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…
Wait a minute – there are those Hoyt signs again!
Of course, we’re actually back again at the abandoned Hoyt-Schermerhorn platform, where the 96th Street station was also faked:
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:
The Warriors meet the all-female gang The Lizzies:
The Lizzies convince them to go to their hangout. Note that in the background, they’ve covered over the “Hoyt” tiles with “Union.”
Meanwhile, back in Riverside Park, the other Warriors run into a woman sitting on a park bench.
This was filmed just north of the 99th Street entrance to Riverside, where the paths meet:
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.
Here’s another shot:
Unfortunately, the woman on the bench turns out to be an undercover cop, and Ajax gets nabbed:
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…
Also, note that you can see the discoloration from where the 1-2-3 sign used to hang:
Swan heads inside…
Looks like the old booth has been removed:
Turnstiles past vs. present:
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:
They duck into a decrepit apartment building…
…which is looking a little nicer these days:
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:
We then get shots of Swan walking through a Union Square that is unrecognizable today, going through tunnels…
…up and down ramps…
…and passing by shops:
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:
Too bad, because I’d love to know where this Playland arcade was set up.
It’s even rare to find any remaining white-tiled columns:
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.
Defeating the Punks, the Warriors finally return to their home: Coney Island.
The Warriors walk along the path leading from Stillwell to West 15th:
In the background, we can see yet another Coney Island building that has since met the wrecking ball:
The Warriors run under the boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue:
They’d have a little trouble doing that today…
…as the whole entrance has been redesigned, with lots of ramps, and no way to go underneath:
Hidden from view, the Warriors watch as the Rogues approach, and Luther begins uttering his famous line, “Warriors…Come out to play…”
In the shot, we can make out a building called Stauch’s Baths:
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.
Reunited, the Warriors head to the beach for their final standoff. This should be easy to find, right?
Er, not exactly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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