Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Thu April 07 2016

Puerto Vallarta’s Cinematic History, Past and Present

Features & Advice | Dawna L. Robertson | April 07, 2016

Puerto Vallarta’s Cinematic History, Past and Present

Photo by Janeen Christoff

Puerto Vallarta has once again enhanced its cinema resume. On April 14, the spotlight will shine on this stellar destination with the premiere of “Sundown,” the latest amid a bevy of films shot either completely or almost entirely in the stunning Pacific Coast setting.

The flick follows high school seniors Logan and Blake as they prepare for an epic spring break getaway, targeting hook ups with their respective high school crushes. The situation slips from bad to worse when Logan’s family heirloom is stolen by a mysterious local beauty he becomes smitten with following a chance meeting in a club. And that’s simply the tip of movie plot iceberg.

Hosted by the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board (PVTB), the debut of “Sundown” further connects this dramatic Banderas Bay hotspot with the U.S. film industry. The PVTB’s public relations agency, LATITUDE, will host more than 30 U.S. and Canada media outlets, social media influences and celebrities for the Mexico premiere preceding the film’s May 14 opening in both countries.

READ MORE: Puerto Vallarta Celebrates Record Year

“Sundown” is one of two movies with a 2016 release date that were partly funded by the State of Jalisco’s new COFIEJ filming commission. The other, “Mr. Pig,” is a Sundance Festival favorite starring Danny Glover and Maya Rudolph. COFIEJ’s founding is expected to spark additional national and international filming in the Pacific Coast destination.

What Creates a Star?

It was a heated off screen romance during a classic John Huston-directed movie that first thrust the sleepy coastal village of Puerto Vallarta onto a global center stage. During the shooting of the 1964 hit “The Night of the Iguana,” the reality R-rated shenanigans of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor transformed Puerto Vallarta’s image from provincial to provocative. While social media buzz was obviously missing, paparazzi went gangbusters in exposing the scandal.

Since then, Puerto Vallarta has remained a celebrity magnet, drawing superstar vacationers such as Chris Tucker, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lady Gaga, Zendaya, Eva Longoria, Sofia Vergara and her spouse Joe Manganiello.

Endless summer weather, colonial-era ambience, picturesque locations and ideal natural light merged to create a perfect movie set for such popular flicks as:

• The Night of the Iguana (1964)

• The Domino Principle (1977)

• Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)

• Caveman (1981)

• Kiss me Goodbye (1982)    

• Firewalker (1986)                                   

• Down Twisted (1987)                                            

• Predator (1987)                                                     

• Revenge (1990)

• Gunmen (1993)                                                     

• Blind Side (1993)

• Puerto Vallarta Squeeze (2004)

• Kill Bill 2 (2004)                                                   

• A Chihuahua in Beverly Hills (2008)

• Dinoshark (2008)                                                   

• Sharktopus (2010)

• Limitless (2011)

Film Junkie Favorites

For your cinema-centric clients, suggest they visit Puerto Vallarta’s most visible and popular film locations.

Prior to the release of Bradley Cooper’s “Limitless” in 2011, Puerto Vallarta’s El Malecon had appeared in the 1976 “Swashbuckler” thriller by Robert Shaw, Harvey Keitel’s “Puerto Vallarta Squeeze” in 2004 and “A Beverly Hills Chihuahua” in 2008. Your clients can tune into the romantic icon’s setting for strolls to soak in fringing markets, international eateries, live entertainment, and decorative sculptures and statues.

Achieving star status by its starring role in Huston’s “Night of the Iguana,” the tropical paradise of Mismaloya Beach is lauded for its glorious setting where the Sierra Madre Mountains merge with Banderas Bay’s pristine waters.

Today, adventure lovers covet this hot spot’s diving and sport-fishing options fronting the beautiful Los Arcos rock formations. Action fans might recall this natural movie set in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1987 “Predator” that also featured El Eden Eco Park. Here you will find a crashed helicopter from this blockbuster on display.

For more details on Puerto Vallarta events, accommodations, dining and activities, go to

READ MORE: Puerto Vallarta’s LGBT Pride

The Agent’s Edge

With Puerto Vallarta’s bevy of events rolling out all year long, your clients are privy to a stellar vacation experience regardless of when they visit. Among these are the Vallarta Artwalk running from the end of October through the end of May, Old Town Farmer’s Market operating from early November to the end of April and Malecon Sunset Walks held four times each week all year long. Check out year-round, seasonal and annual festivities to match your clients’ moods and tastes at

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