If you have not seen the 1987 romantic comedy, Roxanne, then you really should seek it out.
As a modern retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac starring Daryl Hannah and Steve Martin, who also adapted it, the film features several real locations.
Though you may want to steer away from trying to recreate Martin’s nose makeup, some of the locations used in the film can still be visited today though you have to head to Canada and not the United States where the film is portrayed to be set.
The film is one of Steve Martin’s funniest comedies and remains a gentle comedy that has stood the test of time.
Though it may be tough to find on streaming services, the locations where Roxanne was filmed can be found if you want to seek them out.
The Famous Bar Scene
One of the best scenes in the film, Roxanne, can still be recreated. At 524 Vernon Street in the city of Nelson, you can find Jackson’s Hole & Grill. In the film, this is the location used for Dixie’s Cafe which features a famous scene performed by the film’s lead; Steve Martin.
To this day, the restaurant still makes an atmospheric setting for a worthwhile meal in a gorgeous restored and historic building.
In the summer of 1986, the city of Nelson in British Columbia was used as the setting for Steve Martin’s latest film, Roxanne.
Perhaps the most recognizable feature of the film is the local fire hall which Martin decided to use as a primary set.
The fire station can still be found at 919 Ward Street though the film did add a few elements to the building itself.
This spot is used in the film as C.D. Bales is a fire chief of a small town who has a huge nose and it’s a feature that he is most sensitive about.
The All Things Dead shop in the film is actually an antique shop that was recently known as Kootenay Exchange at 348 Baker Street.
One of the bars featured in the film can be found at 506 Vernon Street and the brick wall exterior and small windows still make it relatively easy to spot when you walk through the town.
One confusing element may be that though the film was shot in Canada, Roxanne, is portrayed as being set in the United States.
That means the mailboxes are shown in the blue of USPS, not the red of Canada Post which may be noticeable at 298 Baker Street where Charlie posts a letter.
Thankfully, this proved quite easy for the film’s production crew to sort out as only a couple of mailboxes were needed to make the audience think the film was set in the United States.
A building that did not require too much alteration was Roxanne’s House which can be found at 1020 Sugar Mountain Way in Anmore which is also in British Columbia though it is around 40 minutes from downtown Vancouver.
Vancouver also provided a further location for shots that were used in the film.
This was Richard’s on Richards which was a legendary nightclub and was locally known as ‘Dick’s on Dick’.
The City Of Nelson
If you did want to recreate some scenes from the film, Roxanne, then you need to get yourself to British Columbia.
Nelson is known as the ‘Queen City’ of the Kootenays and is found in the Selkirk Mountains.
As a mountain town, Nelson has many restored historic buildings from the city’s time during the silver rush. However, there is plenty to do there currently too.
Try a drive across the International Selkirk Loop, a hike to Pulpit Rock, or a trip to Whitewater Ski Resort.
There are a few tracks for mountain biking, you could stand under the Big Bridge, or simply try to find some of the locations used in the film.
It may be easier simply to take a walking tour as the city of Nelson has been used for other location shoots in films such as The Age of Adaline (2105), The Tall Man (2012),Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (1995), Snow Falling on Cedars (1999), and Nervous (2005).
Frequently Asked Questions
Did Roxanne Win any Awards?
Roxanne was nominated for several awards including a Golden Globe.
Though it did not win one for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical for Steve Martin, he did win three awards for the film.
This included Best Actor which was awarded by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, he also won the same accolade when it was awarded by the National Society of Film Critics.
Martin also won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay based on material from another medium.
What are Roxanne’s Links to Cyrano de Bergerac?
If you are familiar with the 1897 verse play, Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, then you should see the similarities between the plot of that play and the film, Roxanne.
Apart from the comically large nose sported by Steve Martin, the character he plays has initials that mimic the French lead as he is named Charlie ‘C.D.’ Bales. In Roxanne, Charles is sensitive about his nose and falls in love with an astronomy PhD student who is named Roxanne Kowalski.
Unfortunately, the female lead is already physically attracted to another man, Chris McConnell, but she adores Bales as a friend.
Just like Cyrano de Bergerac, the witty, large-nosed character is convinced to write a letter to the woman on behalf of the man Roxanne is actually attracted to.
Charlie also has to feed McConnell words when he meets up with Roxanne, as well as write several more letters to her.
Eventually, the secret reveals itself which results in Charlie and Roxanne having a big fight to which they then reconcile by the film’s climax.
Though Roxanne is not that widely known as a film, it is still one of Steve Martin’s most widely acclaimed comedies.
The film is set in the United States yet was filmed in the city of Nelson which is in British Columbia, Canada.
The film was released in 1987 and mimics Cyrano de Bergerac with a lead character who has a comically large nose and has to write letters to the woman he loves on behalf of a friend to stoke a romance he is, tragically, not involved in.
If you are a fan of the film then you can still find several filming locations in Nelson including the fire hall, a shop, and a restaurant.
If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘Where Was For Your Eyes Only Filmed?‘.