One of the biggest sitcoms of the 90s, The Drew Carey Show starred comedian Drew Carey as an office employee in a department store. The show took place in Cleveland, Ohio, and was filmed at the Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood.
Warner Bros. Studios Hollywood
While The Drew Carey Show was filmed on a soundstage at Warner Bros, a couple locations on the backlot were occasionally used. One of the houses on the residential street was used for shots outside of Drew’s house. In addition, the New York Street was used for a number of episodes as well.
Not part of the credits, but one location featured in the show is the Warsaw Tavern. While the tavern is fictional, they used a real Cleveland establishment. The building is Murphy’s Law, a bar and restaurant located in the Brookside neighbourhood.
The Drew Carey Show actually had several theme songs. In season 1 they used Moon over Parma, sung by Drew Carey himself. The 2nd season featured the cast dancing to Five O’Clock World.
The third season theme, however, was the most well known. It featured a cover of the song Cleveland Rocks by the Presidents of the United States of America.
To film the opening, the cast flew to Cleveland and actually filmed in a number of locations around the downtown core.
Huron Road East
The first scene shows Drew and the cast running down a downtown Cleveland street chased by hundreds of extras. This was filmed on Huron Road East, near where it meets Euclid Ave.
The US Bank ATM
The cast was filmed dancing in front of an unmarked. This location was very tough to find, but through some detective work, I was able to figure it out.
In the opening credits, there is a sign next to the ATM with a large “R” and the word Renaissance. At first I thought it was the Renaissance Hotel, which does have an ATM attached. But the building looked very different, and not in a way that it could have been renovated.
I continued my research and figured out that another downtown building used to be known as the Renaissance Center, and is now the US Bank Building. Sure enough, that is exactly where these scenes were filmed.
Comparing screen shots from the show’s opening to now, it appears a bit different. It looks as though the ATM bank was located several feet forward, between the two pillars. I’m fairly certainly 1 of 2 things happened: either the ATMs were located further forward and then they were pushed back for privacy reasons, or the crew built a fake ATM to avoid corpirate logos. My hunch is the 2nd option is correct, since no bank brand markers are seen during the credits.
Part of the opening featured Jacob’s Field, now known as Progressive Field, in the background. This was filmed just across Ontario Street and Carnegie Ave, giving a great view of the stadium
The Cleveland Arcade
A brief shot was filmed inside the beautiful Cleveland Arcade. This featured Drew and a few extras swaying back and forth and singing.
Shooters On The Water
Quite a bit of the opening was filmed at Shooters On The Water, along side the Cuyahoga River. There are a number of scenes with the cast dancing both inside (on a large dance floor) and outside with the building in the background.
The inside of the restaurant has been changed extensively since filming in the 90s, and the dance floor seems to be completely gone. I spoke to a couple staff who had no idea this was filmed at the restaurant.
The final scene of the credits, where Drew jumps up and yells “OHIO” was also filmed here. It was done on the restaurants patio, with the Main Avenue Viaduct Bridge and the Cleveland skyline in the background.
A brief clip in the opening credit’s was filmed outside a famous Cleveland hot dog joint called Steve’s Lunch. Unfortunately the building had a fire in 2015 and has been demolished.
When I was visiting Cleveland, instead of just visiting the locations from the credits and taking photos, I thought it might be fun to try and recreate the opening theme to Cleveland Rocks.
Fortunately I was traveling with friends who could help with filming and join me for a couple parts. It would have been impossible to do it without their help!
We were able to make it to all the locations used in the opening credits, and tried out best to recreate the opening. Unfortunately since Shooters has changed since the show’s filming, I had to improvise and just film that part between some dining room tables, instead of on the dance floor. At least it’s the same restaurant.
None of us are professional filmmakers, and I’ve actually never edited a video in my life. Fortunately I downloaded a program and after a little tutorial, I was able to edit it enough to make it presentable. It was really just for a laugh, but I think it turned out ok. In the first video I speak about the show’s locations and how I did the recreation, and the second video is the finished recreation.
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