Fox Plaza Tower
Yes, Die Hard counts as a holiday movie (if an unconventional one), as it’s set on Christmas Eve. This classic 1988 action flick has Bruce Willis fighting terrorists who’ve taken over Nakatomi Tower in Los Angels—and the building actually exists in LA, although it’s real name is Fox Plaza tower. Interestingly, both the exterior and the interior of the tower were used to film the movie. Lucky fans were recently treated to an outdoor screening of Die Hard in front of the tower for the film’s 30th anniversary, and reporters were given a tour of the building’s interior filming locations.
Seneca Falls, New York
The 1946 Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life wasn’t actually filmed here (it was shot mostly on sets, with the famous swimming pool scene filmed at Beverly Hills High School, where the retractable gym floor still exists). But legend has it director Frank Capra got his inspiration for the fictional Bedford Falls from a visit to the real-life small town of Seneca Falls in upstate New York. With its classic American downtown, Victorian homes, large Italian immigrant population, and even a steel bridge from which a man rescued a woman attempting suicide, it’s hard not to see the resemblance. Seneca Falls has taken its connection to the movie and run with it, calling itself “The Real Bedford Falls,” and establishing a museum dedicated to the movie. Surviving members of the cast make regular appearances during the town’s annual holiday festival.
Can you think of a better name for a Christmas movie town than Snowshill? This quaint English village in Gloucestershire was the hometown of Renée Zellweger’s lead character in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Although not strictly a Christmas movie, the year-in-the-life film is book-ended by the holidays (remember Mark Darcy’s reindeer jumper?) and Bridget returning home. You can also visit Mark’s parents’ “stately pile,” as English manor houses are called, where Darcy sports a snowman tie: The exterior is Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire.