Lights, Camera, Action! My TV & Movie Sites Tour

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Ever been curious to see the places where your favorite movies and television shows have been filmed? I certainty was! So I decided to go on a TV & Movie Sites Tour around Manhattan with On Location Tours. The tour was so much fun! Not only did I get to see famous locations, but I learned a lot of interesting facts about them as well. For example did you know that Times Square was completely shut down, so Tom Cruise could film a scene in “Vanilla Sky” where it appears to be deserted? That was the first and only time that has ever happened. It caused so much chaos and traffic that from now on, they are forced to use special effects to make it look like the city is empty.

Being New York, productions are constantly being filmed, so we had a lot to see. We drove around the city on an uber comfy bus, which was packed with TV’s showing TV and movie clips related to the tour. This really helped build the excitement up on the tour. It was incredibly cool to watch the clips as we drove by each location, while our tour guide was describing what was filmed there. I must admit it was a buzz picturing Will Smith standing outside of the apartment where he lived in “I Am Legend” and Spiderman climbing up Hearst Tower. There are so many locations that I walk past all the time, that I didn’t even know were used in some of my favorite films! I work right by the National Museum of the American Indian and had no idea it was the Museum used in Ghostbusters. The clips on the bus really help give you that eureka moment.

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The official “Men In Black” MIB headquarters. No alien sightings that day 😛

To keep things fresh we also got to stop along the way. The first stop was at Washington Square Park where they filmed movies such as “Enchanted”, When Harry Met Sally”, “Big Daddy” and popular TV shows such as “Blue Bloods” and “Glee”. Then we went to Soho and were given some free time and a map of different locations that we could check out such as the Dean & DeLuca where “Felicity” worked, Dash where the Kardashians work in “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and the apartment where Demi Moore lived in “Ghost”. If you decided that you wanted to use some of that time to shop or grab food, you could of course do that instead. While checking out the Dean & DeLuca, I had to buy some treats, which I immediately scoffed on the bus.

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The infamous arch in Washington Square park

After that we stopped at Hook & Ladder which was the firehouse where they filmed “Ghostbusters”, “Hitch” and “Seinfeld”. It is actually an active firehouse, but you can take a peek inside the window and see the “Ghostbusters” sign from the movie! Then we went to the apartment building that was featured in “Friends” where Rachel, Monica and the gang lived. I was amazed by how much smaller the building looks than in the show. I guess the camera really does add ten pounds 😛 Did you know that the owner of the apartment was never paid for any of the shots of the building? Not a penny! Only if they would have had to set up lights or equipment to film the building, otherwise they are fully in their rights to film as they please. I would be pretty bitter if I owned those apartments!

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The Hook & Ladder Firehouse – Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!

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“Friends” apartment in Greenwich Village!

During the tour, I realized I wouldn’t have been able to find many of these places on my own. Most of the addresses and locations are made up, so if you want to see where the Huxtables lived in Brooklyn or the Friends apartment by Central Park, you’d be in trouble because both are in Greenwich Village! When the tour ended, we were dropped off by The Original Soup Man which was where the cast of “Seinfeld” would go for their soup in the show (except for of course Elaine “No soup for you!”), so if you are hungry after your tour you can pop in and have the soup everyone was raving about!

Thank you On Location Tours, I had so much fun and now I will enjoy re-runs of my favorite shows and movies that little bit more!

Disclaimer: Thank you to On Location Tours for providing our tour. All opinions are, as always, my own. 

45 thoughts on “Lights, Camera, Action! My TV & Movie Sites Tour

  1. I would love to do this tour. I did the Gossip Girl tour and a few others in NYC, but didn’t see this many things. We have seen Glee being filmed in Washington Sq Park in the past, and we never go to NYC without a visit to Soho for Dean & Deluca. Nom! If you like to see the movies being filmed, you can follow OLV on twitter to see the locations that are marked off. They do a great job of reporting. My daughter and I are celebrity stalkers.

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  2. Leaving fairly central in London I sometimes stumble onto streets where filming is taking place. A few action movies have been shot near me. World War Z with Brat Pitt had some scenes shot down the road from where I live and many scenes from Luther were shot from near by so this would definitely be a cool tour to take when I finally see NYC!

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  3. I love learning about stuff like that. There are quite a few places in Seattle have have been used but we don’t have a tour like that (to my knowledge). What a fun way to spend a day! 😀

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  4. Loved your article and photos! Looks like you had a lot of fun. You have definatly inspired me to take this tour!!! Looking forward to your next article.Always interested in things to do in NYC. THANKS!!!!

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  5. Amazing 🙂 I’d love to visit Friends sights in the city. Particularly the Friends fountain! I can’t believe they got away without paying anything for the shots of the buildings.

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  6. This is so awesome! I would love to take this tour. I wouldn’t be able to find all of the sites on my own, so it would be great if someone could show me and tell me all about it! That’s really crazy trivia about Vanilla Sky, and I loved seeing the Friends building. Or anything Friends related. I love that show!

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  7. Haha looks like you had a fantastic time touring Manhattan. New York is so much fun…couldn’t ever live there (it’s just too chaotic all the time) but sure can spend a few weeks exploring and eating all of the different cuisines! 🙂

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  8. I am a huge TV junkie (the more horrible the show, the better!) and I would love this tour so much. I live in Manhattan and love seeing this kind of stuff. I haven’e been on the tour but need to check it out.

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  9. Sounds like a great tour! I love movie tours, and NYC is full of them. Theres also a TV and movie tour in Central Park and you get to visit 40 different locations!

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  10. Im from LA so we have the hollywood scene, so Ive always wanted to try one of these tours! Was it weird doing a tour like this in your hometown?

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  11. We spent a weekend in NYC recently and I was just dying to do this tour but we didn’t have time! Thanks for giving us a snapshot of the day, I’d have loved to see the MIB Headquarters!!

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  12. It was amazing! Loved to know all the locations and had so much fun! You forgot to mention that we actually saw Robert de Niro on the Tribeca Film Festival Theater, sadly we didn’t take any picture of him!
    I will recommend the tour to all my friends that comes to visit 🙂

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  13. Isn’t it funny the amount of tourism that the tv/cinema industry generates? Entire neighbourhoods in Rome have become popular (and have been renovated) as they became famous due to tv series!

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  14. I remember all your Facebook posts about these one’s. I never found the Friends apartment when I was there… I went to a few Sex and the City spots and Seinfeld for sure!! It’s one thing I love about NYC, everyone is so familiar with it, but no-one knows absolutely everything about it. 🙂

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  15. THat looks so cool! New York City is probably the best place to do a movie tour I’d imagine since so many movies are filmed there. I’ve only done the studio tour at Universal which is cool but they’re all sets. I feel like it’d be much more fun to go around to the real life spots that are shown in movies. I’ve always wanted to go to the Friends apartment but I heard they took it down or something? Anyways, still looks like a great tour!

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