New York Filming Locations: Ghostbusters (1984)

The pre-title credits begin with a shot of the marble lion outside the New York Public Library (below) at 455 5th Avenue where the first super-natural experience takes place before Ray Parker Junior’s famous title song (which I did as a gap-fill activity in Halloweeen lessons a couple of years back) kicks in.

 

Columbia University (below) on 2960 Broadway is first seen during the opening credits but its first proper appearance is after 14 minutes when Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) explains to Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) on the steps of the Low Memorial Library that it was their destiny to get “thrown out of this dump” so they can go into business themselves.

  

They get their loan on 15 minutes from Manhattan City Bank which in reality is the Irving Trust Building seen below. It’s at 1 Wall Street in lower Manhattan.

Along with Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) they set up their paranormal exterminator service in a retired firehouse and so ‘Ghostbusters‘ is born. This building (below) is better known as Hook & Ladder Company #8 and actually is a real firehouse at 14 North Moore Street and was the first location on my list when I knew I was going to New York. There is a sign painted on the pavement in front of it which is not too dissimilar to the Ghostbusters sign. The firehouse is seen on 15, 20, 22, 29, 45, 60, 64 and 68 minutes as well as in the sequel ‘Ghostbusters II‘ where one of my screenshots is from.

   

Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and Venkman meet by chance on 42 mins at the Lincoln Centre (below) where they dicuss the information he’s found on her apartment and why it may be haunted. This place also appeared in the award winning 2010 film ‘Black Swan‘ and is located on Columbus Avenue between West 63rd and 64th Streets.

   

The Ghostbusters vehicle gets a police escort on 78 minutes along Centre Street and Chambers Street (below right) as the four-some have a “date with a ghost” at Barrett’s  haunted apartment.

 

That apartment is on 55 Central Park West (below right) and is actually first seen on 17 minutes when Barrett encounters paranormal activity which eventually leads to her hiring the Ghostbusters team. This place is pivotal in the films climax as, after ascending to the roof of the building, they eventually come up against the giant Stay Puft marshmallow man.

   

Just a couple of bonus New York locations to add to this from the 1989 sequel ‘Ghostbusters II‘ which sees the team arrive at the Manhattan Museum of Art. This is the old US Customs House on 1 Bowling Green at Broadway. It is now the National Museum of the American Indian (below) and also featured in ‘Batman Forever‘.

 

The movie ends with an event to say ‘Thank-you Ghostbusters’ which is held right next to the Statue of Liberty (below) on Liberty Island where the Mayor and the people of New York give the paranormal exterminators the key to the city as a plan is made to restore the famous statue after it was used (and no doubt damaged) to break through something or another towards the films end.

 

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New York Filming Locations: Spider-Man (2002) & Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Whilst I did enjoy this years Spider-Man re-boot I do prefer the Sam Raimi directed trilogy from the 2000′s and I particularly like Aunt May and Uncle Ben’s house (below left) in Queens. The nearest station is probably Forest Hills and from there it is about a 15-20 minute walk to the house at number 8839 on 69th Road but its worth it and was one of my favourite filming locations in New York. There is the added benefit of seeing Austin Street at Ascan Avenue (below right) relatively nearby which is where Parker later runs down having discovered his powers.

 

Before that he goes on his school field trip to a genetics laboratory at Columbia University (below) on Broadway and 116th Street. Parker is bitten here by a genetically modified spider and wakes up the following morning with much much stronger powers. The University also features in the 2004 sequel film as well as others with the most notable perhaps being ‘Ghostbusters’ in 1984.

  

New York Public Library (below) on 5th Avenue at 42nd Street in some ways plays a very important part in Peter Parkers upbringing as its outside here that Uncle Ben drops him off and gives him some fatherly advice about the power of responsibility. After winning his wrestling match Parker is annoyed that the fight promoter only pays him $100 and so when the promoter is robbed he lets the robber get away even though he could have stopped him. All in the name of bitter revenge but it backfires in an extremely bad way with huge life changing consequences as that robber later kills Uncle Ben.

 

The Daily Bugle is really the Flatiron Building (below) at 175 5th Avenue in the Flatiron District and its here that Parker makes some extra cash as he sells pictures of himself as Spider-Man despite his editor thinking the crime fighting super-hero is a menace to New York.

 

Queensboro Bridge (below) is the setting for a battle between The Goblin and Spider-Man after the former takes Mary-Jane and a tram full of children hostage. He wants Spidey to choose which one he will save but of course he is able to save everyone with a bit of help from the people on the bridge and on the boat beneath it.

 

Spider-Man 2 followed two years later with Parker struggling to balance his normal and super-hero duties. In need of financial support to pay his rent he works as a pizza delivery man for Joe’s Pizza’s but not for long though as he is fired for being late too often and thereby costing his manager money who has a 29 minute promise to his customers or they get it free. This place in reality is not a pizza one and the building on the corner of Bleecker Street and Carmine Street (below) in Greenwich Village all looks a bit different nowadays.

 

Parker’s rundown apartment is on 187 Chrystie Street at Stanton Street and Dr Octavius’ laboratory is 32 2nd Avenue at East 2nd Street. Mary-Jane announces her engagement to John Jameson at the Science Library benefit taking place at the Rose Centre for Earth and Space (below) on 81st Street at Central Park West.

 

The church where Mary-Jane is all set to get hitched in is Riverside Church (above) on 490 Riverside Drive and West 120th Street which is just a few minutes walk north of Columbia University up in Mornington Heights.

You can see ‘The Amazing Spider-Man‘ NYC Filming Locations here.

New York Filming Locations: Live And Let Die (1973)

Roger Moore’s first outing as 007 in 1973′s ‘Live And Let Die‘ sees him go to New York arriving 13 minutes in at JFK International Airport in Queens on his mission to investigate the mysterious deaths of several other British agents. Typically, of the three airports in and around New York this was the one I didn’t have to go to but no great loss as its appearance is inevitably very different these days.

The same thankfully can’t be said for the ‘Oh Cult Voodoo Shop’ on 33 East 65th Street at 5th Avenue which is first seen after 18 minutes. As I was saying it was pretty surprising to see this place looking so similar nearly 40 years later. A couple of minutes later Bond is

   

seen hailing a yellow cab outside the store and tails a lead in typical follow-that-car movie fashion to ‘Fillet of Soul’ and though the sign post on screen clearly shows Lenox Avenue, it is in fact 2nd Avenue at 94th Street. 117th and 118th Streets were used for the fight scenes which followed and that was the end of the New York scenes. A bit surprising perhaps that no other Bond films have been set in this major world city since.

See other James Bond filming locations by clicking on the places below:

Tokyo  London  Prague  Venice  Como  Istanbul  Las Vegas  Phuket  Vienna  Hong Kong

New York Filming Locations: Batman Forever (1995) & The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The third and final instalment of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies was filmed in Britain, India and the USA with New York playing its part and its there that we start this entry as its fair to say that this one is far more loved than ‘Batman Forever‘.

The aerial shots of Gotham City are not surprisingly (especially in an article about the locations of this famous city!) the skyscrapers of Manhattan in New York and the entrance to ‘Wayne Enterprises’ is Trump Tower (below) on 725 5th Avenue at East 56th Street. Perhaps this was chosen to reflect the similarities in celebrity businessman status between Donald Trump and Bruce Wayne.

 

The exterior of Gotham City Stock Exchange is on Wall Street and its the JPMorgan Building at number 23 (below left) on the corner of Broad Street which is used though sadly it was under construction when I was in town which can be one of the most frustrating things on such location hunting expeditions. For the record, it’s interior was filmed all the way over in Los Angeles.

 

Though strictly not New York, Military Park Station in New Jersey is close enough to the Big Apple to be combined with though I never did make it to this subway tunnel on the Newark Light Rail which is where Kyle lures Batman into Bane’s trap. When Gotham is later closed off under Bane’s power Queensboro Bridge (above right) over the East River in New York can be briefly seen with tanks lined up on it.

Whilst ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ is generally considered to be much better than ‘Batman Forever‘ it doesn’t mean that the 1995 film directed by Joel Schumacher wasn’t without its hype. Val Kilmer had taken over the main role from Michael Keaton and with a support cast including Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman it was a strong line-up. Batman’s partner Robin (Chris O’Donnell) also entered the fray and one of my favourite ever bands U2 recorded the much anticipated soundtrack ‘Hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me’ which I can even remember DJ Simon Mayo playing twice in succession when it got its first ever airplay on BBC Radio One.

Bruce Wayne arrives at Surrogate’s Court on 31 Chambers Street (below) at Centre Street in Lower Manhattan and this was the office exterior of Dr Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman). I didn’t have the screenshots with me when I went here early one morning so sadly I didn’t snap the place from the angles where Wayne is seen on 29 minutes.

   

All of Gotham society including Wayne and Chase turn up at The Ritz Gotham Hotel on 70 minutes where Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey) has his party is also in Lower Manhattan and is in fact the old US Customs House on 1 Bowling Green at Broadway. It is now the National Museum of the American Indian (below) and also featured in ‘Ghostbusters II‘.

  

You can see the London Filming Locations of Batman here.

New York Filming Locations: Superman (1978)

It may not get quite the same hype as Batman or Spider-Man but Superman is arguably the most famous super-hero and one that brings back memories of my early childhood and the last day of school term where we often seemed to watch a Superman movie. I can only remember certain scenes from the Christopher Reeve films and it is actually the mid 90′s TV series ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman‘ which I remember more fondly and most of my Superman knowledge comes from that show.

The Daily Planet offices in the 1978 film where Clark Kent of course works is at 220 East 42nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. It actually is a newspaper office as its known as the News Building. This place plays a pretty important part in the scheme of things as after leaving work one night Kent sees a helicopter crash on the building’s roof and from this night on he becomes known as Superman! His mission: “To fight for truth, justice and the American Way”

   

Lois Lane’s apartment (below left) is at 240 Central Park South. The statue of Liberty (below right) and Brooklyn Bridge (lower left) also feature in this Richard Donner directed movie with the former seeing Superman take Lois around the New York icon one night.

  

New York Filming Locations: Coming To America (1988)

When my family finally caught up with the rest of Britain and got a video recorder in the late 80′s the first film we rented was ‘Coming To America‘ starring Eddie Murphy; a film I still have fond affection for now and it was (kind of) exciting for me to go to the apartment. Its on 392 South 5th St at Hooper St just a minute away from Hewes St Metro station. When African Prince Akeem (Murphy) and his servant Semmi (Arsenio Hall) arrive in ‘Queens’ (below) they look for lodgings at the nearest apartment complex which just happened to be this place in Brooklyn. When Akeem first meets the landlord you can just about see the number of the building on the front door.

   

I was actually more interested in locating the McDowell’s restaurant (below) which featured heavily throughout with Akeem and Seemi working for Cleo McDowell at this converted restaurant. It is at 8507 Queens Blvd near Grand Av Newtown metro station in Queens but when I was in the vicinity (on my way to find a Spider-Man location or two) I couldn’t see it so I’ve taken this one from the excellent onthesetofnewyork.com site. It’s actually a ‘Wendy’s’ Hamburger restaurant at this location that doubled up as the fast-food chain which probably gave McDonalds lawyers a bit of a headache!

   

Another place I somehow missed (or rather forgot to photo! There’s a lot of things to take care of on these trips that its difficult to keep up with it all sometimes) was the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (above right) at 301 Park Avenue. Akeem’s father King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones) checks in here after receiving Semmi’s telegram.

The basketball match where Akeem goes on a double date with Patrice McDowell, Lisa McDowell and Darryl Jenks is at Madison Square Gardens (below) at 4 Penn Plaza.

 

New York Filming Locations: I Am Legend (2007)

Will Smith plays Robert Neville; a scientist unable to stop a deadly man-made virus spreading which he is immune to and the only human survivor in New York City and perhaps the world. His townhouse is at 11 Washington Square Park North and if my memory serves me correctly is where he sends out daily radio messages in the desperate hope of finding any other survivors who might be out there.

 

Just across the road from his apartment is Washington Square which he views from his window. This place would normally be a great place to chill out and relax but sadly when I was there it was absolutely bucketing it down with rain and the arch could offer only a slight respite from the downpour. I have since seen this area featured in a fair few other movies and TV programmes.

 

The flatiron building at 175 5th Avenue is later seen as he drives around the empty streets of New York. This is a cool looking construction which was completed in 1902 and the Flatiron district around it got its name from the building.