Arts & Culture

Two Decades of Midnight

Twenty years ago the film adaptation of John Berendt's best seller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil hit the big screen. Here are the locations in Savannah where the true story—and filming—unfolded.

October/November 2017

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BONAVENTURE CEMETERY
At more than a hundred acres, this Victorian graveyard with curving pathways and gnarled live oaks was the Midnight spot for voodoo rituals and late-night rendezvous. The famous Bird Girl statue from the movie poster and book’s cover once stood here, but for safe-keeping now resides at the nearby Telfair Academy art museum.

photo: COURTESY OF BONAVENTURE CEMETERY & IMDB

CLARY’S CAFE
This throwback soda fountain where John Cusak’s character, John Kelso, sips coffee and observes the locals is a true Savannah institution. The Bird Girl stained glass at Clary’s Cafe is a remembrance of the cafe being featured in the Midnight movie.

photo: COURTESY OF CLARY'S CAFE

CLUB ONE
The venue where the late performer the Lady Chablis—who played herself in the film—shot to drag-show stardom is open every night for drinks and live entertainment.

photo: COURTESY OF CLUB ONE

FORSYTH PARK
The thirty-acre green space in the heart of the city is where a character memorably walked an invisible dog, as well as the spot where Uga, the University of Georgia mascot, made a cameo.

photo: COURTESY OF WIKI COMMONS

LUCAS THEATRE
In honor of the late Jim Williams, whom Kevin Spacey portrayed, the actor donated two hundred thousand dollars to assist in the renovation of this historic theater in 1997. Come fall, it hosts the Savannah Film Festival, which is itself marking its twentieth anniversary.

photo: COURTESY OF LUCAS THEATRE

MONTEREY SQUARE
The setting for most of the book and film’s plot, Monterey Square is home to a few of the characters’ residences, most notably the Mercer-Williams House, an 1869 mansion stuffed to the rafters with antiques and open for tours.

photo: CJ LOTZ