Diner | 1982
Barry Levinson’s ensemble piece sees a group of college students gather to talk through problems at their local Baltimore diner in 1959.
The eaterie was shipped in from a diner graveyard in Oakland, New Jersey, after the owner of an existing establishment upped his asking price. It was installed on a vacant lot at Boston Street and Montford Avenue, overlooking the North West Harbor south of Patterson Park.
The Art Department thought it would look great facing the rippling water, but director Levinson finally opted for logic over appearance and had it turned to face the street. The area has since been redeveloped, but you can still see the diner, which was relocated to 400 East Saratoga Street at Holliday Street. It closed in 2012, its future uncertain.
Eddie Simmons (Steve Guttenberg) celebrates his wedding at the Garrett Jacobs Mansion, 11 West Vernon Place, home to the Engineers Club. You can see the elegant Baltimore landmark again in Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys, with Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis.
The diner is quite a star. Apart from appearing in two other Levinson films, Tin Men and Avalon (where it’s shown being lowered into place), it was featured as the ‘Capitol Diner’ – supposedly in ‘Washington DC’ – in Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle.