Where Was Oppenheimer Filmed? (& Can You Visit?)

By Olivia Emily

11 months ago

Arriving in cinemas on 21 July 2023


Christopher Nolan’s biographical thriller film, Oppenheimer, was famously be released on the same day as Greta Gerwig’s Barbie: 21 July 2023. But where was Oppenheimer filmed? And can you visit? Here are all of the filming locations to explore after watching. 

Read the C&TH Guide to Responsible Tourism

Where Was Oppenheimer Filmed? (& Can You Visit?)

OPPENHEIMER, written and directed by Christopher Nolan

© Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Led by Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer with Emily Blunt as his wife, Kitty, Oppenheimer explores the life of Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist who helped to develop the first nuclear weapons. Supported by an ensemble cast of Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, and many more – every celebrity not in Barbie appears to have signed on to Oppenheimer instead – it’s set to be a blockbuster.

Where Was Oppenheimer Filmed?

Oppenheimer was mainly filmed in Los Alamos, New Mexico, although California, New Jersey and other New Mexico locations were all also used for filming. Filming took place between February and May 2022, following a series of casting calls in Santa Fe and Los Alamos in New Mexico in January and February to collect extras to play local residents, military personnel and scientists. 

OPPENHEIMER, written and directed by Christopher Nolan

Filming in sandy New Mexico © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved

Filming in New Mexico breathes an extra dimension of truth into the story: it is here that the atomic bomb was developed and first detonated, in a town called Los Alamos. The town was entirely recreated on a mesa in New Mexico for filming; Nolan told Total Film that they faced ‘very harsh conditions out there’ and that ‘there were huge practical challenges’ to filming. Ever the ambitious director, Nolan wanted a non-CGI version of the Trinity test (the first ever nuclear bomb detonation), calling it ‘a huge challenge to take on’. 

Oppenheimer Filming Locations

Los Alamos, New Mexico

A purpose built, 1940s style town was built and used for filming Oppenheimer’s scenes in Los Alamos, which is a small New Mexico town famous for its connection to nuclear bombs. In 1943, what was an isolated and quiet ranch town was taken over by the United States Department of War for use in the secretive Manhattan Project. The town was referred to with the code name ‘Site Y’, while nearby Santa Fe residents knew it as ‘The Hill’.

That said, a selection of real, Manhattan Project era locations were also used for filming: the Civilian Women’s Dormitory, the Lamy Train Station, and Fuller Lodge.

Oppenheimer House

When Oppenheimer worked in Los Alamos, he lived nearby with his family, and his real-life family home was used for filming Oppenheimer.

OPPENHEIMER, written and directed by Christopher Nolan

© Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

University of California, Berkeley

The real Oppenheimer worked as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley between 1929 and 1943. The production team worked to make the real campus appear like it did in the 1940s, and filming took place here in May 2022 at locations across campus, including in Oppenheimer’s actual office, the library (where lampposts were redesigned to recall the 1940s), and at the Edwards Stadium, which is the University’s football and athletics stadium. Likewise, UC’s Los Angeles campus was reportedly used for filming Oppenheimer. 

Sierra Madre, California

It has been reported that a house in Sierra Madre dating back to 1904 was also used for filming. According to Pasadena Star News, filming took place in the upstairs bedroom of the house, which is a Cultural Heritage Commission-designated historical landmark. Likewise, the living room and half-acre of property land were also used for filming. The house was most recently listed for sale at $3.188 million.

OPPENHEIMER, written and directed by Christopher Nolan

© Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey

After WWII, Oppenheimer moved to the east coast where he became director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; this is where we see Einstein strolling around and standing by the lake. Though the Institute for Advanced Study is independent from Princeton University, both campuses were used for filming, as were wider New Jersey locations. 

University of Cambridge

It’s unconfirmed whether the Cambridge scenes towards the beginning of Oppenheimer were actually filmed in colleges at the University of Cambridge. We see Oppenheimer rushing through iconic cloisters, but the jam-packed, fleeting nature of most scenes mean we never really get a good look at where we are. The scene-setting shot depicting a grand chapel beside a river, though, is King’s College, Cambridge. The real Oppenheimer studied at Christ’s College.

King's College, Cambridge

Oppenheimer arrives in cinemas on 21 July 2023. 

Featured image: Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in OPPENHEIMER, written and directed by Christopher Nolan. This still is an 11K scan of a 70mm B&W IMAX film frame. © 2022 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.


How You Could Own Five Holiday Homes For The Price Of One


Thinking of purchasing a holiday home but can’t settle on a location? We know the feeling. But what if you didn’t have to choose? This is the concept underpinning August, a global homeowner network celebrating unique real estate in Europe’s most beautiful destinations. Elevating second-home ownership to a seamless and hassle-free experience, here’s exactly how it works, plus how you can join Europe’s pioneering luxury co-ownership community.

Want to discover more? Request a Brochure from August today

Introducing August, The Better Way To Own Holiday Homes

A large home in the Cotswolds

Cotswolds, Premium Home

How Does It Work?

August facilitates effortless holiday home ownership; with fractional ownership, multiple people can own and enjoy up to five residences across Europe. August finds, buys, designs and renovates all five homes to an exceptional standard across five sought-after European destinations, taking care of all admin and maintenance – and you get to call all of them home for less than the price of one.

It’s the next level in effortless travelling and home-ownership, and members of August’s exclusive community holiday an average of 12 weeks per year. There are five collections to choose from, spanning Europe’s most iconic destinations, including the French Riviera, Tuscany, Mallorca, the Alps and the Cotswolds – all highly-sought regions you’ll want to visit year-round, with easy flight connections. Each home is welcoming, family friendly and features stylish yet timeless interiors curated by experts, charmingly matched to the destination.

Outdoor dining in Provence

Provence, South of France, Signature Collection

Why It Makes Sense

Full Ownership

Not only will you get to holiday in these five gorgeous houses, but every family or individual has collective ownership. This is an equity purchase, with real ownership, transparency and control.

More For Your Money

With shares starting from €365,000, you can part-own over €7,500,000 of prime real estate for a fraction of the cost. Plus, with five destinations at your disposal, you’re not restricted to just one property to call your second home.

Hassle-Free

August takes all of the hassle out of holiday home ownership, managing the purchase, maintenance and management of every home, including everything from housekeeping to gardening, cleaning the pool filter to paying the bills. If you’ve been put off holiday home ownership due to language barriers, unfamiliar legal and administrative processes, a lack of market expertise or simply not being in the area for viewings, August is the perfect antidote, allowing you to simply show up after all the hard work has been done, lie back and enjoy your dream property.

Stylish

With a wealth of experienced interior designers underpinning the collection, your five properties are carefully renovated and designed to expertly blend home comforts with modern technology. Welcome home.

Want to discover more? Request a Brochure from August today

Here Are The Homes You Could Own With August

Ready to take a look at the gorgeous properties already owned by the August community? August has a collection for every lifestyle, including multigenerational properties the whole family can enjoy. You will have the opportunity to own up to five properties grouped into one of four collections. And if you can’t decide which community suits you best, why not join two?

A villa in Tuscany at sunset

How To Join August

Ready to join the August community? Click here to contact the August Advisory team today.