***Please note the following information regarding Ghostbusters Afterlife filming locations includes mild spoilers.***
The long awaited Ghostbusters: Afterlife returns to the original Ghostbusters universe, over 30 years since the release of Ghostbusters 2. The movie was delayed several times due to theatre closures during the Covid 19 Pandemic. It is officially opened on November 19, 2021.
Unlike the first 2 films, Ghostbusters Afterlife takes place in Summerville, Oklahoma. This small town is a departure from the previous location of New York City, and the story follows Egon’s daughter and grandchildren as they move to his old farmhouse and discover the history of the Ghostbusters.
The town of Summerville is fictional, and a variety of locations in and around Calgary, Alberta were used to film Summerville. Between my own research and some connections, I was able to identify a lot of locations used for filming before the movie was released. In early September 2021, I took a trip to Alberta to visit the locations. This was my first time photographing locations prior to a movie being released, and I’m very pleased that my research paid off, as I visited all the locations.
I was able to attend an advance screening, and one thing that really impressed me was how seamlessly the editors combined the locations. Some of the scenes featuring Ecto-1 transition from Crossfield to Drumheller to Fort MacLeod with ease. Another thing that strikes me about the area is how beautiful it is. Some of the scenery, particularly the Badlands surrounding the Drumheller area, is absolutely stunning. I’d highly encourage anyone to spend some time in the region.
Fort MacLeod makes a short but dramatic appearance in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The town appears in scenes of Phoebe, Trevor, and Podcast tracking down the Muncher ghost. This is where we see the Muncher eating a fire hydrant outside the Queens Hotel. Ecto-1 gives chase down 24th Street. Inexperienced with a proton pack, Phoebe causes significant destruction to the street as well as the Empress Theatre.
One of the towns used to portray the town of Summerville is Crossfield, Alberta, about 30 minutes north of Calgary. A number of Crossfield locations were used in the film.
Along Railway Street, the first location is Crossfield Automotive. This is where we see the kids reclaiming Ecto 1 after it was impounded. They race out of the garage and around the corner, in a throwback to a similar scene in the original film.
Summerville Sheriff’s Department
The Summerville Sheriff’s Office is directly adjacent to the garage. This building was dressed as a police station for the movie, which you can see in this Youtube clip. This building was also used as a filming location in Brokeback Mountain.
Before the set was taken down, it was captured by Google Streetview, as you can see here.
Filming also took place inside, but as you can see here, the building currently sits empty.
Stay Puft Wall Mural
A Stay Puft Marshmallow advertising mural was painted on the side of a building just across from the Sheriff’s Office. It can be seen as Ecto-1 races by.
This mural was removed after filming, but not before also being captured by Google Streetview.
The movie features a scene of Callie and Mr. Grooberson eating in a Chinese Restaurant. This is Enjoy Garden, a real restaurant along Railway Street. It’s located just a couple stores down from the mural.
The Ghostbusters: Afterlife school scenes were filmed at W.G. Murdoch School in Crossfield. If you visit, please remember to be respectful of schools, and any location with children. You can find some of my tips and guidelines here.
The Hardware Store
We see a brief scene of Callie shopping in a hardware store. These scenes were filmed at a former Benjamin Moore store that now appears to be closed.
The town of Drumheller is located in the Alberta Badlands. A popular tourist area, the Badlands are home to one of the worlds largest concentrations of dinosaur fossils. The rugged landscape makes it an ideal setting for the film.
While not featured in the movie, if you visit, I highly suggest stopping by the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. There is no indication that it appears in the film, but it’s well worth a visit.
Main Street and Cinema
3rd Avenue is the main street running through Drumheller, and is lined with shops, restaurants, and the Napier Theatre, a cinema dating to 1953. Filming took place all along 3rd Ave and Centre Street. We see scenes of Phoebe and Podcast walking down the sidewalk, the Ecto-1 racing down the street, and scenes of ghosts terrifying some background actors.
Summerville Water Tower
Establishing shots over Summerville feature the Drumheller Water Tower. The Drumheller name is replaced to say Summerville, of course. You can view the water tower from numerous locations in town.
Trevor and friends visit an old mine elevator which was set up on the top of a mountain. These scenes were filmed just north of Drumheller at Horsethief Canyon. The mine elevator was just a prop set for filming. This stunning location is free to visit, but the wind is pretty strong, so hold on to your hats.
About 30 minutes south of Drumheller is the small hamlet of Dorothy. Below are two locations in Dorothy that are featured in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
The first location is Highway 570, near 1st Street. This location is featured as Ecto-1 drives along the highway past an old grain elevator.
The bridge on Highway 848 that crosses the Red Deer River also appears in the film. The images show a sign indicating that the bridge is part of the entrance to Shandor Mines.
The movie features a restaurant called Spinner’s Diner, where Lucky and later Trevor work. This filming location can be found in Beiseker, Alberta. According to Google Maps, it was once known as Apple Pie Diner and Gas Station. However when I visited, I noted the building appeared to be abandoned. The sign says Dutch Auto Corp. but is closed and has a For Rent sign up. The production made significant adjustments, adding signs and a canopy.
Across the street we see the Beiseker Municipal Building and Museum in the background, with a train car and caboose on display out front. We also get a look at 6 Street as Ecto 1 races down and past Spinner’s Diner.
Anderson Estates Apartments
The Anderson Estates Apartment Building in Calgary appears briefly in one of the trailers, as Callie and her kids have to vacate their apartment. We see them walking with luggage away from the building. Oddly, this scene isn’t featured in the final version of the film. Once the movie is released on home video, it may be shown in the deleted scenes.
This location was also where Jason Reitman posted a picture of himself with the cast. The buildings across the street are in the background of this phot.
The Walmart at the Deerfoot City Shopping Centre in Calgary makes a significant appearance in the film. This is the location where Mr. Grooberson first encounters the Mini Pufts. We then see him being chased out of the store by a terror dog.
I was happy to see a variety of Ghostbusters toys available in the store. I wonder if the store will have a special display to feature these products when the movie opens???
The farmhouse belonging to Egon Spengler was located on an empty lot in a rural area south of Calgary. The farmhouse and barn were built exclusively for the film, and was torn down after filming. While I didn’t get a chance to see it, Reddit user IAMKEVINSMITH works nearby and allowed me to share his photo.
Turner Valley Gas Plant
Another location featured in the movie is the Turner Valley Gas Plant. This is where Phoebe and Podcast try out the proton pack, and first encounter the Muncher ghost. Production filmed both interior and exterior shots here. While the location is generally open for public tours, it is currently closed until 2022 due to Covid precautions. Because it was closed when I visited the area, I wasn’t able to go see it. I had a lot of locations to visit and was running short on time due to a delayed flight.
If you are interested in learning more or visiting in 2022, you can find more info on their official website. The following photos were kindly provided by the Turner Valley Gas Plant Provincial Historic Site.
Calgary Film Centre
All the interior sets used the soundstages at the Calgary Film Centre. This facility may not have the history of some of the classic Hollywood studios, but the filming of Ghostbusters: Afterlife will give it some serious street cred!
I hope you enjoyed Ghostbusters Afterlife as much as I did. It was really well done, and was a good continuation of the legacy of the original films. I really enjoyed visiting the filming locations, and it was very cool to see them on the big screen.