It: Chapter One, is based on the Stephen King horror novel It. There was a mini-series aired in 1990, but this 2017 production is the first theatrical adaption.
The story is set in the fictional town of Derry, Maine. For filming, the production was based in Toronto, Ontario. Toronto’s varied neighbourhoods are often used to fill in as other locations, such as Baltimore in Hairspray, and Cleveland in A Christmas Story.
Downtown Port Hope
The story takes place in the fictional town of Derry, Maine. The small town of Port Hope, Ontario was chosen for filming due to it’s quaint downtown area which could easily to transformed into the 1980s.
The opening shot of the town of Derry was filmed from Mill Street, looking down Walton Street into the town. There is also a river flowing through the town at this spot.
Many areas of downtown Port Hope were used for filming. The intersection of Walton Street and Queen Street is where many shots were set up. This includes many shots of the Capitol Theatre, a cinema built in 1930.
A small alley leading off Walton Street, just across from Queen Street, was used to film a number of scenes through the film. When I visited, the mural in the alley looks like it’s been redone, or at least touched up a lot.
Adjacent to the downtown area is Memorial Park. This park has a bandshell stage, which was seen in several shots, and featured in the trailers for It: Chapter Two as well.
The Port Hope Town Hall is also featured in the film, doubling as the Derry Town Hall. As it is just south of Memorial Park, it was a logical choice to feature in the film.
One shot features the main characters riding their bikes down a hill towards the town hall, seen in the distance. This scene was filmed at the corner of Augusta Street and John Street.
The Abandoned House
The old house, appearing haunted, was not in Port Hope, but in the nearby city of Oshawa, Ontario. An empty lot was picked to build the facade of this house, partly because of the field across the street, allowing crews to set up cameras and get wide shots. After filming, the facade of the house was torn down and the lot remains empty.
I’d like to give a shoutout to the Atlas of Wonders site, which has a great rundown of many of the locations from It, and helped me track some down. I actually visited the locations without having seen the film, so their site was a big help. Please check out their site!
While this site is a hobby, it does cost me out-of-pocket to keep the site going. You can help support the site by clicking the link below and shopping on amazon. Thanks for all the support!