Plus, a downtown traffic update.
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Today’s Forecast

86º | Mostly sunny | 10% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:21 a.m. | Sunset 7:13 p.m.

🎬 From Swan City to the silver screen
Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 11.54.54 AM
The Southgate Shopping Center is a frequent film location for moviemakers. | Screenshot via YouTube
Lakeland and our nearby cities have served as the backdrop for several notable movies over the years, and we’ve got the behind-the-scenes scoop on a few favorites. Let’s roll the film.

Edward Scissorhands” (1990)
Eccentric director Tim Burton used Lakeland as a setting for this cult classic. Eagle-eyed viewers can spot the Southgate Shopping Center arch in several scenes.

My Girl” (1991)
You might recognize the Bartow home used as a set of this beloved movie featuring Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Today, it’s being renovated to become Hope House, a nonprofit for new mothers.

A graphic showing actor Bryan Cranston talking to a man on the left and a film set at a drive-in movie in Lakeland on the right

Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston filmed in several spots around Lakeland, including the Silver Moon.


Photos by @silver_moon_drive_in

"The One and Only Ivan” (2020)
Stars like Angelina Jolie and Danny Devito lend their voice talents to characters in this Disney movie, but it was actor Bryan Cranston who filmed his scenes in Swan City. The studio shot on location at the Southgate Shopping Center and the Silver Moon Drive-In.

The Waterboy” (1998)
Adam Sandler, Kathy Bates, and Henry Winkler filmed in various locations throughout the city. The “medulla oblongata” scene was shot in Edge Hall at Florida Southern College and used students as extras in the background.

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Still from “The People Who Live Here”


Photo via The Collection Media

"The People Who Live There” (2021)
Learn Lakeland’s history through the stories of its historic homes and their owners. The Collection Media and Paige + Chase Wagner created this documentary with interviews of Lakelanders like Mayor Bill Mutz.

Fly Like a Girl” (2019)
This documentary about women in aviation was filmed in Lakeland and produced by local award-winning production company, Indie Atlantic Films.

If you have any memories of these film shoots taking place across Lakeland, we’d reel-y love to hear them. Send us a message and we may share it in our future content.
What’s your favorite movie filmed around Lakeland?

A. “Edward Scissorhands”
B. “The One and Only Ivan”
C. “The Waterboy”
D. “My Girl”
E. Something else
Friday, Sept. 15
  • Harvest Holler Corn Maze | Friday, Sept. 15-Sunday, Sept. 17 | Times vary | Harvest Holler Corn Maze, 950 Tavares Rd., Polk City | $12-$15 | Explore a corn maze and pumpkin patch, or take a hayride at the season opening of this fall farm.
  • Sangria Night at Keel Farms | Friday, Sept. 15 | 5-10 p.m. | Keel Farms, 5202 Thonotosassa Rd., Plant City | Free entry | It’s all about sangria at this event — visit for Latin music, food, and drinks.
Saturday, Sept. 16
  • Mind, Body, Movement: Zumba | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 8-9 a.m. | Bonnet Springs Park, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd., Lakeland | Free | Celebrate the start of Hispanic Heritage Month with a Zumba fitness class on the Allen & Company Family Lawn.
  • “Samuel Bak: Painter of Questions” | Saturday, Sept. 16 | 1-2 p.m. | Polk Museum of Art, 800 E. Palmetto St., Lakeland | Free | View this documentary to learn about the work and life of artist Samuel Bak.
Sunday, Sept. 17
  • F.I.R. Expo — Repticon Reptile & Exotic Animal Show | Saturday, Sept. 16-Sunday, Sept. 17 | Times vary | RP Funding Center, 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland | $6-$15 | See snakes, chameleons, geckos, and other exotic animals — parking is $10.
  • Shoreline Sunday | Sunday, Sept. 17 | 2-5 p.m. | Swan Brewing, 115 W. Pine St., Lakeland | Free entry | Relax with acoustic tunes by John Frinzi and grab lunch from Mi Pizza PIU.
Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes
  • Portions of East Orange Avenue + South Lake Avenue closed this week for construction, but you can still access parking for your favorite spots on Lake Mirror. Pro tip: Take Lime Street and turn at Indiana Avenue to reach parking for Garden Bistro, the Magnolia Building, and Hollis Garden.
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has added 14 new sites to the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, including Polk County’s Tiger Creek Preserve. The 5,000-acre preserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise, containing eagles, woodpeckers, and more. You might even see otters swimming in the creek. (The Ledger)
  • Pressed will host its next Author Spotlight Night on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 6-8 p.m. Visit the bookstore to hear from detective novel author Thad Diaz, romance writer Greylee Stone, and Dwight + Rebecca MacPherson of Hocus Pocus Comics.
  • Get ready to go “Out of This World” at the 2024 Florida Strawberry Festival. That’s the newly announced theme for next year’s event, scheduled for Feb. 29-March 10 in Plant City. Keep an eye out for the entertainment lineup coming in early November.
  • Venue Salon’s charity gala for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation will take place on Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Lakeland Country Club. Tickets are available now and include dinner, live entertainment, and a silent auction.
  • It’s been 125 years since St. Alban’s Episcopal Church was first established in downtown Auburndale in 1898. The public is invited to a celebratory social and dinner on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. — send an RSVP by Monday, Sept. 18. (The Ledger)
  • Sweet Cup Café is offering dishes like tamales, pozole, Tierra Caliente-style enchiladas, and Mexican spiced coffee to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day. The special menu is available today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Try This
  • It’s been a record-hot summer — and we still haven’t drank water since 1997. But this water brand makes us want to actually stay hydrated. It’s infused with fruit essences and has zero calories, diet sweeteners, and sugar, and still manages to taste great. New customers score 36 bottles for $36 + free shipping.*
Fun Fact
  • Whiskey returned 428% from 2012 to 2022. Invest in fine whiskeys and wines with Vinovest to diversify your portfolio and watch it age like fine wine.*
Try This
Go Lakeland, it’s your birthday
A hand holding a container of ice cream in front of a Publix Super Markets sign
City Editor Connor celebrated her half-birthday with her favorite ice cream. | Photo by LALtoday
Birthdays aren’t just about gifts — but they sure do make the day even more fun. Celebrate another year with these freebies and deals.

Black & Brew Coffee House and Bistro, locations vary
Sign up for this Lakeland staple’s rewards program during your next visit for $5 off an order during your birthday month.

Brew Hub, 3900 S. Frontage Rd.
Who needs birthday cake when you can have a Black Forest Cake or Key Lime Pie craft beer? Show your driver’s license for a free draft.

Publix, locations vary
Join Club Publix for a discount on ice cream and bar cake on your birthday and your half-birthday.

Texas Cattle Company, 735 E. Main St.
Visit on your birthday for a free order of Texas tips. Pro tip: You must have a valid ID with your birthday and someone in your party must purchase an entree of greater or equal value.
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The Wrap
Connor-Keith-Headshot-LAL Today’s edition by:
From the editor
Light the candles — tomorrow’s my birthday, and I’ll be taking advantage of as many deals as I can. Do I already have a quart of Publix’s Moose Tracks ice cream in my freezer? Yes. Do I need another one for free? Also yes.
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