Posted by: Jerry Garrett | April 9, 2013

Where Was PAIN & GAIN Filmed?

Mark Wahlberg’s character in Pain & Gain about to experience the former, not the latter

Where was “Pain & Gain” filmed?

Surprisingly (for Hollywood), this based-on-a-true-story tale was filmed in the same general area as it happened.

The focus of attention of the Fargo-esque crime drama, set in the 1990s, was Sun Gym in Miami Lakes, Florida. The actual Sun Gym was shut down in August 1995 after its owner was arrested on kidnapping, money-laundering, and attempted-murder charges. At that location now is a warehouse for Oni Essence perfume.

Hollywood's Sun Gym concept

Hollywood’s Sun Gym concept

So, the filmmakers took over an empty 40,000-square-foot building in the 8000 block of Biscayne Blvd. in Miami – about 12 miles away from the real location – and turned it into a Hollywood version of Sun Gym. (The real Sun Gym, however, was a hang-out for hard-core builders, mostly males, and not a co-ed version of Spring Break.)

Similar alternative locations had to be created, to stand in for the actual Miami area locations.

Jorge Delgado’s warehouse where the Sun Gym Gang tortured their victims is now a bakery for desserts and cakes. The Argentinian chef who operates out of there now was reportedly horrified when told of its sordid role in one of Miami’s notorious crimes.

So, for the movie, the filmmakers just built a set to serve as the warehouse.

The filmmakers didn’t have a large budget to work with – just $22 million, according to trade reports – so they couldn’t afford to get to fancy with their locations.

Other locations from the real story took place in fairly public venues, including businesses, in the Miami and Miami Lakes areas. In Pete Collins’ stories for the Miami New Times on the Sun Gym Gang’s exploits, he recounted various shenanigans at a Scholtzsky’s Deli, Enterprise car rental, a Home Depot, Florida Savings & Loan, Shula’s Steak House and the Solid Gold strip club.

The strip club was one of the easiest locations to re-create.

In Miami, vice is not hard to come by.

Jerry Garrett

April 9, 2013

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