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Revenge of Shot on Site Summer - Ghostbusters Locations, Part 5

 By Paul Rudoff on Jul. 7, 2019 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Filming Locations , Tags:

In honor of the respective 35th & 30th anniversaries of the original Ghostbusters movies, every Sunday - henceforth dubbed Shot on Site Sundays - at Noon (Eastern) for the next several weeks (schedule here), I will go through the original two movies from start to finish, showing and telling you where everything was filmed in Manhattan, New York and Los Angeles, California. This will be part filming locations rundown, part behind the scenes exploration, and part "Making Ghostbusters". All parts are available here in reverse order: Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. I will be utilizing the home video cuts of both movies, which can be found on the 2014 Blu-ray Double Feature, as well as the recently-released 5-Disc 4K UHD & Blu-ray with Bonus Disc Set. With that in mind, SPOILER WARNING if you read any further... though I suspect that if you're at Spook Central, you've already seen both movies a million times over.

The majority of real world New York photos were taken by Alex Newborn in July 2014 and Lars Karlsen in July 2018, and are being used with permission. The enlargements for these photos, and for the movie framegrabs, can be found on the various Filming Locations pages elsewhere on Spook Central. Other images are credited where known. Locations were identified by various people and sources over the past 35 years. Those that are not common knowledge are credited on the specific Filming Locations pages (see previous link). The title graphic seen at the top was created by Lars Karlsen, based on an idea by Paul Rudoff. It can be enlarged for a better look at its beauty. Now that that's out of the way, we've got movie sign...

Eventually, the cops grab Louis and bring him to the Ghostbusters. While they interview him in that large room in the Los Angeles firehouse, Ray and Winston are driving back from a job.


As filmed, this scene was meant to show Ray and Winston driving to Fort Detmerring. They're on the FDR Drive Service Road East/Marginal Road, between Avenue C Loop/E. 18th Street & East 20th Street. It's currently Stuyvesant Cove Park/East River Bikeway, so you won't be able to drive as the Ecto-1 did.

(Circa 1980s or 1990s, credit: Solar1.org)

They drive back into Manhattan.


They're crossing Manhattan Bridge, located at Manhattan Bridge & FDR Drive North in New York.

(August 2007, credit: Franck)

Walter Peck pays the Ghostbusters a visit, and orders a Con Ed worker to shut down the Containment Unit. By doing that, all of the ghosts that were contained therein are released in one massive explosion through the roof of the firehouse. Ray and Winston pull up down the block and see the explosion with Ron Jeremy.


You can't really tell because of how tight the shot is, and all of the fog, but this is actually on the other side of Varick Street, across from Hook & Ladder Company #8, in the area in front of 18 North Moore Street in New York. You see this area in the background of the second movie when Louis and Janine make their date.

(July 2014, credit: Alex Newborn)

We get a better look at the area in this publicity photo. While my copy of it still isn't perfectly clear, it's much clearer than anything you see in the movie itself.

(source: Starburst #76 - Vol. 7, No. 4 - Dec. 1984)

Here's a better look at what this particular area of the street looks like today. Will Smith's character lives in the building on the far right (just out of frame in the photo below) in the movie Hitch (2005).

(November 2017, credit: Google Maps)

In this "Continuity Polaroid", we see Ernie Hudson and Dan Aykroyd before the barricades and crowds arrived.


With all of the commotion, Louis escapes and wanders away.


As expected, he's around the corner from the firehouse on White Street, walking east from West Broadway.

(July 2011, credit: Google Maps)

The containment unit explosion is seen from blocks away.


This is a shot that you won't be able to get anymore because there is now a building across the street from the firehouse where a parking lot once stood. You can see that for yourself if you dare watch Ghostbusters (2016). Thankfully, back in December 2007, that building did not exist, thus allowing a nice photo like the one below which somewhat matches the movie image above.

(December 2007, credit: Vina)

A rare look at the filming of this scene.

With ghosts loose all across the city, what are you gonna do? Have a montage, of course! The first ghost we see is this teal specter coming home from work on the subway.


The subway entrance is at Broadway & Murray Street, immediately west of City Hall. This is on the same street, one block away, from where the reporter was standing earlier. Although the subway entrance is still there, the newsstand is long gone.

(July 2018, credit: Lars Karlsen)

Elsewhere, a businessman gets in a cab to go to the Columbia Building.


They're on Madison Avenue, between East 61st and East 62nd Streets in New York.

(July 2014, credit: Alex Newborn)

As the cab makes the turn onto East 62nd Street, we get a better look at the buildings on Madison Avenue near where it was parked.


The upper-half of the buildings are virtually identical in both the movie and the recent photo. The only real change is that the air conditioner vent covers (what I think those squares under the windows are) were changed on the left-most building. Ignore the storefronts on the bottom because they've changed drastically.

(July 2014, credit: Alex Newborn)

The green hotel ghost raids a hot dog cart.


The movie clearly tells us that this is at Rockefeller Center; specifically in front of the McGraw-Hill Building at 1221 Avenue of the Americas (aka 6th Avenue).

(December 2013, credit: Paul Rudoff)

While spooks run wild, Louis wanders around following the beacon of Zuul.


When most crews film in Times Square, they make it a point to show off. Ivan and the crew chose to, pretty much, hide the fact that Louis is in one of the most famous areas of the city. Here he is passing by WienerWald Austrian Restuarant at 1560 Broadway, which is now McDonald's. Next door was the Embassy Theater (aka Embassy 1 Theater), which was showing the Dan Aykroyd/Eddie Murphy hit "Trading Places" when Ghostbusters was filmed there in late 1983 (notice the bottom of "Places" on the marquee in the Ghostbusters shot). The Embassy closed in 1997, and was renovated and reopened in 1998 as the Times Square Visitor Center.

(December 2013, credit: Paul Rudoff)

The next time we see Louis, he's across the street, still in Times Square.


A prime example of how the filmmakers didn't want you to know it was Times Square, as you'd have to study the shot carefully to see the George M. Cohan statue in the mid-ground to the left of Louis, and the TKTS booth all the way in the background. This places Louis at West 46th Street & 7th Avenue & Broadway.

(December 2013, credit: Paul Rudoff)

Does Louis ever find his way of out Times Square? Did he take Ray's advise and stop in at the nearby theater to watch Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places? Find out next week - same ghost time, same ghost channel - when we continue our look at the filming locations from Ghostbusters.

1 comment

Comment from: Brendan Spatafora [Visitor]  

I am so very grateful for the hard work you are putting in to document the locations and screen shots.

Thank you so much!

Jul. 7, 2019 @ 17:04

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