John Waters Movie Locations in Baltimore

John Waters
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Baltimore is John Waters' hometown and the place where all his films are set. For those looking to check out some places where John Waters' cult classics were filmed--or maybe even have the opportunity to bump into the "Pope of Trash" himself--these locations are known to have connections to the notable Baltimorean.

American Visionary Art Museum

800 Key Hwy.
Dedicated to showcasing self-taught art, the American Visionary Art Museum near the Inner Harbor features a 10-foot statue of drag queen Divine, a dear friend of John Waters who was cast in six of the director's films: "Mondo Trasho" (1969), "Multiple Maniacs" (1970), "Pink Flamingos" (1972); "Female Trouble" (1974); "Polyester" (1981); and "Hairspray" (1988). John Waters is a huge supporter of the museum and sits on its National Advisory Board.

Atomic Books

3620 Falls Rd.
This independent bookstore is the official place where John Waters' fan mail is sent. He comes by occasionally to pick it up, but if you miss him, the bookstore is where you can pick up everything from John Waters' books and movies to art prints and postcards, like one featuring his trademark pencil mustache.

Bengies Drive-In Theatre

3417 Eastern Blvd.
In "Cecil B. Demented," Cecil (Stephen Dorff) and his camera crew take over the projection room at this drive-in theater, which he uses to excite moviegoers into a frenzy. The drive-in theater shows the latest Hollywood blockbusters on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, and on some nights it screens classic cartoons, vintage trailers, and intermission clips.

Calvert Hall College High School

8102 Lasalle Rd.
As a teenage boy, John Water received an 8mm film camera from his grandmother and began shooting films with his friends around Baltimore. Die-hard fans can stop by John Waters' alma mater, this high school in Towson. John Waters later graduated from Boys' Latin School of Maryland.

Charles Theater

1711 North Charles St.
John Waters is frequently spotted at this theater, which screens a mix of Hollywood blockbusters, independent films, and cinematic classics. The director is also known to have a drink at Club Charles (1724 North Charles St.), a bar across the street from the theater.

Holiday House

6427 Harford Rd.
Anyone who has seen John Waters' "A Dirty Shame" (2004) will recognize the Holiday House, a biker bar in the working class neighborhood of Hamilton. Ursula Udders (Selma Blair) worked as a topless dancer here.

Mergenthaler Vocational Technical School

3500 Hillen Rd.
Pretend you're a teenager in "Hairspray" when you stand outside this building, which was used for shots of the high school in the film.

Philly's Best

1101 W 36th St.
Filmed in 1998, "Pecker" was shot mostly in Hampden. Philly's Best is the sandwich shop where the 18-year-old protagonist, Pecker (Edward Furlong), works in the movie.

Rocket to Venus

3360 Chestnut Ave.
This retro-themed bar in Hampden is one of John Waters favorite watering holes. According to the Hampden Village Merchants Association, a fan who lives across the street asked John Waters to sign their house.

The Senator

5904 York Rd.
This historic single-screen art deco theater first opened to the public in 1939 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It was featured prominently in John Waters' "Cecil B Demented" and many of John Waters' film openings have been held here.

"The Avenue"

West 36th St.
"The Avenue" is a strip of cafes, vintage stores, art galleries, restaurants, and antique shops in Hampden, the neighborhood that exemplifies John Waters-inspired Baltimore. This is where many scenes in both "Hairspray" and "Pecker" were filmed. John Waters can often be spotted in Hampden, where he has a local studio and claims to have furnished many costumes from area vintage stores.

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