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Film Friday: Musee Mecanique (Princess Diaries)


May 18, 2012 by Amanda

Each Friday, I’ll be briefly profiling a specific location somewhere in the world that has been featured in a movie or TV show.

This week, the site is the Musee Mecanique in San Francisco.

I am not ashamed to admit that I still watch “The Princess Diaries” every time it’s on TV. Maybe it’s Anne Hathaway’s lovable, clumsy Mia, or Robert Schwartzman’s adorable Michael, or Julie Andrews’ regal Queen Clarice.

Or maybe it’s all of these coupled with the fact that San Francisco is the film’s backdrop.

There are plenty of familiar things for “Princess Diaries” fans to see in San Francisco, but my favorite has to be the “arm wrestler”. In the film, Mia introduces Queen Clarice to corn dogs and photo booths at an arcade, and then convinces her to play an arm wrestling game.

Princess Diaries

The arcade was not a set at all – it’s a real place, called the Musee Mecanique, which can be found right off The Embarcadero near Pier 45 in Fisherman’s Wharf. The mechanical museum has over 300 coin-operated pieces, including the arm wrestling game.

Musee Mecanique

Musee Mecanique


Entrance to Musee Mecanique is free, and wrestling the same machine that Julie Andrews did will only cost you a quarter.



  1. Juliann says:

    Shoot! I missed this on our trip to San Francisco. We would have loved to go there and play some games. Next time…
    Juliann recently posted..Hong KongMy Profile

    • Amanda says:

      Definitely go next time! It’s a really fun place to wander around. And most of the games are just a quarter, so it’s not very expensive, either!

  2. […] Mia Thermopolis— a very young, curly-haired Anne Hathaway— to that place with all the arcade games, and she cleans off the rubber man’s hand before battling him in an arm wrestle competition? […]

  3. […] is free, so you’ll only pay to play. P.S. You can also live out your dream of being like the Princess of Genovia […]

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