Can You Identify These Mystery New York City Locations?

Hey folks –

For a week now, I’ve been working on my latest then-and-now movie locations installment, and this handful of shots has me baffled. I’m hoping someone out there might be able to help identify them. Free Scouting NY magnet to whoever figures out each one first!

1) IRT Subway EntranceSolved! 1-2-3 commuters! Being an IRT with service to South Ferry and the Bronx, I’m guessing this a 1-train stop. Anyone recognize it? Looks like either midtown or far downtown. That stone structure poking out looks a lot like a corner church. Check out the deli sign on the left offering frankfurters, pastrami sandwiches, and malted milk for a few bits!


2) Subway entrance #2SOLVED! This is a complete shot in the dark. No identifying features to speak of, although those flagpoles might be a giveaway. Anyone happen to take this one every day to work?


3) Albert’s Beauty SalonSolved! I’m sure this salon has been gone for decades, but I’d love to see if the storefront still exists. This is definitely on an avenue, and the address is 807 as seen in the window. Pretty sure it was at 807 Madison, but I’d love it if someone can find a confirmation.


4) Mystery theater near Bowery Solved! A character passes this movie theater…


…which is located on the corner adjacent to a stop along the old Bowery/3rd Ave elevated train. But where?


We get a pretty big clue when we see the character on the platform above: looking south, the Chrysler building is on his right.


This is the reverse shot looking north:


OK – Go!


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. Re photo number 2, I think that this is Park Avenue South, most likely the northeast corner of 28th Street. You can see the Helmsley Building (at that time the NY Central RR Building) in the horizon. Nowadays the view of this building is blocked by the Pan Am Building behind Grand Central.

  2. Albert’s Beauty Salon is 807 Lexington in 1946 telephone directory.

  3. You are on the right track Joe R about this being Park Ave South…but it is further south…the building to the right of the subway lamp is still there at Park and 22nd St. For Photo #2 subway stop.

  4. To clarify prior comment Park and 22nd is where the building is to the right of the white/brighter subway lamp

  5. In Photo 2 (based on comments above) – subway stop is the abandoned 18th St Station at Park Ave S

  6. On photo 2 – I agree with Joe R that this is Park Av S, however, I’m pretty sure it’s 18th St. The Subway entrance fixtures are pre-Dual Contracts, which limits where this could be, but – check out the architectural details of the building on the right, and compare against those seen in this photo from a previous post at my blog:

    Full post here:

  7. Grand Theatre was by Grand Station at 257 Grand Street but it was demolished early 1930s. Magnificent Obsession (1935) with Robert Taylor seen in signage under marquee opened at Radio City Dec 30, 1935.

  8. The theater looks a lot like the theater at 60th and Third and 999 Third Avenue used to be a medical supply store, which certainly world have had truss belts.

  9. the first photo could be the old 6 train 18th st stop

  10. I know the Buddhist temple on the corner of Canal and Bowery (next to where the Chinatown bus Fung Wah used to have a ticket booth and let on and off), right at the entrance of the Manhattan Bridge, used to be a movie theater! Does that fit the bill?

  11. 1st subway stop is 50th St Station (Broadway and 50th) looking south.

  12. The building above the dark subway lamp for 1 train stop is the Capitol Theatre at Broadway and 51st ST. and the building btw the two lamps was lindy’s. The view is south but the 1 train only had a stop at 50th St Station nearby! Did it have an entrance north of 51St?

  13. Confirmed with a friend who lived here at that time that the theater where the Buddhist temple is now was called The Rosemary.

    Not sure when the Rosemary was built though?

  14. Pic 1 is 40th and 7th looking south. I posted a couple of current google shots on Facebook…

    • Then it’s possible that the building projection which Nick referred to could actually be the back of the old Metropolitan Opera House. I remember it vaguely from when I was a kid.

    • The problem is based on traffic flow, it has to be looking north.

    • I am having a tough time matching the surrounding buildings at 7th ave and 40th to 39th across the street. At 7th Ave and 39th the building with the 5 window areas ends at 39th. But in this post, the building with 5 window areas (above SUBWAY sign) has a building to the left of it. Am i missing something?

  15. One of my comments didnt post yet (perhaps because there is a link). But the subway station looking up Park Avenue S towards Helmsley is the abandoned 18th St Station.

  16. Lovely post, Scout. This made my day.

  17. The last pic of the elevated subway looks to be somewhere on the Brooklyn side of the J,M,Z line.

  18. The prior mentions of Park Avenue South are only partially correct as at time of the photo that stretch was Fourth Avenue, which was not changed until 1959.

  19. FYI, the avenues in Manhattan were all originally 2-way streets. Years when they became 1-way:

    9th and 10th – 1948
    Columbus and Amsterdam – 1951
    1st and 2nd – 1951
    7th and 8th – 1954 (below 42nd) and 1957 (above)
    6th – 1957 (above 34th) and 1960 (below)
    Lexington and 3rd – 1960
    5th and Mad – 1966

    I’m not sure about when the others were converted (11th and 12th?) but I’d assume generally the same era when we became enamored with “efficiency” and there were all sorts of street widenings and urban renewal going on… but it’s interesting that the toniest parts of the city retained their 2-way avenues later than the poorer and more industrial sections. And Park Avenue continues to most denote affluence defined by its 2-way traffic.

    • It’s interesting that a lot of the avenues in central Harlem, north of Central Park (St. Nicholas, Frederick Douglass, Adam Clayton, Lenox, Park Ave etc), are two way

  20. My guess for the remaining unsolved shot is 18th St also…and third… The view is of West side of third between 17-18 I think.