Can You Identify These NYC Filming Locations?

OK, I give up – I’ve been staring at these two film stills for way too long, and I just can’t figure out where they are. Can you help??

This first shot looks so damn familiar, and yet I can’t place it. At first, I thought it was a Grand Central entrance, but nothing matches. Then I thought it might be one of the classic Fifth Avenue stores…but nope. It’s almost definitely located somewhere in the grid of 42nd – 60th, Fifth – Madison. I know someone out there must walk by this every day to work…


Ahh, for the days of golden subway entrances! The second mystery location offers a few more clues. The sign reveals it to be the Queensboro-8th Ave IND – or, today’s A-C-E line, so that narrows it down. It’s also directly adjacent to a building with a very distinct stone pattern (the sort of thing that is probably still there). Finally, this was almost definitely shot somewhere in the midtown area.


Thanks in advance! Be sure to check back Monday…



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  1. Could it be either the Birds or Psycho, I’m leaning more toward Psycho.

  2. No idea about the first one, but the second looks like it could be the 50th Street C/E uptown entrance.

  3. The first one is driving me a bit crazy. I feel like I walk past that every day walking from Rockefeller Center to Grand Central. My first thought was the 49th street entrance to Saks, the second one further away from 5th avenue. I’m going to have to keep my eyes open on the way home.

  4. I have nothing to base this on, but could the second photo be the old entrance near the old Penn Station that was removed when they knocked Penn down?

  5. The first one looks like Family Court down town Manhattan

  6. the subway station looks like the BDE station at 7th Ave & 53rd St (lines go to both Queens and Bronx from there)

  7. Could the first one be lord & Tayoors?

  8. Is this from North by Northwest? The bldg entrance looks like 100 Park Avenue South used to…I think it might be different now but I worked there is the early ’70s.

  9. 1st Scene looks like Macy’s Broadway entrance.

    2nd Scene looks like Chamber’s Street Post Office

    3rd Scene Hitch outside the Pet Store

  10. Could the first one be from the New York Life Building? Or maybe the Waldorf?

  11. These are all from North By Northwest, right?
    First photo looks like a shaded area on possibly a sunny day, so an entrance to a building on its north side (therefore the south side of a street). It’s an entrance with two revolving doors and a swing door. Here’s the Title sequence from YouTube: . Based on the fact that no one comes out the door with shopping bags, I’d rule out department stores (unless those are all actors).

    Photo two definitely has a stone wall, but the Post Office at Barclay & Church is Bedford limestone, not that holey, pitted marble like the sidewalk at Grace Building (I forget what kind of marble it is… starts with a T).

    Where Hitchcock misses the bus looks like the NW corner of 5th & 42nd. But the out-jutting building to the left of the traffic light was replaced by the Chase bank with the big vault in the window, in the 1970s. It’s a 2-way street or avenue, but most streets were two-way before 1965. The sunlit building right over the back of the bus looks like the Fred F French Building, on 5th at about 46th. It’s just a guess, though. It looks like the same location as the two women fighting over a cab, but the lighting’s all different. Makes me suspect I’m wrong. (Tourguide sense tingling!)
    BTW the background for “Directed by Alfred Hitchcock” is the NE corner of 5th & 42nd, looking E.

  12. First one looks like Macy’s entrance to me.

  13. i Like the Macy’s theory on number one. Maybe on 34th Street?

  14. I think #1 may be an entrance to Grand Central Terminal along Lexington.

  15. Going on that hunch…

    It looks similar (but not identical) to this Lexington Ave GCT entrance:

    Note, for example, the notched corner, how far inset from the building the doors are, etc. But there are enough differences that this probably isn’t that entrance.

    So I wonder if this entrance might be along the same block, but no longer resembling its old self because of Donald Trump’s 1970s renovation of when he bought the Commodore hotel and turned it into the Hyatt. The shiny glass Hyatt GCT entrance may be where this was.

    I may be off, but it’s my best guess.

  16. I got off on 50th & 7th this am and its not the entrance from the pic. The stairs do not go directly flush with the building.

  17. Really terrific detective work! I, too, appreciate when a movie gets a city right. I lived in Washington, DC for 10 years, and hardly any get it right – ‘Broadcast News’ is one exception. Thanks for this!

  18. Good one! 🙂 much appreciated by a fellow Hitchcock fan and location scout!

  19. The first one definitely looks like Macy’s at 34th Street. There used to be (it’s been a while since I was there) a subway entrance that you could access between the doors in the photo and the inner doors to Macy’s. The rush to or from the subway would account for a sudden heightening of traffic through those doors.

  20. Just saw, and loved!, your McDOnald’s in Long Island NY.
    Reminded me of the McDonald’s in Freeport, Maine (home of LLBEAN) which was also constrained by local zoning laws to maintain appearance.
    Thanks for sharing this photo.
    elaine flynn


  21. Just saw, and loved!, your McDOnald’s in Long Island NY.
    Reminded me of the McDonald’s in Freeport, Maine (home of LLBEAN) which was also constrained by local zoning laws to maintain appearance (see link below).
    Thanks for sharing this photo.
    elaine flynn


  22. McDonalds in Freeport Maine

  23. Great photos and descriptions. Lived in NYC 1974 – 80. Must look for the old hotel when I get back.

  24. im not sure but the first picture look very distictly to me like 150 William street in manhattan!!