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8 Broadway Shows You Need To See in 2019

Whether you’re a tourist in town or a long-time resident of New York City, it’s always a great time to see a show on Broadway, Off Broadway, or even Off Off Broadway. The choices are vast, diverse, and there’s something for everyone:

Here are just some of the shows to see with friends and family!

Phantom of the Opera. A masterpiece from the French novel of the same name written by Gaston Leroux and published in 1910, the longest-running musical in history is a must-see, and a must-see it again! Every detail is sharp, specific, and a delight to observe while memorably scored with lyrical and rock opera songs. The Tony Award-winner for Best Musical in 1988 was written by Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber (Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar) and if there’s one to see one when your family comes to town, this may be the one!

Chicago. The second longest running musical in the history of Broadway, this satire on the criminal justice led by two fierce women truly knows how to showcase its choreography. Another classic to discover or re-discover, each and every song will be stuck in your head after leaving the theatre, and dancing in Times Square won’t surprise anyone. The show was adapted into a film directed by Rob Marshall and won the Best Picture Oscar in 2003; the show itself won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 1997.

Frozen. Frozen is adapted from the 2013 smash hit Disney animated film, which itself was adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Snow Queen. Disney Theatrical Productions knows what to do to make audiences feel the magic of the story and sing along to its catchy numbers. Director Michael Grandage and choreographer Rob Ashford had already collaborated on Broadway for Evita, and were a perfect team to make alive this tale of sisterhood with superb technical effects, new songs, and the ones we already know so well.

Wicked. The untold story about the witches of Oz, this creative, witty sweet, and fun comedy is for the whole family. One of the most expensive shows to produce on Broadway due to its makeup and scenic effects, Wicked never gets old and puts some of the finest singers in musical theatre on center stage. Indeed, this show helped make household names out of its stars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel, who won the Tony Award for her role as Elphaba.

School of Rock. The 2003 film of the same name, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Jack Black, was a smash hit when it came out, so it was only a matter of time before producers brought its dynamic, rock ‘n’ roll vibes to Broadway. The show stars a strong cast of talented children headlined by a charismatic lead, and is passionate, touching, and just a whole lot of fun.

Jersey Boys. Inspired by the lives of the celebrated doo wop group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, this lively show mixes comedy and drama with classic golden oldies. First starting on Broadway before moving Off Broadway, Jersey Boys was adapted into a film by Clint Eastwood in 2014.

Kinky Boots. Adapted from a British movie from 2005, this fresh and energetic show is an LGBTQIA+ story with an uplifting story, vivid colors, and strong characters and includes songs from activist-singer Cyndi Lauper and lyrics by Harvey Fierstein (Hairspray, Mrs. Doubtfire). Kinky Boots is closing on April 7, so now may be your last chance to see it on Broadway for a long time!

Stomp. Stomp is a British creation from the city of Brighton founded in 1991 that toured the world and has been performed Off Broadway since 1994. With no dialogue, this percussion celebration is a journey through unique sounds: matchboxes, zippo lighters, push brooms, and garbage cans to name a few. Each number is precise, musically innovative, and a heck of a good time.

The Difference Between Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway

Many consider New York City to be the Cultural Capital of the World — there are countless things to do for both tourists and native New Yorkers alike. But nearly everyone visiting the Big Apple makes sure they catch a show. While Broadway is obviously the flashiest of the options out there, there are also Off-Broadway and even Off-Off-Broadway productions. But what do these labels mean exactly?

The answer is surprisingly simple. What gives a show its designation as Broadway, Off-Broadway, or Off-Off-Broadway isn’t its production value or budget, or a measure of its success. It’s actually mostly related to a show’s seating capacity!



Off-Off-Broadway theatres have 99 seats or less, so are obviously smaller venues than their more well known cousins. There are around 120 Off-Off-Broadway theaters in New York City at any given time, with many located in the city’s more artistic neighborhoods, like the West Village.

Often these shows will have cheaper ticket prices, and closer access to the actors after a performance. Because it’s easier to take financial chances with smaller productions, Off-Off-Broadway shows are also more likely to be avant-garde or experimental than more mainstream venues. They can be more traditional plays and musicals however, and give theatre-goers a healthy amount of options throughout the year.

An example of an Off-Off-Broadway production is Benten Kozo, directed by Jim Simpson, an Obie award-winning production that ran for over six months.

Some Off-Off-Broadway theatres:
HERE Arts Center, The Kraine Theater, La MaMa E.T.C.


Off-Broadway theatres can be significantly larger than on Off-Off-Broadway, and can hold up to to 499 seats. With fantastic original stories, musical revivals, and even performance art shows, many shows that begin on Off-Broadway can jump to Broadway if successful enough and warrants larger audience capacity — a famous example being historical musical, Hamilton.

Well-known stage performers can also be prominent in the Off-Broadway scene, not just limiting themselves to larger Broadway shows. Many performers tend to go back to the intimacy of a smaller theatre where an audience can be engaged more intimately with a production and its cast. There are roughly 85 Off-Broadway theatres in Manhattan.

Stomp is an enormously popular production that began in the United Kingdom and has been running in the East Village’s Orpheum Theatre for years, and is a unique example of the varied types of shows you can catch on Off-Broadway.

Some Off-Broadway theatres:
Cherry Lane Theatre, SoHo Playhouse, Minetta Lane Theatre

Theatre Ballet

Broadway shows have the strictest guidelines to earn their moniker. In addition to having 500 seats or greater, they must be located in the Theatre District (around Times Square in Midtown, Manhattan) as well as in venues certified by The Broadway League, the trade association for the Broadway industry.

Because of their prime locations, Broadway shows have a greater chance to attract tourists and other theatre-goers, and as such, have long since been known to have much larger budgets and production values than other musicals and stage shows in New York City. Similarly, they can also attract larger stars, as well as adaptations of famous films and other works whose rights may be expensive to procure.

Examples of famous Broadway shows are nearly countless, with The Phantom of the Opera being the longest running show on Broadway to date.

Some Broadway theatres:
Gershwin Theatre, Winter Garden Theatre, Ambassador Theatre

Broadcast Journalists: Why You Should Spend a Year in NYC


It’s fair to say that nothing is more exciting than being a broadcast journalist in New York City. Aspiring anchors, presenters and reporters from around the world flock to this capital of commerce, entertainment, and industry, seeking to make a mark and gain experience alongside broadcast giants.

Not only is the city bursting with millions of stories, but it is also the headquarters for an astounding concentration of leading new media and traditional news companies. If you’re wondering why New York City might be the right place to spend a year studying broadcast journalism, we’ve rounded up some great reasons:

News Happens Here


From Wall Street to Broadway, from the Bronx to Staten Island, the world pays attention to stories that center on events in New York City. For example, New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism students Ljuba-Lada Marinovic and Kyle Morris were able to make it to the scene to cover breaking news regarding a tragic car accident in Times Square, shooting a story for European media giant RTL. New York City is the right place to be if you want to be where news breaks first.

Feeding Your Passion

Broadcast journalists, first and foremost, are storytellers — and that requires passion and craft. What better way to feed your passion for journalism than by living in New York, a major global city packed with thriving culture, diversity, incredible art, amazing food, awe-inspiring landmarks, jaw-dropping skylines, and enough sizzling energy to inspire you and your work for the rest of your life?

Industry Connections

People Looking Choosing at Colleagues Photo

As Forbes notes, most national media outlets are centered in only a handful of major cities, and New York is at the top of the list! Here, aspiring journalists are in the heart of the world’s leading new media companies, such as theSkimm, Group Nine Media, SheKnows, Gimlet Media, Refinery29, Mic, NewsWhip, and News Deeply.

And, if you want to go the more tradition route, there’s ABC, Univision, CBS, MSNBC, Fox News, NBC, CNN, Telemundo, ESPN, MTV, and more.

From morning shows to late night news, from new media to The New York Times, the city provides an incredible opportunity for aspiring broadcast journalists to experience their industry at its zenith.

Learn from the Best


At the New York Film Academy, aspiring broadcasters learn from a faculty of working industry professionals who remain active in the field. And, in addition, NYFA students may have the opportunity to enjoy special master classes and workshops taught through our Guest Speaker series. Past broadcast journalism guests have included MSNBC primetime host Rachel Maddow, Emmy award-winning journalist Bob Dotson, and photojournalist Stanley Greene.

As a NYFA student you’ll talk with network Executive Producers, as well as top producers from digital news publishers, who visit NYFA to give our Broadcast Journalism students insightful “off-the-record” briefings. Students in the conservatory program get an exclusive “behind-the-scenes” tour of NBC News. Our instructors have local, national, even international production credits.



New York City is a wonderful environment to not only pursue a new professional life, but also to be able to plug in with like-minded people who are passionate about shared interests besides your work. You’ll be able to meet and develop relationships with many of the best and brightest fellow broadcasters in the world; As one of the most diverse cities on the planet, New York offers burgeoning broadcast journalism students opportunities to grow and flourish not only in their professional pursuits, but also in their personal lives. Here, the world is at your fingertips.

Incredible Training Opportunities

Most of all, New York City itself offers aspiring journalists incredible opportunities to roll up their sleeves and get busy crafting content. At the New York Film Academy’s conservatory program, broadcast students are making their own stories hands-on from day one. You’ll learn from working industry professionals and get plenty of practice covering stories from every angle with some of the latest technology. Most importantly, you will find your own “editorial voice,” the qualities that make you stand out as unique.

Ready to start your journey as a broadcast journalist in New York City? Check out NYFA’s broadcast journalism programs.


NYFA Conservatory: Why a 1-Year Program Is Your Next Life-Hack

We’ve all heard inspiring rags-to-riches tales of celebrities who found their big break by being discovered in malls or whisked away from their ordinary job by a chance encounter with a talent scout, director or agent. While we can’t deny this fairy tale does sometimes come true in real life, for most professional visual and performing artists the road to success is paved with hard work — and excellent training. If you’re considering the arts, you may want to consider updating your training.

Whether your dream is to make magic behind the camera, on the screen, or in post-production, don’t wait for a chance encounter with fate: you can take matters into your own hands by pursuing hands-on training in the skills you’ll need to change your own life and learn to be an artist.

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Daydreams Come True

It’s never too late to pursue your dream, but it’s important to understand what tools you’ll need along the way. It can seem like there’s a huge gap between daydreaming at your day job and actually living your dream. The good news is that there is one secret weapon that can help you find your footing as you develop professional skills while saving time: a conservatory program.

Why a Conservatory?

Picture spending all day every day doing only what you love, all while working closely with and learning from people who are experts in what you want to do. That’s a conservatory: intensive artistic training in a creative environment designed to push aspiring artists to develop their skills to the highest level.

A conservatory program is a little bit different than traditional college. Rather than requiring classes in a core curriculum of all subjects, a conservatory allows students to focus exclusively on their subject. The intensive focus allows conservatory students to develop a unique depth of understanding for their craft and receive specific training relevant to their specialty in the arts.

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At the New York Film Academy, our conservatory programs offer students from all backgrounds the training and experience they need to rise to a professional level and build a body of original work. The New York Film Academy’s conservatory is unique because we believe in “learning by doing.” That defines everything we do, and our hands-on instruction helps our students learn to handle the real-world challenges of their chosen industry, whether that’s a working film set, an animation studio, a photography studio, or a Broadway stage. In one or two years at NYFA, students complete more training in less time through an intensive, project-based curriculum crafted to prepare professionals for the real world.

Hands-On Learning

Starting on day one, we put our conservatory students in real-world situations, whether that’s behind the camera, in front of the camera, or working with software to create their own digital works of art. Learning hands-on challenges our students to learn to think on their feet, adapt and problem solve — all skills that are essential for work in the arts. Collaborative projects allow our students to work together, build a strong network, and learn to see their chosen craft from every angle.

Industry Teachers

Our students learn from a faculty of working professionals who are still active in their fields. This means that our instructors offer a direct line to the heartbeat of current industry trends and provide vital insight to the business side of the professional arts.

Incredible Locations

If you’re excited about the idea of spending a year or two changing your life through one of NYFA’s conservatory programs, check out our campus locations:

NYFA New York

If you are looking for a sense of adventure, choose a conservatory program at NYFA New York City. Our campuses at 17 Battery Place and 26 Broadway place students in the heart of one of the world’s most diverse cities, the home of independent film, the proving ground for actors, and the theatre capital of the world. For the artistic soul, New York City is alive with unimaginable hope and inspiration, and students will recognize the setting of many beloved films and television series shot in the city, from “The Godfather,” “Ghostbusters,” “Taxi Driver” and “Do the Right Thing” to “Madmen,” “Broad City,” and “30 Rock.”

NYFA Los Angeles

NYFA Los Angeles is in the heart of Hollywood, the birthplace of American cinema and the heart of the film industry. From the sunny and inspiring city to the nearby beaches and mountains, students are in the perfect place to create their own original projects in the same city that served as the location for countless classic and contemporary films and television shows, from “Sunset Boulevard,” “The Graduate,” “Tangerine,” and “Nightcrawler” to “Star Trek,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Broke Girls.” And NYFA students have unique entertainment industry opportunities, such as working on the prestigious Universal Studios backlot and in Warner Brothers facilities. 

NYFA South Beach

“The Gateway of the Americas,” Miami is a city of diverse culture, sun, and energy, with gleaming white beaches, turquoise ocean waters, a beautiful Art Deco district, and a famed nightlife and restaurant scene that draws visitors, artists, and industry leaders from around the world. Located in the heart of the gorgeous South Beach neighborhood of Miami, NYFA South Beach offers conservatory students the opportunity to make art while exploring one of the most vibrant cities in the U.S. Miami has served as the location for many major films and television shows, including “Scarface,” “The Birdcage,” “Jane the Virgin,” and 2016’s Academy Award-winning film for Best Picture, “Moonlight.”

NYFA Australia

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The New York Film Academy Australia has two campuses, in Sydney and Gold Coast, where conservatory students can can attain their CUA60615 – Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media or CUA51015 – Diploma of Screen and Media.

NYFA Australia: Gold Coast

Our Gold Coast (Queensland) campus is located in a state-of-the-art facility in Southport, directly across from the Gold Coast Broadwater with a popular waterfront promenade, large estuary and attractive parklands. We also have our own production studios on-site at the renowned Village Roadshow Studios, where our students have the opportunity to do their production work in the backlot, the filming location of international blockbusters including “San Andreas,” “Unbroken,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “The Shallows,” “Kong: Skull Island,” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” among many others.

NYFA Australia: Sydney

Australia’s largest and most famous city, Sydney is considered the jewel of the Southern Hemisphere, with one of the most beautiful harbors, great surf beaches, a magnificent opera house, and an eclectic film and music scene that adds to rich cultural environment. NYFA students have access to premier facilities and equipment and can create their own work throughout Sydney’s beautiful beaches, iconic buildings, historic landmarks, award-winning restaurants, and a uniquely vibrant culture. Sydney has served as the location for numerous blockbusters such as “The Great Gatsby,” “The Matrix,” “Stealth,” “Babe,” “Crocodile Dundee,” “Wolverine,” “Mad Max The Road Warrior,” and “Mission Impossible II.” 

Have you enrolled or completed one our conservatory programs? Let us know about your experience below! Learn more about our conservatory programs and continuing education at the New York Film Academy.

Apples And Angels: Acting In New York VS Acting In Los Angeles

Acting in New York vs Los Angeles

New York City and Los Angeles couldn’t be more different in terms of location and culture, but one thing they have is a thriving entertainment industry. Every year, thousands upon thousands of wannabe actors flock to the Big Apple and the City of Angels with dreams of fame and fortune. But too often actors move to a new market and find that they do not fit. So, how does an actor decide where to pursue their dreams? With a little planning and research the two major American entertainment hubs can be better understood and aspiring actors can make the right choice for them.

The City That Never Sleeps

Broadway is the one thing that comes to mind when actor’s think of New York City, and the pursuit of a theater career is the number one reason that an actor should move to New York. There are currently 40 theaters operating on Broadway alone, with hundreds more off Broadway and in neighboring boroughs.

Beyond the plentiful opportunities in theater, NYC has grown into a substantial TV market with 20+ TV shows filmed in the city. One important note about the shows filming in New York is that they tend to be dramas, think Boardwalk Empire or Law and Order: SVU. This is where knowing your type before a move is important. If you are a sitcom actor, maybe New York is not the best place to move.

Climate and culture is equally as important to consider as acting opportunities because to be successful, an actor must be comfortable with their surroundings. New York has a climate that varies widely from hot and humid summers to frigid cold winters. Besides the drastic climate, rent prices in the city should be considered. According to Rent Jungle, a one bedroom apartment in New York averages over $3,000 per month.

On the plus side, New York has some of the finest training for actors such as The New York Film Academy, The Actor’s Studio, and New York University. In addition, the compact nature of the city means that actors can walk or ride public transport to most auditions and meetings.

Why New York:

  • Incredible Theater
  • TV Dramas
  • Awesome Schools like New York Film Academy
  • No Car required
  • East coast vibe
  • Cooler climate


On one hand you have beaches and sunshine, on the other you have smog and traffic. Undoubtedly, Los Angles is the epicenter of the world for television and film production. All the major studios and networks (Universal, Disney, Paramount, Fox, etc.) are located in the sprawling city. Which brings up a major cultural difference, in LA a working actor has to own a car.

Personal transportation is also important when it comes to audition because, in contrast to New York, LA has dozens of casting directors scattered all over the hills and valleys. Of course, outside of film and television, LA does have a large theater community as well. Los Angles theater is respected and innovative, but understandably will always operate in the shadow of Hollywood.

For practical consideration, Rent Jungle lists the average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in LA at $2,000, significantly cheaper than New York. Also, the difference in climate is obvious. Los Angles has a relatively stable, Mediterranean climate with temperatures in the 70’s year-round.

Finally, although LA has a more laid back atmosphere, it still offers plenty of fine training grounds.

Why Los Angeles:

  • Unrivaled Film and Television
  • Film training and NYFA Campus
  • Warm weather
  • More relaxed lifestyle
  • Sitcoms!

The New Guys

Outside of the traditional two entertainment giants, smaller cities around the country are making a name for themselves in film and theater. Atlanta, Austin, Portland, Miami, and New Orleans all offer film incentive programs that are drawing large Hollywood productions. Recent films and TV shows that have shot in these cities include BallersWild, 21 Jump Street, and The Walking Dead.

Impressively, smaller markets offer advantages of their own. For instance, SAG-AFTRA cards are easier to earn, there is less competition for roles, and the cost of living is much lower. If New York and LA aren’t right for you at the moment, consider the other locales that might be more feasible.

New York City and Los Angeles, California will always reign supreme as the dream destinations for actors. However, acting opportunities exist all around the country, so all actors can pursue their careers with gusto no matter where they live. Perhaps someday, after careful consideration and planning, your Hollywood or Broadway dreams will become reality.

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Best Film Locations In NYC

For many film fans and aspiring filmmakers, their first exposure to the varied and historic streets and sights of New York City is on screen in the many movies and TV shows that have filmed throughout the city. Comprised of five boroughs, NYC offers endless possibilities for filmmakers to find both unique and iconic settings where to film. Before filming, it recommended that you learn about NYC’s permit requirements. Below we culled together a list of some of the most legendary locations in the city.



With boundaries set off by Houston Street, West Broadway, Canal Street and Crosby Street, SoHo—which stands for South of Houston—is identifiable by the intricate cast-iron architecture of many of its buildings, which were largely erected in the late 19th century. It is also noted for its cobblestone streets paved with Belgian blocks.

SoHo gained prominence in the 1960s and 70s when the cheap locations that had been previously occupied by factories were refashioned by artists, creating affordable lofts and studios. Through the 1980s, SoHo remained a haven for artists as the cost of living was extremely low, but like many other areas in the city, during the decade, as more and more prosperous tenants were drawn to the area’s bohemian aura, there began a gradual exodus by the area’s artists that reached its climax during the 1990s.

Over the past two decades, SoHo has lost much of its gritty aura as it has been transformed into one of the city’s primary shopping areas, making it a popular attraction for tourists. Nonetheless, once visitors get off Broadway, the area still offers quieter and less commercialized side streets that filmmakers can use to capture a particular old-school New York feel, one perfectly caught in the film Basquiat which was filmed in SoHo.

Union Square

An aerial view of Union Square in NYC

A hub for public transportation, shopping and dining, and people watching, Union Square serves as a gateway both to downtown NYC and the rest of city, as residents can access the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, and R trains. Not only does the area boast a gorgeous public park ideal for filming, but the area serves as a gateway to a number of neighboring areas that are equally stunning, including the Flatiron District, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and Gramercy.

Union Square is the site of many NYFA student projects alongside numerous television shows that film there due to the heavy and diverse flow of people. It has been seen in such classic films as Citizen Kane and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.


People walk on the street in Tribeca NYC

Tribeca is a fashionable, trendy residential neighborhood with a highly affluent population. Many of the streets are lined with boutique shops and high-end restaurants such as Nobu, Chanterelle and Bouley. Tribeca is also home to the Tribeca Film Festival. The neighborhood is a frequent filming location for movies, including the 1984 hit movie Ghostbusters, which took place in a Tribeca firehouse.

Times Square

Tourists explore Times Square in NYC

The setting for countless independent and Hollywood movies, Time Square has served as something of a cultural and economic barometer regarding the changes Manhattan has undergone. Located at the meeting point of Broadway and Seventh avenue and extending from West 42nd to West 47th streets, Times Square is often the first image one calls to mind when thinking of New York City, which makes it no surprise that is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world.

Once considered to be the worst area of the city due to crime and prostitution—as exemplified in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy—Times Square underwent a commercial renaissance during the Giuliani administration with the closing of the majority of pornographic theatres and bringing in such international brands as Disney to open up flagship stores. Now primarily a tourist attraction and commercial district, Times Square still offers countless opportunities for filmmakers looking to capture the bright lights and bustle of New York City.


A side street in Chinatown NYC

Boasting the largest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, Chinatown can be found in Manhattan with the Lower East Side and Little Italy serving as its boarders. Cantonese businessman Ah Ken was the first Chinese individual to immigrate to Chinatown in the 1840s, but the area soon exploded as a wave of Chine immigrants were drawn to the area following increased racial discrimination on the West Coast.

Today, the area is home to between 90,000 and 100,000 Chinese residents and is a mecca for both tourists and aficionados of Chinese culture who can explore the area’s seemingly countless grocers, restaurants, and street vendors. With an atmosphere and energy that can cause one to momentarily forget that he or she is even in New York, Chinatown is an ideal filming location whether one is looking to create a facsimile of China itself or capture a wholly singular pace and culture.

East Village


Surrounded by Greenwich Village, Gramercy Park, and Stuyvesant Town, the East Village first came to prominence in the late 1960s when artists, musicians, students, and hippies gravitated to the area for its cheap rent and Beatnik culture. While recent years has seen increasing rent and gentrification diluting the diverse and vibrant culture, it remains a lively area where New York University students call home and such legendary steets as St. Marks Place retain their counter-cultural vibe—though the transformation of legendary punk rock club CBGB’s into a retail store did mark a substantial change in the area’s vibe.

While many of the area’s former artistic residents have made the migration to cheaper neighborhoods in Brookyln, the East Village retains an ineffable bohemian character, even in light of the many changes the neighborhood has experienced. A boon for filmmakers, many of the area’s original buildings have been retained, creating a character that filmmakers looking for a “real” New York City neighborhood are eager to film in. Just ask Spike Lee who shot his 1970s period piece Son of Sam in the neighborhood in 1998; viewers of the movie would think that nothing has changed since the 1970s due to its classic architecture and independent spirit.

Coney Island

People loung on the beach at Coney Island

A peninsula located in southern Brooklyn, Coney Island is located adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and sports a storied history that makes it a truly one-of-a-kind locale, even by New York standard. As Coney Island became easy to reach, the area transformed into a resort destination following the American Civil War, with the first of the peninsula’s iconic carousels constructed in 1876. In 1927, the Cyclone roller coaster was built and still remains one of the country’s oldest wooden roller coasters.

Over the next century, Coney Island became a flashpoint for disagreements over whether to keep the area as a park or build up the growing residential and commercial properties, arguably culminating in Mayor Guiliani’s ordering that the legendary Thunderbolt roller coast be torn down in 1994. In the past decade, the peninsula has undergone a fresh round of funding and development, with the area’s substantial history of amusement parks being revived as Luna Park.

With so much going on in Coney Island, especially during the summer, it is an ideal location for shooting films with such legendary events as The Mermaid Parade making for the perfect backdrop for a scene. It’s little surprise that such legendary New York movies like Paper Moon, Annie Hall, and The Warriors have used Coney Island as their backdrop.


A steet view of Harlem New York City

Located in the northern part of Manhattan—“Across 110th St.” anyone?—Harlem has traditionally been viewed as a culturally rich African-American nexus. However, Spanish Harlem located on the east side of the neighborhood is also home to a prodigious Latin American population and culture.

Beginning in the 1920s, the area was home to what is known as the “Harlem Renaissance” in which its African-American residents were responsible for remarkable achievements in music, literature, theatre, and more. Such landmarks include the Apollo Theater, the Cotton Club, Sylvia’s Soul Food, Frederick Douglass Circle, and much more. In the 1980s, the area underwent another renaissance due to the invaluable contributions its residents made to the development of hip-hop.

With such a diverse cultural and architectural background, it’s no surprise that numerous filmmakers have set such class films as Cotton Comes to Harlem, Malcolm X, and Sugar Hill there. Harlem offers countless sights and pockets where filmmakers will undoubtedly find inspiration.

The Hamptons

An aerial view of the Hamptons

Composed of a number of villages and hamlets throughout the towns of Southampton and East Hampton, the Hamptons are located on the far east of Long Island. Known in popular culture as weekend seaside vacation spot for wealthy New Yorkers, the Hamptons is also noted for its stunning real estate, rolling countryside, and breathtaking bridges.

For filmmakers looking to make the trek out to scout locations, they should take the Montauk Branch of the Long Island Rail Road from New York City. Films that have been filmed in the Hamptons include the classic documentary Grey Gardens, Woody Allen’s Interiors, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Nanny Diaries.

Meatpacking District

An old packing building in the meatpacking district

Known to many TV fans due to its recurring role in Sex and the City, this area of Manhattan runs from West 14th Street down to Gansevoort Street and from the Hudson River east over to Hudson Street. Originally the location of Fort Gansevoort, the Meatpacking District earned its name over the course of the late 19th century as numerous slaughterhouses and packing plants sprouted up, which congealed into an area that remained prosperous until the 1960s.

As many of the slaughterhouses and packing plants closed down or went out of business, the area saw a revival in the 1990s as a number of high-end boutiques popped up around the area. The nightclubs were not far behind and to this day, the Meatpacking District remains a focal point for the city’s nightclub scene. With its industrial chic buildings and vibrant nightlife, the Meatpacking District is an ideal location to capture different slices of New York life during both the day and night.


Residential buildings in Park Slope

A borough that is as diverse and vibrant as it is sprawling, Brooklyn has received increased attention in the past two decades as its reputation as being a hub for artists and creative professionals has grown considerably. However, as a quick walk through any of the borough’s neighborhoods will reveal, history and diversity are alive at every step.

The most populous of NYC’s five boroughs, Brooklyn was originally its own incorporated city until it was combined with Manhattan’s other surrounding boroughs to form the modern City of New York. Brooklyn is home to dozens of different neighborhoods, many of which are ethnic enclaves, though the racial and cultural make-up of different neighborhoods is constantly in flux. Bedford-Stuyvesant (or Bed-Stuy for short) contains one of the city’s most famous African-American communities while in north Brooklyn, Greenpoint has long been home to a vibrant Polish community that has started to migrate to Ridgewood, Queens.

One of Brooklyn’s strongest selling points as a film location is the sheer diversity of locations contained within a single borough. Filmmakers looking for an industrial backdrop might want to look at the industrial zone in Bushwick or the Brooklyn Navy Yards, while those looking to film amongst picturesque brownstones have numerous options, with neighborhoods like Park Slope and Cobble Hill being prime examples.