Manhattan is recognizable instantly from its numerous appearances in movies and television shows. You can hardly walk down a block without experiencing déjà vu that usually comes when you’re in the most photographed city in the world.
Even though natives may shrug at the ubiquitous presence of film crews, along with the occasional disruption in traffic caused by an action movie set piece, there are quite a few spots and landmarks for visitors in mind. So let’s check out the 10 Manhattan movie landmarks that you should visit the next time that you’re in town.
1. Katz’s Delicatessen, When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Any discussion of the greatest landmarks in New York City should begin with two movies: Ghostbusters and When Harry Met Sally, with the latter set at Katz’s Delicatessen. It is located on Houston Street on the Lower East Side, and Katz’s interior is filled with signed portraits of the numerous movie stars that have shot scenes there, making the institution a must-visit for all movie fans.
2. Tiffany & Co., Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Not known originally for its breakfasts, Tiffany & Co. was a luxury retailer and wedding-registry-to-the-stars. It entered the American lexicon when it was included in the Truman Capote novel and its film adaptation, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ which starred Audrey Hepburn and Mickey Rooney. If you’re looking for noteworthy movie landmarks in Manhattan, this one should make your list.
3. The New York Public Library, Ghostbusters (1984)
We had the choice between the emblematic firehouse and the New York City Public Library, which were two of the iconic landmarks highlighted in 1984’s “Ghostbusters.” However, we chose the library as it is famous for its lions and pigeon-covered front steps and being featured in other movies as well.
4. Little Italy, The Godfather Part II (1974)
Little Italy was once much larger and extended from Canal Street to Broome between Bowery and Lafayette, and the second Godfather movie shows the district in its prime. If you remember the scene of the ecstatic Feast of San Gennaro, then you should definitely pay it a visit.
5. 21 Club, Wall Street (1987)
The swanky 21 Club was a natural location for Wall Street, in Oliver Stone’s “greed is good” mission statement of the 1980s, in the scene where Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) has lunch with his partner Charlie Sheen. 21 Club started off as a speakeasy in the prohibition era but quickly established itself as the site of the original ‘power lunch’ and is still worth a visit today.
6. Joe’s Pizza, Spider-Man (2002)
Joe’s is not the only Manhattan pizza joint to have made an appearance in blockbuster movies, but the central location off Bleecker Street and its overall excellence make it worth mentioning. It made a cameo in the original Spider-Man, the one with Tobey Maguire, where Peter Parker was briefly serving as a delivery boy.
7. Smith & Wollensky, American Psycho (2000)
The original novel on which 2000’s American Psycho is based on made every suit, song, and restaurant that catches the interest of Patrick Bateman, memorable. The film version kept most of these details, like Smith & Wollensky, the clubby steak joint. A trip here is worth the visit if you love steak and movies.
8. The Russian Tea Room, Tootsie (1982)
The word ‘Opulent’ doesn’t begin to cover the famous “Russian Tea Room,” as its hipness and high-priced Vodka are an inside joke among many New Yorkers. It’s most famous on-screen appearance was in 1982’s Tootsie where Dustin Hoffman played an actor who takes on a whole new identity to revive his acting career.
9. The Guggenheim Museum, Men in Black (1997)
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is instantly recognizable all over the world, thanks to its Frank Lloyd Wright design, and its presence in several films, including 1997’s Men in Black, and 1975’s Three Days of Condor. All this makes the museum a must-visit location for any movie buff who wants to sample movie landmarks in Manhattan.
10. Riverside Drive and West 96th Street, Vanilla Sky (2001)
There have been many on-screen chases and crashes throughout the years, but one of the most death-defying ones was to be the one in Vanilla Sky, the English remake of the Spanish film ‘Open Your Eyes,’ in which Tom Cruise plays a womanizing man gets disfigured. It was filmed uptown on Riverside Drive, and a drive here is certainly going to refresh your memory.