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Where Was The Shining Actually Filmed?

Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film "The Shining," based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, is one of the most famous horror movies of all time — and is consistently considered one of the best. Jack Nicholson stars as Jack Torrance, a writer and recovering alcoholic who takes a job as the off-season caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. For the gig, he and his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall), along with their son Danny (Danny Lloyd), move into the deserted, isolated hotel for the wintertime. The entire family soon begins experiencing haunting and strange occurrences, especially young Danny, who has a psychic ability known as "the shining."

The Overlook Hotel and its aesthetics are essential to the success of "The Shining," to say the least. Everything from the graphic hexagon carpet to the bright red elevator doors helps to invoke an eerie and unsettling feeling. As fans know, in the film, the Overlook Hotel is in the Colorado Rockies. But was the movie actually shot there? 

Most of The Shining was shot on a film set

Despite the story being inspired by a real-life hotel — Stephen King was partially inspired by a stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado — most of "The Shining" was ultimately not filmed at a real hotel location, as reported by MovieLocations.com. Instead, a set was built at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England to create all of the interiors of the Overlook Hotel. Further, according to the Guardian, many scenes taking place outside were filmed in the backlot of Elstree Studios.

When looking for inspiration for the interiors, Kubrick and the creative team turned to Ahwahnee Hotel, which is in Yosemite National Park in California. However, for the exterior shots of the Overlook Hotel itself, a real hotel was in fact used. They used the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon for all of the exterior shots that show the Overlook.

Between inspirations and actual shooting locations, quite a few moving parts went into creating the disturbing and haunting Overlook Hotel — and there's no doubt that everyone involved nailed the creepy aesthetic and made the film all the better for it.