Welcome to Spook Central’s special Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Celebration. Today is the fourth “Shot On Site” article for the month. Today I’ll be covering a Ghostbusters deleted scene location, which also happens to be the place many promotional shots and two of the montage magazine cover images were taken. It was found and ID’ed by myself. Before starting, I want it known that this article is in memory of Charles Anderson, whose unfortunate death made this ID much easier to do. I’ll talk more about him at the end of the article.[teaserbreak]In the Ecto-1 Rejects A Parking Ticket deleted scene: While the Ghostbusters are on a job, a Policeman sees that the Ecto-1 has been parked in a tow-away zone, so he writes a ticket to put on the windshield. The ticket catches fire and the Policeman then slowly backs away from the car.
Noted in the background of that shot is a place clearly marked as “Truffles Cafe”. After some dead ends and a few false leads, I found out that the restaurant was located at 696 Madison Avenue. Before I had that piece of information, I was searching on Madison Avenue because I had a false suspicion that a Ghostbusters II location could have been shot there. I was looking for something to work from and I thought if the Undead Taxi Driver and Ray with Trap locations happened to be so close together, maybe the location scout also used it again in the second film. I ended up finding this image, and when I saw it, I couldn’t help admiring the tall buildings in it. Instantly, Ghostbusters (the first movie) came to mind. Specifically, the promo photos of the three guys in front of the Ecto-1.
I found three points that could be clearly identified.
The red selected area contains a black building and a light grey building with three windows in a row together. Next, in the yellow selected area, is a black but very reflective building, a top of a short building, and the side of a tan building with brownish rectangle windows. Last, there is a green selected area, which shows a dark red rust colored building’s top.
The Time magazine cover seen in the “Ghost Fever Grips New York” montage also shares the same background, as you can see in the composite below showing the three shots that share the same background I just identified.
But there is one MORE image that was taken at the Ecto-1 parking spot: the image used on the cover of Globe magazine in the “Ghost Fever Grips New York” montage. The thing is, it doesn’t have the same background as the images above, so it could be easily seen as a different location. Once you realize that three guys are standing in the exact same spots, with the car behind them (barely visible in the corner of the Globe photo), and with a yellow tube around Peter’s neck, you realize it’s the same spot – albeit from a side angle.
This shows three points that identify the Globe magazine cover. The red selected area above Peter shows the same ornate window to the left. The selected green area near Ray shows the same six windows and that odd smaller window facing the main street. The yellow selected area near Egon shows a rather weird indented part of the same building behind Ray. Again, it should be pointed out that this shot is basically the same as the Time magazine cover and promo photos, except the camera has turned about 45 degrees to the left.
[UPDATE – 8/5/2014]
Thanks to Ghostbusters uberfan Alex Newborn, we have a photo of the Globe magazine background location, which he took on July 9, 2014.
The last image that we have that was shot at this spot is a continuity reference Polaroid for Dan’s character.
The car is in the exact same spot, what’s changed is that the camera is turned around almost 180 degrees. Instead of looking west down Madison Ave., we’re now looking east. The cross street in the background is East 63rd Street, which is the same street as the Ray with Trap location.
[UPDATE – 8/5/2014]
Thanks to Ghostbusters uberfan Alex Newborn, we have a photo of the Dan Aykroyd continuity Polaroid background location, which he took on July 9, 2014.
Before I close out this rather long article, let’s rundown all of the footage (still and moving) that was filmed within a 2-3 block radius of Madison Avenue around East 61st to East 63rd Streets; the last four being done at the EXACT SAME SPOT outside 696 Madison!
1. Undead Taxi Driver scene (on Madison, between E. 61st & E. 62nd).
2. Ray with Trap shot (on E. 63rd, right off Madison).
3. Ecto-1 Rejects Parking Ticket deleted scene
4. Time magazine cover photo.
5. Globe magazine cover photo.
6. The two “guys in front of car” promo photos.
And all of this while they had the street shut down for the undead taxi driver stunt. MAN, did they make the most use of that one location!
Those of you who may want to visit Truffles Cafe today are out of luck. The restaurant went out of business many years ago. The current occupant of 696 Madison Avenue is a restaurant named Nello. The deleted scene shot that started off this article would look kinda like this today (the Ecto-1 was parked where the white van is in the lower right corner):
As noted, there is a history behind Truffles Cafe which is why we know that it was located at 696 Madison Avenue. On September 6, 1983 the owner of Truffles Cafe, Charles Anderson, was shot by one of the two gunmen attempting to rob the cafe. Charles died from the gunshot wound three months later, on December 19, 1983, at Bellevue Hospital. Since it was his news story that gave us the address of Truffles Cafe, we at Spook Central dedicate this article to him. Rest in Piece, Charles Anderson.
As a footnote, we believe that this continuity reference Polaroid for Bill’s character was also taken at the Ecto-1 parking spot on Madison Avenue. You’ll notice that he has the same yellow hose hanging from around his neck. However, we can’t positively identify the “Rochelle” building in the background, so this one can’t be confirmed.
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.