So, you’re in New York and you’re a movie nerd. What to do? Go out and see the city! Whether you’re just visiting or a local, there’s a cornucopia of cool places to enjoy in ideal autumn weather. And if you’re like us, Manhattan is a theme park of nerdy pop culture iconography.
Thus, we’ve broken the island down into a series of movie and TV location must-sees. If you visit any of the below spots in the next week, be sure to tag us on Instagram @denofgeek — we’d love to see your photos!
72nd Street Stop (Broadway and 72nd Street)
It was summertime in the city when Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson stopped here for a game of “Simon Says” in Die Hard with a Vengeance. Sadly, there is no longer a payphone to shout “yippee-ki-yay” into.
The Dakota (1 W. 72nd Street)
The dream home of occultists everywhere, Mia Farrow found the spot crawling with hellish neighbors in Rosemary’s Baby. Many celebrities live here still, though hopefully not for the basement parties.
The Dana Barrett Building (55 Central Park West)
While we cannot offer you the corner penthouse of Spook Central, enjoy knowing that this Ghostbusters location is on the National Register for Historic Places. Ivo Shandor would be proud.
Lincoln Center (10 Lincoln Center Plaza)
More iconic than any one movie that’s used its fountain, Lincoln Center has seen upon its urban stage Bill Murray twirl in Ghostbusters, Natalie Portman pirouette in Black Swan, and Gene Wilder do, well, whatever Gene Wilder does in The Producers.
Trump International Hotel & Tower (1 Central Park West)
Borat tried to leave his brown mark on this hotel’s sign, which some would say befitted its namesake.
Columbus Circle (Broadway and 60th)
The endangered goalpost for protagonists during most of Cloverfield, this locale has been rocked by more than a few giant movie monsters.
St. James Theatre (W. 44th Street)
As a historic Broadway theater that housed the original productions of Oklahoma!, The King and I, and The Producers, you probably know it best as the spot where Michael Keaton went nuts in Birdman.
The Highline (12th Avenue and 34th Street)
One of New York City’s newest and most beloved parks, this slice of urban bliss has made special use out of an abandoned strip of elevated train tracks. It also saw Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone make eyes in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Miracle Macy’s (151 W. 34th Street)
If you want to go to where the miracle happened in Miracle on 34th Street, you won’t have to walk far from the Javits Center.
Madison Square Garden (4 Pennsylvania Plaza)
If you worship the king of all kaiju, then look no further than the city’s most famous arena, the landmark Godzilla called home for his extended family of monster eggs. Because what’s better than one big kaiju? A hundred baby kaiju.
Ghostbusters Firehouse (14 N. Moore Street)
Who you gonna’ call? The Ghostbusters Ecto-1 out of the historic Hook & Ladder Company 8 firehouse in Tribeca. Of course.
North Cove Marina (250 Vesey Street)
Leonardo DiCaprio made it rain hundreds from his private yacht here in The Wolf of Wall Street. But don’t hold Jordan Belfort’s awfulness against this scenic spot.
The New York Stock Exchange (11 Wall Street)
Plenty of major movies about Wall Street sin have shot here, hence why the most likable character to make a scene was Tom Hardy’s Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.
Katz’s Delicatessen (205 E. Houston Street)
Where Harry met Sally. Well, at least Sally’s talent for selling pastrami sandwiches.
Washington Square Park (5th Avenue and Waverly Place)
Manhattan’s very own mini Arc de Triomphe has appeared in plenty of movies and shows, including Kevin Smith’s best film, Chasing Amy.
The Flatiron Building (175 5th Avenue)
One of the grandest achievements in American architecture, this historic landmark from 1902 has appeared in a plethora of movies, but most memorably as The Daily Bugle in the Spider-Man Trilogy.
The Empire State Building (350 5th Avenue)
Whether you take a picture from the top or bottom, you’ll love the site where King Kong met gravity.
Bryant Park (6th Avenue and 42nd Street)
A little reprieve from Times Square, the park’s been in many shows and films. Most recently, Jessica Jones sleuthed her way through it on Netflix.
The New York Public Library (5th Avenue and 42nd Street)
This monument to New Yorker regality from the dawn of the 20th century has stood proudly with its doors open since 1911. And in 1984, it memorably opened Ghostbusters.
The New York Daily News Building (220 E. 42nd Street)
For The New York Daily News to still be running its ink in the 21st century is cause for celebration. So is the fact that its building doubled for The Daily Planet in Superman: The Movie.
Rockefeller Plaza (45 Rockefeller Plaza)
Plenty of movies and TV shows have been shot or set at Rockefeller Center, not least of which being NBC’s Saturday Night Live and the 30 Rock sitcom it inspired.
21 Club (W. 52nd Street)
The former speakeasy is a staple of pop culture both fictional and otherwise, appearing in films like All About Eve and Wall Street while serving as a favorite real-life watering hole for Jack Kennedy, and Bogie and Bacall. Tip to cosplayers: the outside is photogenic ‘30s chic, but it’s business casual to go inside.
Tiffany & Co. (727 5th Avenue)
Grab a croissant or pastry of choice and have your Breakfast at Tiffany’s! Little black dresses and crack of dawn arrivals are optional.
The Plaza Hotel (768 5th Avenue)
Sadly, the Oak Room is now closed, but you can still stroll into the Plaza like you own the place, just as Cary Grant did at the top of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (the first of many movies to shoot at this historic hotel).
Gapstow Bridge, Central Park (Southeast Corner of Central Park)
If you’re near the Plaza, also stop by this classic footbridge that was a repeated backdrop for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Riverview Terrace (E. 59th Street and Sutton Place)
Boy, this really is a great city, I don’t care what anybody says. The same goes for how romantic George Gershwin’s strings in Manhattan sound almost 40 years later while in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge.
The Mall, Central Park (Middle of Central Park, near E. 67th Street)
This concourse through the heart of Central Park has also been the scenic lifeblood in many a film. Most recently, Amy Schumer and Brie Larson took leisurely strolls down it in Trainwreck.
Bethesda Fountain, Central Park (Middle of Central Park, near E. 72nd Street)
Another Central Park idol, this terrace’s famous statue was used as the eponymous angel in the play and miniseries, Angels in America. It is also where the team said their goodbyes in The Avengers.
Temple of Dendur, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 5th Avenue)
If you’re in New York, you must be sure to step into the Temple of Dendur at the Met, at least once. Like half the spots on this list, it appeared during the opening sequence of Manhattan and looks as stunning in real life as it does in black and white celluloid.