Thursday, January 19, 2012

Go "On Location" to Famous NYC TV and Movie Sites -- Whether You Have Lived Here Your Whole Life or Are Just Visiting for a Day!

Recognize this firehouse?

How about now?

"When was the last time you went "on location"? That's the motto of the only television and movie tour company in New York City, "On Location Tours."

Private "On Location Tours" Bus
WGINY recently had the opportunity to go behind the scenes with "On Location Tours" to visit NYC sites featured in popular movies and TV shows. Although I have lived in the New York metropolitan area nearly my entire life, I was quite impressed by the unique vantage point offered by the "On Location" tour, as I was whimsically guided through a city I thought I already knew.

During the approximately three to four hour Signature New York City TV and Movie Sites Tour, visitors and native-New Yorkers alike (I met at least three of the latter on our tour) were whisked away by a private, luxury coach bus, and taken on a movie-magical journey to discover NYC like they've never seen it before. We visited sites from movies such as "Breakfast at Tiffany's," the "Men in Black" franchise, "The Devil Wears Prada," "When Harry Met Sally," "Miss Congeniality," "Ghostbusters," "Serendipity," "August Rush," "Spider-man," "Superman," "Zoolander," "Scent of a Woman," "Kate & Leopold," and countless others. We also encountered sites where episodes of timeless sitcoms such as "Friends," "Seinfeld," "30 Rock," "Will & Grace," and "Sex and the City," have been filmed, as well as beloved dramas such as "Law and Order," and even those guilty pleasure shows you don't want to admit you watch, like "Gossip Girl," or "The Apprentice."

"I'll have what she's having..." became an oft-quoted line from "When Harry Met Sally" after a scene between Billy Crystal ("Harry") and Meg Ryan ("Sally") at Katz's Delicatessen.
The "Friends" apartment at Bedford and Grove

"I am Legend" fans may recognize these apartments...
"The Cosby Show's" Huxtable Residence
Throughout this exciting tour, our guide, Scott Bolohan, who, like the other six rotating guides that lead this tour, is an actor himself, also pointed out where certain celebrities resided around the city. We learned where stars like Bruce Willis, Renee Zellweger, Billy Crystal, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and others have their NYC digs. Bonus points were offered to anyone who actually spotted a "celeb" from the bus (although none of us did). As I learned on my tour, and as I also know from personal experience, it can sometimes be difficult to walk around neighborhoods like Midtown or TriBeCa without spotting someone famous. No stranger to the spotlight, our guide kept a comedic personality and showed off his expansive knowledge of random NYC movie and television facts (making sure to also point out each and every role he's played here...).

One of the best parts of the tour were the TV and movie clips that the guide played on the bus, to complement each site the tour came upon. It really gave the tour a special flavor to be able to watch, for example, Chris Reeves (as Superman), landing on Margot Kidder's terrace (Lois Lane) in the 1978 original, sensational "Superman," and then look up and see the very building "Ms. Lane" lived in towering above us, or to view clips from more modern movies like "Enchanted," in Central Park, or "I am Legend," in Madison Square Park, just as we passed these spaces. And while an enclosed bus might not be the very best way to see each of these sites (despite large, clear windows), our tour did literally stop to go "on location" five times -- in Greenwich Village, SoHo, TriBeCa, and twice in the West Village. Some of the many highlights of these stops were visiting the famed firehouse from "Ghostbusters," which remains a working firehouse to this day, hanging on the porch of the "Cosby" residence (Surprise!... it's not really in Brooklyn...), and standing outside the "Friends" apartment building.

Overall, the On Location Tour, which began at 11am, was a wonderful way to spend a morning and early afternoon. Even if you've never seen any of the movies or TV shows I've mentioned (which I would find highly unlikely...), at its core this tour provides a relaxed adventure through some of NYC's most historic landmarks. Any guidebook will note the popularity of iconic sites such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Flatiron Building, St. Patrick's Cathedral, F.A.O. Schwartz, Columbus Circle, as well as the many public parks the city thrives on -- Central Park, Washington Square Park, Bryant Park, and Madison Square Park, to name a few. The tour passed by all of these, and we were treated to the rich histories of each site, both on and off the screen, as well as given some tips for how to come back and visit these sites on our own (e.g. to go to the top of the Empire State Building).
St. Patrick's Cathedral is featured in "Spider-man"
Central Park's southwest entrance is featured in "Enchanted," and the park overall is the most filmed location in the world!
For just $42, this tour is a true steal, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore the city, especially, of course, if you do happen to be a TV or movie buff. **Special discount for WGINY readers: use promo code "TakeTwo" when you purchase your tickets online to save 10%**

On Location Tours also has other tours tailored to Brooklyn TV and Movie Sites, Central Park TV and Movie SitesSex and the City Hotspots, Sopranos Sites, and Gossip Girl Sites, or combine your "Signature" TV and Movie Sites tour with a visit to Madame Tussaud's or an NBC Studio Tour. After your tour ends, check your tour's "playbill" for tips on how to score free tickets to live tapings in NYC.

Never a dull moment in vibrant Washington Square Park.


  1. I might do this. Sounds exciting.Love MOM

  2. I would like to experience Coach bus NYC for tour with family and friends on the board to some place away from this busy routine life.

  3. St. Patrick's Cathedral has been visited. It is one of the unique monument. I also love visitng new places with my family and friends

  4. Glad to hear it, "Happy family holidays"!