Ghostbusters | 1984
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.