Brief Guide to New York – A Movie Buff’s Dream Destination

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 12:42 am

New York, undoubtedly one of the most visited U.S. cities, hasn’t only gathered millions of visitors worldwide for its stunning, historically rich attractions, thriving art and culture scene, and diversified architecture. One of the reasons why 10 million people visit New York yearly is its reputation as a thriving film hub, boasting many places where some of the best movies of all time were filmed. To date, New York is home to around 381 films, ranking high on the list of the states with the most popular film destinations around the globe.

Suppose you’re planning a trip to New York to uncover the city’s iconic film settings. In that case, you should equip yourself with valuable information about the most renowned filmmaking locations. While there are globally recognized places immortalized by award-winning movies, there are also locations that might mislead the average movie enthusiast into believing they were shot in NYC when, in reality, they were not. Let’s take a closer look.

JFK Airport – a renowned hub for moviemaking  

JFK Airport, one of the most crowded airports in the United States, serves as a backdrop for plenty of scenes in iconic movies. Indeed, the spots intended for movie shooting were arranged in advance so that the cast could step on stage. Yet, the fact that it’s one of the busiest airports is one of the reasons so many directors opted for this spot to create their cinematic content.

JFK airport ranks among the most easily distinguishable airports globally and holds plenty of importance as an international gateway to the U.S. The landing area, terminals, runaways, parking spots, hangars, and other surrounding elements make it a distinctive and visually appealing place to film action, drama, romance, and other movie genres.

If you plan a one-day trip to New York to discover the places where some of the best movies were filmed, make sure to put JFK Airport on your bucket list. You have the option to book a lot at JFK parking before you kickstart your adventure to visit locations where monumental movies such as the following were filmed:

  • Get Him to the Greek (2010)
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  • Live and Let Die (1973)
  • Garden State (2004)
  • Death Wish (1974)
  • Goodfellas (1990).

Rarely can you stumble across a NYC visitor who has yet to hear about Central Park’s notoriety or doesn’t have this world-famous tourist attraction on their bucket list. After all, it is not only the most popular place for movie filming in America but was also nominated as the most-filmed location worldwide in 2022, with 532 movie credits, surpassing Trafalgar Square by a wide margin.

This recognition is well deserved for a good reason: its history dates back to 1850, and its 853 acres are dotted with huge lakes, meandering streams, a wide range of majestic trees, and other breathtaking natural elements. Hence, Central Park accommodated hundreds of movie casts, ranging from lesser-known pieces of cinema to cinematic tours de force. Here are some of the best-known examples of Central Park serving as a filming ground:

  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  • Ghostbusters (1984)
  • Spider-Man 3 (2007)
  • Vanilla Sky (2001)
  • Limitless (I) (2011)
  • Panic Room (2002).

N.Y.’s thriving film hub status creates misconceptions about the shooting places of some movies

New York is undoubtedly a major hub for filmmaking. It’s so well-known for its role in movies that misconceptions often arise, leading many to assume that films shot elsewhere were actually filmed here. Take, for instance, the famous “Friends with Benefits”, nominated two times for the Teen Choice Awards and two times for the People’s Choice Awards, featuring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. Many people wrongfully assume the movie was shot in an airport in New York when, in fact, it was actually filmed at the LAX airport in Los Angeles. So, if you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking “Friends with Benefits” was filmed in New York and had plans to visit the city to see the famous scene, it’s time to adjust your travel plans. To visit that iconic spot, you should make your way to the LAX airport. You can conveniently park your car in LAX parking while you explore and capture pictures of this globally renowned location.

Moreover, some films were initially meant to be shot in N.Y. However, because of budget constraints, setting limitations, or other well-backed reasons, they ended up being shot elsewhere. Here’s a list of the movies where N.Y. didn’t contribute in any way as it was initially intended to:

  • Escape from New York – Surprisingly, despite the suggestive name, this dystopian action classic was shot in St. Louis and Atlanta
  • Gangs of New York – Another movie that didn’t resonate with the name, this epic historical masterpiece was filmed in Italy
  • The Great Gatsby – This highly acclaimed movie portrayed the city of New York but was actually shot in Sydney, Australia.

If your schedule is tight, you’ll probably prefer to explore the most renowned locations, given their significant cinematic history. However, suppose your stay lasts longer; then you should check out other inspirational places in New York that have brought many screenplays to life yet didn’t receive that much recognition. Some notable options include:

  • Port Authority Bus Terminal – a location where scenes from Madonna-starred “Desperately Seeking Susan” were shot
  • Serendipity 3 – a place featured in several NYC-based movies, including “Serendipity” with Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack.
  • Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street – known for Marilyn Monroe-featured “The Seven Year Itch”
  • 58th Street and 6th Avenue – famous for filming “Midnight Cowboy”, starring Dustin Hoffman
  • Queensboro Bridge From 58th Street – a place where “Manhattan” with Woody Allen was filmed
  • Church of St. Mary the Virgin – a NYC landmark and shooting setting for “Fame”

If you’re a movie buff, New York is full of well-known locations that will live up to expectations. Do you know any other noteworthy places that should have been included on this list? 

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