By now you're probably aware that Elf was filmed in Vancouver. It's one of the movies that shows up on almost every Hollywood North list. The Bay downtown has had a bit of a facelift since the scenes at "Gimbels" were filmed at the department store, but the escalator where Buddy does the splits is still there. And the Rankin and Bass-inspired North Pole was created inside the exhibition grounds of the PNE.
But what other Christmas classics were filmed in Vancouver? As it turns out, quite a few.
@girlofvancouver Fun fact: The movie ran out of budget so filmed partially in #vancouver ! #vancouverbc #hudsonsbay #vancouvercanada #hudsonsbaycompany #elf #christmasmovie #elfmovie #willferrell ♬ Elf - Main Theme - Geek Music
The Santa Clause 2
Tim Allen put on the Santa suit a second time in this 2002 follow-up to The Santa Clause but he didn't spend much time in the North Pole. Instead, he was traipsing all over Metro Vancouver in search of Mrs. Claus. Several schools were used in the making of the film, which centres on Santa falling for his son's principal including the now-named χpey̓ Elementary School on East Hastings, Kitsilano Secondary School, and Miller Park Community School in Coquitlam. The movie was also shot in Port Moody, New Westminster, and at Mammoth Studios in Burnaby.
Christmas with the Kranks
Another Tim Allen Christmas classic, Christmas with the Kranks was filmed primarily in California but Vancouver does have a brief cameo. The mall scenes where the couple is getting tanned for their cruise were shot in Pacific Centre.
Deck the Halls
Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick face off in this zany comedy about duelling neighbours in the fictional small town of Cloverdale, Massachusettes, except they filmed it entirely in Metro Vancouver, including at Mundy Park in Coquitlam and Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Westminster. The movie required multiple show scenes and so the two main houses were built on enclosed sound stages in White Rock which also allowed them to shoot night scenes during the day. Other scenes were filmed around Vancouver and Surrey.
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
Many families make a point of rewatching the 1992 classic The Muppet Christmas Carol; this is not that movie. Any Muppet movie however is, of course, iconic. This lesser-known 2002 entry into the Muppet movie franchise was not as well received as its predecessor but it was filmed at North Shore studios in North Vancouver.
In this more recent Disney movie, Anna Kendrick plays Santa's daughter on a mission to find her brother who has fled because he can't take the pressure of being Santa's successor. The movie takes place in the North Pole and Arizona and while some filming was done in the U.S., most of the principal photography took place in Vancouver and Whistler's Olympic Park. The exterior for the shelter in Phoenix was St. James Anglican Church on East Cordova.
Bonus: Two bad squeals
A Christmas Story 2
Did you know, that before the very well-received sequel to A Christmas Story came out this year, there was another terribly received one? A Christmas Story 2 was pretty universally panned but it did film at Pacific Central Station, Save-On-Meats, Riverview Hospital, in New Westminster for exterior shots of the Parker house, and Canadian Motion Picture Park Studios in Burnaby.
Home Sweet Home Alone
Last year, Disney+ released another installment in the Home Alone franchise, Home Sweet Home Alone. The movie didn't perform well with audiences but Vancouver was used for a couple of scenes to create a sense of city life, which stood in for Chicago, Illinois.
With files from Cameron Thomson