Where Was Kingpin Filmed?

July 10, 2023

Filmed in Pittsburgh at the old Miller School in the Hill District, and at Soergel Orchards, this is a drama about twin boys whose mothers both work hard to keep them together. The story is based on true events. Stars include Tom Cruise, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis and Rosie Perez.

A box office flop when it first debuted in 1996, the Farrelly brothers comedy became a cult classic on home video and television. Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid and Vanessa Angel play the main characters in this story of a washed up bowling pro who gets a new lease on life by coaching an Amish boy to win a big money bowling tournament. Bill Murray is the film's highlight as the arrogant showboating hustler Ernie McCracken.

The Farrelly brothers filmed the movie in various locations, including the Beaver Valley Bowl/Rochester & McKnight Lanes (exteriors). A few scenes were shot at the Pittsburgh International Airport and at the Monessen Steel mills. The film also used the streets of downtown Pittsburgh and a few of its many warehouses for background.

The final championship scene at the National Bowling Center in Reno, Nevada was a challenge for the film crew. It took several days to fill the huge building with enough people to make it convincing. The film crew had to use raffles and other methods to keep the extras interested. Savvy sports fans might recognize baseball juggernaut Roger Clemens in his brief cameo as the intimidating biker Skidmark. The band Blues Traveler plays a song over the closing credits.


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