Amity Island: Where was Jaws filmed? Guide to all the Filming Locations

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Set on the fictional Amity Island, Jaws was primarily filmed in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Instead of shooting in a water tank, the main location was the open Atlantic Ocean.

Released in 1975, this classic suspenseful thriller has aged like fine wine. The movie, brilliantly directed by Steven Spielberg and featuring one of the most recognizable scores by John Williams, jump-started the careers of both artists and established the format for the modern-day summer blockbuster.

Jaws movie main cast

The film was an unexpected success, becoming one of the highest-grossing movies ever made. The story revolves around a small coastal town, Amity Island in Massachusetts, under attack by a great white shark.

The real-life tension between the three leads, Roy Scheider (Chief Martin Brody), Robert Shaw (the rogue fisherman Quint), and Richard Dreyfuss (marine scientist Matt Hooper), fighting a monster we don't see for most of the film, created this superb modern masterpiece.

In this guide, we have reunited all the Jaws filming locations along with the most interesting facts about the film.

Welcome to Amity Island

Amity Island Massachusetts
A summer night, drinking and having fun around a bonfire on a gorgeous beach with a hippie vibe... What could go wrong?

The opening scene where poor Chrissie Watkins goes for her last splash was filmed at Edgartown South Beach, a nice strip of sand dunes situated between the ocean and Katama Bay.
(You can open all the locations on Google Maps by clicking on the links below in the captions ↴)
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

Where was Jaws filmed
At the spot where Martin Brody's home stood at 265 E Chop Drive in Vineyard Haven, there's now a new, completely renovated house.

Located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard Island is mainly known as a summer resort and for having hosted celebrities at some point such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bill Murray, and Meg Ryan just to name a few.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

Amity Island
The billboard of the 50th Annual Regatta, starting on the 4th of July, was located near the Gay Head Light in Aquinnah Circle. The benches are still there.

The historic lighthouse that appears in the background, an iconic symbol of Martha's Vineyard, was in danger due to sea erosion. After two years of planning, in 2015, the structure was relocated 129 feet (40 meters) away from its original location.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

The Jaws town

The Making of Jaws
The police department was located in a beautiful neighborhood in Edgartown, the village that doubled as Amity.

The original police station house, located at 36 S Water Street, near the Giant Pagoda Tree, has also been renovated.

The Amity Gazette is the historic Chappaquiddick House, built in 1819, at 3 South Water Street. Keisel's Bicycle Rental is located next door.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

Jaws city
The 4th of July celebration banner was located at Main and S Water Street, the same spot where Deputy Hendricks picks up Brody.

But the interior of the hardware store is situated a little further away from here, on the corner of Main and N Summer Street, in a building that today hosts The Port Hunter restaurant.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Maps: Sign / Shop

Amity Ferry
The Amity Ferry is actually the Chappy Ferry between Edgartown and Chappaquiddick Island, which today looks almost the same as in the 70s.

When the producers bought the script, they thought it would be possible to train a massive shark as if it were a dolphin or a small puppy. OMG.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

The Jaws beach location

Jaws beach
The scenes at Amity Beach were filmed at Joseph Sylvia State Beach also in Edgartown, but as Nick P Was Here pointed out, the beachline was much closer to the road than it is today.

The gazebo, the hot dog shack, the lifeguard tower, and the arcade were part of the set.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

Jaws Bridge
The bridge, officially called American Legion Memorial Bridge (although even in Google Maps appears as Jaws Bridge), is a different, new structure, situated in the same place as the old one featured in the film.

The pond "for old ladies" is named Sengekontacket Pond.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

Der wei├če Hai drehort
After the second attack, the Edgartown Town Hall served as the Amity Island Town Hall, where fisherman Quint offers his services after his famous scratch.

The meeting hall, pictured, doesn't exist anymore, as the building was refurbished at some point, but the hallway is still the same.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

Amity Harbor
Amity Harbor, where Brody meets Matt Hooper, was also filmed in Edgartown. The small cabin on the dock is not there anymore.

In the scene where Mrs. Kintner smacks Brody in the face, she was actually hitting him, and the shot required as many as seventeen takes. Scheider stated that this was one of the most painful scenes of his acting career.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

Jaws house
Quint's workshop, the shack with a red tower on the left, was a set built for the production and demolished after the shoot in Menemsha Basin in Chilmark. Today, it would have been next to the Menemsha Galley restaurant.

The design of Quint's lair was inspired by the Old Sculpin Gallery in Edgartown (pictured below), located just opposite the Chappy Ferry.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Maps: Menemsha Village / Sculpin Gallery

You're gonna need a bigger boat
"You're gonna need a bigger boat" - Almost the second half of Jaws takes place onboard the Orca, named after the species of whales that are predators of the great white shark.

The hunting expedition sequences were shot mostly on the open ocean east of Martha's Vineyard, between East Chop and Oak Bluffs.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

Quint's boat
The production was on the verge of being a "disastrous film". Filming at sea proved to be extremely difficult and caused many problems, delaying production by more than 100 days and doubling the budget.

The crew had three mechanical sharks (nicknamed 'Bruce' after Spielberg's lawyer), which frequently malfunctioned. However, thanks to that, the marine beast was hidden or just hint in many scenes, adding to the film's suspense.

According to the 30th Anniversary Edition DVD extras (2005), a reshoot of the fisherman's wrecked boat scene, pictured, was recorded at the movie's editor (Verna Fields) swimming pool in Encino, California, to add the eerie 'head' shot.

Dangerous Reef shark
The real footage of sharks in the ocean where filmed by professional divers and shark experts in Dangerous Reef and the Spencer Gulf in South Australia.

In the original script, Hooper didn't survive the cage attack, but underwater photographers, Ron and Valerie Taylor, filmed a great scene with a real shark that got caught in a wire of the miniature cage (so the squalus would look larger on film).

This shark saved Dreyfuss's character, as the filmmakers changed the storyline to be able to use this awesome footage.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

Tiburon Beach
The final scene was filmed on the beach in Cape Poge on Chappaquiddick Island, with the 1801 lighthouse in the background.

27-year-old director Steven Spielberg recognized that he was too naive and inexperienced to film the movie in the Atlantic Ocean and not in a Hollywood studio's tank.
Image courtesy of Universal Pictures - Map

This article was created with the help of IMDb, The Making Of Jaws, Curbed, and Then and Now.

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