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Tuesday October 16th 2018

The Royal Tenenbaums | 2001

Royal Tenenbaums location: Convent Avenue, Harlem
The Royal Tenenbaums location: the Tenenbaum mansion: 339 Convent Avenue, Harlem, New York

Despite a top-drawer cast, the studied eccentricity of Wes Anderson’s over-achieving, under-functioning family feels a little contrived – but that’s just me, and I’m clearly in a minority.

This off-kilter Manhattan exists in a strange parallel universe. The Tenenbaum house, at ‘111 Archer Avenue’ can be found in Harlem – it’s 339 Convent Avenue at 144th Street. The zebra wallpaper in Margot’s (Gwyneth Paltrow) room, by the way, is based on the striking patterns at the since-closed restaurant Gino, which stood at 780 Lexington Avenue at East 61st Street (you can see the real thing in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite).

The Royal Tenenbaums filming location: Waldorf Astoria, Park Avenue, Manhattan
The Royal Tenenbaums location: the ‘Lindbergh Palace Hotel’, from which Royal Tenenbaum is finally evicted: Waldorf Astoria, Park Avenue, Manhattan

The ‘Lindbergh Palace Hotel’, from which Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) is finally evicted after a 22 year stay, is the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Avenue, seen also in in Woody Allen’s Hannah And Her Sisters, Scent Of A Woman, Analyze This, and briefly in Nicolas Roeg’s Bad Timing.

The Royal Tenenbaums filming location: National Museum of the Native American, Broadway at Bowling Green, Lower Manhattan
The Royal Tenenbaums location: the young Tenebaums camp out in the ‘City Public Archives’: National Museum of the Native American - previously the old US Customs House, Broadway at Bowling Green, Lower Manhattan

The old United States Customs House, 1 Bowling Green at Broadway, is transformed into the ‘City Public Archives’, in which the young Tenenbaums camp out. Now housing the National Museum of the American Indian, the building is also featured as the casino in Batman Forever, as the museum in Ghostbusters II and as the ‘Social Services department’ in Adam Sandler comedy Big Daddy.

Richie Tenenbaum’s (Luke Wilson) disastrous final tennis match was filmed on the Centre Court of the West Side Tennis Club, 1 Tennis Place, Forest Hills, Queens.

You can’t reserve a table at the restaurant where Royal has an edgy meeting with Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow). It’s Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Avenue, Park Slope in Brooklyn, which you can see again in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club).