The 5 Coolest Movies Shot in San Antonio

Ever get the vague sense that something in a movie looks familiar? Well, you’ve likely walked right through some of cinema’s more mainstream sets and never knew it. Or maybe you did. In either case, here’s a list of some of the coolest movies ever to set up camp in San Antonio.

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

The utter, absurd silliness of Pee-wee Herman’s big day out made 1985 a lot funnier than it would have otherwise been. And San Antonio made a perfect backdrop for Hollywood’s favorite goth filmmaker, Tim Burton, whose entire career was launched from the back of Pee-wee’s bike, zipping through the streets of Alamo City.


Miss Congeniality

Speaking of funny (and silly), Sandra Bullock’s biggest comedy hit, about an FBI agent staking out the Miss United States beauty pageant, was shot almost entirely in San Antonio. Unlike in a lot of films, the city was not a stand-in for another. The filmmakers set the pageant here and used the beautiful surroundings to spot-on effect.


The Getaway (1972)

Any movie with Steve McQueen in it is cool enough to add to any cool list. But The Getaway, a film about a an ex-con and his wife on the run after a bank heist, is a genuine classic. Maybe San Antonio doesn’t look exactly the same as it did during the Nixon years, but you’ll still recognize many of the locations.


Spy Kids

When Robert Rodriguez ventured from Mexican gangster flicks to kids movies, his childlike imagination came up with some of the coolest set pieces ever aimed at the grade school set. And San Antonio charmed him enough to shoot much of the movie here.



What’s a film from 1927 doing on a list like this? Simple. Wings was the first film to ever win a Best Picture Oscar. And that’s just cool. The movie, if you have a taste for silent films, is certainly worth a look ‒‒ an epic (and in many ways still unmatched) depiction at aerial combat in World War I. You might not recognize much in the sets, but Wings definitely shot in San Antonio. Posted by Richard Soto on
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