On Location: Utah Schools
We’ve all come to know Utah’s role as “Anytown, USA” in family films and teen dramas, but did you know most secondary schools along the Wasatch Front & Back have had at least one debut? We’ve compiled this list to showcase some of the most popular Utah schools that have been filming locations for some of your favorite films and television series. Is your school on the list?
EAST HIGH SCHOOL
East High School was founded in 1913 and is located in the East Bench neighborhood of Salt Lake City, sitting at 840 S 1300 E. Well-known as the set of Disney’s High School Musical (2006), High School Musical 2 (2007), and High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008). Though, the original films were set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the hype around the films’ success garnered so much attention to the actual East High, it became a tourist destination in the height of its success. So much so, the upcoming Disney+ Original Series, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is set in Salt Lake City at the real East High School. Season 2 is set to premiere on Disney+ on Friday, May 14, 2021.
OGDEN HIGH SCHOOL
Ogden High School may arguably be the most featured Utah school in film. The school was built in 1937 and cost over $1M to build, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The beautiful structure stands out by its contrasting Art Deco style against the backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains, and right off of Harrison Boulevard in Ogden, Utah. The school has served as the set for several films over the years including; Three O’Clock High (1987), Drive Me Crazy (1999), Disney’s Don’t Look Under the Bed (1999), and the YouTube Original Mini-Series Youth & Consequences (2018). Most recently, Ogden High School will play the fictional rival, “North High School” in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
PAYSON HIGH SCHOOL
Payson High School was founded in 1913 and is located at 1050 S Main Street in the beautiful town of Payson, Utah. The current building was built in 1967, serving both as a high school and a community bomb shelter during the Cold War. It’s most well-known as a primary filming location for a little film you may have heard of, Footloose (1984).
JUAN DIEGO CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
Juan Diego Catholic High School was established in 1999 in the Salt Lake City suburb of Draper, Utah. The private high school is affiliated with the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and sits on a 57-acre campus. It’s most well-known role in the Utah film industry came from The WB series, Everwood (2002-2006), where the campus took on the role of Everwood High School. It’s also recognized as the set for the school scenes in Disney’s The Luck of the Irish (2001), and the third installment in the Halloweentown series, Halloweentown High (2004).
PARK CITY HIGH SCHOOL
Park City High School was originally located at 1255 Park Avenue, the three-story Collegiate Gothic brick building was constructed in 1928. The building was abandoned in 1981, when the new high school was constructed about a mile away, and finally underwent restorations in 1993 to take on its current life as the Park City Library and Jim Santy Auditorium. Today’s Park City High School sits at 1750 Kearns Blvd, and is a modern-style brick building. The school was featured in season 8 of The Amazing Race (2005), and Disney’s Cloud 9 (2014), and the auditorium, affectionately known as “The Eccles,” is used for screenings during the annual Sundance Film Festival.
WEST HIGH SCHOOL
West High School was founded in 1890 and is the oldest public high school in the state of Utah. The school is located close to downtown Salt Lake City at 241 N 300 W. It has been the set of films such as; SLC Punk! (1998) and Hereditary (2018), which both had their premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.
WASATCH JUNIOR HIGH
Wasatch Junior High opened in 1959 at 3750 S 3100 E, in the Millcreek area of Salt Lake City. In July 2005, the building was destroyed by a devastating fire, but was rebuilt and reopened in August 2008. Wasatch Junior High has served as the set for Disney productions like, Life Is Ruff (2005) and most recently as Jefferson Middle School in the Disney series Andi Mack (2017-2019).
JUDGE MEMORIAL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
Judge Memorial Catholic High School is a private Catholic high school located on 650 S 1100 E in Salt Lake City and was founded in 1921. The property was originally the John Judge Memorial Miner’s Home, opening in 1910 as a hospital for the population of Catholic coal miners working in Park City. As the need for a miner’s hospital declined, the building was remodeled and opened in 1920 as the “Cathedral School.” Deidra & Laney Rob a Train (2017) partially shot at the school, and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2017 before it was released on Netflix. James Merendino, director and writer of SLC Punk!, graduated from the school in 1985.