Are you a movie addict? Symptoms range from remembering lines to humming theme songs and visiting film locations - places that end up in travel itineraries because fans can’t get enough of them in reel and want to see them for real.
Here are 10 cinematic reasons why movie lovers love New York:
1. Bridging People and Places
The Brooklyn Bridge was a backdrop in Fantastic Four, Deep Impact and Gangs of New York. The US may be No Country for Old Men but it is for bridges. It’s one of the country’s oldest suspension bridges. The bridge, which connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, is also a symbol of human connection. It was where Sex and the City’s Miranda and Steve reconnected after their separation. Much like the Bridges of Madison County, it is a romantic spot. It would break the hearts of many to see it destroyed the way they did it in I Am Legend.
2. Treasures of Trinity
Nicolas Cage may have found a secret chamber under Trinity church in National Treasure, but the church’s real treasure is its history. The church has ties to the Masons. Now, before you get excited about this whole clues and secrets traversing the trails of the Da Vinci Code and the Angels and Demons, know that this once tallest building in New York was also the burial site of Alexander Hamilton. Architecture-wise the church sports neo-Gothic style.
3. Zero in on the Heroes
Another Nicolas Cage film was shot in New York, this time reliving one of the city’s darkest hours. Oliver Stone’s take on World Trade Center wasn’t about who’s to blame nor about who’s the villain. It was about the Heroes. Because of its height, the once tallest building in the world was often captured in movies. Visitors at Ground Zero will grasp the immensity of what could no longer be seen. This is no location nor occasion to wear that Mona Lisa Smile.
4. Big on Music, Big on Comedy, Big on Hair
While Meg Ryan is Sleepless in Seattle, tourists who are sleepless in New York are kept awake by Hairspray’s infectious energy. The colorful 60’s costumes and flamboyant 175 wigs, which used an astonishing 80 cans of hairspray a week, are so visually entertaining. Critics say “It’s a happy, funny, sunny show!” The Broadway musical comes back to the big screen in the big shape of John Travolta with a whole lot of incredible back, front and sides as the 300-pounder Edna Turnblad.
5. A View to a Kill
If you’re short on time, go up the Top of the Rock Observation deck at the Rockefeller Plaza and you’ll see many New York landmarks in one spot: Central Park, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty. It’s a killer view up there – a black ocean of sparkling stars. In Elf, Will Ferrell shows his date the biggest Christmas tree he’s found in New York – in Rockefeller Plaza. Also within the building is the Target Breezeway. The room’s motion-detection technology tracks visitor’s movements with flickering lights of psychedelic colors and sounds. The only thing missing is Austin Powers.
6. Snobby Stockbrokers
Like the rest of the movies, with the exception of Wall Street, tourists can only pose outside the New York Stock Exchange Building. Its trading floor was off limits to cameras until The Talented Mr. Ripley, I mean Stone, came into the picture. Oliver Stone must have been so convincing that he managed to shoot 45 minutes with actual brokers on the floor. 1987 must have been A Good Year for Stone and his actor, Michael Douglas, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor.
7. An Animal of Epic Proportions
Tourists flock around the bull for a photo op. Some rub its nose, horns and testicles for good luck – something that would merit a scene in Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. Clueless on why a beast is unleashed in the Financial District? The Raging Bull is one of the world’s best-known symbols of American capitalism. Who knows what the Joy Luck Club has to say about the bull in astrology but to the Manhattanites, it’s a symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity.
8. Unquenchable Torch
Some say the Statue has been in more cinemas than popcorn. Daryl Hannah’s momentous first steps on land were near the Statue’s base in Splash. The Statue of Liberty has ushered in a mermaid, countless visitors and immigrants to the US but the Statue is herself an immigrant from Paris. The statue, which was originally intended for Egypt, was given by the French to the Americans as a present. The city’s movie star has been standing there since 1886 and hopefully, till the Day After Tomorrow.
9. Love is in The Air.. and creepy creatures, too!
Serendipity 3 Restaurant menu consists of an item, which only a Rich Man’s Wife could afford – the most expensive ice cream in Guinness World Record! The restaurant caught media attention with movie-goers falling in love with its namesake movie, diners enjoying its delicious desserts and creepy creatures making some not-so-delectable-news. It was temporarily closed due to rodent and fly infestation and the presence of more than 100 live cockroaches. Oh Ben! Don’t worry it’s not Joe’s Apartment. The restaurant reopened 3 weeks later after passing the health inspection.
10. Lovers in New York
A curtain of Manhattan skyscrapers and trees envelope the place. If that’s not romantic enough, go to the lovers’ lane, which is the route of horse-drawn carriages. The Proposals happen in these carriage rides in Central Park. Location scouts could not have picked a better location for the romantic comedies You Don’t Mess With The Zohan and Music and Lyrics.
These ten locations are just some of the many locations in New York immortalized in celluloid. There are many reasons why a tourist will Love New York but movie fanatics simply love the City for being the location of many Hollywood films.
Movie Set Hotels in New York
- Hotel Giraffe – Featured in Sex and the City: The Movie
- Hotel 17 – Set of Woody Allen’s movie Manhattan Murder Mystery
- Crowne Plaza Times Square Hotel – Located in the heart of Times Square, a New York landmark featured in many movies.
Photo of movie set in New York by Iain Browne