Movies Filmed in Queens – Filming Locations

Exploring the Magical Movie Filming Locations of Queens: Your Ultimate Guide

Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City, boasts a diverse tapestry of cultures, neighbourhoods, and landscapes. Beyond its rich history and local attractions, this borough has become a hotspot for movie filming locations. Queens offers a unique opportunity for film enthusiasts to step into their favourite movie moments. From iconic scenes to hidden gems, let’s explore some of Queens’s most memorable movie filming locations. You’ll also read tips on visiting each place. Head to Queens? Be sure to read my Queens Travel Guide before you go.

Famous filming neighbourhoods in Queens

Astoria: A Cinematic Haven

Astoria, known for its artsy vibe and historic architecture, has hosted various cinematic masterpieces. One standout location is the Museum of the Moving Image. This museum was the backdrop for Men in Black. Step into the world of alien agents and explore the museum’s exhibits dedicated to film, television, and digital media history.

How to Visit: The Museum of the Moving Image offers regular admission for visitors. Be sure to check their website for current exhibitions and timings. This is the best place to visit if you are interested in the movies filmed in Queens.

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park: Where Sci-Fi Comes Alive

The movie Men in Black featured this expansive park. The iconic Unisphere, a symbol of the 1964 World’s Fair, served as the gathering point for extraterrestrial events. You can also spot the New York State Pavilion, which adds a futuristic touch to the park’s landscape.

How to Visit: Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is open to the public year-round. The Unisphere and New York State Pavilion are visible from various points in the park and are accessible for free.

Forest Hills: A Glimpse into Romance

Forest Hills took the spotlight in the romantic comedy The Great Gatsby. The stunning Forest Hills Gardens, a planned community known for its Tudor-style architecture. It provided the backdrop for Jay Gatsby’s extravagant parties. Walking through these charming streets is like stepping into the Roaring Twenties.

How to Visit: Forest Hills Gardens is primarily a residential area. However, you can stroll through the neighbourhood to admire its architecture. Remember to be respectful of the residents’ privacy.

Ridgewood Reservoir: Natural Beauty Meets the Silver Screen

This scenic location was featured in Birdman, where the protagonist embarks on a reflective journey. The Ridgewood Reservoir’s tranquil surroundings and reservoir basins offer a serene escape from the urban hustle. It is a perfect spot for contemplation.

How to Visit: The Ridgewood Reservoir is a public park with walking trails. You can explore its beauty and take in the filming location at your own pace.

Long Island City: From Grime to Grandeur

Long Island City’s urban charm has attracted filmmakers for years. The iconic staircase of the 33rd Street–Rawson Street station is in A Star Is Born. It serves as a backdrop for a pivotal scene. This location reflects the borough’s blend of grit and glamour.

How to Visit: The subway station is part of the New York City subway system. Therefore, you can easily experience this filming location while using public transportation.

Pepsi Sign: The Soda on the SIlver Screen

The Pepsi-Cola sign in Queens is an iconic landmark that appears in various movies and TV shows. You can see it in Men in Black (1997), Spider-Man (2002), Nurse Jackie (2009-2015), and many more.

Movies filmed in Queens

Coming to America (1988): Eddie Murphy filmed this comedy classic in several locations in Queens. These include Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Flushing. One of the most recognisable filming locations is McDowell’s Restaurant. This restaurant was actually a Wendy’s at the time of filming.

The Yards (2000): Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron filmed this crime drama in Astoria, Long Island City, and Sunnyside. They shot the film’s climax at the Long Island Rail Road yards in Sunnyside.

Run All Night (2015): Liam Neeson and Ed Harris filmed this action thriller in several locations in Queens. Locations included Flushing, Jackson Heights, and Astoria. They filmed one of the most notable scenes at the Queens Night Market in Flushing. 

Julie & Julia (2009): Meryl Streep and Amy Adams filmed this biographical drama in several locations in Queens. Locations included Astoria, Jackson Heights, and Woodside. They shot the film’s opening scene at the Astoria Boulevard subway station.

Goodfellas (1990): Directed by Martin Scorsese, this iconic crime film features several scenes shot in Astoria. The bamboo lounge, which was actually a real bar named Neir’s Tavern, plays a significant role in the movie.

Men in Black (1997): This science fiction comedy film includes scenes filmed at the old Long Island City courthouse. Filmmakers transformed the courthouse into the headquarters of the Men in Black organisation.

A Beautiful Mind (2001): While not set in Astoria, they filmed scenes at the Kaufman Astoria Studios. The studios contributed to the film’s portrayal of Princeton University.

The Age of Innocence (1993): Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel features scenes filmed at the Kaufman Astoria Studios.

Television shows filmed in Queens

Sesame Street (1969 – present): The beloved children’s show has been filmed at the Kaufman Astoria Studios for decades. It is an iconic part of Astoria’s cultural legacy.

Orange Is the New Black (2013 – 2019): The show used the Kaufman Astoria Studios while set in a fictional prison. The studios were the filming location for various scenes.

Ugly Betty (2006 – 2010): This dramedy series set in the fashion industry used locations in Astoria. Locations included the Kaufman Astoria Studios.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017 – present): This show follows a housewife who becomes a stand-up comic. It has filmed scenes in Astoria, including at the historic Embassy Diner.

Person of Interest (2011 – 2016): This crime drama series utilised various locations in Astoria during its filming.

Movies filmed in Queens walking tour

Queens offers a diverse array of filming locations from movies and television shows. Here’s a movie tour itinerary that highlights some of the iconic spots:

Stop 1: Kaufman Astoria Studios

Start your tour at the Kaufman Astoria Studios. This historic and vibrant film studio complex has hosted numerous movies and TV shows, including scenes from “Sesame Street,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and more. You can take a guided tour of the studios to learn about their rich history and ongoing productions.

Stop 2: Astoria Boulevard Subway Station (Goodfellas)

Head to the Astoria Boulevard subway station, which was featured prominently in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas.” Remember the memorable scene where Henry and Karen rush through the station to escape a heist gone wrong? You’re standing where it happened.

Stop 3: Steinway Street (My Big Fat Greek Wedding)

The vibrant Steinway Street, also located in Astoria, features in several scenes of this beloved movie. It serves as a bustling backdrop for the characters as they go about their daily lives. The street’s eclectic shops, restaurants, and local flair contribute to the film’s authentic neighbourhood atmosphere.

Stop 4: Neir’s Tavern (Goodfellas)

Visit Neir’s Tavern, a historic bar that was featured in “Goodfellas” as the Bamboo Lounge. You can step into the same establishment where scenes from the movie were shot and immerse yourself in the film’s atmosphere.

Stop 5: Forest Hills (Spider-Man)

Travel to Forest Hills, where scenes from the original “Spider-Man” movie were filmed. Swing by Forest Hills High School, which served as the fictional Midtown High School attended by Peter Parker.

Stop 6: Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Men in Black)

Explore Flushing Meadows Corona Park, where parts of “Men in Black” were filmed. The iconic Unisphere served as the setting for the climactic confrontation with the villainous bug.

Stop 7: The Lemon Ice King of Corona (The King of Queens)

Savour a refreshing treat at The Lemon Ice King of Corona, featured in the opening credits of “The King of Queens.” It’s an excellent opportunity to experience a location from a beloved TV show.

Stop 8: Louis Armstrong House Museum

Visit the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, the former home of the legendary musician. While not a filming location per se, it offers insights into the history and culture of Queens.

Stop 9: Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden (Saturday Night Fever) Conclude your tour at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, featured in “Saturday Night Fever.” Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and unwind with a cold drink.

Next, take a walk down 30th Avenue in Astoria. This street is home to many restaurants and shops featured in movies and television shows, such as “The Godfather” and “Seinfeld.”

Queens is a great destination for film lovers

Queens, with its diverse neighbourhoods and landscapes, has provided the canvas for some of cinema’s most iconic moments. From the futuristic flair of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to the historic elegance of Forest Hills Gardens, each filming location offers a unique glimpse into cinematic history and the borough’s rich cultural tapestry. Whether you’re a film buff or simply looking to explore a different side of New York, Queens’ movie filming locations are a must-see for any curious traveller. Remember to respect the locations and surroundings while visiting, and you’ll be able to relive your favourite movie moments in a whole new way.

As you can see, there have been loads of movies filmed in Queens. But have I left your favourite movie filmed in Queens off the list? Let me know in the comments.

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Also, if you are planning a trip to New York and Queens, read my comprehensive Queens Travel Guide.

In keeping with the filming locations theme, if you visit Northern Ireland for Game of Thrones locations, you should stay in the Galgorm Resort.

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