Spider-Man 2 | 2004
As with the first film of what turned out to be a trilogy, Spider-Man, the filming locations are a mix of New York (where it’s set) and Los Angeles (where it’s easier to film) – and even a bit of Chicago. After the success of the first film, the budget allowed for a little more filming in the real Big Apple.
There’s Columbia University again (where Peter Parker bumps into Dr Connors), and Aunt May’s house in Woodhaven, Queens. Harry Osborn’s place is still a mix of Tudor City, Manhattan, and the Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills (and studio sets).
After a late delivery, Parker is sacked from his job delivering pizzas for Joe’s Pizza, 233 Bleecker Street at Carmine Street in the West Village, New York.
The laboratory, in which Dr Octavius (Alfred Molina) disastrously demonstrates his fusion project and ends up with a permanent set of tentacles, is the old Second Avenue Courthouse building, now the Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue at Second Street in the East Village. Fittingly, it’s a centre for the preservation and exhibition of film and video.
The ‘Science Library benefit’, at which everything seems to go pear-shaped for Peter as MJ announces her engagement and Harry turns ugly, is held at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, 81st Street at Central Park West, part of the American Museum of Natural History, housing the Hayden Planetarium (seen in Woody Allen’s Manhattan).
In Los Angeles, the interior of the theatre, where Parker tries unsuccessfully to catch Mary Jane’s performance in The Importance of Being Earnest (the elaborate exterior is a set), is the somewhat plainer Ivar Theatre, 1605 North Ivar Avenue in Hollywood. To make the theatre look more traditional, an ornate, custom-built proscenium arch and carpeting were added.
The bank robbed by Doc Ock, as Aunt May tries to get a loan, is 650 Spring Street (seen in David Fincher’s Se7en, Bridesmaids, Marathon Man and The Mask among many other films). But when Spidey rescues May from Ock’s clutches, he gently deposits her in front of City Hall, City Hall Park, Broadway at Park Row in Lower Manhattan.
The ‘New York’ el, (the elevated railway) was demolished in the 30s and 40s, so the runaway train sequence had to be filmed in Chicago, on the Chicago Loop 'L' , on Wabash Avenue between Madison and Monroe.
Down on the Lower East Side, you can see Peter Parker’s apartment, where he spends most of his time avoiding the landlord. It’s 187 Chrystie Street, opposite Sara D Roosevelt Park.
The imposing church, where Mary Jane is due to get married, is Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive between 120th & 122nd Streets, up in Morningside Heights, north of Columbia University.
The briefly glimpsed interior, where the groom-to-be is left waiting, is that of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, 540 South Commonwealth Avenue, between 5th and 6th Streets, Downtown Los Angeles, near MacArthur Park. It regularly seems to supply interiors for New York churches, in films such as Daredevil and National Treasure.
• Many thanks to Nils Reucker for help with this section.