5 Upper West Side Buildings Featured in Movies

  Last modified on October 7th, 2021

The Upper West Side has long been one of the most featured and easily recognizable neighborhoods in cinema and television. Some films feature unique UWS buildings which display distinct architectural styles and add important elements to the film’s atmosphere. From The Dakota’s mysterious energy in “Rosemary’s Baby” to the iconic rooftop of 55 Central Park West in “Ghostbusters,” these Upper West Side buildings are central characters to the films they appear in.

55 Central Park West (between 65th and 66th Streets)

Featured in “Ghostbusters”

55 Central Park West, also known as the Ghostbusters building, was built in 1929 by architecture firm Schwartz and Gross. The building now forms part of the Central Park West Historic District and its unique design was influenced by the art deco movement. 55 CPW hasn’t changed much at all from its debut on the silver screen back in 1984 when Ghostbusters premiered.

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During the film, the building serves as the home of Dana Barrett (expertly played by Sigourney Weaver) as she starts to experience some paranormal activity around her apartment. The film’s most epic action scene also takes place here when Gozar the Gozarian takes the form of the Marshmallow Man and the gang is able to defeat him for once and for all. Some of the building’s most notable past residents besides Gozar include Donna Karan and Calvin Klein.

55 Central Park West is also rumored to be haunted!

Upper West Side Buildings Featured in Movies

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The Dakota (1 West 72nd Street at Central Park West)

Featured in “Rosemary’s Baby”

Perhaps the most well-known of these Upper West Side buildings featured in movies – and also a place where many celebrities living in NYC reside – the Dakota takes center stage in one of the horror’s genre most spine-chilling tales. Directed by Roman Polanski, the majority of the film takes place inside of the building and quickly becomes a character of its own.

The Dakota houses some of the most exclusive Upper West Side apartments, and Rosemary’s Baby offers a close look into the interior of this mysterious yet glamorous building. There are more than 160 statues of Poseidon with two snakes placed around the Dakota and its Gothic-style inspired exterior effortlessly adds to the building’s intriguing design. During the film, a young couple moves in to a vacant apartment and quickly start to discover a series of dark secrets that threaten their very own livelihood. Celebrities such as Lauren Bacall, Rosemary Clooney, and Yoko Ono have all called this place their home.

NYC Buildings Featured in Movies

 

The Apthorp (2211 Broadway, at 79th Street)

Featured in “Heartburn”

The Apthorp, with its large interior courtyard and architectural influence from the Italian Renaissance Revival, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The building was featured in 1986’s romantic comedy Heartburn starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. The film was inspired by director’s Nora Ephron own autobiographical novel during her time residing at the Apthorp. Besides taking on directing duties, Ephron also wrote the plot of the movie which revolves around the life of a happily married couple whose relationship goes south when when the wife finds out his husband is cheating on her. Other real life notable Apthorp residents include Al Pacino, Cyndi Lauper, and Rosie O’Donnell.

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1 West 67th Street (corner of Central Park West)

Featured in “Audrey Rose”

1 West 67th Street, more commonly known as Hotel Des Artistes, is an apartment building that was built in 1918. The building is an example of architectural grandeur and features three large windows facing the street on each of its five levels. The ground floor is home to the ever popular Cafe Des Artistes restaurant that is usually frequented by celebrities and other local personalities. The film Audrey Rose is an intense psychological thriller that was shot entirely inside 1 West 67th in order to enhance the unique atmosphere the plot required. The movie is based on a novel by Frank De Felitta and deals with the life of a seemingly happy family who’s lives are turned upside down when a stranger claims their daughter is the reincarnation of his daughter Audrey.

NYC Buildings that were Featured in Movies

 

341 West End (at 76th Street)

Featured in “The City of the Living Dead”

Acclaimed Italian director Lucio Fulci chose this beautiful West End Avenue for the setting of his gory horror film The City of the Living Dead. The movie turned out to be the first chapter of a trilogy referred to as “The Gates of Hell” series. Mainly set on the Upper West Side, Fulci set his sights on 341 West End for its disjointed design feeling like it would match the tone of his nonsensical movies. The building was designed by the firm Lamb & Rich and was influenced by the Gothic-style movement of the time.

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