Exploring DeKalb County’s Cinematic Tapestry: Revealing Famous Film Locations

Categories: Film

There may be surprises among this overview of the locations and sets where television and film production crews that DeKalb County, Georgia, has hosted over the years.

For decades it has been far from a Stranger Thing to spot big-name stars and film crews on the streets of metro Atlanta and DeKalb County. Locals were thrilled when Rolling Stone frontman Mick Jagger, Anthony Hopkins and Emilio Estevez showed up in the early ‘90s to shoot sci-fi flick Freejack, and folks familiar with the Virginia-Highland and Druid Hills neighborhoods delighted in picking out homes and locations whisked back to the 1940s for the 1989 Jessica Tandy-Morgan Freeman classic Driving Miss Daisy.

In more recent years DeKalb County’s vibrant local landscape and breadth of shooting sights has set the scene for many more film and television productions.

Here’s a peek at some iconic filming locations hidden within DeKalb County’s streets, parks, and landmarks—a testament to the county’s rich and diverse visual storytelling history that have graced the silver and small screen:

  1. Filmed in Main Street Tucker and surrounding spots, 2023 comedy The Outlaws starred Pierce Brosnan and Ellen Barkin in an Adam Sandler-produced romp about a bank manager whose wedding plans are upended when his bank is robbed by outlaws whom he suspects – correctly – might be his future in-laws.
  2. Scenes in I, Tonya, a 2017 comic mockumentary loosely based on the events surrounding figure skating star Tonya Harding’s 1994 assault on rival Nancy Kerrigan starring Morgot Robbie, Sebastian Stan and Alison Janney, were filmed at the popular Chinese eatery Golden Buddha Restaurant near the intersection of Piedmont Road and North Decatur Road. Local actor Dan Triandiflou played Tonya’s lawyer in the biopic.
  3. Teen rom-com Love Simon, which dealt with struggles of a closeted gay teenager who develops a crush on an unknown classmate known only as “Blue” who reaches out via email, starred Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner and Bryson Pitts. It made use of Decatur’s dog-friendly java spot Dancing Goats Coffee Bar as an atmospheric backdrop for the critically acclaimed film.
  4. Ostensibly set in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, gripping Netflix crime series Ozark was actually filmed in Georgia throughout its four-season run. While most of the lake scenes were shot at Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier, there also were scenes produced at  The Starlight Drive In and Stone Mountain Park.
  5. No list of DeKalb County shooting locations would be complete without Netflix smash series Stranger Things, which shot at several DeKalb County sites including the now largely abandoned North DeKalb Mall and Stone Mountain Park, and offers locals a chance to spot stars Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, Gaten Matarazzo and Finn Wolfhard relaxing between shoots.
  6. The 2012 film Hunger Games, which spawned four more movies and rocketed star Jennifer Lawrence to international fame, was on locations at DeKalb Peachtree Airport to shoot its post-apocalyptic dystopian storyline.
  7. The CW hit series Vampire Diaries, which ran for eight seasons as it dealt with the trials and travails of two vampire brothers and their circle of young acquaintances in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, was largely shot in Covington – which doubled as the troubled burg – and in nearby locales including several in DeKalb County. Among them: the Wickery Bridge in Lithonia, which led into and out of mythical Mystic Falls, and Main Street Stone Mountain.
  8. The 2000 Denzel Washington vehicle Remember the Titans, a Warner Brothers-Jerry Bruckheimer release, was a biographical sports dramedy about the efforts of a football coach to integrate his high school’s team in 1070’s Virginia. Among the locations it used was the (supposedly haunted!) Decatur Cemetery.
  9. 2011 medical disaster thriller Contagion, whose stars included Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard and Jude Law, made good use of the Centers for Disease Control near the Emory University campus to lend an authentic touch to its location shots.


Producers and film scouts have learned that a wealth of scenic and historical location sites abound among DeKalb County’s diverse cities, neighborhoods and parks. The DeKalb Entertainment Commission is always eager to assist in suggesting locations and to be a liaison with property owners, local governments and businesses to help make our county your set!