Lights! Camera! Action! Here are a few movie locations in Pender County

If you recently watched the Netflix series, Florida Man, you may recall Sonny’s (Anthony LaPaglia) bar on the waterfront.

You can visit Sonny’s and enjoy more than a drink. It is The Sailfish at Marsh Creek Marina. The food is delicious, and you can sit by one of the most pristine marshes in North Carolina with a view of the ocean.

Florida Man is not the only production that found Pender County a perfect backdrop for Hollywood film and television shows.

Recently Showtime’s George & Tammy starring Michael Shannon as George Jones and Jessica Chastain as Tammy Wynette used the former Dees Drug Store in Burgaw for scenes in the hit limited series.

Also based in Burgaw was the television show Welcome to Flatch with Seann William Scott and Jaime Pressly.

The Pender County Visitor Center, at 106 E. Wilmington St. is the home of Pender County Tourism. In Welcome to Flatch our office was transformed into an editor’s office, a historical museum, and a real estate office.

However, that’s not the first production to visit. Our office has also been used for Under the Dome and the horror movie Jailhouse with C. Thomas Howell.

One True Loves starring Phillipa Soo, Luke Bracey, and Simi Liu of Marvel’s Shang-Chi. While filming, Simi Liu took a few moments of rest in our conference room.

Even though Dawson’s Creek was aired more than 20 years ago, the television show starring James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, and Joshua Jackson, has a strong following. The Town of Topsail Beach was a favorite location for Dawson’s Creek.

One Tree Hill, starring Chad Michael Murry and James Lafferty as two half brothers competing in the town of Tree Hill, was set in Burgaw, Lanes Ferry (at the bridge over the Northeast Cape Fear River), and Topsail High School.

In the Town of Watha, once Pender County’s seat of government, is a beautiful pink house that was used in the Secret Life of Bees. Starring Queen Latifa, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keys, this farmhouse was painted pink for filming. You can drive by the house on Watha Road. Watch the trailer here.

Not far from Watha is Currie. Currie is a fascinating area because it is the site of the first Patriots’ victory in the Revolutionary War. Currie is also home to two locations of movie fame – The Conjuring and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Conjuring trailer features the house at 405 Canetuck Rd. so watch the trailer and as you drive by, the hair on your arms will stand on end! Don’t trespass but gawk all you want. Near the bend in NC Hwy 210 before approaching Moores Creek National Battlefield is a property surrounded by a white fence. Sitting at the end of the driveway is a beautifully restored home. This property was used for two productions – the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the TNT series Good Behavior, which starred Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey fame.

Good Behavior also used a home on the Intracoastal Waterway in the Hampstead Village Harbor neighborhood in which a murder in the television show occurred.

The show also used Rocky Point’s Paul’s Place Famous Hot Dogs for diner scenes. Paul’s Place is Famous not only for its hot dogs but also for the many actors and shows that have darkened its doors. Check out this documentary that shares some stories about visitors that includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ben Affleck, and Buddy Hackett.  

Up in Atkinson is an old schoolhouse at 3980 Morgan Road that was used in the production of Sleepy Hollow, starting Tim Mison as Ichabod Crane. The school was used for the hospital scenes, selected for the black and white checkered flooring. And of course, the woods and rivers in Pender County made an excellent backdrop for battle scenes and more.

In Hampstead, at the end of Lewis Road, is a boathouse beside the Wildlife Resources Boat Launch. This building was burned in Domestic Disturbance by Vince Vaughn in his attempt to kill John Travolta. We would recommend not visiting on a weekend when so many boaters line up to launch. But you can park in the lot and take a photo if you wish.

There are so many more locations for films and television shots in Pender County. We have dedicated more Burgaw locations on our Hometown Hollywood Walking Tour. The tour features locations from movies such as Tammy with Melissa McCarthy, Freedom Song with Danny Glover, Silver Bullet by Stephen King, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. There’s more! So, check it out today!