The movie won an Academy Award for performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, both of whom led their vocal talents. It also used the real-life places where the “Man in Black” performed.
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Walk the Line Filming Locations in Nashville, Tennessee
Tennessee State Penitentiary
Originally built in Nashville in 1898, the Tennessee State Penitentiary was designed using the Auburn model where 800 male and female inmates spent most of their time in solitary confinement.
The prison was subject to overcrowding early on. It closed in 1992 and has been mostly abandoned since, used by would-be urban explorers and the film and television studios. In Walk the Line, exteriors of the prison stood in for Folsom. It was also used in The Green Mile.
Walk the Line Filming Locations in Memphis, Tennessee
Sun Studio is the iconic recording studio where big names like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded hits.
It was started by Sam Phillips in 1950 and was where rock and roll began with the song “Rocket 88.” In Walk the Line, Cash hears musicians recording there and talks to Phillips about working together. He later records his big hits.
The Orpheum was used in the scene in the movie where, after many proposals, June finally agrees to marry Johnny. The 2,000 seat venue was built in 1928.
After a major restoration, the theater reopened in 1982. Since then, the space has hosted a variety of theatrical performances and singers like Bob Dylan and Tony Bennett.
The Arcade Restaurant
The South Main restaurant has also appeared many times on screen including The Client, The Firm, and, of course, Walk the Line.
Other Memphis Locations
Johnny meets June for the first time at the Scottish Rite Temple, which was built in 1914 for the local Masonic order. As of February 2020, it was up for sale.
The interior of Folsom Prison, where Johnny famously plays for inmates, was actually the Pipkin Building at the Memphis Fairgrounds. It’s over 20,000 square feet and is used for events.
And the duo sings “It Ain’t Me” at the Mud Island Amphitheater. The river park was built in 1982 in the middle of the Mississippi River. It has a museum and restaurants, accessible by a monorail. It was also featured in The Firm.
Walk the Line Filming Locations in Covington, Tennessee
Bozo’s Hot Pit Bar-B-Q also made an appearance. The restaurant opened in 1923 in a former Shell station. As the name implies, it’s known for its barbecue.
Walk the Line Filming Locations in Arkansas
In the Arkansas delta town of Dyess is the real-life home where Cash grew up. Walk The Line was filmed in this white clapboard residence. In nearby Helena, the Malco Theater was also used.
Walk the Line Filming Locations in Mississippi
This lakefront house in Hernando, a town in the Mississippi Delta, was used as Johnny Cash’s home where he drove his tractor in the water. The real home in Hendersonville, Tennessee burned down in 2007.
Looking for a place to stay in Memphis? We recommend The Peabody Hotel and The Guest House at Graceland. Airbnb is another option like the Cooper-Young bungalow or a midcentury-inspired townhouse in Crosstown.