From major box office hits to cult classics, Austin has provided a spectacular landscape for filmmakers to bring their vision to life. Visitors have flocked to destinations featured in iconic locally made films like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." With over 50 years of production, there are many film tourism locations in the Austin area to experience including those seen in "Dazed and Confused."
About "Dazed and Confused"
Richard Linklater’s follow-up to "Slacker," "Dazed and Confused" is on many people’s list of favorite films (including Quentin Tarantino) but, strangely, this ultimate hangout movie was not a success upon its release. Like "American Graffiti" and "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" before it, "Dazed and Confused" had an ensemble cast of unknown actors who went on to be the superstars of their generation. "Dazed and Confused" focuses on the last day of school for a group of Texas high school and junior high students in 1976. Like the cast, the soundtrack is a mix of the greatest hits from the mid-'70s, featuring KISS, Aerosmith and Alice Cooper. With "Dazed and Confused," Linklater decided to stay in Austin and make more films in the area, something he has continued throughout most of his career. The film also includes some of Austin's most iconic locations.
Details: Universal Pictures / Rated R / 102 minutes / Comedy
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Parker Posey, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Joey Lauren Adams, Adam Goldberg, Adam Rapp, Marissa Ribisi, Rory Cochrane, Adam Goldberg, Jeremy Fox, Esteban Powell, Christin Hinojosa, Sasha Jenson, Cole Hauser and Nicky Katt
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Scene: Top Notch Hamburgers
Alright, alright, alright. Cynthia (Ribisi), Mike (Goldberg) and Tony (Rapp) kick off their night of cruisin’ with a pitstop at Top Notch. This scene includes one of the most famous introductions in film history, as Matthew McConaughey makes his on-screen debut as Wooderson stopping by in his classic Chevy Chevelle. You can stop by Top Notch Hamburgers for a meal and feel like you are in the movie too as this old school drive-in restaurant still serves as the local hangout spot with the classic remote ordering system and great food.
Location: Top Notch Hamburgers (7525 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757)
Scene: The Baseball Field
Nothing says summer like a baseball game. After pitching a game for his junior team, Mitch (Wiggins) is unable to escape Benny (Hauser) and O'Bannion (Affleck), and the gang of seniors give him a beating in the parking lot. Take some friends by Northwest District Park to play some baseball; the location is a City of Austin public park and looks much as it did in the film minus the hazing teens.
Location: Beverly S. Sheffield Northwest District Park (7000 Ardath St, Austin, TX 78757)
Scene: The Emporium
As the night progresses, all the high schoolers go to the Emporium, the local pool hall and game room. Mitch (Wiggins), Pink (London), Wooderson (McConaughey) and Don (Jenson) hang out front before heading out to the Moontower. The Emporium scenes were filmed at Violet Crown Plaza, Austin’s first shopping center and just a few doors down from the amazing barbecue joint Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew.
Location: Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew / Violet Crown Plaza (6600 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78752)
SCENE: Rick's Auto Machine Shop Service
O’Bannion (Affleck) hears that Carl is being “busted,” across the street from the Emporium and rushes over. Before O’Bannion gets Carl (Powell), Hirshfelder rains down a can of white paint on O’Bannion from the rooftop above. Geographically, this location is directly across from the Violet Crown Shopping Center, making this a great spot to see multiple "Dazed and Confused" filming locations.
Location: King Collision Repair Center (821 Brentwood St, Austin, TX 78757)
Scene: Hirshfelder’s Paddling
Hirshfelder (Fox) can’t avoid getting "licked" by O’Bannion’s (Affleck) paddle when he is caught walking the street outside of the dance hall. Carl (Powell) is lucky and he is able to escape quickly. This location is also located around the corner from the Violet Crown Plaza, so be sure to check it out if you're visiting the Emporium location.
Location: City of Austin Street (Wild Street at Ruth Ave, Austin, TX 78757)
Scene: Movie Theater Parking Lot
Darla (Posey), Simone (Adams) and the seniors haze the in-coming freshmen girls, including Sabrina (Hinojosa) in the parking lot of the local movie theater, which is actually an active Austin Public Library branch.
Location: Austin Public Library: Yarborough Branch (2200 Hancock Dr, Austin, TX, 78756)
Scene: Football Field
Just keep livin’! Wooderson (McConaughey) offers Pink (London) some sage advice as the friends end a long night of partying by relaxing on the high school football field before being busted by the team coach. This is a great spot to catch a local high school football game in the fall as the field is part of the Austin ISD athletic facilities.
Location: Toney Burger Activity Center (3200 Jones Rd, Austin, TX 78745)
Scene: Moontower Party
After Pickford’s (Andrews) kegger is busted, Wooderson (McConaughey) has a new fiesta in the making, with a party at the Moontower. Out in the woods the beer is flowing and everyone is there to party under the glow of a Moontower. These scenes were filmed at the Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park, a City of Austin property. Though there are a number of Moontowers around Austin, the one in "Dazed and Confused" was not real. No need to burn time looking for it as the cast actually climbed a prop Moontower.
Location: Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park (6620 Blue Bluff Rd, Austin, TX 78724)
Scene: Ballard's Grocery Store
After cruisin' around and smashing a mailbox, Pickford (Andrews), Don (Jenson), Pink (London) and Mitch (Wiggins) stop at the Ballard’s Grocery Store for beer where they end up getting in an altercation with the very upset owner of the mailbox. It’s now a Shell gas station, if you need to gas up between visiting the filming locations.
Location: Shell Gas Station (4001 Medical Pkwy, Austin, TX 78756)
Iconic Filming Location Map
Explore more iconic filming locations during your next visit to Austin. The Austin Film Tourism Guide has details on the where scenes from your favorite movie and television series were filmed in and around Austin.