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A fan's guide to stargazing in Atlanta

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Since the Georgia Legislature enacted tax credits in 2008 to entice movie and television projects, we've been blessed (or besieged, depending on your perspective) with tons of filming projects. Here's a look at a few of Atlanta's most recognizable shooting spots, as well as a few places where visiting celebs like to dine and unwind.

If you have a sighting to report, or if you've passed a camera crew and are wondering what's up, email me at jbrett@ajc.com, or tweet me - @ajcBuzz

The Georgian Terrace, 659 Peachtree St. N.E.: Site of the 1939 premiere gala for "Gone With the Wind, " this historic gem is tailor-made for movie magic. Movies that have filmed there include "Identity Thief, " which is in theaters now and stars Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy; and the 2011 buddy flick "The Change-Up, " which starred Bateman and Ryan Reynolds.

The Biltmore Hotel, 50 Fifth St. N.E.: Built in 1924, it was the perfect spot for a period scene in "42, " the Jackie Robinson biopic starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford. When the movie comes out on April 12, look for the Biltmore during a banquet scene set in the 1940s-era Waldorf Astoria.

Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Drive S.E.: The movie "Trouble With the Curve" starred Clint Eastwood as an Atlanta Braves scout who eyes new talent on the field and meets with the brass upstairs. Amy Adams played his daughter and Justin Timberlake played his rival scout. Turner Field played itself and looked glorious onscreen.

Stone Mountain Park/Village, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain: The "Three Stooges" movie released last year by the Farrelly brothers wasn't set here (or anywhere). But it was clear to the audience that the movie, starring Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos, was filmed in Atlanta. Among the recognizable landmarks: Stone Mountain Park, done up to look like a zoo for the stooges. More recently, the CW show "The Vampire Diaries" has filmed small-town scenes in the village area.

Perimeter Mall, 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE: "Parental Guidance" filmed here at the site of the former Bloomingdale's (now Von Maur). "Identity Thief" filmed in the mall as well.

Ocee Park, 10900 Buice Rd in  Johns Creek: Also a filming site for "Parental Guidance."

The Marietta Square, downtown Marietta: There was very little to like about the gross-out sci-fi flick "The Watch," starring Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Ben Stiller and Richard Ayoade. The Marietta Square fountain did look lovely on the big screen in the movie's opening moments. Things went downhill pretty much right after that.

The Georgia World Congress Center, 285 International Blvd. N.W.: The cavernous building, with lots of glass windows affording plenty of natural light, not to mention easy highway access, was used for airport scenes in both the Billy Crystal-Bette Midler comedy "Parental Guidance, " which was released on Christmas Day, and "Madea's Witness Protection, " a 2012 comedy that starred Tyler Perry, Eugene Levy, Denise Richards and Tom Arnold. You can also look for it in the "Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire, " which filmed all over metro Atlanta last summer. The blockbuster starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland comes out Nov. 22.

Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W.: The Swan House was the site of a "Catching Fire" party scene.

Goat Farm Arts Center, 1200 Foster St. N.W.: Another "Catching Fire" filming location.

Piedmont Park: We thought the preggo-centric ensemble comedy starring Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Banks, Brooklyn Decker, Chace Crawford, Chris Rock and Rodrigo Santoro should have been called "What to Expect When You're Expecting ... and Hanging Out at Piedmont Park." Atlanta's verdant jewel showed up numerous times and looked positively radiant on the big screen. "Parental Guidance" featured a scene there with pro skateboarder Tony Hawk.

The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway: In the 2010 film adaptation of the play "For Colored Girls, " Janet Jackson's and Omari Hardwick's characters don't exactly have the greatest date night, but at least they're in a great place. The Cobb Energy Centre also was used for scenes in "Parental Guidance" and for the explosive finale of the first season of the AMC hit "The Walking Dead."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road N.E.: The 2011 movie "Contagion, " starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne and Matt Damon, was a biothriller about a scary virus that suddenly starts killing people all over the world. It featured scenes at the CDC. Director Steven Soderbergh and crew were allowed on campus to shoot exterior shots.

A few spots favored by celebs in their downtime

The Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St NW: The world's largest fish tank does a bang-up job arranging private, behind-the-scenes tours for visiting notables. Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Charlie Sheen, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy are among the folks who have stopped by to make new flippered or finned friends during visits to Atlanta.

Frank Ski's Restaurant and Lounge, 2110 Peachtree Rd NW: Actor Denzel Washington was here in late 2011 filming “Flight,” for which he earned a best-actor Oscar nomination. During his down time he checked in with radio personality and restaurateur Frank Ski’s place on Peachtree and posed for this photo, along with Ski, Dan Meachum and Tavon “Tayrok” Johnson.

Antico, 1093 Hemphill Ave. N.W.: Owen Wilson loved the pizza here so much that he autographed a pizza peel when he was in town last year filming "The Internship, " scheduled to hit theaters this June. Other fans include comic actor Chris Rock and NFL quarterback Tom Brady.

Watershed, 1820 Peachtree Road N.W.: Jane Fonda, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jennifer Lawrence, Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Rex Linn, Stephen Moyer and Robert Duvall are among the notables who have taken a shine to this upscale Southern comfort food mecca.

Flywheel, 102 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W.: Gyllenhaal and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow both have been spotted working out at the indoor cycling studio in Buckhead.

Ecco, 40 7th St NE: This place is a bold-name triple threat. Owen Wilson and Justin Timberlake are among the visiting stars who have been spotted there. Ryan Reynolds and Olivia Wilde filmed scenes for the movie "The Change-Up" there. And "Wanderlust," the Jennifer Aniston-Paul Rudd nudist-camp comedy, held its wrap party there.

South City Kitchen Midtown, 1144 Crescent Ave NE: You can't swing a fried catfish in here without hitting someone famous. Notable visitors have included Cameron Diaz, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Chris Rock, former First Lady Laura Bush and Charles Barkley. Locals Warrick Dunn, Usher and Jazze Pha have been known to stop by, too.

Chops, 70 W Paces Ferry Rd: Where to begin? This clubby haven was used as a filming site for "What To Expect When You're Expecting." It also served as a filming site for a television movie about Anna Nicole Smith. And when sometimes/part-time/sorta/kinda Atlanta resident Justin Bieber wanted to take his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez out for a sweet date night, this is where they went.

The St. Regis, 88 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W.: This grand hotel wins the Celeb-O-Lympics, as it is both a favorite hangout of visiting stars and a shooting site. Denzel Washington earned a best actor Oscar nomination for his role in "Flight, " which featured a key scene filmed there. "Drop Dead Diva, " the now-canceled Lifetime show, filmed there as well. Key figures spotted there having dinner or drinks include Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Lucy Liu, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Robert De Niro.


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