The UWS is a neighborhood known for filming movies and television shows; the beautifully tree-lined streets, prewar architecture, and inviting brownstones are just a few reasons why this side of Manhattan is loved by film directors. While there are MANY movies and shows that have brief scenes or claim to take place on the Upper West Side, I’ve picked several movies that were actually filmed (and had somewhat strong ties) to our beloved neighborhood. Hopefully you’ll take the time and check out a few of these iconic spots!
Location: 55 Central Park West
Fun fact – if you visit 55 Central Park West and want to Instagram a pic, “Spook Central” will come up as the suggested location. Pretty cool!
Location: Columbus Circle
The scene where the Stay Puft Man comes barreling out of the buildings on Columbus Circle between 58th and 59th Streets. Who are ya’ gonna call for this behemoth?! Ghostbusters!
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
SO much of You’ve Got Mail was filmed on the UWS. Here are just a few famous scene locations:
- Cafe Lalo
- 106 West 69th Street, at Columbus Avenue
- This is the location of The Shop Around The Corner, Meg Ryan’s character’s Indie bookstore. Current day, the actual little cafe shut down and is now the home to La Mode Organic Cleaners.
- 79th St Boat Basin (Joe’s / Tom Hank’s boat house location)
- Zabars (scene where Hanks embarrasses Ryan)
- Starbucks, 2252 Broadway at West 81st Street (their usual meeting spot)
- 328 West 89th Street (Kathleen’s / Meg Ryan’s apartment)
Location: 91st Street Gardens
Just east of the Hudson River, love conquers all when Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meet at the 91st Street Garden in Riverside Park during the last scene of the movie and realize they were truly meant for each other!
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Location: The Dakota, 1 West 72nd Street
Taken place in one of the most exclusive, high-security, and private buildings in Manhattan, The Dakota was stage-named “The Bramford” for the film. If you have plans to see the inside of this iconic building, your best bet may just be watching this movie. The entire movie, both interiors and exteriors were shot here on site.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Not sure if Meg Ryan just loves the Upper West Side, or if it is truly the perfect neighborhood for amazing romcoms… but again here we go (9 years earlier!)
Location: Plant Shed, West 96th Street
This is where Harry and Sally buy the Christmas tree…
Location: West 89th Street
Harry and Sally’s best friends Marie and Jess’s West Side apartment. Remember, they are the friends that Harry and Sally set up long before they realize they were meant for one another!
Location: Cafe Luxembourg, West 70th Street
Harry and Sally try to set each other up with dates at this cafe. Cafe Lux was a very trendy restaurant when the movie hit theaters in 1989 (and is still considered one of the best restaurants on the UWS). In the movie they even say “Restaurants are to people in the ’80s what theater was to people in the ‘60s,”… still true today, am I right?!
West Side Story (1961)
Location: West 68th between West End and Amsterdam Avenue. This location technically no longer exists, (Lincoln Towers now occupies this area) as this area was condemned and the buildings were in the process of being demolished. These buildings demolition was delayed so that the filming could be completed. While most of the movie was actually filmed on an indoor stage, several scenes (including the opening scene) were filmed onsite between this 68th St. location and another on East 110th Street.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next live filming if you want to catch some celebrities in NYC!
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