We love Bob Egans site PopSpotsNYC, the site finds the exact locations of album cover photos and other visuals of pop history and how a Pop Culture Detective tracks them down. We’ve posted 4 Iconic Film Locations Shot In Harlem, New York.
1. West Side Story, 1961
At 110th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, we see the Jets gang (in the photograph above) from West Side Story patrolling their turf to keep out their rivals, the Sharks.
PopSpotsNYC found the exact location by finding out where the two huge oil tanks in back of them were back in 1961. Also, way in the distance, is an apartment building in Queens, near the Tri-Borough — whoops! (The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge – which helped determine the location.)
Much of the opening scene and the final scene was shot on this playground on 110th between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. The other exterior scenes were filmed on 68th Street west of Columbus Avenue where apartment towers are now.
2. The Seven Year Itch, 1955
A friend of Bob’s runs a website called “Flaming Pablum” has contests to find where New York City photos were taken. This one for The Seven Year Itch he located at the Harlem Meer, a small lake at the northern end of Central Park. The building with the point roof in the background is Mt. Sanai Hospital at 102nd Street.
3. Shaft, 1971
Here’s private-eye John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) the 1970’s star of Shaft (1971), Shaft’s Big Score (1972) and Shaft in Africa (1973) underneath the famed Apollo Theater marquee at 253 West 125th Street between Frederick Douglass Blvd. (8th Avenue) and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. (7th Avenue).
The marquee from another direction. In its 100-year history the Apollo’s stage has seen hundreds of America’s greatest entertainers from Ella Fitzgerald to Jimi Hendrix, many who have plaques on the sidewalk outside.
4. Deathwish, 1974
This picturesque series of steps played a role in the vigilante movie Deathwish.
In the film, Charles Bronson (as Paul Kersey, an architect) becomes a one-man vigilante as he seeks to bring to personal justice the street thugs that murdered his daughter and housekeeper. The film spawned four sequels (maybe ’till Bronson ran out of bullets.)