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Friday October 19th 2018

Ghostbusters | 1984

Ghostbusters filming location: The Ghostbusters firehouse: North Moore Street, New York
Ghostbusters location: The Ghostbusters firehouse: North Moore Street, New York

Although the phenomenally successful supernatural comedy is set in New York, its filming locations are divided between New York and Los Angeles.

Ghostbusters filming location: New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue, New York
Ghostbusters location: the first ghost: New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue, New York

The first of many supernatural appearances occurs in the New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue, where the marble lions in the opening shots flank the wide flight of steps along Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. The library is familiar from films such as Sex And The City and Spider-Man, and its monumental interior stands in for the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, with Pierce Brosnan.

In this instance, though, the haunted stacks, were filmed across the continent inside the Los Angeles Central Library, 630 West 5th Street at Hope Street, downtown Los Angeles.

Ghostbusters filming location: Columbia University, Morningside Heights, New York
Ghostbusters location: the Ghostbusters come up with their bright idea: Columbia University, Morningside Heights, New York

After getting the boot from New York‘s Columbia University (which has neither a 'Department of Parapsychology' nor a ‘Weaver Hall’), Venkman, Stantz and Spengler (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) conceive their ghostbusting plan on the steps of the university’s Low Memorial Library, on the Upper Quadrangle of the campus, north of College Walk, between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway, West 114th and West 120th Streets, seen more recently in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2.

The Manhattan City Bank, which hands out the loan to set up the ’Busting business, is 489 Fifth Avenue at East 42nd Street – which stands directly opposite the New York Public Library.

Ghostbusters location: The Ghostbusters firehouse: North Moore Street, New York
Ghostbusters location: The Ghostbusters badge on the sidewalk in front of the firehouse: North Moore Street, New York

The dinky little firestation (yes, it is a real one) that serves as HQ is 8 Hook and Ladder at 14 North Moore Street, off West Broadway in the Tribeca area. It's hard now to look at a New York firestation without a tinge of sadness and, indeed, 8 Hook and Ladder did lose one of its team in the 9/11 tragedy.

The firehouse now boasts a Ghostbusters badge on the sidewalk in front.

Ghostbusters location: The Ghostbusters firehouse:  Firestation No.23, 225 East Fifth Street, downtown Los Angeles
Ghostbusters location: The Ghostbusters firehouse interior: Firestation No.23, 225 East Fifth Street, downtown Los Angeles

While the New York location was a working firehouse, a decommissioned building was needed for interiors. This was found on the west coast, in downtown Los Angeles.

It‘s Firestation No. 23, 225 East Fifth Street, which was also used in The Mask (as the garage where loser Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) picks up the loan car), in John Carpenter‘s Big Trouble in Little China and Joel Schumacher‘s Flatliners. Built 1910, the station has been closed since the Sixties. Be aware that this isn’t the most salubrious area of town.

Ghostbusters filming location: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, South Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles
Ghostbusters location: The ‘Sedgewick Hotel’: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, South Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles

Also in Los Angeles is the fictitious ‘Sedgewick Hotel”, where the Ghostbusters capture their first apparition in the ballroom. It’s that old favourite, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, on Pershing Square, downtown Los Angeles, featured in dozens of films, including The Fabulous Baker Boys, Splash!, The Bodyguard, Beverly Hills Cop, Daredevil and Speed.

Ghostbusters location: Spook central: 55 Central Park West, New York
Ghostbusters location: ‘Spook Central’ – the possessed apartment building: 55 Central Park West, New York

Back in New York, ‘Spook Central’, the troubled apartment block of Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), is 55 Central Park West at 65th Street, with a few upper storeys added by the studio art department.

Ghostbusters filming location: 55 Central Park West, New York
Ghostbusters location: ‘Spook Central’ – the possessed apartment building: 55 Central Park West, New York

The chosen location was originally to have been 1 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, an art-deco apartment tower block with Gothic trimmings and stylised gargoyles, but local residents finally nixed the idea. The building housed the (now gone) One Fifth restaurant, a location for Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Ghostbusters filming location: Tavern On The Green, Central Park West, New York
Ghostbusters location: Louis tries to escape the hellhound: Tavern On The Green, Central Park West, New York

Just across from Dana’s apartment, in Central Park, you can see the restaurant where Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) pounds on the window to escape a ravening hellhound. It’s another much-used location, the Tavern on the Green, Central Park West at 67th Street. The restaurant is open again, after being closed for five years.