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Tuesday August 21st 2018

The Sunshine Boys | 1975

The Sunshine Boys filming location: The Ansonia, Broadway, West Side, New York
The Sunshine Boys location: Willy's apartment block: The Ansonia, Broadway, West Side, New York

Al Lewis (George Burns) and Willy Clark (Walter Matthau) are two old vaudevillians who can’t stand the sight of each other, brought together for a TV reunion in this filming of Neil Simon’s stage play.

Willy’s New York apartment block is the Ansonia Hotel, 2107-2109 Broadway between West 73rd and West 74th Streets on the West Side. The Belle-Epoque block has never been a hotel but private apartments whose thick, soundproofed walls have made it popular with musicians such as Enrico Caruso, Arturo Toscanini, Ezio Pinza, Igor Stravinsky and Lily Pons.

The Ansonia was also home to Bridget Fonda in Barbet Schroeder's 1992 thriller Single White Female.

Its basement, incidentally, once housed the Continental Baths, the gay bathhouse and cabaret where Bette Midler, accompanied by pianist Barry Manilow, began her career.

The showbizzy club is the Friars Club, 57 East 55th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues, Midtown, the private actors' club famous for those celebrity roasts, .

The theatre where the duo rehearse is the Ed Sullivan Theatre, 1695 Broadway, built in 1927 as the Hammerstein Theatre for Arthur Hammerstein, uncle of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. It's now better known as the home of the long-running Ed Sullivan Show (where The Beatles' made their US debut). From 1993, David Letterman hosted The Late Show here, until Stephen Colbert took over in 2015.