It happens frequently: You’re watching some random movie and the scenery looks familiar. Then the camera shifts and you exclaim, "I know that place! That’s down the street!"
Langley’s become one of the film industry’s friendliest municipalities in Hollywood North, thanks in part to additional tax breaks for companies that film film east of 200th St.
As a result, there are portions of the city local viewers seen a hundred times on TV and in the movies, possibly without even realizing how close to home they are.
We’ve listed five of the more popular locations below, but we’re sure there are more. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments.
The Bates Motel
The Bates Motel, built for the series of the same name, appears to sit on a lonely road on the Oregon Coast.
The set in Langley, however, is directly across the street from, and on top of, garbage dumps. The set was built on an area that was a dump for years, but which has recently been restored and is being reforested.
The series follows Norman Bates in a â€œcontemporary prequelâ€ to Alfred Hitchcockâ€™s classic film, Psycho.
Clark Kentâ€™s house
Smallville used this South Langley farmhouse as Clark Kentâ€™s during the entire 10-year run of the series. It also generated a lot of noise, especially in its early years.
On Dec. 12, 2003, the series decided to blow up an old house in the Milner neighbourhood, on a side street off 64th Avenue west of 216th Street, known as Hog Alley. The blast destroyed the house, blew the windows out of another nearby home, cracked the windows of a fire truck, and woke people as far away as Maple Ridge. People jammed 911 phone lines reporting the blast and trying to find out what was going on.
A year before that, there had been a similar incident in which people from miles around were alarmed by another sizeable explosion on set.
Creepy Amish alien shape-shifterâ€™s house
The Rowlatt Farm is a heritage building, restored in the early 1980s and located in Campbell Valley Regional Park in South Langley. It has appeared in Supernatural, and of course was the site of a creepy cult of alien shapechangers disguised as simple Amish farmers in an early episode of The X-Files. Despite this, it is also a popular site for filming family movies, and for wedding pictures.
Flying Saucer Diner
The Hilltop Cafe is famous for its pie, and for being one of the most-filmed locations in Langley. It gained notoriety in the early 1990s when it appeared in the pilot of The X-Files as the Flying Saucer Diner.
It has appeared in countless action movies, romantic comedies, dramas, and made for TV movies, but seems to have a special allure for producers of supernatural TV. It has appeared in both Fringe and Supernatural, two thematic successors to The X-Files.
City Hall, Every Town, USA
The Fort Langley Community Hall is often decorated for Christmas, usually in March, October, or even July. The hall is one of the most popular
locations for filming Christmas movies and TV movies in Canada, and has shown up as the city hall of innumerable fictional U.S. towns. In 2006, it got two new coats of paint, when the producers of the supernatural horror film The Fog decided it would look better in blue. They painted it and left it that colour for several weeks, then returned it to its customary shade of yellow.
Filming out front often continues while public meetings, weddings, concerts, and craft fairs take place inside.
(Image via Netflix)