Late Show With David Letterman

The famous late night TV show “Late Show with David Letterman” was taped at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.  The theater has a long and storied history.  During Ed Sullivan’s tenure, he hosted legendary musical performances from Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

During Letterman’s tenure, his comedy bits included tossing items out the windows of the building and bringing nearby business owners onto the show, such as the owner of Hello Deli and the owners of a souvenir shop near the studio.

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LOCATION: 1697 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

Letterman’s successor, Stephen Colbert, continues to run “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in the same studio.

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Goodfellas (1990)

One of the most memorable scenes in Martin Scorsese’s classic 1990 film “Goodfellas” is when Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, takes Karen, played by Lorraine Bracco, on a date to the Copacabana in Manhattan.  The camera follows them as they take a side entrance, skipping the line and walking through the kitchen out onto the restaurant floor, where a table is immediately brought for them.

The Copacabana was a legendary restaurant located in the actual spot seen in the film.  Acts such as Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and The Supremes all performed there.  However, after fifty years, it was relocated in 1992, not long after the film was released.  Scorsese briefly used this location once again as the Copacabana in his 2019 film “The Irishman.”

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LOCATION: 10 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022

Related articles: The Departed (2006), Casino (1995)

Jack Kerouac

There are so many sites related to author Jack Kerouac scattered across the United States, one could probably dedicate an entire website to it.  Here we pay a homage to a man who not only influenced a generation, but helped shape American counterculture.

This residence in the town of Lowell, Massachusetts is where Kerouac was born on March 12, 1922.  His family lived on the second floor.

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LOCATION: 9 Lupine Rd, Lowell, MA 01850

A plaque can be found on the front porch of the house.

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Kerouac’s family frequently relocated around Lowell.  By age four, they moved to this house, said to be Kerouac’s third home, which the author referred to as “sad Beaulieu.” Beaulieu was the name of the street and Jack’s older brother Gerard died of rheumatic fever while they lived there.

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LOCATION: 34 Beaulieu St, Lowell, MA 01850

The Kerouac family relocated to Jamaica, New York (near Queens), where they lived in the upstairs unit above what was then a drugstore.  It was here that Kerouac wrote the “The Town and the City” and began crafting the initial pieces of his most famous novel, “On the Road.”

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LOCATION: 133-01 Cross Bay Blvd, Jamaica, NY 11417

Kerouac would finish “On the Road” in New York City at 454 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011.  Nearby, at the corner of 7th Ave and W 20th St is where Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty say their goodbyes at the end of the novel.

As is well documented, “On the Road” was not published for many years after it’s completion.  By the time it was first published in 1957, Kerouac had moved to Orlando, Florida.  It was in this home where he lived when “On the Road” became a bestseller and skyrocketed the author to instant fame.  Kerouac also began the manuscript for “The Dharma Bums” at this home.  The historic nature of the house was not known to Kerouac historians until 1996, when research for an article about the author led to the discovery.

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LOCATION: 1418 Clouser Ave, Orlando, FL 32804

Kerouac’s final home, where the author resided in 1969, can be found in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The house, reportedly still owned by the Kerouac family, is said to still contain the desk of the author, as well as other personal belongings.  Mostly sitting empty since the 1970s, the house is in need of renovation.  If upkeep can be successfully funded, the home has been considered to be opened up for public visitation in the future.

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LOCATION: 5169 10th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710

After Kerouac’s passing, he was relocated back to his birth town of Lowell, Massachusetts for his funeral and burial.  His grave can be found at the Edson Cemetery.  The trails around the cemetery are laid out like streets.  The author’s grave site can be found near the corner of Lincoln and 7th, six graves up and three graves in.  It is rumored that singer Bob Dylan still visits Kerouac’s grave twice a year.

Two grave stones can be found there for the iconic writer.  Here is the original.

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LOCATION: Edson Cemetery, 1375 Gorham St, Lowell, MA 01852 (Lot 76, Range 96, Grave 1)

Just past it is a larger headstone, which was added in 2014.  It features an engraving of the author’s signature, along with the words “The road is life.”

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These locations only scratch the surface of all the Kerouac sites to be discovered all across the United States, but it is of course the man’s writing which stands the greatest test of time.

Birdman (2014)

In the 2014 Alejandro G. Iñárritu film “Birdman,” Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomas, a former superhero actor who is trying to breathe new life into his career by putting on a Broadway play.

The theater where Riggan stages his comeback, and where much of the film takes place, is the St. James Theatre, which really is located right in the heart of Broadway.  Although crafted to look like a single take, the film was in fact shot in many different takes across several locations, which are not always as close together as depicted in the film.  Some of the interior shots of the St. James Theatre, for example, were actually sets built at Kaufman Astoria Studios (34-12 36th St, Astoria, NY 11106).

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LOCATION: St. James Theatre, 246 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

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During a couple scenes in the film, Sam, played by Emma Stone, sits on the rooftop of the neighboring Helen Hayes Theatre, where she is joined by Mike, played by Edward Norton.

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LOCATION: 240 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

The Majestic Theatre, which sits across the street, can also be seen many times throughout the film.

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LOCATION: 245 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

The Dark Crystal (1982)

As part of the Jim Henson “Imagination Unlimited” Exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, some puppets and props from Henson’s 1982 film “The Dark Crystal” were on display.  The exhibition ran from June 1 through September 2, 2018.

Here are the Kira and Jen puppets.  Jim Henson served as puppeteer for Jen in the film.

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This is the puppet for SkekSil the Chamberlain, for which Frank Oz served as puppeteer.

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Some miscellaneous props used by the Skeksis, Mystics and Pod People.

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Some tie-in books to the film.

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While the exhibition has since closed, all of these pieces were on loan from New York’s Museum of Moving Image (gifted by the family of Jim Henson) and will likely go back on display there at a future date.

Related articles: Labyrinth (1986)

The Today Show

The daytime news and talk staple “The Today Show,” famous for it’s crowds gathered outside, can be found at NBC Studio 1A in midtown Manhattan, at the corner of W 49th St and Rockefellar Plaza.

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LOCATION: 2 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

A glimpse inside part of the studio.

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MTV Studios

In the heart of Times Square is MTV Studios, where the network has taped an endless variety of shows over the years, most notably “Total Request Live” from 1998 – 2008.  MTV acquired the location in 1997, part of One Astor Plaza and still regularly film programming there today.

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LOCATION: 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)

For the 1992 sequel “Home Alone 2: Lost In New York,” the entire, original cast and crew returned, as well as a location from the first film.  In the early scenes, the McCalister house is once again on display.  The famous home can be found in Winnetka, Illinois.

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LOCATION: 671 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL 60093

The bulk of the film, however, takes place in New York City this time around.  Upon arrival, Kevin takes in many of the city’s landmarks, including Radio City Music Hall.

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LOCATION: 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020

Later Kevin makes his way over to Central Park, where he first encounters the Pigeon Lady, a scary and mysterious woman covered in birds, who essentially serves the same role as Old Many Marley in the original film.  Kevin is initially frightened when he sees her feeding birds in front of Gapstow Bridge in Central Park, though the two eventually strike up a friendship.

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LOCATION: Gapstow Bridge, Central Park, New York, NY 10019

Very close to Gapstow Bridge is another major location in the film, the Plaza Hotel.  “Guests of the new ‘Celebrity Ding, Dang, Dong’ stay at the world-renowned Plaza Hotel, New York’s most exciting hotel experience.”  It is a real, well-known hotel in Manhattan, perched right above Central Park.  Here is a view of the hotel from the park.

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LOCATION: 768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Later in the film, Kevin returns to Central Park at Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, where he flees from the Sticky Bandits.  The terrace is another famous New York landmark seen in countless films.

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LOCATION: 72 Terrace Dr, New York, NY 10021 (inside Central Park)

A reverse view of the fountain.  Here Kevin hides in the back of a carriage, narrowly escaping the bandits.

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A couple other, notable locations from the film were actually sets.  Uncle Rob’s house, where Kevin once again wreaks havoc on the Sticky Bandits with homemade traps, was a set located on Brownstone Street on the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood.  The street suffered a fire in 2008 and portions had to be rebuilt.

While made to resemble Central Park, the scene where the Pigeon Lady throws bird seeds all over the bandits, saving Kevin from harm’s way in the process, was also a set.

Near the end of the film, Kevin is finally reunited with his mother in front of Rockefeller Center.

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LOCATION: 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111

Some props from this film, as well as the first part, can be found on display at Planet Hollywood in Florida.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Related articles: Home Alone (1990)

Spider-Man (2002)

In Sam Raimi’s original 2002 “Spider-Man” film, Peter Parker, played by Tobey Maguire, works at the Daily Bugle as a freelance photographer who has an uncanny ability to capture photos of Spider-Man.  Famous for it’s triangular shape, the Flatiron Building in Manhattan is one of the more iconic skyscrapers in New York City.

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LOCATION: 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

Norman Osborn’s Manhattan rooftop home isn’t in Manhattan, or New York at all.  It’s the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

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LOCATION: Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Norman stands on the stairs and talks to his son, Harry Osborn, played by James Franco.

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The scene where Mary Jane Watson, played by Kirsten Dunst, kisses an upside down Spider-Man in the rain wasn’t filmed in New York City either.  It was filmed on the Warner Bros. Lot in Burbank, California.  Designed to look like New York alley, this facade can be seen as part of their studio tour.

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LOCATION: 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505

When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

The most famous scene in “When Harry Met Sally…” is of course when Sally, played by Meg Ryan, fakes an orgasm for Harry, played by Billy Crystal, while sitting in the middle of a deli.  The deli in question would be Katz’s Delicatessen, located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  Opened in 1888, the deli is wildly popular for it’s sandwiches, consistently ranking among the highest rated in New York City.  The restaurant has been seen in many films, including “Enchanted,” “Across The Universe,” “Donnie Brasco” and many more, but it remains most synonymous with “When Harry Met Sally…”

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LOCATION: 205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

This plaque can be found on the sidewalk in front of the building.

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The inside still heavily resembles how it appeared in the film.  The walls are completely covered with photos of endless celebrities who have visited over the years.  Here is a shot of the backdrop behind Harry and Sally’s table.

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Here is the exact table where Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal filmed their famous scene.

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The deli makes the table quite easy to identify by hanging this sign above it, which references the scene’s famous punchline, stating, “Where Harry met Sally… Hope you have what she had!  Enjoy!”

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If you find yourself in Manhattan and you’re looking for a good sandwich, you can’t go wrong with Katz’s.  The prices aren’t cheap, but the portions are large and the deli itself is just as much of an attraction as the food itself.