Ghostbusters locations: The Legacy to discover around Calgary


Ghostbusters: Legacy, goodbye New York, hello Summerville

Gone are the buildings of Manhattan, the hustle and bustle of New York City and its legendary barracks that have been passed on to posterity since the release of Ghostbusters in 1984 and its sequel in 1989. It’s far from the Big Apple where the first two parts took place and whose best fanspots we mention in our New York Guide of 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics, novels that this third film of the saga takes place, Paul Feig’s reboot (2016) not being included in the official count.

It is on the Calgary side, in the province of Alberta (Canada) that the scenes were shot this time. As is customary for famous works in order to avoid the shooting being overwhelmed by many fans, the production used the name Rust City to name the feature film among the local population. Some were not mistaken, like the Youtubeur The Holy Moly, author of a video showing the behind-the-scenes of the film. And many of the filming locations are visible on location.

The production set up its cameras in Calgary, but also in Fort Macleod, Drumheller, Turner Valley, Beiseker, Dorothy and Crossfield. So many places that will be discovered on the screen from August 19, 2020.

For example, the main street in Fort Macleod is the main street in Summerville, including the Empress Theatre, which was damaged by a proton discharge when Ecto-1 was reactivated. The film’s location manager, Laszlo Uhrik, told CBC that the city was chosen because it seemed out of time. “Specifically, the main street, this block of buildings that has been maintained as it is now, gives a timeless look in a sense. It really is a beautiful block of buildings,” he said. An aspect that also seduced the production of Let Him Go, with Kevin Costner, who came to shoot a few scenes in April 2019.

The film crew also used the town of Beiseker for this scene, transforming Ng’s Cafe into Spinners Burgers & Shakes, also hit by a proton discharge while Trevor exits from the telescopic seat of Ecto-1 at the intersection of 23rd Street and 2nd Avenue.

North of Fort Macleod, the metal bridge in the small hamlet of Dorothy has been transformed into the entrance to the Shandro mine. It is located near the intersection of Highways 848 and 570. Practically a ghost town, Dorothy is prized by many photographers for its deliciously retro feel, with its dilapidated grain silos, one of which dates back to 1928, its old buildings and its small church. It is also in Dorothy’s fields that Trevor takes over Ecto-1.

You have to keep going up in the province to discover other elements visible in the trailer. So, the water tower in Summerville is Drumheller’s. The city, which is shown in the trailer, is named after Samuel Drumheller, a mining owner. For the place has flourished thanks to the coal in its basement. It was notably during the exploitation of the latter that dinosaur bones were discovered by chance, giving rise in 1985 to its museum of palaeontology, the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, with more than 80,000 specimens and visited each year by more than 600,000 visitors.

And it is precisely by following the dinosaur tracks on Route 838, also known as the North Dinosaur Trail, that 16 km to the north-west, the Horsethief Canyon is located, which is discovered at the very beginning of the trailer when the protagonists drive along it. Carved by the Red Deer River, just like the Horseshoe Canyon a few miles away, the place takes its name from the illegal horse trade it was home to in the 19th century.

The strange and dilapidated family home and its barn collapsing under the weight of the years do not exist, and are the main locations of the plot. These are sets built by the field production in Foothills County.

On the other hand, the abandoned factory where Slimer seems to hide in the trailer does exist. This is the former Turner Valley gas plant. It came into being after the discovery of an oil deposit in the vicinity on March 14, 1914. It was then decided to build these premises to process both the oil and natural gas extracted on site. It is Western Canada’s first natural gas processing and refining facility. It was even a pioneer in the field until the mid-1950s, when it was still considered avant-garde. After 71 years of operation, it closed its doors in 1985 and time has done its work, although tours of this historic site are organized. And no doubt Jason Reitman’s film will put him in the spotlight and attract new visitors.

The class scenes at Summerville Middle School were shot at the W.G. Murdoch School in Crossfield while the building at 1112 Railway Street was transformed into the Summerville County Sheriff Department office. The video of The Holy Moly allows you to discover the sets.

The production also set up its cameras in Calgary. In the studios of the Calgary Film Centre, of course, but also at the Congress Apartments. It is in these residences that the family lives at the beginning of the film. It includes Callie cutting Trevor’s hair. When they leave the premises to move to Summerville, they leave the Anderson Estates. Built in 1912 by billionaire Alexander Victor Vic Anderson as a hotel in his wife’s hometown, this red brick building was completely renovated in 2000 and 2001 to house apartments. The singer Jann Arden shot her video clip Insensitive there in 1995. Then, when the family takes to the road, it crosses the countryside, some of which can be seen from Bleriot Ferry.

There are so many places in Alberta to discover to follow in the footsteps of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. If you know of other places, feel free to share them with the community by mentioning them on Fantrippers. Who you gonna call?

Photo credit : Sony Pictures and Google Maps

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By Anthony Thibault

Monday, December 16, 2019

From the "Casimir generation", Anthony has kept (in addition to a passion for Goldorak) a taste for inventive images, experimentation and curiosity. Passionate about travel and pop culture, he co-founded Fantrippers with Nicolas Albert to share his passion with as many people as possible.

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