Where to See Where Movies in NYC Were Filmed
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Movies set in New York City have always captured the imaginations of moviegoers worldwide. The city’s iconic landmarks, bustling streets, and diverse neighborhoods have been the perfect backdrop for countless films. From romantic comedies to gritty dramas, New York City has been the setting for some of the most memorable movies in cinematic history.
For movie buffs and tourists alike, there’s no better way to experience the magic of these films than by visiting the locations where they were filmed. From the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in “Hitch” to the firehouse in “Ghostbusters,” countless iconic movie locations are scattered throughout the city. By following in the footsteps of their favorite characters, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for the movies they love while exploring all that New York City has to offer.
Top Movies Filmed in NYC
New York City has been the backdrop for countless movies over the years, with its iconic skyline and bustling streets providing the perfect setting for a variety of stories. Here are some of the top movies filmed in NYC that you won’t want to miss.
Classics Movies Filmed in NYC
Some of the most beloved movies of all time were filmed in New York City, including:
- The Godfather: This iconic film features some of the most memorable scenes in cinema history, including the baptism scene at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the restaurant scene at Louis’ Italian-American Restaurant in the Bronx.
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of Holly Golightly in this classic film has become a cultural touchstone. Fans of the movie can visit the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Fifth Avenue, which was featured prominently in the movie.
- West Side Story: This musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet takes place in the streets of New York City, even though it is supposed to take place almost entirely on the Upper West Side. The iconic “Jet Song” was filmed on the steps of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
- Ghostbusters: Fighting ghosts is hard work, and the home base for the Ghostbusters is at Hook and Ladder Company 8, which you can find in Tribeca.
- You’ve Got Mail: This 90’s rom-com was filmed all over Manhattan, including Zabar’s (a deli on the Upper West Side), where Joe shops for Thanksgiving, Cafe Lalo, and more.
Modern Hits Filmed in NYC
New York City continues to be a popular filming location for modern movies, including:
- Spider-Man: Homecoming: The latest incarnation of Spider-Man swings through the streets of Queens and Brooklyn in this action-packed film. Fans of the movie can visit the Brooklyn Visions Academy, which served as the exterior of Peter Parker’s school.
- Men In Black: This comedy about aliens and the guys who deal with them has multiple filming locations in NYC. Check out the Guggenheim Museum to see where Will Smith chased an alien up a circular path to the top.
- The Devil Wears Prada: This comedy-drama is set in the fast-paced world of fashion journalism, with scenes filmed at various locations throughout the city, including the New York Public Library and the Plaza Hotel.
- Birdman: This critically acclaimed film takes place almost entirely within the walls of the St. James Theatre on Broadway, with Michael Keaton’s character preparing for his comeback performance.
- A Night at the Museum: This family-friendly hit about a museum that comes alive at night was filmed in the American Museum of Natural History as well as a reproduction of the museum. It is so popular that the museum hosts “night at the museum” sleepovers.
Whether you’re a fan of classic movies or modern hits, there’s something for everyone in the diverse array of films set in New York City.
Famous Filming Locations in NYC
New York City has been the backdrop of countless movies throughout the years. From romantic comedies to action thrillers, the city that never sleeps has provided the perfect setting for many iconic scenes. Here are some of the most famous filming locations in NYC, along with where you can see them for yourself.
Central Park is one of the most recognizable landmarks in New York City and has been the setting for many famous movie scenes. In “When Harry Met Sally,” Harry and Sally take a stroll through the park and have a memorable conversation on a bench near the Bethesda Fountain. The park was also featured in “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” where Kevin McCallister escapes from the Wet Bandits by hiding in the park’s tunnels.
If you have seen the movie “Enchanted,” you have seen an enormous brass band and hundreds of others dance and sing along with Giselle near Bethesda Fountain.
Times Square is one of the busiest and most vibrant locations in New York City, making it a popular spot for filming. In “Spider-Man,” the superhero swings through the streets of Times Square, while in “Vanilla Sky,” Tom Cruise’s character has a surreal experience in the middle of the bustling square. Visitors can see the famous Times Square billboards and neon lights up close by taking a stroll through the area.
The Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic landmark that connects Brooklyn to Manhattan. It has been featured in many movies, including “The Dark Knight Rises,” where Batman fights Bane on the bridge. In “I Am Legend,” Will Smith’s character crosses the bridge to get to Manhattan, while in “Spider-Man,” the hero saves a group of kids on a school bus that is dangling from the bridge.
That infamous scene in “When Harry Met Sally” was filmed at Katz Deli in the Lower East Side. In “Enchanted,” Prince Edward wanders into Katz Deli looking for Giselle.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The staircase outside of the Met has been featured in plenty of movies. In “Hitch,” it is where Hitch meets Albert and decides to help him get the girl. The first date in the “Nanny Diaries” and the heist in “The Thomas Crown Affair.”
Grand Central Station
Grand Central has been used in many movies, including Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest”, as the location where Cary Grant tries to get on a train to get away from the bad guys. Plus, Hello Dolly from “Hello Dolly” was filmed here.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is one of the most recognizable buildings in New York City and has been featured in many movies, including “Sleepless in Seattle,” where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s characters meet at the top of the building. In “King Kong,” the giant gorilla climbs to the top of the building, while in “An Affair to Remember,” Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr’s characters plan to meet at the top of the building.
New York City is full of famous filming locations that have become iconic movie scenes. Visitors to the city can experience these locations for themselves and feel like they are part of the action.
Guided Tours of Movie Locations
Visitors to New York City can experience the magic of their favorite films by taking a guided tour of movie locations. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide behind-the-scenes information about the movies and the locations where they were filmed.
One popular option is the On Location Tours bus tour, which takes visitors to locations featured in movies like “Ghostbusters,” “Spider-Man,” and “The Avengers.” The tour lasts approximately three hours and covers over 40 locations. Visitors can sit back and relax on the bus while the guide points out famous landmarks and shares interesting facts about the movies.
Several walking tours are available for those who prefer to explore on foot. The NYC TV and Movie Tour takes visitors through Manhattan to see locations from movies like “When Harry Met Sally” and “Home Alone 2.” The tour lasts approximately two hours and covers about 30 locations.
Another option is the Superheos in NYC tour that takes you to dozens of filming locations for movies such as: “Batman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and some of their arch enemies. Th tour takes about 2 hours and is geared toward kids as well as adults.
Overall, guided tours of movie locations offer visitors a unique way to experience the city and see the locations where their favorite movies were filmed.
On Your Own: Self-Guided Tours
If you prefer to explore the movie locations in NYC on your own, plenty of resources are available to help you plan your self-guided tour. These are my two favorite sites to help you find where your favorite NYC movie was filmed. Movielocations.com and the best of the best On The Set of NY which even has a map you can download.
Tips for Finding Locations
Finding the exact locations of movie spots can be challenging, especially if the movie was filmed long ago. However, some tips can help you find the locations more easily.
Firstly, keep an eye out for landmarks and distinctive buildings that appear in the movie scenes. These can help you identify the location. Secondly, look for street signs and other identifying features that appear in the movie scenes. This can help you narrow down the location. Lastly, research the movie online to find out more about the locations used in the film. This can help you identify the exact location of a particular scene. (Even if you have good instructions and a map you might need to look around a bit.)
In addition, it is essential to be respectful when visiting movie locations. Many of these locations are private property or have restricted access. Always be mindful of your surroundings and follow any posted signs or instructions.
In conclusion, New York City has been the backdrop for countless movies. From iconic landmarks to lesser-known neighborhoods, the city has played a starring role in many films.
Visitors to New York City can easily explore the filming locations of their favorite movies. Many tour companies offer guided tours that take visitors to locations from popular films. Additionally, visitors can use online resources to find filming locations and create their self-guided tours.
While some locations, such as Central Park and Times Square, are frequently used in movies, there are also many hidden gems to discover. Films set in New York City offer a unique way to explore the city and its diverse neighborhoods.
Whether you’re a movie buff or just looking for a new way to explore the city, visiting filming locations can be a fun and exciting experience. From classic films to modern blockbusters, New York City has been the backdrop and we can’t get enough of movies in NYC.
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