visit the film locations
Visit: the the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Avenue (tel: 412.622.3131)
Dine at: the Grand Concourse Restaurant, located in the beautifully restored Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Station, 100 West Station Square Drive (tel: 412.261.1717)
Visit: the Duquesne Incline, 1197 West Carson Street (tel: 412.381.1943)
Flashdance location: Alex nervously applies to audition: Carnegie Institute, Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh
It’s clearly filmed around the Steel City, with Adrian Lyne’s visuals rendering the gritty urban environment strangely appealing.
In fact, a couple of Los Angeles locations are craftily sneaked in. Aspiring performers needn’t bother seeking out ‘Mawby’s’, the blue-collar bar with an oddly indulgent appreciation of modern dance (especially when performed by athletic young women in skimpy outfits). This was no more than an empty store on Fifth Street at Los Angeles Street in a scruffy area of downtown.
Also in downtown LA, a few blocks to the south, was the church where Alex attends confession, which was St Joseph Catholic Church, 218 East 12th Street at South Los Angeles Street. Severely damaged by fire in the 80s, St Joseph’s was demolished and a completely new church has since been erected on the site.
Most of the rest, though, is the real Pittsburgh, introduced as Alex cycles across the graceful, wave-like Smithfield Street Bridge across the Monongahela River into the city from her home in Fineview (which is – erm – north of the city, across the Allegheny River).
Alex backs out of applying for a dance audition at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Avenue, in Oakland, the city’s academic and cultural heart, east of downtown. She flees through the museum’s Hall of Sculpture, but don’t worry – she'll be back.
Flashdance location: Alex visits Hanna for encouragement: South 21st Street, Southside Flats, Pittsburgh
The home of Alex’s mentor Hanna (Lilia Skala) is south of the Monongahela River in Southside Flats, near the Birmingham Bridge. The address of the house is 2100 Sidney Street, though the formerly photogenic entrance seen in the film is just around the corner on South 21st Street. Disappointingly, the fancy green porch has been removed leaving the property looking a little dull.
The huge clock in the background is that of the old Duquesne Brewery, on 21st Street at Mary Street. The largest single-face clock in the world when it was built in 1933, AT&T recently bought the rights to advertise on the clockface, which now displays the company’s logo.
Flashdance location: Alex enjoys a lobster meal with Nick: Grand Concourse Restaurant, Station Square, Pittsburgh
Also south of the Monongahela, at the foot of the Smithfield Street Bridge, you’ll find the imposing Edwardian brass and mahogany restaurant in which Alex’s meal with her hunky boss Nick Hurley (Michael Nouri) is disrupted by his ex-wife. Situated within the beautifully restored Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Station, it’s the Grand Concourse Restaurant, 100 West Station Square Drive, which you can also see in Kevin Smith’s 1999 religious satire Dogma.
Flashdance location: Alex visits Hanna: Duquesne Incline, West Carson Street, Pittsburgh
Photograph: wikimedia / Plastikspork
Opposite Station Square, developed as a glitzy shopping mall and dining complex, stands the entrance to the Monongahela Incline, the short but steep railway that will quickly transport you to the summit of Mount Washington. A little further west, its twin, the Duquesne Incline, 1197 West Carson Street, is the one Alex rides on her way to visit Hanna. Opened in 1877, the Incline is an absolute must for the first time visitor, giving a spectacular view of Pittsburgh’s layout, nestled like a mini-Manhattan between the two rivers as they flow together to form the Ohio River.