The New York City Filming Locations of The Warriors – Part 3

This is Part 3 of a then-and-now look at the New York City filming locations of The Warriors. Click here for Part 1; click here for Part 2!

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Continuing from where we left off, we rejoin the three Warriors who have made it to Union Square. We see a train coming into the station…

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Wait a minute – there are those Hoyt signs again!

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Of course, we’re actually back again at the abandoned Hoyt-Schermerhorn platform, where the 96th Street station was also faked:

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The great thing about shooting at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station is that the two unused platforms have distinctly different looks – one with lots of white tiling (above), the other more raw:

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The Warriors meet the all-female gang The Lizzies:

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The Lizzies convince them to go to their hangout. Note that in the background, they’ve covered over the “Hoyt” tiles with “Union.”

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Meanwhile, back in Riverside Park, the other Warriors run into a woman sitting on a park bench.

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This was filmed just north of the 99th Street entrance to Riverside, where the paths meet:

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One of the Warriors, Ajax, decides to stay with her while the others head out via the great stone staircase just up the path at 99th Street.

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Here’s another shot:

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Unfortunately, the woman on the bench turns out to be an undercover cop, and Ajax gets nabbed:

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Swan returns to the 96th Street subway station, which of course was actually filmed at 72nd Street. Grey’s Papaya has been there for a looooong time…

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Also, note that you can see the discoloration from where the 1-2-3 sign used to hang:

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Swan heads inside…

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Looks like the old booth has been removed:

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Turnstiles past vs. present:

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Meanwhile, at the Lizzies’ lair, the women try to kill the Warriors, but they manage to escape. Together, they book it down West 49th Street between 9th & 10th:

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They duck into a decrepit apartment building…

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…which is looking a little nicer these days:

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Swan makes it to Union Square – the real Union Square – and waits for the other Warriors. This was shot from the mezzanine looking down on the 4-5-6 platform:

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We then get shots of Swan walking through a Union Square that is unrecognizable today, going through tunnels…

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…up and down ramps…

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…and passing by shops:

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Union Square used to be such a maze of passageways and tunnels that full station maps were hung throughout to help commuters get around. The station underwent a major renovation in the 1990s to simplify it, completely changing the structure:

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Too bad, because I’d love to know where this Playland arcade was set up.

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It’s even rare to find any remaining white-tiled columns:

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There was only one location in the movie that was built on a sound stage: the subway bathroom, where the Warriors face off against the Punks.

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Defeating the Punks, the Warriors finally return to their home: Coney Island.

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The Warriors walk along the path leading from Stillwell to West 15th:

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In the background, we can see yet another Coney Island building that has since met the wrecking ball:

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The Warriors run under the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue:

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They’d have a little trouble doing that today…

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…as the whole entrance has been redesigned, with lots of ramps, and no way to go underneath:

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Hidden from view, the Warriors watch as the Rogues approach, and Luther begins uttering his famous line, “Warriors…Come out to play…”

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In the shot, we can make out a building called Stauch’s Baths:

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Stauch’s was one of the many bathhouses that once lined the boardwalk, and was actually known as an openly gay hangout during the Depression. The building, abandoned at the time of the Warriors filming, was originally featured in several scenes that were ultimately cut from the film. The Warriors name was graffitied across the front, the remnants of which could be seen until it was torn down in the 1980s.

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Reunited, the Warriors head to the beach for their final standoff. This should be easy to find, right?

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Er, not exactly.

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A few clues suggest this was not shot at Coney Island beach. For one thing, we see the Warriors run out on a platform that definitely doesn’t exist at Coney Island.

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Then, in the background, we see a number of dunes, which also don’t exist in Coney Island. Does anyone remember the day the Warriors filmed at a beach near your house? Someone commented that they thought it was Breezy Point/Fort Tilden, but unless you’re 100% sure, it’s not worth exploring, as all of these beaches look pretty much the same.

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Taken at face value, the Warriors might seem like a ridiculous movie, but I think the reason why it’s so damn enjoyable is that it treats this ridiculousness with utter seriousness. Yes, this is a world where gang members wear matching baseball uniforms, or zip around on roller skates, but at no point does the film ever wink at you to say “we know how silly this is.” And therein lies the magic.

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I complain quite a lot about how everyone films the same cliched fantasy of New York, but it’s the cliche I mind, not the fantasy. The singularity of the world the Warriors inhabit is totally original, and one cinematic night wandering through its neon lit, statue-strewn streets is frankly not enough.

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In short? Yes, I can dig it.

Hope you enjoyed Scouting NY’s then-and-now look at The Warriors! And if you really liked it, donations to my film fund are always appreciated!

-SCOUT


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34 comments

  1. Edward Findlay

    Scout, when in doubt in regards to the subway, try http://www.nycsubay.org
    It’s about as difinitive as you can get when it comes to the subway…

    And question for you Scout, did you notice a staircase against the wall of the newer shot with the white columns? If there was one then you practically nailed the comparison shot with The Warriors shot by accident.

  2. Amazing, thanks! I more than dig this movie – but in order to do that one must get in to the stylisticness of the entire thing. It’s like watching a comic book – it’s not meant to be realistic.

    Also fun to note “Warriors, come out and play-ay!” was an improvised line – not in the original script.

    Fantastic posts – thanks for these!!!!

  3. If you’ve seen the director’s cut, you know that The Warriors was originally MEANT to be a dramatization of a comic book, of sorts. The action was intercut with animated comic-book-style stills, kind of like Creepshow. In that context, the outlandish costumes, etc., made more sense. But those, of course, came out in the final version, resulting in a trippy kind of alternate-reality NYC, and an even better movie.

  4. Love this movie so much! Stayed along the F train for a few weeks as well. Brings back a lot of great memories.

  5. Phenomenal work here. Thank you so much!!

  6. For a kid growing up in St. Petersburg, Fla., this was my first impression of New York City. It scared the hell out of me – GANGS IN BASEBALL UNIFORMS AND ON ROLLER SKATES! – but I loved all of it. To this day, I still frequently think of the catchphrases and I light up when I see some of the character actors on TV. Thanks for breaking all of this down.

  7. AWESOME!!!!!!!

    Love The Warriors exploration, great job.

  8. I love when you do this type of today vs yesterday movie scenes.

  9. @dan — yeah that directors cut really sucks because unlike the quick original wipes, the new cartoons take you completely out of the moment, not to mention making the obvious comicbook style of the movie waaay to boringly blatantly obvious. and then there is the whole retinkering with the original version issue. as to the latter, i dont care if directors choose to update their movies and do this…as long as they allow the original version to remain available.

    otherwise, outside of messing with the movie itself and offering the option of the original version, the director’s cut dvd is interesting and worth picking up for the extras.

  10. When you mention gangs in costume it totally reminds me of Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York”, an awesome movie, set, of course, in the five points section of lower Manhattan in 1863.

  11. Scout, of all the distinctive ’70s touches you depict, most of which I recall, the only one that really throws me is the 1-2-3 station where the three lines are three different colors: orange, red, and blue.

    I’ve been riding the trains here since 1969, and I still remember the directions to the IND, the IRT, and the BMT, but I gotta say I don’t remember a time when the local and express lines had different colors. Do you think that was done for the film? Or is my memory failing me?

  12. Scott, Paul here. I actually watched the camera crews working outside the station by my house on that movie. Some of the stations are generic so it is tough to see exactly which one it is but I am pretty sure I know the veiw and location of the scene when they are paying their fair.

  13. I was going to Pratt in the late eighties, and nightclubbing a bit too much. Waiting for the G train at 5 in the morning, I often saw movies being filmed on the Hoyt platforms. I was also quite terrified to be caught in one of their barrel-style exit turnstiles (think I saw a movie using such for a mugging).

  14. The exact address of the lizzies hangout,the exterior at least, was 716 10th ave near the corner of W 49th st in the former Hell’s kitchen on the West Side of Manhattan. if you freeze frame the scene where they’re walking in the rain you can barely see the street sign in the upper right frame.

  15. Congratulations for such good posts about the Warriors locations in NYC.
    I’m a big fan of this cult movie, and will travel to NY for the first time in my life next week. Of course, Coney Island is a must-see for me, but I’d like to ask: is there nowadays any kind of location of touristic spot related to The Warriors that I can see?
    I have heard about a painted mural, but it seems it was something temporal and it was already replaced, is it true? Is there anything else I can visit about the warriors?

    thanks a lot in advance!

  16. just watched the end on IFC.. I thought that last scene looked like fort tilden / rockaway .. definitely not coney island which only has bay .. that was ocean waves and the dunes

  17. The ending of the film is absolutely 100 percent shot at Fort Tilden, Breezy Point. It’s on the beach reserved for those with a fishing permit, not general public. My aunt and uncle had a place in Breezy and my cousins and I watched them shoot the scenes from a dune. All of Breezy was buzzing that a film was being shot.

  18. That was an amazing journey. Thank you

  19. Excellent information. I always wanted to walk along the beach at the end scene listening to Joe Walsh’s “in the city”. I hope it is breezy point.

  20. Phenomenal job. Watching Warriors tonight and was thrilled to find such a comprehensive look at filming locations, reflecting angled shots of NYC then and now. Seriously, thanks for the research and effort.

  21. Outstanding work. Yes, I can dig it.

  22. Monte right up cool internet site! Dude. Exceptional. Remarkable. Let me take a note of your web site as well as use the provides nourishment to likewise? My business is grateful to get yourself a wide range of practical facts right here while in the placed, we need work out extra tactics about this reverence, many thanks discussing.

  23. The sticks in the water visible in the frame with the Warriors standing with their backs to the ocean are a Rockaway Beach hallmark (local surfers call them the sticks of death). There are no such features in Coney Island

  24. I’d say your NY tour was awesome, but then that wouldn’t be high enough praise! That was incredible! I was 18 when that movie came out, growing up in SoCal. I knew nothing about New York and thought I knew everything after seeing Warriors. I love knowing the locations of movies. Thanks!

  25. Any luck finding out more about the beach location? What about the ‘walking into the distance’ final shot. That still looks like Coney.

  26. Great Work.. just stumbled on to your site. Love it! That 72nd St station was also made famous in Die Hard with A Vengence (Papaya still across the way). Keep up the good work.

  27. I would have thought that the beach scene at the end would have been easy to spot too… But no. Its not Coney Island. Its actually Jones Beach. Michael Beck answered this at the 30th anniversary screening that was held at the Coney Island Museum. Cheers!

  28. This was just an amazing portfolio of pictures. I saw The Warriors when it came out at a midnight movie when I was 18. We then caused a bit of mayhem that night!

    I’m heading to NYC Saturday for the first time since 1972. At the very least I will go to Riverside Park to “relive” some of those moments. All of my friends have been asking if I’m going to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building…no way, I’m going to check out film locations of The Warriors, Taxi Driver, Bad Lieutenant, The Soprano’s etc!

  29. This is so great! Can you do one on “The French Connection”?

  30. Wow! Great job! Seriously, this was so freaking cool to see. The Warriors is one of my favorite movies and I love reliving it scene by scene, from past to present. Thanks so much for all your hard work scouting through NY! Sooooo cool.

  31. Great, great work.

  32. great piece of work, its breezy point queens just over the water from coney. fact . it says so on the idbm film website stating that location , and there is that wooden walkway,,

  33. Hello, Scout. If you haven’t already been told where that one street scene is that you weren’t able to identify where the Warriors are walking, I think I know where that is. Email me and I will give you the info.

    Thanks!

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