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Upcoming Events

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CANO & PhotoNOLA…

Jan 22 - Feb 28, 2017
CANO is proud to announce our first photography exhibition in conjunction with… more

October @ The Front

Jan 22, 2017
Lemon Lovers features Alanah Luger-Guillaume and Rebecca Spangenthal as they… more

Rashaad Newsome:…

Jan 22 - Feb 12, 2017
New Orleans-born artist Rashaad Newsome returns for this interdisciplinary… more

Saenger Theatre…

Jan 22 - 22, 2017
Experience the phenomenon of Grammy and Tony Award Winning Disney's The Lion… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Jan 23, 2017
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Monday Blues

Jan 23, 2017 - Jan 05, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. Get your live local blues fix with Sean Riley. more

New Orleans…

Jan 23 - 26, 2017
Join us for Master Sugar Sculptor Sidney Galpern. She will be offering free… more

The Historic Carver…

Jan 23 - 23, 2017
Join us at the Historic Carver Theater for the Monday Night Blues Series,… more

The Irish House…

Jan 23, 2017
This is the Biggest Irish Music Session in the south. On a Night you will see… more

The Maison Presents -…

Jan 23 - Jul 31, 2017
The Royal Roses grew out of the rich resurgence that traditional jazz is seeing… more

The Somerton Suitcase…

Jan 23, 2017
The Somerton Suitcase is live every Monday night at VASO on Frenchmen St. Catch… more

Clarence John…

Jan 24 - Mar 25, 2017
A Louisiana native, Clarence John Laughlin (1905 - 1985) ranks among the most… more

Exhibition to feature…

Jan 24 - Mar 25, 2017
 The Historic New Orleans Collection will open its next exhibition,… more

First Time Renovator…

Jan 24 - 31, 2017
Topics covered at this two-night workshop will be an analysis of the pros and… more

Saenger Theatre…

Jan 24 - 29, 2017
Experience the phenomenon of Grammy and Tony Award Winning Disney's The Lion… more

Singer/Songerwriter…

Jan 24, 2017 - Jan 06, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages. House of Blues New Orleans hosts a new weekly… more

Comedy Gold hosted by…

Jan 25, 2017 - Jan 07, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages (content may not be appropriate for all ages).… more

Live Opera…

Jan 25 - 25, 2017
Opera Returns to Bourbon Street. Enjoy FREE opera entertainment at the Puccini… more

Opera on Tap

Jan 25 - 25, 2017
Now in its 10th season, Opera on Tap presents the finest young local and… more

The Historic Carver…

Jan 25 - 25, 2017
Join us at the Historic Carver Theater for the  Midweek Jazz … more

CANO & PhotoNOLA…

Jan 22 - Feb 28, 2017
CANO is proud to announce our first photography exhibition in conjunction with… more

Side Order: A tour of New Orleans movie sites

Washington Post

Side Order: A tour of New Orleans movie sites By Cara Kelly

The New Orleans Movie Tour shows off the charms that make the city the third most popular film location after Los Angeles and New York. That includes non-movie spots, such as Napoleon, a bar.

The farmers market along an avenue framed by office buildings is bustling with shoppers examining the fruits and vegetables on offer. Suddenly, the crowds look up toward the sky as billowing brown clouds and fireballs start to choke out the sun. A green-masked man flies into the scene to protect the screaming, panicked people, who are now running for their lives.

The clip ends, and the mini-screens in our 16-passenger van go black. We're still in the middle of the street, just sans ominous clouds and green hero. We've just watched a segment from the 2011 blockbuster "The Green Lantern".? It's one of the films highlighted in the New Orleans Movie Tour, a two-hour driving excursion that showcases the locations of some of the most famous scenes filmed in and around the Big Easy.

Personal Post .As we sit in front of the hotel that the villain Parallax had descended over moments ago, Jonathan and Michelle Ray tell us about the movie's economic impact on the city "it was the largest production in Louisiana history with a $200 billion price tag " and the confusion it created when residents started to think that the farmers market was real, and not an elaborate set put up by Warner Bros.

It was still early by New Orleans standards, well before noon, and I'd taken only the first few sips of my cup of bitter chicory coffee. But the Rays' excitement was helping to cut through my pre-Mardi Gras celebration haze.

Self-proclaimed movie buffs, the husband-and-wife team launched the city's first movie tour company nine months ago to combine their twin obsessions: all things film and New Orleans. After relocating from Connecticut, they were shocked to learn that no one was providing tours of famous locations from such classics as "A Streetcar Named Desire," or newer TV shows such as HBO's "Treme."?

A film professional who has worked on camera crews and even plays a recurring role in USA's upcoming series "Common Law,"? Jonathan is quick to tell me about New Orleans's emergence as the "Hollywood of the South" and its $1.3 billion movie industry.

"A lot of people come down here and have no idea how many things are filmed here," he said. "It's the third most popular location after Los Angeles and New York."

He rattles off a half-dozen productions either in the works or starting later this year. Will Ferrell is in town with Zach Galifianakis, filming "Dog Fight" (recently renamed "The Campaign") and taking some time off during Mardi Gras to serve as King Bacchus. And "Now You See Me," a thriller starring Woody Harrelson and Morgan Freeman, recently started production.

After scooping up the other passengers, we take off toward Canal Street. Michelle provides historical background in conjunction with the film trivia that Jonathan spouts, and starts filling us in on what residents call "the neutral grounds," known elsewhere as medians. The grassy areas in the middle of the streets were the meeting ground for the French Creoles and the Americans after the Louisiana Purchase, she explains as we pull up to the rails where Vivien Leigh, as Blanche DuBois, famously searched for the streetcar named Desire. (Which is still in operation, Michelle adds. It's No. 922.)

Jonathan leads us on a winding path through the narrow streets of the French Quarter, pointing out Tennessee Williams's house, the wrought-iron balcony where Elvis Presley sang in "King Creole" and Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, the old dive bar where Melanie Griffith grabs a cocktail in "Crazy in Alabama."

The couple also offer entertaining snippets completely unrelated to the film industry, explaining where to get a traditional New Orleans Pimm's Cup (the Napoleon), where to hear the best jazz in the city (the bars on Magazine Street) and where to get a $10 haircut and a shot on Monday nights (the Royal Street Inn). These insider tips make me want to jump out of the van and soak up all the city has to offer. Then a clip of "Runaway Jury" starts playing, and Jonathan and Michelle have my attention once again.

Personal Post .A trip through the Garden District to see Benjamin Button's house and the graveyard in "Double Jeopardy" winds down the tour, and Jonathan opens the floor to questions. This part can get complicated, he says, as fellow film enthusiasts typically quiz him on obscure flicks with ties to the city. Which is why he's seen them all, including the bad ones, such as the second "Candyman" movie and anything starring a vampire.

Today he fields some fairly tame questions on "Runaway Jury." Yes, it was entirely filmed in Louisiana. No, you can't get into the courtrooms.

As I leave the van, I find myself plotting a trip to Congo Square to further inspect one of the locations in "Ray," and then to the Napoleon for a cool drink. Which is exactly what Jonathan and Michelle hoped I'd do.

"One of our goals is really to get people out and show them the city," Michelle says. "There are so many things to do."

Joining friends for brunch, I start recounting my newly acquired knowledge of the Big Easy, telling them where Sandra Bullock's vacation house is, that Jonathan had pointed out Mos Def (a.k.a., more recently, Yasiin Bey) walking down the street and that I think we should try the $10 haircut/shot thing. They listen raptly, and I begin to understand why the Rays were shocked that no one had thought to set up their kind of tour before.

New Orleans Movie Tours

800-979-3370 (tickets)

504-520-9747 (info)

www.nolamovies.com

Two-hour tours depart from the French Quarter most days at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Adults $39, children 4-12 $29. Advance purchase required.

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