What Movies Where Filmed in Waldorf Astoria DC – A Cinematic Legacy


Nestled in the heart of New York, one of the world’s most extravagant cities, the Waldorf Astoria stands as a beacon of luxury and glamour. From its inception, this luxury hotel has been an iconic symbol of grandeur and elegance. For the first three decades of its existence, it held the title of the tallest and most opulent hotel worldwide.

Join us on a cinematic journey as we uncover the allure and charm of the Waldorf Astoria DC and the unforgettable films that have graced its elegant halls. From captivating romances to thrilling dramas, the hotel’s captivating ambiance has lent itself to a plethora of cinematic tales that continue to enchant audiences worldwide. So, sit back, relax, and let us embark on this fascinating exploration of the silver screen’s love affair with the timeless Waldorf Astoria DC.

The Story of the Waldorf Astoria

The Waldorf Astoria began as two hotels built side by side: the Waldorf opened in 1893, and the Astoria followed in 1897. The concept and funding for a combined Waldorf Astoria originated in 1929, and the vision was realized in 1931 when the combined hotel officially opened.

While the name Waldorf Astoria is often associated with the illustrious New York location, its influence extended beyond, leading to the establishment of a sister property in the heart of Washington D.C. This second property, equally magnificent, quickly garnered its own reputation for hosting dignitaries, celebrities, and influential figures from around the world.

Known for hosting glamorous events and high-profile political conferences, the Waldorf Astoria has become synonymous with sophistication and exclusivity. Yet, beyond the glittering festivals and distinguished gatherings, this legendary hotel has also played a pivotal role in the world of cinema.

Over the years, the Waldorf Astoria in Washington D.C. has become a sought-after location for filmmakers seeking to capture the essence of luxury and allure on the silver screen. Its timeless architecture, opulent interiors, and rich history have provided a captivating backdrop for various film productions.

History of Movies Filmed at the Hotel

From the moment of its completion, the Waldorf Astoria DC has been steeped in fame and admiration. The hotel’s cinematic journey began with the production of the movie “Week-End at the Waldorf,” a remarkable achievement less than 15 years after the hotel’s establishment. This film showcased the splendor of the Waldorf to audiences worldwide, drawing crowds to witness the allure of the hotel and its surroundings on the silver screen.

With an ensemble cast of A-listers, “Week-End at the Waldorf” beautifully captured the essence of luxury and sophistication that the hotel represented. Notably, one of the film’s significant artistic directions was to showcase the opulence of the Waldorf in vibrant color. While color films were not entirely new at the time, black and white films still dominated the industry for the following two decades after the movie’s release. However, the Waldorf’s grandeur demanded to be exhibited in full color to fully enchant its early audiences.

Since this groundbreaking film, the Waldorf Astoria DC has continued to serve as a captivating backdrop for numerous movies and TV series. Among the notable productions filmed within the hotel’s walls, “Two Lovers” in 2013 stands as the most recent feature films shot at the esteemed location.

Additionally, the hit TV series “Madame Secretary” filmed an episode at the Waldorf Astoria DC in 2014, further cementing the hotel’s status as a sought-after destination for the entertainment industry.

Even short films, such as “Trapped Inside” in 2018, have embraced the hotel’s timeless charm, making the Waldorf Astoria DC a cherished setting for a diverse range of cinematic tales

Impact on Reputation and Popularity

Waldorf Astoria Washington D.C.

The cinematic legacy of the Waldorf Astoria DC has significantly impacted its reputation and popularity. The hotel’s appearances in numerous films have not only showcased its grandeur to a global audience but have also attracted a diverse clientele. Movie enthusiasts, aspiring filmmakers, and even tourists who have seen the hotel in their favorite films often make it a point to visit the Waldorf Astoria DC, contributing to its status as a must-visit destination in the city.

Furthermore, the hotel’s cinematic appearances have also enhanced its brand value. Being featured in films, especially those that have achieved commercial success or critical acclaim, has added a layer of prestige to the Waldorf Astoria DC. This has helped the hotel maintain its position as a symbol of luxury and elegance in an increasingly competitive hospitality industry.

Lastly, the films shot at the Waldorf Astoria DC have also played a role in shaping the hotel’s narrative and history. Each film tells a unique story, and the hotel, with its grand interiors and timeless charm, becomes a part of that story. This intertwining of real and reel life has added a fascinating dimension to the hotel’s legacy.

Cinematic Marvels

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

As we journey through the history of movies filmed at the Waldorf Astoria DC, we’ll encounter a tapestry of cinematic gems that not only captivate with their storytelling but also showcase the enduring allure of this legendary luxury hotel.

Each production, in its own unique way, contributes to the hotel’s storied legacy, leaving an indelible mark on both cinematic history and the opulent halls of the Waldorf Astoria DC. Join us as we explore the cinematic treasures that have graced this distinguished venue and continue to enchant audiences to this day.

The Waldorf Astoria DC has been a magnet for acclaimed filmmakers, attracting some of the brightest minds in the industry. Among the notable directors who have utilized this prestigious location for their cinematic masterpieces are:

  • Steven Spielberg: The legendary filmmaker chose the hotel to bring his 2002 masterpiece “Catch Me if You Can” to life, a riveting tale based on the true story of a young con artist.
  • Francis Ford Coppola: Renowned for helming one of the most powerful trilogies in cinematic history, Coppola utilized the Waldorf Astoria DC as a backdrop for “The Godfather III,” an epic ode to the criminal underworld.
  • Woody Allen: A master of dramatic cinema, Woody Allen filmed portions of his acclaimed film “Hannah and Her Sisters” at the esteemed location, infusing the story with the hotel’s timeless elegance.
  • Wes Anderson: Known for his distinctive style and quirky comedies, Wes Anderson added his unique touch to “The Royal Tenenbaums,” using the Waldorf Astoria DC as a captivating setting for his film.

Top Grossing Movies Filmed on Site

Maid in Manhattan

The hotel’s allure and grandeur have not only attracted top-tier directors but have also set the stage for blockbuster films that have left an indelible mark on cinematic history. Alongside “Catch Me if You Can,” “The Godfather III,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” and “Hannah and Her Sisters,” the top-grossing films shot at the location include:

  • Coming to America (1988): A beloved comedy starring Eddie Murphy as a prince seeking true love in New York City.
  • Analyze This (1999): A hilarious comedy featuring Robert De Niro as a mob boss seeking psychiatric help from Billy Crystal.
  • Maid in Manhattan (2002): A charming romantic comedy showcasing Jennifer Lopez as a hotel maid who captures the heart of a wealthy politician.
  • Scent of a Woman (1992): A compelling drama led by Al Pacino’s captivating performance as a blind retired Army officer.
  • Serendipity: (2001): A delightful romantic comedy revolving around the serendipitous encounters of two soulmates, played by John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.
  • The Cowboy Way (1994): A Western action-comedy starring Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland as two rodeo cowboys on a thrilling adventure in New York City.

Influence on Hotel’s Design, Events, and Brand

Waldorf Astoria Washington DC

The Waldorf Astoria DC’s cinematic legacy has also influenced its design, events, and overall brand. The hotel often hosts movie-themed events, such as screenings of the films shot on its premises or Hollywood-themed parties. These events not only celebrate the hotel’s connection with the film industry but also offer guests a unique and immersive experience.

In terms of design, the hotel has often incorporated elements that pay homage to its cinematic history. This could be in the form of artwork inspired by the films shot at the hotel, or even suites named after famous directors or actors who have filmed there. These design elements serve as a constant reminder of the hotel’s rich cinematic legacy and add a unique charm to the guest experience.

The hotel’s brand has also been shaped by its association with the film industry. The Waldorf Astoria DC is often marketed as a hotel with a cinematic past, appealing to movie lovers and industry professionals alike. This unique selling point sets the hotel apart from its competitors and adds to its allure.

Esteemed Actors

The Waldorf Astoria DC has not only hosted renowned directors and high-grossing films but has also been graced by a myriad of A-list actors. Some of the greats who have walked its elegant halls include Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, and Leonardo DiCaprio, among countless others. Their presence and performances have added to the hotel’s cinematic legacy, creating a storied connection between the world of entertainment and the timeless splendor of the Waldorf Astoria DC.

Anecdotes about the Filming Process

The Waldorf-Astoria

Filming at the Waldorf Astoria DC has often been an eventful process, with each production bringing its own set of interesting anecdotes and facts. For instance, during the shooting of ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ director Steven Spielberg reportedly chose to film in the actual hotel rooms rather than constructing sets. This decision was made to capture the authentic ambiance of the hotel and provide a more realistic setting for the film.

Similarly, the cast and crew of ‘The Godfather III’ spent several weeks at the hotel, immersing themselves in its grandeur to deliver authentic performances. Stories from the set suggest that the actors often stayed in character even off-camera, adding to the intensity of the filming process.

In another instance, the filming of ‘Maid in Manhattan‘ at the Waldorf Astoria DC required the hotel to close off certain areas to ensure privacy for the cast and crew. This level of cooperation between the hotel and the production team showcases the hotel’s commitment to supporting the arts and its role in bringing cinematic stories to life.


Can guests stay in the same rooms where famous movies were filmed?

Yes, guests can request to stay in specific rooms where movies were filmed. However, availability would depend on the hotel’s booking schedule.

Has the Waldorf Astoria DC ever been used for film premieres?

Yes, in addition to serving as a filming location, the Waldorf Astoria DC has hosted numerous movie premieres, after-parties, and other industry events over the years.

Can the public access areas where movies were filmed?

While some areas of the hotel are open to the public, access to specific rooms or areas used in film shoots may be restricted to hotel guests or special tours.

Does the Waldorf Astoria DC offer any special packages or experiences related to its cinematic history?

The hotel occasionally offers special packages or experiences related to its cinematic history. These may include themed stays, guided tours, or movie nights featuring films shot at the hotel.

How does the Waldorf Astoria DC maintain its appeal to filmmakers?

The Waldorf Astoria DC maintains its appeal to filmmakers through its timeless elegance, luxurious ambiance, and rich history, as well as its willingness to accommodate the logistical needs of film productions.


The Waldorf Astoria DC’s cinematic legacy is as grand and enduring as the hotel itself. From its early days as the backdrop for ‘Week-End at the Waldorf’ to its recent appearances in modern films and TV series, the hotel has consistently captured the imagination of filmmakers and audiences alike. Its timeless elegance, luxurious ambiance, and rich history have made it a cherished setting for a diverse range of cinematic tales.

The hotel’s association with the film industry has significantly shaped its reputation, design, and brand. It has leveraged its cinematic past to offer unique experiences to its guests, from movie-themed events to design elements that pay homage to its film history. This intertwining of the hotel’s real and reel life has added a fascinating dimension to its legacy.

As we look forward to the future, there’s no doubt that the Waldorf Astoria DC will continue to play a starring role in the world of cinema. Whether it’s serving as the backdrop for a blockbuster film or hosting a movie-themed event, the hotel will continue to enchant audiences and inspire filmmakers for generations to come. The Waldorf Astoria DC’s story is far from over; in fact, one might say that the next exciting chapter is just about to begin.