The Warriors never set foot in the Bronx.
This might come as a surprise, seeing as how the movie revolves around a New York City gang trying to make their way from the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park to Brooklyn’s Coney Island, but filming only took place in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. However, authenticity aside, The Warriors captured nighttime New York in a way that very few movies had previously, using some insanely brilliant and memorable locations.
Let’s see how many we can find.
As the credits roll, we’re treated to the POV from a rushing subway train zipping through various New York City subway stations.
This was shot along the A-C line in Brooklyn. You can make out the Nostrand Ave (above) and Franklin Ave stations among others (these shots are actually repeated several times during the credits).
The Warriors are headed up to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx for a meeting of all of New York City’s gangs. Based in Coney Island, the gang naturally boards the D-train at the Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue station, which underwent a major renovation in 2004/05.
As the credits continue, we’re treated to several shots of (sadly) unidentifiable subway stations with increasingly defunct elements. For example, the old entry gates…
…and wooden turnstyles (there’s something so cute about the fact that this gang politely buys tokens for each member):
As the movie begins, the Warriors have arrived at the Conclave, scripted as the Bronx’s Van Cortland Park, but actually shot in Riverside Park in Manhattan, just north of 96th Street:
If you visit in person, you might be surprised to find that the park doesn’t seem as big as it does in the movie:
However, this was the perfect location to set the Conclave, as the park’s many tiers (some built for the film) filled with people create the illusion of a much larger space:
A wall was built around the northern side of the park…
…which is good, because otherwise you’d see the very cute Dinosaur Playground just behind all the tough gang members!
As Cyrus tries to convince the gangs to unite, we’re treated to a few shots of the gathered ruffians, including the very evil Luther, seated on the ground:
Here’s another bunch perched in front of the park’s distinctive arches:
But trouble is brewing as the police quietly approach.
These gates can be found at the top of the arched structure (for you drivers, that’s the 96th Street on-ramp to the West Side Highway just beyond):
More police officers arrive…
…pulling up at the park’s main gates:
Luther shoots Cyrus, then blames The Warriors. Chaos breaks out, and soon, everyone is running (by the way, is that a camera guy on the right side of the frame??):
Falsely accused, the Warriors flee for their lives.
More fleeing gang members:
The Warriors exit the Conclave via the false wall at the northern end of the park (just to their left is Dinosaur Playground):
The Warriors seek refuge in a nearby cemetery, which would be Woodlawn if they were actually in the Bronx:
However, this was actually shot in Evergreen Cemetery, in the Cypress Hills section of Brooklyn:
It’s very easy to find the Warriors’ shooting location: as you enter the Conway Street entrance, just follow the road to the right, and you’ll quickly see some of the distinctive graves above just off the road.
I’m actually amazed at how many actual graves were allowed to be featured in the film. Nowadays, you often have to provide your own graves if they’re going to get such significant screen time.
Ditto the fact that they let an actor climb on an actual grave…
But man, what a fantastic use of existing statuary:
Here’s the full grave, belonging to the Yunker family:
Seeing the subway station in the distance, the Warriors head out:
We’re given a few shots of New York’s eerily empty streets. I wasn’t able to identify this first one, which is killing me because the buildings are so distinctive. Anyone know?
The next one is the passageway beneath Riverside Drive at West 96th Street, just south of The Conclave park:
And finally, a street with distinctive elevated tracks. This was shot under the J train at the corner of Broadway and Truxton Street, just outside Evergreen Cemetery, which we’ll return to in a minute.
The Warriors bolt from the cemetery, passing through a tunnel. Check out that “Al” graffiti…
It’s still there!! Special thanks to reader Amir for pointing this out.
The Warriors turn right and run up a hill on the other side:
This awesome tunnel can be found at the corner of Cooke Court and Stewart Street in Brooklyn, another example of a totally unique yet very iconic New York location:
The Warriors descend onto Broadway and scope out the el train staircase across the street, their one hope for returning to Coney Island:
It took me a LOT of trips up and down Broadway before I realized the reason I couldn’t find this staircase: it doesn’t exist anymore:
This entrance to the Eastern Parkway stop (now Broadway Junction) was located at the corner of Conway Street and Broadway. You can just see the Carbone Memorials building behind it, a gravestone manufacturer:
As rival gangs patrol the area, a glimpse in the opposite direction reveals the current slanted entrance to the station in the distance:
As the Warriors run for the stop, a rival gang begins racing them down:
The Warriors hurry down Broadway toward the subway entrance:
There used to be a ton of exposed cobblestones at this end of Broadway, which have since been paved over:
The Warriors book it into the old Eastern Parkway station…
…which today is boarded up, as it’s no longer in use:
So take a look – this doesn’t exist anymore:
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