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Shot On Site - Ray's Got One!!!

 By Paul Rudoff on Jul. 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Filming Locations , Tags:

Welcome to Spook Central's special "Shot On Site Summer" event. All throughout the month of July, and possibly the rest of the Summer, I will be posting Shot On Site articles on Spook Central detailing newly-discovered Ghostbusters filming locations. Click here to view the current schedule.

Here we are again with another Ghostbusters filming location that seems near-impossible to identify, yet Matthew Jordan managed to identify it. Let's see what it is, shall we... During the "Ghost Fever Grips New York" montage we see this shot of Ray carrying a smoking trap out of someone's below-ground dwelling.


There's really not much to go on here, which is what makes this identification all that more remarkable - though it helps that it's a block away from an already identified filming location: the undead cabbie locale between East 61st and East 62nd Streets on Madison Avenue. More proof that a lot of these one-offs were filmed near each other, for convience, no doubt.

Now I'm gonna be honest with you, the location has been identified as 16 East 63rd Street, but it's gonna be a real pain in the ass to prove it to you. No photos of the exterior seem to exist online, so I have to rely solely on the Google Maps photography. In this case, Google did a really crummy job photographing the place, though it doesn't help that there's a big honking tree in the way. So, bear with me, as this will be messy.

The best vantage point I can get from Google is somewhat from the side. The Google photo, taken in June 2011, is in the middle, while two frames from the movie shot are above and below it. You can see that the security gating over the window has the same pattern in both the movie and real-life. The same rectangular molding frames the window, and the same designs are noticed around the door (closed in the photo, open in the movie). All of the railings match, too.


Now this is where the comparison would normally end, since there's nothing else to show from the movie. However, I found a rare photo in my digital archives that shows more of the upper-level and surrounding areas. It also gives us a hint that the shot in the movie originally ran longer, with Ray meeting Peter and Egon when he got to the top of those stairs. Apparently, Ivan or the film editor cut the shot just before Peter and Egon enter, which is a real shame - especially with the looks that the passersby are giving them.


[UPDATE 4/14/2013 - The original photo I had displayed above was of really poor quality, and cropped at the top, as you can see from the reuse of it in the comparison images below. I just replaced it with a better copy, which was found on the Ghostbusters Mexico Facebook page, but probably originated somewhere else, and was fixed up by Matthew Jordan. This new image is more detailed than the old image and shows more on the top, but loses a tiny bit on the right side.]

We can't see the decorative window frame for that particular window in Google, but we can clearly see it for the window next door, and it's a 100% match. Figuring that the "blocked by the tree" window has the same decorative framing, this is good enough for me.


Now going back to the actual spot next door where Ray emerged, we can make a few more connections with this rare photo. Pretty much everything we can see matches. Even what little we see of the buildings next door on the right is a match.


In conclusion, even though I didn't have the best photographic proof to work with, I think I've proven that this location has been positively identified.

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.


Comment from: pinkgloom [Visitor]

Wow! I can't believe you found this! That was a lot of hard work but at least you got what you set out to do. I really want to visit New York City again! When I do, it's going to be a Ghostbusters pilgrimage.

Thanks again!

Jul. 26, 2012 @ 18:54
Comment from: Mrmichaelt [Visitor]

Incredible work, even with the darn tree. Never saw the archival photos either, occasionally wondered where Peter and Egon were.

Jul. 26, 2012 @ 23:24

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