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Movie Magic: Disaster Cities You Absolutely Have to Visit

Movie Magic: Disaster Cities You Absolutely Have to Visit

Have you always wanted to climb the Empire State Building? Well get your fix while you still can – this iconic skyscraper has been crushed, smashed, knocked over, climbed and blown up so many times it’s surely just a matter of time before aliens really do land in New York and make it go kaboom. OK – so we might be exaggerating on that one, but it’s true that NY’s most famous tower has seen its fair share of cinematic destruction. In fact it’s just one of many global cities that have experienced the wrath of a Hollywood scriptwriter. So, which destinations have come off worst in these fictional fiascos?

New York

Poor NY never seems to catch a break. First it gets terrorized by a giant mutant lizard (Godzilla), then a huge ape scales skyscrapers and drags screaming women from their luxury apartments (King Kong), and then a new ice age floods it and freezes it solid (The Day After Tomorrow). What a day! And all we wanted was a leisurely stroll in Central Park. Sad face.

Washington, D.C.

The home of American politics was never going to be safe for long – especially when you’ve got the White House right in the middle. From aliens using it as target practice (Independence Day) to terrorists trying to take the president hostage (White House Down, and many others), the world’s most famous white building is like honey to giant, monstrous bees (with a taste for destruction.)


It’s so uncommon for anything in super-organized Japan to go awry. Except when a GIANT LIZARD IS ATTACKING THE CITY. Japan’s capital has long been the stomping ground of the original Godzilla – although it’s escaped pretty much unscathed otherwise. Although considering how much damage that inconsiderate monster does, it’s probably a good thing.


Oh, London. So much history – and so much to destroy. England’s number one city has been flooded (Flood), hosted Asgardian battles (Thor: The Dark World), zombie apocalypses (28 Days Later) and dragon infestations (Reign of Fire) to name but a few. For somewhere that’s also apparently full of MI6 spies (hello, James Bond!), you would have thought they would have seen it coming.

Los Angeles

Considering they all live there, it’s quite surprisingly that Hollywood scriptwriters love to tear up their hometown so much. Whether it’s being torn apart by tornadoes (The Day After Tomorrow), blown up in alien invasions (Battle: Los Angeles) or falling victim to tectonic terror (Volcano, 2012 and more), the residents of LA are forced to forget their laid-back lifestyles as they flee for their lives. Still, at least it’s always sunny.

And so concludes our list of cities that have suffered more than their fair share – here’s hoping none of these disasters actually happen. I’m off to build my own Godzilla-proof bunker, just in case.

Image by Becky Wetherington / Flickr, Creative Commons License

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