersey. In actuality the church is the old St. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church located in the area of Pittsburgh known as East Liberty. Be warned this is probably one of the worst areas of Pittsburgh and I only recommend visiting during the day if you should decide to visit.
I don't believe that the church is in use anymore. When I took these photographs in the spring the church and gate were locked up. I went back in October to find the buildings gate open. I was then able to get some shots into the yard. The building is also slowly falling apart. There is significant damage to the side of the building as well as the steeple. While it is a historical landmark it doesn't look like it is being taken care of.
The location surroundings have changed a lot since the movie filmed here in 1997. Across the street is now a row of empty lots. All of the buildings that are seen in the film are gone. Also the large apartment building that is seen in the film is also scheduled for demolition very soon. It also looks like a tree prop that was used in filming was larger than the real tree that is there now.
The interior of the church was also used a lot in the film. According to the technical commentary by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier, the interior of Bethany's church and her bedroom were filmed inside.
113 S. Main Street
After Bethany meets up with "the two prophets", Jay and Silent Bob, all three go to a diner where Bethany asks Jay and Silent Bob to let her tag along on their way back to New Jersey. This small scene takes place in one of the few remaining diners in Pittsburgh known as Laverne's Diner.
The diner is located on the west side of Pittsburgh near the west end circle. It is also one of the few remaining stainless steel traditional design railroad dining car.
Sadly the diners' matriarch LaVerne Yorkgitis died last year. The diner remained open after her death until earlier this year. A sign on the door states that it is closed for the summer but I have seen no signs of it opening back up, so unfortunately I was unable to get any interior shots.
The Wisconsin Airport
Pittsburgh International Airport
Terminal C Gates 50 - 60
The film begins with Bartleby and Loki banned to a life living in Wisconsin for the entire span of human history. The airport however is the Pittsburgh International Airport, a lot better place (but not much). All the filming was done in Terminal C between gates 50 - 60 based on the signs that are in the film. The nun is also Betty Aberlin from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood (which was filmed in Pittsburgh as well.)
There is no photography allowed in the terminals of the airport. You can also not reach the terminals without a boarding pass (I didn't really feel like purchasing a ticket just to sneak a few shots). If you happen to fly in to the airport you will see that it hasn't changed at all since the film.
3210 Banksville Rd
Dogma was the first time we got to see a Mooby's fast food restaurant. Unfortunetly, the building no longer exists. After filming, the structure was demolished to make way for another Rite-Aid. Before the transformation, Mooby's was a Burger King that had been shut down.
You can still visit the area but it is very difficult to figure out exactly where and how the building sat. I used the still from the film trying to match the trees but could not find the exact setting. Since the building is gone all I can supply is this great shot of Rite-Aid.
Mooby's Headquarters Exterior
600 Grant Street
On their way to New Jersey, Loki and Bartleby make a stop off at Mooby corporate headquarters to punish the corporate CEO's for their sin. The exterior of Moobys is actually the USX Tower located in downtown Pittsburgh. The interior boardroom and the elevator that is used in the airport is actually a building located on college campus miles away from downtown. I haven't been able to gain access to these rooms yet but hope to have it for part II of this article.
Sadly I had hoped to have more for this article, but the remaining locations are in an area north of Pittsburgh that I haven't been able to explore yet. The Pittsburgh film office has provided some information and I have found a few locations that I will be visiting soon. There are a number of locations that I can't find as of yet. Here is a list of locations:
Azreal House with central air conditioning
(New Kensington, Pa)
This house is supposedly in New Kensington, Pa. I can't seem to find it however.
Bethany's Church Exterior
(This may not be in Pennsylvania)
The sign on the front says St. Stephens. No church in the immediate Pittsburgh area looks like this.
Highway Overpass where Rufas appears
With all the highways in the Pittsburgh area it is tough to figure out which one and where. But when I find it, I will get a picture of me standing there, wearing nothing but a trench coat.
If you're a big fan of Dogma, check out the trivia from IMDb.com
Well there you have it, part one of the filming locations for Dogma. If you have any information on locations of filming please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2 disc special edition of Dogma is available from Amazon.com