Iconic Movie Scenes in Austin

Leni Steinhardt

Known for its great music, nightlife, and barbecue, Austin has something for just about anyone, even movie directors! Here are the top most iconic movie scenes in Austin that you may recognize while hanging out in Austin

Dazed and Confused 

Ever wonder where the now-famous slogan “Alright, alright, alright” originated? Dazed and Confused, starring UT Austin alumni Matthew McConaughey, was shot in Austin in 1993. Director and University of Texas at Austin alumni Richard Linklater’s film is about teenagers’ lives growing up in the 70s celebrating their last day of high school. The most famous location shown throughout the now cult classic coming-of-age film is Top Notch Hamburgers. This old school joint is located at 7525 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757, and is known for its charcoal-grilled burgers and fried chicken. 

Boyhood

Boyhood, the Oscar-nominated coming-of-age film, was shot over 12 years throughout Texas. Also directed by Dazed and Confused director Richard Linklater, this film chronicles the highs and lows of life through the eye of a boy named Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, his sister, Lorelei Linklater, and his parents played by Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke). A famous spot in the movie is filmed at Magnolia Cafe and the Continental Club, both on South Congress. You can visit Magnolia Cafe at 1920 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 and the Continental Club down the street at 1315 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Miss Congeniality 

Sandra Bullock stars in this romantic comedy as an FBI agent who has to go undercover in a beauty pageant. Some scenes for the pageant were filmed outside the Bass Concert Hall at the University of Texas, and hotel scenes were shot at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark.  

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – (1974)

This horror film follows a group of friends who fall victim to The Sawyers, a family of cannibals, while on a visit to their grandfather’s vandalized grave.  The Sawyer household on Quick Hill Road, Round Rock, I-35, is about ten miles north of Austin. However, the house was dismantled and reassembled in 1998 at The Antlers Hotel, 1001 King Street in Kingsland. You can also visit the gas station featured in the movie, located just an hour’s drive from Austin. The owners converted the gas station into a restaurant and merchandise shop for the film. If you want to get the full effect, fans can also stay overnight at the gas station in mini-cabins right behind the restaurant.  If you dare, you can visit that gas station at 1073 TX-304, Bastrop, TX 78602.

Fun Fact: The cast for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre came from the University of Texas drama department.

Friday Night Lights 

Though not a movie, it’s hard not to include an iconic spot centered around a Texas staple – high school football. The show “Friday Night Lights” follows a small town’s football team and their coach, Eric Taylor. Tim Riggins is the fullback/running back of the team, and although the show is set in the fictional town of Dillon, Riggin lives in Austin. Another local house on the show is coach Taylor’s at 6805 De Paul Cove, Austin, TX 78723. Another famous Austin location in the show is the Broken Spoke at 3201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 honky-tonk and dance hall, where character Tim Riggin hangs out.