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Images reveal what Christmas film locations REALLY look like year-round… and how they were transformed for festive fun

The Christmas season isn’t complete without a binge on some classic holiday movies. 

And if you fancy living out some of your festive film fantasies in real life, has gone about pinpointing a spread of iconic sets. 

However, don’t be disappointed if you rock up to the Home Alone house or Elf department store in New York, as the building exteriors look a little lackluster without the Christmas décor. 

Iris’ house in The Holiday also doesn’t exist and it was actually just a fiberglass model which was later torn down. Now there is merely a field where it stood, however the quaint cottage that inspired it, still exists in an English country village.  

Cast your eyes down to see how your favorite movie spots stack up in real life.

Many of the most popular movies take place in the US or the UK – with several located in New York City

The McCallister house: Home Alone 

Many scenes in the classic Christmas movie Home Alone were filmed at this stunning 1920s mansion on Chicago ‘s North Shore

The house featured in the classic Christmas movie Home Alone doesn’t look nearly as festive most of the year round.

The stunning 1920s mansion, which is located on Chicago’s North Shore, provided an important component of the 1990 family comedy blockbuster which catapulted child actor Macaulay Culkin briefly to mega-stardom.

Many scenes in the movie were filmed in the three-story house including those featuring the kitchen, the main staircase, basement and most of the first floor landing.

The McCallister family home now looks very different from when it appeared in the 1990 movie, with contemporary interiors in neutral colors. 

While it might not be decked out in Christmas lights and decorations, it does remain instantly recognizable from the exterior thanks to its grandiose symmetrical frontage. 

The Plaza Hotel: Home Alone 2

In the sequel for the 1990s smash hit Home Alone, Macaulay Culkin’s character checks into the Plaza Hotel using his dad’s credit card

In the sequel for the 1990s smash hit Home Alone, Macaulay Culkin’s character mistakenly boards a plane to New York while his family flies for Christmas vacation to Florida.

While in New York, the lost Kevin McAllister checks into the Plaza Hotel using his dad’s credit card. 

Even without the Christmas decorations, The Plaza Hotel remains largely unchanged from when it was featured in Home Alone 2 and its gold and red interiors have a year-round festive feel.

The luxury hotel even offers its Kevin-inspired Have Fun In New York package, with the perks including a limousine ride, a large cheese pizza, and a ‘Home Alone Sundae’ complete with 16 scoops of assorted ice cream, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, M&M’s, brownie bits, chocolate, caramel, and raspberry sauce

Iris’ house: The Holiday 

Rosehill Cottage, as it is called in The Holiday, was built out of fiberglass and later torn down. But the home that inspired it, Honeysuckle Cottage, is in the village of Holmbury St Mary

It is considered one of the season’s most romantic movies, but romantic visions will be shattered by the fact that Iris’ characterful home in The Holiday doesn’t actually exist. 

Rosehill Cottage, as it is called in the film, was built from scratch out of fiberglass in Shere, England, while the interiors were all sets.

The quaint abode played set to the budding romance of Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Graham (Jude Law) after she swaps her LA home with Iris (Kate Winslet) over Christmas. 

While the cottage itself was not used in the actual film the producers used a real property as the basis for the specially designed set.

Honeysuckle Cottage, in the London commuter village of Holmbury St Mary near Dorking, was the inspiration of Kate Winslet’s character Iris’ home in the 2006 film.

The exterior of the property is near-identical to the one seen in the movie, including the small picket fence and arched porch. 

The White Horse: The Holiday

Fans of The Holiday can enjoy a pint at The White Horse pub in Shere, Surrey

Fans of The Holiday can enjoy a pint at The White Horse pub in Shere, Surrey, where Jude Law and Cameron Diaz’s characters go on a date. 

However, residents of the picturesque village say they dread the festive season every year.

They claim that they are forced to stay in their homes, unable to enjoy activities on their doorstep as their high street is jam-packed with movie fans every winter.

The tension between homeowners and visitors has risen so much that parish council members are planning to introduce parking fees, according to The Sun.

Locals hope that this will be able to deter people from visiting and curb the number of cars parked in the village.

Other productions that have used Shere include: Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Wedding Date, The Mummy, Silent Witness and Why didn’t they ask Evans?

While the White Horse might be minus snow for most of the year, the Grade II listed building still serves up a cozy British pub atmosphere all year round.  

Macy’s: Miracle on 34th St

In the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street, a girl finds the real Santa inside Macy’s in New York 

Macy’s in New York had a starring role in the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street, where a girl discovers the real Santa inside the store.

And every Christmas the sprawling department store gets back into character.  

The windows on the 34th Street side of the store are decked out to depict scenes from the Miracle classic film, while ‘Santaland’ opens on the 8th floor, with visit and photo packages starting from $39.99.

On Tripadvisor, where Macy’s Herald Sqaure has a 4 out of 5 rating out of 4,905 reviews, many visitors have praised the Christmas efforts.

One visitor said: ‘Outside brings memories of Miracle on 34th Street, watching the Macy’s Day Parade, and Christmas in Herald’s Square snow globes.’

Another fan wrote: ‘Walking in here I felt like I was back in the move Miracle on 34th street (one of my favorites).

‘As we went higher and higher I could picture Mr. Macy going up these really, really old wooden escalators. I love wood and love to re-finish old wood.’

Outside of Christmas, Macy’s looks like any other department store, and since its outing in Miracle it has undergone various modernizations. 

Gimbels: Elf

The Gimbels store at 295 Fifth Avenue in New York reportedly underwent CGI work to turn it into a Christmas wonderland

The New York department store from Elf, Gimbels, looks a world away from its movie outing following a recent renovation to make it into a more modern space.

The store is where Buddy the elf works and meets his love interest, Jovie.

It is also where he realizes that the in-store Santa is not the real Santa, and he unmasks him with these antics landing him in jail.

‘You disgust me. How can you live with yourself?’ he says to the fake Santa. ‘You sit on a throne of lies.’

The Gimbels store at 295 Fifth Avenue reportedly underwent CGI work to turn it into a Christmas wonderland and its facade was adorned with a giant bow and nutcracker. 

While it no longer exists, Gimbels was a real-life department store at one time and it operated for over a century, from 1842 until 1987. 

Today the building, known as the Textile Building, serves as a contemporary office complex.   

Juliet’s house: Love Actually

St Luke Mews in London is used in the scene when Juliet, played by Knightley, gets a knock on the door from the best man at her wedding, Mark (Andrew Lincoln) on Christmas Eve

Fans of romantic comedy film Love Actually continue to flock to a mews house 20 years after it was featured in one of the most famous scenes of the film. 

Everyday dozens of tourists stand outside the pink three story home in St Luke Mews in London’s fashionable Notting Hill. 

At weekends according to residents there is a queue of people armed with mobile phones and selfie sticks standing in front of the terraced property and in the residential street where homes sell for over $2.5 million. 

The street – and the pink house – is used in the scene when Juliet, played by Knightley, gets a knock on the door from the best man at her wedding, Mark (Andrew Lincoln) on Christmas Eve.

He arrives with a boom box playing carols and shows Juliet, who is married to Peter, a series of cards expressing his love for her.

The house can be seen as Mark walks away before Juliet runs after him and gives him a quick kiss. He then resolves to move on with his life without her.

Today, the property looks much the same as it did two decades ago, which means many movie fans still flock there to take a snap.

However the residents of St Luke Mews have asked for tourists to keep away, deeming the constant flow of Instagrammers ‘annoying.’

The woman who lives in the pink property spoke to reporters anonymously and said she said she did not know about the property’s past before buying it in 2006. She claims she has even had tourists walking into her home.

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