Spider-Man | 2002
It's the real New York for the home of Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), shared with Aunt May and Uncle Ben (Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson), which is 8839 69th Road between Metropolitan Avenue and Sybilla Street in Forest Hills, central Queens. It’s a way to the northwest, in Woodside, that he runs for the school bus, along 44th Street at Queens Boulevard.
The school field-trip is to Columbia University, up in New York’s Morningside Heights (seen in Ghostbusters). It’s at the steps of the Low Memorial Library that Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) drops off young Harry (James Franco).
The university interior, where Parker gets the fateful spider bite, though, is over on the west coast. It’s the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, 900 Exposition Boulevard, downtown Los Angeles, which masquerades as ‘New York’ again in Brian de Palma’s Bonfire of the Vanities and is also seen in Spawn.
Down in Soho, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) works in the Moondance Diner, which stood at 80 Sixth Avenue at Grand Street. A genuine Thirties diner, which was featured in Igby Goes Down, is no longer in New York. In 2007 it was relocated to the town of La Barge, Wyoming.
‘Midtown High School’ is, yes, in Los Angeles. The interiors were filmed in Dorsey High School, 3575 Farmdale Avenue, at Rodeo Road, West Adams, midtown. The graduation ceremony was filmed in front of the Thalberg Building on the Sony Studios lot in Culver City. You can see the site, along with plenty of other goodies (it’s your chance to see a clutch of Oscars up close), on the Sony Pictures Studio Tour. The tour takes in what is left from the old MGM backlot, most of which was sold off.
Back to Queens, as Parker, after discovering his secret powers, runs off down Austin Street at the junction with Ascan Avenue in Forest Hills.
Norman Osborn’s Gothic Manhattan mansion is the Tudor City complex, East 40th to East 43rd Street between First and Second Avenues, overlooking the East River, midtown (also the site of the attempted bomb attack in Brian de Palma’s Scarface and home to Tom Hanks in Ron Howard’s Splash!).
The interior, once again, is in Los Angeles. This time it’s the Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills. This palatial mansion isn’t open to the public, but the extensive formal gardens are (and admission is free). The mansion has been seen in numerous films including, yes, Ghostbusters. It was the interior of the ‘Pasadena’' mansion in the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski, a hospital in Star Trek Into Darkness, Swan's mansion in Brian de Palma’s Phantom Of The Paradise, Abigail's (Diane Kruger) home in National Treasure: Book of Secrets as well as Jack Nicholson’s 'Massachusetts' home in The Witches of Eastwick and the mansion of Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige. Its other screen appearances include All Of Me, The Disorderly Orderly, Death Becomes Her, Indecent Proposal and There Will Be Blood.
Likewise, although the ‘Daily Bugle’ building is New York’s famous Flatiron Building, 175 Fifth Avenue, seen in Bell Book and Candle, Warren Beatty’s Reds and the 1998 Godzilla, the newspaper office interior is the Pacific Electric Building, 610 South Main Street, downtown Los Angeles, familiar from films such as Curtis Hanson’s LA Confidential, David Fincher’s Se7en and John Woo’s Face/Off.
Spidey swinging through the ‘Manhattan’ streets was filmed around downtown Los Angeles, at Fourth Street between Beaudry Avenue and Hill Street; Grand Avenue between Third Street and Hope Place; Fifth Street between Los Angeles Street and Hill Street; Spring Street between Fourth and Fifth Street. Wide shots show New York’s real Times Square, but most of the Green Goblin’s deadly attack on the World Unity parade was filmed on a set built at the Rockwell Defense Plant, Bellflower and Imperial Highway in Downey, California.
And you can see the site of the ‘upside down kiss’ on the New York Street on the excellent Warner Bros VIP Studio Tour, 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank.
The Goblin’s attack on the aerial tramway was mostly mocked up in the studio. The Roosevelt Island Tram runs from Second Avenue, between East 59th and East 60th Streets, alongside the Queensborough Bridge, to Roosevelt Island (where parts The Exorcist and The Heretic: Exorcist 2 were shot).
The tramway can be seen in City Slickers and gets hijacked by terrorists in the 1981 Sylvester Stallone actioner Nighthawks.