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Exclusive | Winning titles: Top 5 film locations

Exclusive | Winning titles: Top 5 film locations

Don't want the movie to end? Stock up on soundtracks and popcorn and relive your favorite movies long after the credits have rolled in the locations where they were set and shot. Recreate all that widescreen wonder in Sydney, Dallas, Gainesville, Reno, Vancouver and Alberta; the alluring co-stars of our five favorite gay and lesbian films.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert starring Sydney, Australia
Action: Gay bingo palace, Sydney's Imperial Hotel (35 Erskineville Road; +61-2-9519-9899), was the location for several Sydney scenes. To go on the Priscilla road trip, head out into the desert of New South Wales to the town of Broken Hill. Shop on Argent Street and check out Mario's Palace Hotel (227 Argent St.). Other pitstops along the road include Mundi Mundi Plain Lookout, where the girls break down, Coober Pedy in South Australia (also a shooting location for Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome), Lasseter's Hotel Casino (93 Barrett Drive, Alice Springs; +61-8-8950-7777;; A$99+) in Alice Springs and King's Canyon in Watarrka National Park, where Felicia does her triumphant climb.
Running time: A week, a month or a lifetime.

It's in the Water starring Dallas and Gainesville, Texas
Action: Dallas is very much the star of this picture. Shot in the Big D in 1996, writer and director Kelli Herd picked Dallas for its lush, Southern feel. Maple Avenue's Stoneleigh Hotel (2927 Maple Avenue; 214-721-1000;; reopening Fall 2007) was the site of the ballroom scenes and Alex and Grace's love scene. Lakewood's White Rock Community Church saw Bruce's funeral and the homo-no meetings. The bank scenes, beauty shop scenes and the fried pie restaurant are real locations in Gainesville -- real names The First State Bank of Gainesville, The Cuttin-Up Salon on Commerce Street and Fried Pie & Co. on Main Street.
Running time: A long weekend.

Desert Hearts starring Reno, Nevada
Action: 1986's lesbian classic won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and many a lesbian heart when Vivian and Cay's tempestuous affair made it onto the big screen. To relive its highlights, catch an Amtrak train to Reno, then rent a convertible to drive the neon strip. Plenty of guest ranches await; though lusty landladies can't be guaranteed. The location for the film's hotel and casino scenes, Pick Hobson's Riverside Hotel and Casino (17 South Virginia Street), closed soon after filming, the building is now a development of residential artists' lofts. Pyramid Lake, where Cay drove Vivian is out in the remote desert (35 miles N.E. of Reno) on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe's Reservation.
Running time: Six weeks might be overdoing it. Pack a weekend bag for a delicious desert getaway

Better Than Chocolate starring Vancouver, B.C.
Action: Vancouver's Commercial Drive is the lesbian enclave where Better Than Chocolate was set and shot. Fans of the film can recreate scenes amid the coffeeshops and kooky clothing stores than line the Drive. The scene where Kim does Maggie's portrait was shot at Grandview Park. The bookstore and Tony's coffeehouse were created on nearby Victoria Drive (at Williams). Carla and Paul's love scene, with its city skyline backdrop, was filmed at the Versatile Shipyards at Lonsdale Quay.
Running time: A long weekend or a fun, femme-tastic week

Brokeback Mountain starring the Canadian Rockies
Action: The movie's eponymous mountain is a fictional peak, however Proulx was inspired by the Big Horns, and director Ang Lee was inspired by Wyoming's Wind River Valley. Lee simply moved mountains across the border. To visit actual movie sites, saddle up and mosey up the Rockies to Canada . Along with Heath and Jake, the other major star of the soul-stirring cowboy romance is the province of Alberta. Wyoming's picture-perfect stand-in captures the longing that suffuses Lee's cinematic wonder. Whether doing a brooding Wyoming 1963 or a brash Texas 1983, southern Alberta offers an amazing array of identities. Concentrated around Kananaskis County, with town scenes filmed in Fort Macleod, Crossfield and Blackie, Brokeback's locales are easily found. Numerous images of Brokeback Mountain were shots of the Three Sisters, a jagged backdrop that frames Kananaskis. To replay Brokeback's key campground scenes, pitch camp at Upper Kananaskis Lake, Elbow Falls or Canyon Creek. Hike along Kananaskis County's Galatea Trail to the bridge where Ennis picks up supplies and to King Creek, where he encounters the black bear. To encounter Bonkers, the bear star, for real, visit Doug's Zoo in nearby Innisfail. Shop for shirts at Divine Decadence; you'll treasure them as much as Ennis did.
Running time: A weekend, a week, or a whole summer of Rockies romance.

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