It has been just a few months since the hit TV show Once Upon a Time wrapped its final shoot—after seven seasons—on the streets of Steveston Village. But while fans of the fairytale-themed series still arrive to snap selfies at real-world Storybrooke locations such as Romania Country Bread and London Heritage Farm, there are plenty of other locally-made movies and TV shows to discover here.
The Cannery Café (Granny's Diner on Once Upon a Time). | Photo: Tourism Richmond
If you’re keen to visit Richmond filming locations or even catch a live shoot—or you simply want to spot some local visuals the next time you watch a particular show or movie—here are five recent or ongoing productions shot in and around the city, one of Hollywood North’s favourite and most flexible filming locations.
This action-packed mermaid-themed TV show was recently renewed for its second season. Steveston doubled as the moodily-lit fictional US town of Bristol Cove in parts of season one. The dramatic cable series tells the story of a powerful young mermaid (played by Eline Powell) coming ashore to find her lost sister—or maybe she’s just looking to warm-up with a good cup of local coffee (Village Books & Coffee House recommended).
The latest of several big budget action movies shot in and around Richmond in recent years—including Godzilla and War for the Planet of the Apes—this 2017-released superhero story includes Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Banks in its cast. Steveston (playing Angel Grove) also plays a prominent supporting role, as one of the key locations where our shiny-suited good guys defend the earth from that pointy-fingered green-hued turncoat Rita Repulsa.
Locations: Look out for the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site and several scenes shot on and around Moncton Street (the Krispy Kreme seen in the movie is actually Pieces gift shop). You’ll also spot legendary sword-wielding monster Goldar smashing his way around 2nd Avenue.
The combined comedic talents of Anna Faris, Eva Longoria, and Eugenio Derbez are fully showcased in this popular 2018 movie—a remake of a 1980s movie with the key roles wittily reversed. In this version, a poor single mom convinces an amnesiac playboy that the two are married. The film was shot in and around Metro Vancouver, including Steveston: look out for many well-known local locations loitering in the background of several shots. And also scrutinize the scenes onboard the playboy’s large yacht—they’re framed by the village’s unmistakable shoreline.
This ABC science fiction thriller, staring Steve Zahn and Natalie Martinez, took over the streets of Steveston for its inaugural season (it has since been cancelled, much to the dismay of fans). The storyline? War-escaping asylum seekers in an Oregon fishing village reveal that they’re actually from the US—180 years in the future. Mayhem ensues, including lots of murderous shenanigans and a smattering of unexpected superhuman powers.
This highly successful modern-day TV prequel to Hitchcock’s classic film ran for five seasons until 2017, repurposing a wide range of Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley locations as the show’s dark, slightly menacing Oregon setting. Starring Freddie Highmore as the fledgling Norman and Vera Farmiga as his equally unhinged mother, Steveston doubled (with other locations) as the oddball pair’s creepy hometown of White Pine Bay.
Locations: Look out for the now-closed George’s Taverna (now La Cucina Piccolo) and the It’s Posh boutique (renamed as Found Objects in the show)—both on Moncton Street—plus the Britannia Shipyards and Steveston’s boat-lined waterfront.
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You can also spot Richmond locations in music videos—K-pop band Twice was in Steveston to shoot a scene in front of the Super Grocer for their song Likey. And Richmond locations can also be seen in commercials—Metro Vancouver streets (including Moncton Street) can be spotted in a recent US commercial for Allstate Insurance with Dennis Haysbert.
When you’re exploring Richmond, keep your eyes peeled for white trailers, an almost guaranteed sign that filming of some sort is underway. Alternatively, find out what’s shooting before you arrive: we sometimes post tips on our Twitter feed, and you can also discover what’s in production in the region via the handy Creative BC website.