‘Archive 81’ is a horror drama series that delves into the history of the monolithic Visser building, which burnt down in a mysterious fire. Twenty-five years later, an archivist attempts to salvage a collection of tapes from the building and becomes increasingly haunted by the supernatural events he witnesses on the recordings. Set across dual time periods, the narrative is a dark and surreal one.
The detailed backdrop, which switches between grimy urban landscapes and the stark emptiness of the compound where the protagonist works, compliments the show’s unsettling tone. If you’re wondering where it is all brought to life, we’ve got your back! Let’s take a look at the ‘Archive 81’ filming locations.
Archive 81 Filming Locations
‘Archive 81’ is shot predominantly in Pennsylvania using a combination of on-location and studio filming. Since the show is set in New York City, various locations in Pennsylvania are also utilized as stand-ins for the Big Apple. Principal photography on season 1 reportedly kicked off in November 2020 and wrapped up around the end of March 2021. Now let’s take a look at the specific locations that give the show its distinctive backdrop.
The show actually gets its urban backdrop courtesy of the city of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where much of the Netflix series is shot. The production crew uses multiple locations in and around the downtown area, including the Boulevard of the Allies near Market Square and Point Park University, which is situated at 201 Wood Street. The Blaqk House Collections art gallery at 440 First Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh is also used for shooting a few scenes, while the building at 11 Stanwix Street stands in for Virgil’s office.
Lensing is also carried out in the North Side of Pittsburgh, which is located to the north of the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers. Specifically, multiple scenes are filmed on the busy East Ohio Street, which stands in for New York City on the show. For season 1, the crew spent time shooting outside The Government Center, an independent record store located at 715 East Street, and at Bernie’s Photo Center on 523 East Ohio Street. The latter was reportedly transformed to look like a hardware store and a videography store. Incidentally, Netflix’s ‘The Chair’ also utilizes Pittsburgh as a filming location.
Other notable Pittsburgh locations that make an appearance on the show include East Liberty Presbyterian Church on 116 South Highland Avenue, The Rex Theater (permanently closed) at 1602 East Carson Street, and Ritter’s Diner on 5221 Baum Boulevard. Another interesting location that residents of Pittsburgh will likely recognize on-screen is the stately Tudor-style Hartwood Acres Mansion that can be found at 200 Hartwood Acres. However, it is temporarily closed.
Other Locations in Allegheny County
Marshall Township, located less than twenty miles from Pittsburgh, also hosts the ‘Archive 81’ crew, as a significant portion of the production is carried out in the township. However, most of the filming in Marshall Township is done on a soundstage. This likely means that many of the interior scenes are shot in this location, particularly scenes featuring special effects.
Filming of the series also reportedly takes place in Mr. Smalls Theatre on 400 Lincoln Avenue in the borough of Millvale. Finally, the remote research compound where Dan spends most of his time restoring and watching Melody’s tapes is depicted using a rented private residence outside Pittsburgh. The interior of the home is recreated using sets built on a soundstage in Warrendale.