Real-Life Ghostbusters Locations You Can See In New York

In 1984, the first "Ghostbusters" movie took the supernatural and made it about as "New York" as it could get. The movie begins outside the New York Public Library and ends with a character saying, "I love this town!" Its 1989 sequel, "Ghostbusters II," even climaxed with the Statue of Liberty stepping off its pedestal, wading through New York Harbor, and coming ashore for a nighttime stroll through Manhattan. If you're a "Ghostbusters" fan visiting New York City, you may also want to check out some of the real-life locations around town that were shown onscreen. 40 years later, the 2024 sequel, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" is revisiting some of those locations, too, while taking the series back to where it all started in New York.

One of the first shots in the original "Ghostbusters" is that of Fortitude, the north lion sculpture flanking the steps of the New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue. You can see a computer-generated version of Fortitude's marble counterpart, the south lion, Patience, come alive in the trailer for "Frozen Empire." Inside the library, the Rose Main Reading Room is where three of the Ghostbusters assemble before they head downstairs to tackle their first "free-floating, full-torso, vaporous apparition." The room has a visiting hour from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Saturday, or you can reserve a spot online via ShowClix for a free one-hour tour of the library. Just stay quiet and don't disturb the regular patrons (or ghosts).

The firehouse and Central Park locations

The most famous "Ghostbusters" location in New York is undoubtedly the Hook & Ladder Company 8 firehouse, which provided all those memorable exterior shots of the team's headquarters. The firefighters at this station were among the first responders on 9/11, so its history goes well beyond Hollywood. It's located at 14 N. Moore St. in the Tribeca neighborhood, less than 1 mile from the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

Since the firehouse is operational, tourists can't just waltz in and start taking pictures, but there's a "Ghostbusters" sign that sometimes hangs outside, and the Beaux Arts-style building always makes for a nice photo op. You wouldn't recognize the inside, anyway, since the filmmakers shot the interior firehouse scenes at a decommissioned station on Skid Row in Los Angeles. LA is also where you can spend the night in the spooky movie hotel where the Ghostbusters first encountered Slimer.

To see "Spook Central," the haunted Art Deco building where Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) lived, you'll need to head to Upper Manhattan. The address is 55 Central Park West. It's right beside Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, which the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man plows through in "Ghostbusters," leading Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) to exclaim, "Nobody steps on a church in my town!" For its part, Central Park remains the world's most-filmed location, and you can still dine at Tavern on the Green, the posh restaurant where Dana's neighbor, Louis Tully (Rick Moranis), gets cornered by a Terror Dog.

Columbia University, Manhattan Bridge, and more

Another New York location visible in "Ghostbusters" is Columbia University, which also appeared in "Spider-Man." When the movie's title comes up, it's superimposed over this campus, with dialogue playing out against the backdrop of landmarks like Low Library. On Wednesdays, the university offers guided historical tours, where you can learn more about its architecture. If you're in the neighborhood already, just a seven-minute walk from Low Library is a diner that's a great tourist spot for "Seinfeld" fans.

1984 was a particularly good year for the Manhattan Bridge on film. In "Ghostbusters," this is the bridge that Ray Stanz (Dan Aykroyd) and Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) drive across at night while talking about the end of the world. That same year, the bridge — which also has a pedestrian walkway — featured prominently in Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America."

Other Manhattan locations glimpsed in "Ghostbusters" include Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center (where you can catch water shows), the golden Story of the Prometheus sculpture at Rockefeller Center (where you can enjoy ice-skating in winter), and the National Museum of the American Indian (where Dana Barrett works in "Ghostbusters II.") If you want to see a movie on the big screen while you're in New York, consider the Alamo Drafthouse's Lower Manhattan location, which it renamed the Ivan Reitman Cinema in honor of the late "Ghostbusters" director. In the lobby, there's a photo corner with a 12-foot-tall version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.