Have you ever turned on the TV and recognized a familiar sight? Perhaps it was Café du Monde, or the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel, or even inside the Convention Center. New Orleans has become a popular place for filming both television series and movies over the past few years. While you’re planning your trip to NOLA, check out our list below and be transported via screen in the meantime.
TV Shows Filmed in New Orleans
American Horror Story
In a city known for its spooks and spirit, the American Horror Story cast and crew took to New Orleans for the third season of the series: Coven. The FX horror anthology’s 13-episode season is filled with iconic New Orleans eateries, attractions, and scenery. Fans of the show flock to the Buckner Mansion on Jackson Avenue to take selfies in front of the historic home that served as the backdrop for Miss Robichaux’s Academy. Next time you’re in the city head Uptown and grab breakfast from the landmark Camellia Grill right off the St. Charles Streetcar Line. Afterward, make your way downtown and check out the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, a uniquely spooky attraction that documents 19th-century medicine. While you’re in the Quarter, be sure to drop by the incredibly creepy LaLaurie Mansion, where Cathy Bates’ Madame LaLaurie resides in the show.
Set in a post-Katrina New Orleans, Treme is a drama series that sheds light on the culture and makings of the oldest African American neighborhood in the United States - Treme. Aside from neighborhood landmarks such as Congo Square, Louis Armstrong Park, and the Backstreet Cultural Museum, the series explores the music of Treme with stops at different local lounges and dive bars. Next time you find yourself in the Crescent City looking for an off-the-beaten-path music experience, look no further than Bullet’s Sports Bar. Indulge in cheap drinks, live music, and if you’re lucky - a famous musician frequenting the lounge.
NCIS: New Orleans
Known for showcasing special NOLA locations and events like the Red Dress Run in various episodes, the NCIS: New Orleans crew travels far and wide throughout the city giving a holistic view of New Orleans in their filming. If you ever notice white pillars and spacious green-lined oaks on the show, it’s none other than Dillard University located in the heart of Gentilly, New Orleans. Stop by for some Bleu Devil apparel or support one of the student-run art shows, sporting events, or performances.
This slasher-comedy series starring Emma Roberts and Jamie Lee Curtis filmed its first season right here in New Orleans. Shot on Loyola and Tulane universities, you may recognize some exterior campus shots while watching the show. Though the show moved to Los Angeles to film its second season, it also happened to be its final—maybe a curse because they left the Crescent City.
The fantasy supernatural spinoff from the hit series The Vampire Diaries follows the Mikaelson siblings, vampire-werewolf siblings known as the first vampires in history. The show sees the family return to the French Quarter for the first time since 1919. You’ll see plenty of glimpses of the French Quarter like the iconic St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square, quaint courtyards at the Hotel Royal, and New Orleans’ famous Lafayette cemetery. See why vampires and humans alike adore New Orleans.
Transport yourself to the serene landscapes of rural Louisiana in Queen Sugar. Queen Sugar tells the story of the estranged Bordelon siblings who are reunited after a tragedy and must put their differences aside to run the family’s sugar cane farm. Much of the show takes place on the Bordelon family’s sugarcane plantation, which is filmed in Vacherie, LA. Majestic oaks, lush green fields, and beaming Louisiana sunsets will make you feel like you’re in the countryside. From time to time, you’ll catch a peek of iconic New Orleans sites like the mighty Mississippi river and colorful French Quarter neighborhoods.
Showtime’s limited series centers around a New Orleans judge whose son is involved in a hit-and-run accident that leaves the son of a prominent mob boss dead. The thriller tackles complicated issues surrounding race, class, and moral decisions about how far one is willing to go to protect one's own family and features filming locations across the city from the university area of Uptown to the Lower Ninth Ward. Eagle-eyed viewers will recognize notable spots like Commander’s Palace, the St. Charles Avenue streetcar, and Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Huge fan of the show? Follow in Jimmy Baxter’s footsteps with a stay at Bourbon Orleans Hotel and dinner at The Rib Room–that’s where the ruthless mob boss runs the majority of his business throughout the 10-episode run.
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (TV)
Adapted from Anne Rice's 1976 gothic horror novel “Interview with the Vampire,” this series is one of many adaptations but happens to be the most recent one. Premiering in 2022 on AMC, the series centers on the life story of vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac as told to journalist Daniel Molloy. You’ll recognize spots like Gallier Hall, the Saenger Theatre, Pirate’s Alley, and the Beauregard-Keyes House while watching this series. See here for a list of filming locations.
If you enjoyed “Interview with the Vampire” you’ll enjoy this second television series in Anne Rice’s Immortal Universe. You’ll recognize the Mayfair House as the Soria-Creel mansion on the corner of Prytania and Eighth streets in the Garden District. You can also start your New Orleans adventure the same way Dr. Rowan Fielding does (although hopefully with less supernatural meddling) by staying at the Pontchartrain Hotel on Saint Charles Avenue.
Movies Filmed in New Orleans
The Oscar and Golden Globe-winning film, Green Book, swept the big screen across America. The movie follows the story of how two unlikely friends came to be as they travel city to city making stops in New York, Memphis, Pennsylvania, and of course, New Orleans. The filming of Green Book, however, was much more stationary than the travels it depicted. With the exception of one day, the film was shot entirely in Louisiana with several New Orleanian stops and staples included. Historic businesses and landmarks such as the International House Hotel, The Roosevelt Hotel, Clover’s Grill, the Orpheum, and the Saenger all served as backdrops for this award-winning film.
Interview with the Vampire (Movie)
Nominated for two Academy Awards, Interview with the Vampire is a horror gothic film set in the 18th century. In addition to the shots taken throughout New Orleans’ French Quarter, much of the movie was filmed east of New Orleans at Oak Alley Plantation. Explore the 25 historic acres of the Vacherie, LA-based plantation.
The summer 2017 box-office hit Girls Trip was all about adventure and sisterhood in New Orleans. Since its premiere, the movie has inspired women far and wide to take their own “girls trip” to the Crescent City to experience the ESSENCE Festival of Culture. In addition to the famous Bourbon Street scene and the Essence Fest action at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Girls Trip also features a few lively clubs to check out next time you’re here: Club Maison and the House of Blues.
Now You See Me
With filming set in four major metropolitan cities across the globe, it's no surprise that New Orleans made the cut. The master magicians in Now You See Me make their way to the famous Cafe du Monde as they cause mischief near Jackson Square. Hold the mischief and grab the beignets and cafe au lait during your visit!
12 Years a Slave
If you’re looking for a star-studded stay the next time you’re in New Orleans then look no further than Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue. Not only part of the National Register of Historic Places and a cozy accommodation, but this hotel also triples as a set for director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. Additionally, the streets of the French Quarter were transformed into Saratoga, New York.
21 Jump Street
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum remade this 80s sitcom into an action-packed comedy for the big screen, but the lead goes to the streets of New Orleans. Filmed throughout the city and beyond, you might find the Crescent City Connection or the Claiborne Bridge familiar on your drive. It’s the historic St. James AME Church in Treme that served as the stakeout headquarters for the 21 Jump Street crew.
A Streetcar Named Desire
Partially filmed but fully set in New Orleans is the 1951 Tennessee Williams classic: A Streetcar Named Desire. This classic American tale depicts this unique southern city and a number of its one-of-a-kind facets such as the French Quarter, Canal Street, and of course, the historic New Orleans Streetcar. Though not named Desire, the streetcar lines in New Orleans can get you around the city to explore the various neighborhoods, attractions, and restaurants. Visit during the month of March and check out the annual Tennessee Williams Literary Festival to honor the legendary writer. You can also give the popular “Stella!” shouting contest a try.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
This Oscar-nominated 2008 film follows the backwards life of Benjamin Button, who is born an old man and ages in reverse. Take a stroll by the Nolan House in the Garden District (2707 Coliseum) to see where Benjamin (Brad Pitt) is raised, or book a reservation at Arnaud’s to get oysters in the same spot that Daisy (Cate Blanchett) and Benjamin reconnect over dinner.