There’s no better backdrop for a movie than New York City, which has appeared in thousands of films and television shows showing us all the moods of the Big Apple – gritty, romantic, elegant, historic and edgy. Some of the places where films are shot are already well-known locales, while others become landmarks once they hit the big screen.
On your next visit to New York, put these five iconic filming locations on your itinerary. Luckily, Kimpton has two hotels in Manhattan: one near Times Square and the other in Chelsea that will put you close to your destination.
Where Broadway, Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street meet, Times Square draws more than 50 million visitors a year and is one of the most popular filming locations in the city. Covered in brightly lit billboards and neon signs and set in the heart of New York’s Broadway Theater District, it’s a popular destination for street performers and is the site of New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. Naturally, it’s been featured in dozens of films, including Midnight Cowboy, Taxi Driver, Letters to Juliet, Spiderman, and Vanilla Sky.
A popular New York deli since it opened in 1903, Katz’s Delicatessen is often rated among the best for their pastrami on rye. Though it’s been the setting of numerous films and shows like Law & Order, Enchanted, We Own the Night and Donnie Brasco, it’s a scene in When Harry Met Sally that solidified it as instantly recognizable. Meg Ryan famously and loudly “fakes it,” drawing the attention of nearby tables, one of whom says, “I’ll have what she’s having!” While we can’t promise that you’ll be in ecstasy, their sandwiches are pretty good.
The Plaza Hotel has been the place in New York City where Hollywood royalty and actual royalty have stayed for more than a century and this luxe icon has not only been the backdrop for countless upscale events – but has been the backdrop of many productions onscreen. It has appeared in the 1959 Hitchcock classic, North by Northwest, 1973 rom com The Way We Were, in Home Alone 2, Sleepless in Seattle, Bride Wars and the 2013 remake of The Great Gatsby.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is an emblematic part of the New York skyline (the view from the top is one in a million) and is the spot where King Kong famously meets his demise in all three versions of the classic film. But who can forget Will Farrell as Buddy in Elf, when he goes to surprise his dad (who works in the building) and presses all the buttons on the elevator before declaring in satisfaction, “Looks like a Christmas tree!” The Empire State Building can also be seen in Love Affair, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Independence Day, The Smurfs, Spiderman, Avengers: Infinity War and countless more.
Grand Central Station
So much more than a hub for commuters, Grand Central Station is a noted architectural landmark and is the home of the Grand Central Oyster Bar and the Whispering Gallery, among many other interesting attractions. In film, it’s often used as a meeting point, and has appeared in The Avengers, Girl on a Train, Carlito’s Way, Armageddon and John Wick: Chapter 3.