‘Spring Breakers’ is a neon frenzied crime drama, written and directed by Harmony Korine. A sensual delight, ‘Spring Breakers’ swerves away from a coherent narrative structure, delving deep into hallucinatory images lit in ambient fluorescence. The story follows a group of four girls, Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Cotty (Rachel Korine), and Faith (Selena Gomez), who visit the Florida beaches for their spring break. Facing monetary crunches, Candy and Brit rob a local diner to gather money for their outing.
Cotty is their getaway driver, who steals her professor’s car and later burns it after the deed is done. They reach Florida, and while at a rave party at a local motel, the police arrest them. The film dramatically changes course after this, and we witness a descent into a feverish dream led by the maverick gangster, Alien (James Franco), who bails out the girls. ‘Spring Breakers’ beach noir vibes and neon-lit waterfront houses made us wonder about its filming locations. Here’s what we found out!
Spring Breakers Filming Locations
Harmony Korine wanted to create a sensory film about the excesses of Spring break where the Florida beaches are filled with rambunctious youth exploring the limits of inebriation. The film was shot extensively in St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Sarasota in Florida. It also featured many local places, clubs, and motels. Here are further details.
Classroom shots and the dormitory scenes were filmed in the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. The night time and exterior sequences were shot in New College, also in Sarasota.
St. Petersburg, Florida
The district diner where Brit and Candy commit armed robbery was filmed at B&M Country Cooking, St. Petersburg. The shack where Alien preaches about his philosophy of life to the four girls was shot at Lake Maggiore Park. Alien takes the girl to a joint for a pool session, which was shot in Ninth Street Pool Hall, also situated in St. Petersburg.
Big Arch’s residence was filmed in the St. Petersburg mansion, a private residence formerly owned by baseball player Gary Sheffield. The mansion also serves as the climactic location of the film.
St. Pete Beach, Florida
A significant portion of the film where the spring break fun takes place was shot at the coastal city of St. Pete Beach, Florida. The sequence where Alien performs on the stage was also filmed in the same place, specifically near the city’s Undertown Beach Bar. When Candy, Cotty, and Brit reenact their robbery in front of Faith, one can see the Twistee Treat ice cream situated in St. Pete Beach behind them.
Other Locations in Florida
Apart from the specific places, ‘Spring Breakers’ was shot all over Florida. The Sunshine Skyway bridge is where many of the initial sequences featuring the lead actors were shot. The car sequence at the end of the film was also composed in this place. The motel where the girls spend some introspective moments was filmed at The Molloy in Treasure Island, Pinellas County.
The police pick them up from a rave party, which was shot in the Coral Reef Motel. The Gulfport Police Department features as the location where the incarceration scenes were filmed. The strip club where Alien and his nemesis Big Arch face-off was shot at the Hollywood Nites, a strip Club at N Howard Avenue in Tampa. The waterfront house at Crystal Avenue doubled as Alien’s den in the film.
Read More: Is Spring Breakers a True Story?