Where was The Shining filmed? Uncovering the horror classic's locations

Where was The Shining filmed? Uncovering the horror classic's locations

The Shining is a horror classic that came out in 1980 but continues to captivate audiences. The cinematic adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name was directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. Uncover where The Shining was filmed and its effect on overall production.

Where was The Shining filmed?
Jack from The Shining towards the end of the horror classic (R). Photo: @fredforthemets/@atrightmovies on X (modified by author)
Source: UGC


The Shining has an 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.4/10 rating on IMDB. The plot revolves around a family that goes to the isolated Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rocky Mountains for winter. The setting of Overlook is based on the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, which is thought to be haunted in real life.

Where was The Shining actually filmed? 

Stanley Kubrick shot the horror classic in different places, combining real and constructed locations. The exterior of the Overlook Hotel was mainly filmed in Oregon at the Timberline Lodge. 

The Shining interior shots were primarily done in England at Elstree Studios but were based on real locations. Below is a breakdown of all the exterior and interior locations; 

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The Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon, USA

The Timberline Lodge in Oregon
The exterior of the Timberline Lodge. Photo: @y2john84 on X (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The front of the Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon, served as the exterior of The Overlook Hotel in The Shining. In Stephen King's book, the Overlook's design was based on The Stanley Hotel in Estes, Colorado. Stanley was built in 1909 by Freelan Oscar Stanley.  

When Kubrick was adapting The Shining for cinema, he found the Timberline Lodge to be a perfect representation of the exterior architecture that he was looking for. The lodge was built in 1937 and stands at 6000 feet on Mt. Hood in Oregon. 

In his previous interview with Michel Ciment, Kubrick revealed that the Timberline management requested that they switch from room 217 (as highlighted in the novel) to room 237 

The exterior of the hotel was filmed at the Timberline Lodge near Mount Hood, in Oregon. It had a room 217 but no room 237, so the hotel management asked me to change the room number because they were afraid their guests might not want to stay in room 217 after seeing the film. 

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Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, England

Elstree Studios, England
Scenes from The Shining shot at Elstree Studios. Photo: @reedusxarmy on X (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Though based in the United States, the majority of The Shining was filmed outside the country. The interior of The Overlook Hotel was shot at Elstree Studios in England but mimicked real-life places. 

The hotel's interior design was based on the design of the Ahwahnee Hotel, which was recreated in the studio. Ahwahnee is located in Yosemite National Park near Yosemite Valley in California. 

The filmmakers also recreated Durkin's store, the ranger station, Dick Halloran's place in Miami, the interior of Hallorann's plane, and Torrance's Boulder apartment. The backside of the Timberline Lodge was not exclusively shot on location but was partly reconstructed on stage.

The hedge maze towards the end of the film was not originally at the Stanley Hotel and was not in King's book. The director had it designed at the old MGM Borehamwood Studios. Today, the Stanley Hotel has a maze inspired by the film. 

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Boulder, Colorado 

The Shining's location is based in Colorado, but only one scene was shot in the area. Jack and his family lived in Boulder, Colorado, before he became Overlook Hotel's winter caretaker. The scene's exterior was filmed at an apartment complex in Boulder, while the interior scenes were shot on set at Elstree Studios. 

Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

The Shining filming locations
Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana as seen from Stanley Kubrick's film, The Shining. Photo: @brianimator_ on X (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Viewers can see the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana, in the film's opening sequence as Jack's car enters the Overlook Hotel. The road runs along the Western shore of Saint Mary Lake.

Shots of Wild Goose Island were also included. Michael Stevenson and other crew members tried to film at Colorado Mountain, but they found the footage to be dull. 

Stansted Airport, London 

The shot of Dick Halloran on the payphone at the airport talking to Larry Durkin was filmed at the Stansted Airport in London. The pay phones seen in the scene were American. Director Stanley had them shipped to England to ensure the film's authenticity. 

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Royal Free Hospital, London

The Royal Free Hospital scene
The Shining hospital scene was deleted after the first release. Photo: @stanleykubrick on X (modified by author)
Source: UGC

After Wendy and Danny escape The Overlook, they are taken to an actual hospital, the Royal Free Hospital in London. The scene appeared on the screens during the initial showings after its release but was later removed from the film.  

Editor Jay Friedkin later revealed that Kubrick wanted a different reaction from the audience when he removed the scene. 

The way he described it was, he had watched screenings with and without this scene. He said that when the hospital scene was cut out, there was a buzz in the room. People were jazzed up. Some applauded and they stayed through the whole credits. When it was in, the audience kind of quietly left the film throughout the credits. So he just felt like it did the wrong thing. 

Stanley Kubrick surveyed hundreds of places to find the perfect scene 

Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick is often described as a perfectionist. He sent a team, including production designer Roy Walker and several location researchers, to document different spaces in the US.  

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In his 1980 interview with Vicente Molina Foix, Stanley explained how he and Walker put everything together. His goal was to ensure every aspect of the set looked real.

I think also because in order to make people believe the story, it's very important to place it in something that looks totally real and to light it as if it were virtually a documentary film, with natural light coming from the light sources, rather than dramatic, phony lighting, which one normally sees in a horror film... And I think that in the sets it's very important they just be very real, and very uninteresting architecturally, because it just means there are more compositions and more corners to go around. But they must look real. Every detail in those sets comes from photographs of real places very carefully copied.
Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick on set
Director Stanley Kubrick on the set of the film 'Barry Lyndon'. Photo: Screen Archive
Source: Getty Images


Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of The Shining continues to captivate audiences with its unsettling atmosphere and haunting imagery. Here are some frequently asked questions about the classic's filming location; 

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Was The Shining filmed at Timberline Lodge? 

Only The Shining exterior scene of the Overlook Hotel was filmed at Timberline Lodge, Oregon. The scenes inside the hotel were recreated at a film studio. 

Was the Stanley Hotel used in The Shining

The real Stanley Hotel inspired the creation of Stephen King's book, The Shining, and formed the basis for the film. However, it was not used as a filming location. 

Was a real hotel used in The Shining

A real hotel, the Timberline Lodge, was used for the exterior shots of the Overlook Hotel. The interiors were inspired by the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park in California and were recreated at Elstree Studios. 

What hotels was The Shining filmed in? 

The Overlook Hotel in The Shining was created by the director based on the Stanley Hotel. Its exteriors feature the Timberline Lodge, while its interiors are inspired by different locations across the US, including the interior designs of Ahwahnee Hotel. 

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Where was The Shining filmed in Colorado? 

The horror film is set in Colorado, but only one scene was actually filmed on location in the state. The exterior of the apartment that Jack lived in before moving to the Overlook Hotel was shot in Boulder, Colorado. 

Where did they film The Shining bar scene? 

The bar scene featuring Jack and Llyod, the bartender, was filmed on a set constructed at Elstree Studios. There were speculations that it was filmed at the American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood, but the crew from The Shining previously revealed no part of the film was shot in Hollywood.

The Torrance family in The Shining
Jack with his wife, Wendy and son Danny. Photo: @fredforthemets on X (modified by author)
Source: UGC

The Shining filming locations were carefully crafted, making the movie one of Stanley Kubrick's best creations in the horror genre. In 2018, the film was selected by the Library Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

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READ ALSO: Is the Netflix movie Incantation a true story or just made-up events? 

Briefly.co.za highlighted the story behind the creation of the Netflix film Incantation. The Taiwanese horror is loosely based on real events that happened to a family of cult worshippers in Kaohsiung.

The Incantation movie is one of Taiwanese highest-grossing horror films. Check the article for more on the incidents that inspired this Kevin Ko-directed project.

Source: Briefly News

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Alice Wabwile (Lifestyle writer) Alice Wabwile is a multifaceted content creator and Project Assistant at AfDAN, boasting over four years of experience. Holding a BCom degree from the University of Nairobi School of Business, she has cultivated a dynamic skill set through roles such as her tenure at Strathmore University's Data Science Department, where she contributed significantly to research. Recognized for her exceptional talent, she clinched the Writer of the Year Award. Beyond her professional endeavours, Alice is an engaged member of the Rotaract Club of Kabete. For inquiries, reach out to her at alicenjoro01@gmail.com

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