This blog post was updated on August 3, 2023.
If there’s something strange in your neighborhood…well, you know what you have to do! Because no matter your age, generation, or cultural background: we’re pretty sure you remember the original Ghostbusters movies with a fond feeling of nostalgia. True movie powerhouses on their own, these 80s classics depict the Big Apple in a way that practically no other sci-fi or fantasy movie has achieved.
New York is as important in Ghostbusters as Dr. Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore. More than a setting, it shines as a distinctive and unique character. That’s why fans can explore New York knowing that it’s possible to set foot on many of the main locations where these hilariously spooky movies were shot. Because you ain’t afraid of no ghosts, here’s our list of top 5 Ghostbusters locations in New York you have to visit.
Just remember…no matter what happens, don’t cross the streams!
New York Public Library, Midtown
Let’s start our tour the same way the original movie from 1984 did…by visiting the iconic New York Public Library main building at 5th Avenue with 40th St! This iconic location completely sets the tone of the movie from the very beginning, with that unforgettable scene where a phantasmagoric librarian unleashes hell inside the magnificent Rose Reading Room.
Although there has never been a record of paranormal activity inside these hallowed halls, that doesn’t mean you have to resist the urge of fleeing the building the same way the astonished Venkman, Stantz, and Egon did during their first and memorable encounter with the occult…running for your life through the stairs on your way out! You’ll get a few smiles from nearby fans, at least.
Hook & Ladder 8, Tribeca
As emblematic as the New York Public Library can be to any fan, nothing can beat the unmissable Hook & Ladder 8 fire station located at 12 N Moore Street when it comes to really feel the essence of the franchise. This place is certainly special. Not only the building looks exactly the way it did during the movies (even after several reforms!), but even sidewalk graffitis are there to remind you where you are: the Ghostbusters Headquarters.
Adding even more charm to the place, Hook & Ladder 8 is a functional fire station where you can see real New York firefighters at work…so, don’t forget to be respectful and ask if it’s ok to access first! Once inside you can admire real props used in Ghostbusters II, as well as purchase merchandising like badges and T-shirts.
Columbus Circle, Midtown
Back to Midtown Manhattan, this time to Eight Avenue with one of the most famous commercial hubs in the city. Surrounded by malls and right next to Central Park, Columbus Circle is a well-known and busy meeting point to anyone living around the Upper West Side.
Although it might look quite unassuming at first sight, you’ll be happy to know that this is also the location where one of the best and most revered scenes of the original Ghostbusters took place: the unforgettable appearance of the gigantic Stay Puft monster after Ray unconsciously summoned it by mistake. Although the whole area has changed a bit throughout the years, it’s still easy to imagine the unleashed marshmallow creature wreaking havoc at the heart of Columbus Circle!
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Spook Central, Upper West Side
Not far from Columbus Circle, at 55 Central Park West, we arrive to the real-life scenario of the final battle of first Ghostbuster final battle: an apartment building known among the fan community as “Spook Central.” Located between 65th and 66th Streets, the place where Dana Barret (Sigourney Weaver) lives in the movie was digitally enhanced to recreate a hellish gateway from where the demonic Zuul could begin its invasion of Earth…or that was the plan, at least, before our daring quartet of spirit hunters decided to thwart its nefarious plans.
Fun fact: initially, “Spook Central” was supposed to be located at 1 Fifth Avenue, right next to the the famous Washington Square Arch. However, due to license complications, the climatic battle was moved from Greenwich Village to to the Upper West thanks to it proximity to Central Park and abundance of quaint art déco structures.
National Museum of the American Indian, Lower Manhattan
We put an end to our ectoplasmic tour at Manhattan’s southernmost point, right where Broadway begins. One of the oldest parts of the city, Bowling Green is not only surrounded by thousands of tourists eager to strike a raunchy pose next to the Wall Street Bull and gorgeous views of the Hudson River, but one of Manhattan´s most ignored and interesting museums: the National Museum of the American Indian.
Part of the highly reputed Smithsonian Institution, this building was temporarily transformed into the fictional “Manhattan Museum of Art” where most of the Ghostbusters sequel takes place. Because it’s here where the main villain of the movie, Vigo (Scourge of Carpathia, Sorrow of Moldavia, etc.), poses a devastating threat to our heroes and every single New Yorker despite being trapped inside a canvas.
Not enough movie frights for you? New York has plenty of many other locations to make the most out of your flights to the city. At Lincoln Center, Dr. Venkman managed to seduce Dana Barret with a memorable dance next to a fountain. The fictional Sedgewick Hotel where the Ghostbusters nailed their first job is inspired in Midtown’s Algonquin Hotel. The illustrious Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park will surely be remembered by fans as the eatery where Rick Moranis’ character tried unsuccessfully to get help while being chased by a hellhound. If you love Ghostbusters as much as we do, it’s clear that you will not find shortage of spooky movie locations in New York!
Q: Are all the Ghostbusters locations easily accessible to the public?
A: Yes, the majority of the Ghostbusters locations mentioned in this article are open to the public. However, it’s always a good idea to check for any restrictions or private events that may limit access.
Q: Can I take guided tours of the Ghostbusters locations?
A: While there isn’t a dedicated Ghostbusters tour, various tour companies offer movie and TV-themed tours that may include Ghostbusters locations. Consider joining one of these tours to enhance your experience and gain additional insights.
Q: Are there any Ghostbusters-themed events or conventions held in New York City?
A: Absolutely! New York City frequently hosts Ghostbusters-themed events, especially around Halloween. Keep an eye on local event listings and websites dedicated to fan conventions to stay updated on any upcoming Ghostbusters gatherings.
Q: Are there any souvenir shops near the Ghostbusters locations?
A: Yes, many souvenir shops can be found near the Ghostbusters locations. These stores often offer Ghostbusters-themed merchandise, allowing you to bring home a piece of the ghostly adventure.
Q: Are there any other iconic landmarks or attractions near the Ghostbusters locations?
A: Definitely! Since the Ghostbusters locations are situated in various parts of the city, you’ll find yourself near other popular landmarks and attractions. Take advantage of your visit to explore nearby sights such as Central Park, Times Square, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Q: Can I take pictures at the Ghostbusters locations?
A: In most cases, photography is allowed at the Ghostbusters locations. However, be respectful of any signage or guidelines regarding photography, as some areas may have restrictions. Remember to capture those spine-tingling moments to share with your fellow Ghostbusters fans.
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