1920’s Atlantic City in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

After watching the premiere of Boardwalk Empire last night, I was really excited to check out the Atlantic City set for myself, which was built in a parking lot in northern Greenpoint. A locations friend who lives in GP pointed me to a vacant lot on Commercial Street and Clay Street, and I hopped on my bike to take a look.


OK, not much to see from the street, but don’t be fooled – on the other side of those stacked crates is a 300-foot recreation of Atlantic City’s famous boardwalk, as seen from Google’s satellite view image of the area:


According to my friend, for quite a while, the set was plainly visible from the street as it was being built. In fact, the Google Streetview car drove down Commercial Street during the construction:


Another pic courtesy of Google…Note the building below…


…and in the background of this still from the show:


Sadly, today, the set is obstructed by a 40-foot stack of crates…but the crates are not in place simply to block prying eyes. If you look through the parking lot next door, you can see the rear of the set…


…and the enormous blue screen wall covering the entire inner side of the crates:


In other words, when they do a shot like this…


…everything from about 10 feet into the sand over is a bluescreened wall of crates.

Wish I could give you a full detailed tour of the set (ahem, HBO? Free bit of publicity!), but it was locked up and deserted when I stopped by. Oh well – enjoy this time lapse video of the set being built:


PS – Why was this shot in NYC and not, say, New Jersey? New York’s ultra competitive tax incentive, which helped employ hundreds of New Yorkers over the course of the series’ first season.

If you enjoyed reading this post, would you consider making a donation to help me make my first movie? The goal is $50,000, and to date, 1,728 Scouting NY readers have donated $36,348! Just $5 or $10 can make a difference - AND you get this snazzy Scouting NY sticker/magnet as a Thank-You gift! Click here to donate today!


And hey, if you've made it this far, why not follow us via RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr?


  1. scorcese says Jersey wouldn’t let him shoot there, i have no idea why anyone would say no to Marty.

  2. Thanks for the “behind the scenes” glimpse. So, if lower taxes encourage more jobs, maybe we should do more of it? And maybe, not just for film production.

    Thanks again.

  3. @ Force Tube

    I never knew we had lower taxes in Brooklyn. Who knew?

  4. I have this on my DVR but haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. Didn’t they film some of it in Park Slope too?

  5. You have one of the best blogs ever! Thanks for some great entertainment…and education.

  6. NJ is probably more worried about their “image” than the fact that AC continues to decay and cost more money than it makes.

  7. I started my career at the Transit Authority next door when it was a bus depot. If I’m not mistaken the funeral home is the Kreischer Mansion here on Staten Island which oddly enough has a bus depot under construction next door.

  8. Wow!! I live 3 blocks from there and I’ve gotten kicked out about 3 times trying to investigate what was going on. I knew it was Boardwalk Empire, but I didn’t know they were hiding a whole boardwalk behind those containers, I thought it would just be a few houses or something.

    Now I’m even more determined to sneak in one night. heh. pics if I am successful!

  9. And another thing… can we have this when they are done? I mean the neighborhood…. pretty please?

  10. Off topic, but I just noticed your google map on the margin. I had emailed you a while back asking you to do that. Not sure how long its been there, but thank you!!!

  11. Great post. I was curious as heck where and how they shot after seeing first episode. Would you know where they shot the street scenes with all those identical looking bungalow houses? Perhaps Rockaway?

  12. Bungalows were in Rockaway. Just a few the rest are CGI. Nothing like that ever existed in AC. Don’t the sets look incredible?

  13. When will they be shooting the next set of episodes? Anyone know?