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Shot On Site - Reach Out And Slime Someone

 By Paul Rudoff on Jan. 30, 2019 at 10:18 PM , Categories: Filming Locations , Tags:
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This past Summer, Lars Karlsen came forth to help identify some of the few remaining Ghostbusters II filming locations. He even visited the Big Apple to take his own photos of these new locations, as well as the whole array of known locations. All of his photos will be shared this Summer during Spook Central's Revenge of Shot on Site Summer event, which will run down the filming locations of both original Ghostbusters movies in honor of their 35th and 30th anniversaries. In preparation for that, I'll present a few Shot on Site articles over the next few weeks looking at the new places Lars has found.

During the "We're Back" montage, Ray and Egon are seen collecting a slime sample from the steps of what looks to be a church.

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I was always sure that it was a church, but it's such a tight shot, that there was never enough detail to find it. Well, that didn't stop Lars. It is indeed a church, and one named after me, no less! It's the Church of St. Paul the Apostle at 8-10 Columbus Avenue.

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(July 21, 2018, taken by Lars Karlsen)

The black gating at the top of the stairs has been moved to the bottom of the stairs, but otherwise, the spot seen in the movie looks exactly the same as it did 30 years ago.

This is where this normally would have ended, but leave it to Matthew Jordan to pick up the ball and run with it.

Matt deduced that while Dan and Harold were at the church with their slime and jars, they may have also filmed the "We're Back" montage shot of them collecting slime from a pay phone.

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That's a logical conclusion to make. After all, the church shot and the phone shot both feature the same set up: Ray and Egon + slime + jar. He hopped onto Google Maps street view looking in the near vicinity for that out-of-focus apartment building in the background. He found the Coliseum Park Apartments a block over (the 910 9th Avenue side is seen in the movie). When you line up the above movie shot with the photo below from Google Maps, it becomes abundantly clear that this is the spot. Note the positions of the black air conditioner vents and windows and the placement of the door.

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Now, here's where I need to do a little information dump so you can follow along without any confusion. You may have noticed that I addressed the church as being on Columbus Avenue, but the apartments as being on 9th Avenue (currently the Bright Horizons daycare is using the 910 9th Avenue side of the building). The block in between both buildings is West 59th Street, which is where Columbus Avenue is renamed 9th Avenue, and vice versa. The pay phone was on West 59th Street, a little bit in from the corner with Columbus/9th, with the back of the phone towards the street (59th) and the front of the phone towards the now-Starbucks.

This marked map should make things a little clearer. I blurred out non-important elements and added the payphone back to the map. The two arrows show the direction of the movie camera. One is pointing towards the church steps, the other goes from the pay phone to the apartment building.

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If you've been paying careful attention, you'll have realized that I keep speaking about the pay phone in the past tense. That's because - and this shouldn't come as much of a surprise - it was removed some time before 2008. The only reminder that a pay phone was once there is a small silver pole (next to a fire hydrant), which was used to protect pay phones from being easily plowed down by cars.

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Credit goes to Lars Karlsen from the The Ghostbusters Archives for the church identification, and Matthew Jordan for following that to find the pay phone location. For more photos and the such, check out Spook Central's Filming Locations page for this location.


For more information about Ghostbusters filming locations, be sure to check out the rest of Spook Central's Shot On Site articles, Spook Central's Filming Locations page, and Chris Stewart's Shot On Site articles. Thanks Chris for letting me use your awesome title. Title graphic drawn by Paul Kinsella.

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