We all love a little escape at the end of a long work week. And there’s nothing like diving into some dramatic movie scenes to get the fire started.

What’s even more exciting is being able to pick out the occasional landmark as we live vicariously through the big screen.

If you’ve got Santa Monica on the mind, then get ready to enjoy this list of Santa Monica pier movies. When you come out to visit us, you’ll feel like you’re strolling alongside Paul Newman himself. Let’s start with one of his greatest films.

1. The Sting

If you’re in the mood for a little Robert Redford (and, let’s face it, who isn’t), then get ready. And, hold on to your britches because he joins forces with Paul Newman in this classic. These two handsome men are a pair of con men out for revenge. Turns out, a mob boss killed one of their pals.

This movie tops our list of movies in Santa Monica because Newman’s character lives and works in the Looff Hippodrome. He’s the carousel operator. This architectural gem was built in 1916 and featured one of the most charming carousels this side of Paris.

Unfortunately, the building fell into a bit of disrepair in the mid-20th century. But, fear not, this is still a tourist destination. After a major restoration to the overall building in the 1980s and a carousel repair in the 1990s, it’s as charming as ever.

And perhaps you’ll even see little glimpses of the gorgeous Paul Newman when you visit.

2. Forrest Gump

Santa Monica Pier framed a poignant moment for the main man himself, Forrest. Do you remember the scenes where he took off and ran (and ran, and ran)?

Well, he made it clear across the country, all the way from the south to California. And, at the Santa Monica Pier, Forrest finally paused, looked out across the ocean, and decided to “turn around and keep going.”

3. The Net

Nowadays, cybercrime movies are a dime a dozen. But, back in 1995, Sandra Bullock did it right in The Net.

Her nefarious counterpart finally confronts her on the Santa Monica Pier. Even as she’s fighting for her life, you can’t help but notice the sparkling scenery that only the pier can offer.

4. Falling Down

If you’re a Michael Douglas fan then this is one of the Santa Monica Pier movies you need to watch. He’s everyone’s favorite antihero in this film.

But, the cop who hunts him throughout the entire film finally nabs him – with a bullet – at the end of the film. Michael Douglas collapses right there on the pier and, you guessed it, falls down.

Dramatic Movie Scenes and a Bite of Lunch

After your stroll through these dramatic movie scenes, come on over for a bite to eat at Big Dean’s. This is where the locals meet the fun-loving tourists. And, really, can you ever go wrong with some sun, fun, food, and drinks?

Located right on the boardwalk, we’ve got everything you need to cap off your adventures. Our world famous burgers are fan favorites, but it doesn’t end there. We’ve got salads, tacos, sandwiches, hot dogs, and so much more.

We can’t wait to meet ya!