10 Shooting Locations Of Nolan’s Oppenheimer In USA You Must Definitely Visit!

'Oppenheimer' swept the floor by winning big at the Oscars 2024 with 7 out of 13 nominations!

by Curly Tales Desk
10 Shooting Locations Of Nolan’s Oppenheimer In USA You Must Definitely Visit!

Christopher Nolan is a renowned British-American filmmaker known for his distinctive storytelling style, complex narratives, and visually stunning films.  After making masterpieces like Inception, Interstellar, and Dunkirk, that wooed the entire world, he is back with a creation everyone is holding their breath for. His latest work, Oppenheimer, just won big at the Oscars 2024! Oppenheimer is best known for his involvement in the Manhattan Project during World War II, and this movie unfurls his story in front of the world. While you re-watch this film, plan a visit to these Oppenheimer’s shooting locations!

10 Oppenheimer Shooting Locations In The USA

The filming for the movie began in 2022, primarily in the US state of New Mexico and its surroundings. Add these locations to your itinerary for America right away:

1. Los Alamos

Los Alamos
Photo Credits: Canva

Los Alamos is where the primary research and development facility for the Manhattan Project was located. Oppenheimer served as the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, overseeing the scientific efforts to develop the atomic bomb. Major sequences of this upcoming movie were shot in this area. 

The production crew built specialised sets in this beautiful town to create an environment resembling the era. While you travel to the town, you must visit the Bradbury Science Museum and learn about the history and science behind the development of the atomic bomb at this interactive museum. The town also offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

An interesting fact, Nolan used the original house of Robert Oppenheimer in the film! From 1943 to 1945, he lived in that house with his family. Many of the dinner parties for scientists were hosted here. Nolan is known for his perfection and going to lengths to showcase authenticity is amazing.

2. Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Photo Credits: Canva

Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico and was the headquarters of the Manhattan Project’s administrative offices. Oppenheimer had a residence in Santa Fe and often commuted between Santa Fe and Los Alamos. In the movie, the desert landscapes of the town were used to shoot the prominent bomb detonation scene.

Take a trip to Santa Fe Plaza, the heart of the city and a National Historic Landmark. Take a leisurely stroll, admire the architecture, and browse the many shops, galleries, and boutiques in the area. Immerse yourself in the art of Georgia O’Keeffe, one of America’s most renowned artists. 

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3. University of California (UC), Berkeley

University of California
Photo Credits: Canva

Oppenheimer was a professor at UC Berkeley and played a significant role in the development of nuclear physics. He conducted research and made notable contributions to the field before his involvement in the Manhattan Project. The university served as a key filming location for this biopic, whether it was LeConte Hall, where his office was located. Take a walk through the campus to appreciate the stunning architecture and the iconic sites included in the movie.

4. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Photo Credits: Canva

Oppenheimer was once a faculty member at the prestigious university, and hence, it was one of the most important shooting locations for the upcoming movie. If you decide to visit this Oppenheimer shooting location, don’t miss Westwood Village, which offers a variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. 

5. Princeton University

Princeton University, New Jersey
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

After the Manhattan Project, Oppenheimer continued his work in academia and made important contributions to theoretical physics. Some of the scenes featuring Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr. were shot at East Pyne Hall. It is known for its beautiful gothic-style building and the actual university was used for filming. Apart from the university, the streets of New Jersey were used for shooting as well. If you wish to explore the historic and picturesque campus, join a guided tour.

Also Read: These 4 Stunning Real-Life Filming Locations Of Dune 2 Should Be On Your Bucketlist

6. Institute for Advanced Study

This one is located near Princeton University and this is where Robert and his wife, Katherine Oppenheimer lived at the director’s house from 1947 until 1966. This university was a significant part of his life. Consequently, it was one of the most significant shooting locations for Oppenheimer. You can see the interiors and exteriors of this director’s house in the film. Nolan also used Albert Einstein’s former office where Robert and Albert worked after World War II. Nolan acquired permission to change stuff around in Einstein’s office.

7. Civilian Women’s Dormitory

While filming for the scenes of the Manhattan Project, Civilian Women’s Dormitory was one such real filming location for Oppenheimer. T-101 was for women’s section and  T-178 was for men. Now, only one such dormitory room is kept as a reminder of the Manhattan Project’s civilian infrastructure and that is T-101. If you plan on visiting here, then you will be amazed to see this dormitory oversees pretty national parks, some national monuments and historical and recreational properties.

8. Lamy Train Station

This train station was filmed for Oppenheimer and was the first stop for scientists of Project Y. According to reports, this station was built back in 1909 and during the period of the Manhattan Project, this railway station acted as a primary getaway for all. From here, scientists had to make their way to Los Alamos after checking past with their top-secret clearance passes. Secret agents much?

9. Fuller Lodge

This real-life filming location of Oppenheimer has great facts like it was built using more than 700 Ponderosa pines from the forests nearby. It was built in 1928 and was designed by architect John Gaw Meem. It is said that The Manhattan Project bought it to work on their secret project to develop the first atomic bomb. Hence, it provided accommodations to scientists and hosted various events. Currently, this lodge serves as a community centre that hosts weddings, lectures and many such programs. Ironic to think that this place that contributed to the development of the atomic bomb now holds weddings!

10. Millennium Biltmore Hotel

If you are yet to watch the film, honestly, what are you doing, go watch it now! But if you caught the trailer earlier, might have seen this hotel. Scenes with Cillian Murphy and Matt Damon were filmed at the pretty Millennium Biltmore Hotel, a five-star hotel. This hotel opened its doors in 1923 and celebrated a century last year. It is an iconic location for filming and previously, ‘Fight Club’ and ‘Ghostbusters’ were filmed here. 

Also Read: Still In Awe Of The Gorgeous Locations Of Netflix’s ‘One Day’? These Are 6 Real Filming Locations

So, have you watched this masterpiece yet?

Cover Image Courtesy: Website/IMDb

Inputs by Mallika Khurana and Ankita Mazumdar

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