Picnic's Filming Locations:
Picnic is a richly detailed snapshot of life in the American Midwest during the 1950s. In all, five Kansas cities and towns—Salina, Hutchinson, Halstead, Nickerson and Sterling — in the heart of the state were selected to provide the authentic Kansas backdrop for the picture. Filming took six weeks in Kansas, with interior shots filmed afterwards in Hollywood (Burbank Studios, 3000 W Alameda Ave, Burbank, CA 91523).
Salina, Kansas: (90 miles north of Wichita); Several parts were filmed in Salina: (May 10 - 20, 1955); 10 days of shooting;
RED STAR: 275 East Iron Avenue and S. 4th Street, Salina, Kansas: (where the Union Pacific railway crosses East Iron Avenue): Picnic's train depot opening scenes and others.
BLUE STAR: 455 East Country Club Road, Salina, Kansas: The Salina home facing the Country Club golf course that was used as the scene where Hal meets Alan at the Benton’s home where Mr. Benson and his son Alan are practicing golf; This was the home of Joe Rauh (of Busboom and Rauh Construction). Only the exterior of the house was filmed. All of the interior shots were filmed in Hollywood.
275 East Iron Avenue and S. 4th Street where the Union Pacific railway crosses East Iron Avenue, Salina, Kansas: (RED Star on Salina Map shown above).
- Where the Union Pacific rail yard was selected for the opening scene where Hal arrives in Kansas after bumming a ride on a freight train located just north of the East Iron Avenue bridge along the Smoky Hill River that runs through the city.
- Where the river waterfall is located and where Hal cleans up (on the other side of the river from where he got off the train);
- Where Hal walks up the tracks toward the train station (notice the grain tower on the left says "Salina Seed Co.") (this grain tower burned down).
- E: Night scene where Hal parks Alan's car to catch the next train out of town, and takes off his torn shirt;
- Night scene Where Hal and Madge descend down to the river bank and where they have their first kiss (waterfall in distance);
- Once Hal and Madge crawl back from the river bank, they emerge back near the track as the train approaches (on the other side of the river);
- Where Hal hides from the police and hides under the waterfall in the Smoky Hill River River where he then falls into it;
- See Google map from approx. location of 275 East Iron Avenue, Salina, Kansas; see Google street view here;
455 East Country Club Road, Salina, Kansas: (BLUE Star on Salina Map shown above):
- The Salina home facing the Country Club golf course that was used as the scene where Hal meets Alan at the Benton’s home where Mr. Benson and his son Alan are practicing golf;
- Where the night scene was filmed when the cops are parked outside Alan's home and later where Hal speeds away;
- See Google street view of 455 East Country Club Road, Salina, Kansas; See Google street view here;
Hutchinson, Kansas: (50 miles Northwest of Wichita); The grain elevator scenes were filmed in Hutchinson: (May 21 - 22, 1955); 2 days of shooting; Also, the bath house scene whas filme here at the State fairgrounds.
RED STAR: Corner of E. 4th Avenue and N. Halstead Street, Hutchinson, Kansas: Grain Elevator scenes.
BLUE STAR: Crescent Boulevard, Hutchinson, Kansas: This is where they filmed the background footage shown while Howard and Rosemary are driving to the picnic (viewed from the car's rear window) and Rosemary takes a drink of whiskey
Halstead, Kansas: (30 miles Northwest of Wichita); Riverside Park in Halstead is where the entire Labor Day picnic portion of the movie was filmed: (May 23 - June 3, 1955); 10 days of shooting;
- Where the entrance to "Riverside Park" was filmed, ( the muddy "Little Arkansas River" runs right by Riverside Park);
- This where the suspension bridge is located;
- Where the Owens Party decided to have their family picnic, (now just a pile of rocks); (see photos below);
- Where the dock was constructed for the dance scenes;
- Where a second dock was constructed across the river from the "dance dock" where the swan boad landed the "Queen of Newalloh" and where she gave her speech;
- Where some picnic scenes were filmed in the ball park, located on the other side of the suspension bridge (these were some of the picnic "games" were shot, that needed a wide open area);
- Where the ban stan was located;
- Where a museum is located that houses the original "Swan Boat" from Picnic;
- Where the waterfall is located, down stream from the suspention bridge (which can be seen from the scene where the picnic site was filmed);
Nickerson, Kansas: (65 miles Northwest of Wichita); The Owens’s house is located in Nickerson, right across the street from the school: (June 4 - 16, 1955); 12 days of shooting;
211 S. Nickerson Street, Nickerson, Kansas (on HW 96):
- Where Hal walks down an alley (with a grain elevator in the background) to Mrs. Potts backyard
- Where the two adjacent houses where The Ownen's family live, with Mrs. Potts next door;
- Where all the Owen's house shots were filmed;
- Where the production crew used a train engine and ten railcars to augment Holden’s arrival and departure scenes;
- Where Madge finally leaves her mother and gets on the bus for Tulsa;
- Where Reno Community High School was filmed (now called "Nickerson High" at 305 S. Nickerson, Nickerson, KS); (can be seen directly across the street from the Owen's House in many shots);
- View from Highway 92, on the side of the Owen's house.. Google street view... here (side of house);
- There were two real parallel train tracks that were shot in the movie in Nickerson, at the end of the alley behind the Owen’s house. Various movie shots verify that the tracks were real, such as a train crossing at HW 96 and (now) W Avenue G. The train tracks were later removed, and replace with the W Avenue G road. Scars from the old tracks can still be seen from satellite shots of the area.
Sterling, Kansas: (75 miles Northwest of Wichita); The swimming hole/dock scenes were filmed in Sterling: (June 19, 1955); 1 day of shooting; (This was last day of shooting in Kansas; the stars left Kansas that afternoon);
- Where everybody goes swimming at "Sterling Lake" and Hal jumps off the diving board;
- The approximate location of the old wooden dock that Hal and Millie jumped from; (note that it is no longer there);
- The approximate location of the shot of Alan & Madge's kiss by the Sterling Lake (notice grain elevator in the upper left, the footbridge in the lake middle left and bath house in the middle area);
- Note that a swimming pool now occupies some of the sandy beach area that was shown between the swimming dock and the bath house;
- Sterling was also where William Holden hopped the Missouri Pacific freight train that was then tracked by cinematographer Haskell Wexler in a memorable closing aerial shot.
- May 16, 1955 - June 19, 1955: Picnic was filmed on-location for 6 weeks;
- Baker Hotel, 17 E. 2nd Street, Hutchinson, KS; Cast and some 55-member crew stayed at Baker Hotel in Hutchinson; The old 12 story Baker Hotel had 175 rooms; They occupied 100 of the 175 rooms; The Baker Hotel was constructed in 1953 for $1.7 million; on February 13, 1954, the new hotel opened; Liberace stayed there in 1954; It became listed on the National Register of Historic Places on 11/18/2004. It stands now as Plaza Towers Apartments. http://www.hutchgov.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/06112015-178
Baker Hotel; Now the Plaza Tower Apartments: Google Map Link
Baker Hotel Map of Hutchinson, KS
Google Map Link
- May 10 - 20, 1955; 10 days of shooting; May 14, 1955: Holden and Novak arrived with the crew in Salina on a chartered plane; Several parts were filmed in Salina:
- May 16, 1955: Fiming began in Salina, Kansas;
- May 21 - 22, 1955; 2 days of shooting;The grain elevator scenes were filmed in Hutchinson:Also, the bath house scene whas filme here at the State fairgrounds.
Halstead, Kansas: (30 miles Northwest of Wichita);
- May 23 - June 3, 1955; 10 days of shooting; the film company moved on to Riverside Park in Halstead, KS; Shooting started on May 26;; Riverside Park in Halstead is where the entire Labor Day picnic portion of the movie was filmed:
- June 4 - 16, 1955; 12 days of shooting; production moved on to Nickerson using the homes of Mildred McFarland and E. L. Beauchamp for exteriors; A third home, belonging to Guy Houston, was used for kitchen interiors.The Owens’s house is located in Nickerson, right across the street from the school:
- June 9, 1955: the crew utilized a helicopter to film the final shot of Picnic.
- June 16, 1955: The cast and crew threw a "wrap" party on the stage of Hutchinson's Fox Theatre.
- June 19, 1955); 1 day of shooting;The swimming hole/dock scenes were filmed in Sterling: (This was last day of shooting in Kansas; the stars left Kansas that afternoon);
The remaining interior shots were filmed in Hollywood and at the Columbia Ranch.
Was released in February 1956;