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Wednesday May 22nd 2024

10 Things I Hate About You | 1999

10 Things I Hate About You location: Stadium High School, North E Street, Tacoma
10 Things I Hate About You location: ‘Padua High’: Stadium High School, North E Street, Tacoma |   Photograph: wikimedia / Joe Mabel

Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) can’t start dating till her difficult older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) gets a guy. Yes, it’s Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew given a smart teen makeover. Which is why the school is called ‘Padua High’.

Actually, the setting is the Pacific Northwest of Washington State and the striking building, on a bluff overlooking Commencement Bay, is Stadium High School, 111 North E Street, just north of downtown Tacoma.

Built as a luxury hotel at the turn of the century, it’s named for the school’s huge athletic stadium, constructed in a ravine known as Old Woman’s Gulch, after the widows of local fishermen who once squatted in little shacks here.

The home of Kat and Bianca – the Stratford family – is 2715 North Junett Street, at North 28th Street, to the northwest of Stadium High.

In downtown Tacoma itself, the music store, where Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) approaches Kat – and outside which she reverses into Joey’s car – is 1117 Broadway. It’s no longer a music store.

One of the film’s more unusual locations is the concrete giant emerging from the ground to grab a VW Beetle, alongside which Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) pumps Bianca for information about Kat. This is the Fremont Troll, 3405 Troll Avenue North, which you’ll find beneath the Aurora Bridge at North 35th Street, about 25 miles to the north in Seattle. A bit of a journey but, visually, worth the trip. It was built in 1990 as part of an imaginative plan to clean up what had become a grubby area.

While we’re in Seattle, the biker bar where Cameron and Michael (David Krumholtz) find Patrick to tell him about Kat’s idiosyncrasies is, like it says, the Buckaroo Tavern, 4201 Fremont Avenue North at North 42nd Street. Sadly, since filming it’s closed.

You can still enjoy the outdoors at Gasworks Park, 2101 North Northlake Way, which is where Patrick and Kat go paintballing. This 20-acre point on Lake Union was the site of a plant manufacturing gas from coal, rendered obsolete by the Import of natural gas in the 1950s. The city acquired the site which, in 1975, was opened as a public park, retaining several of the original buildings. The boiler house has been converted to a picnic shelter, while the former exhauster-compressor is now a children's play barn.

You don’t have to be an avid student of Shakespeare to predict that Kat is going to soften up in the face of Patrick’s relentless quirkiness. And as a high school movie, things will climax at the prom.

‘Padua Prom’ is a mix of two different locations. The lavish chandeliered lobby and stairways are the Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine Street at Ninth Avenue, in downtown Seattle.

The prom itself is held a few blocks east, in the Century Ballroom, 915 East Pine Street.