Where Was West Side Story Filmed?

Image Credit: Niko Tavernise/ Twentieth Century Fox

‘West Side Story’ is a musical romantic drama that follows the love story of teenagers Tony and Maria. Despite being affiliated with rival gangs, the two find a way to be with each other in this classic tale of love. Based on the 1957 stage musical of the same name by Jerome Robbins with a book by Arthur Laurents, the film comes with a rich legacy and has suitably big names attached. The production and filming have also been spectacular affairs. If you are curious about where ‘West Side Story’ was brought to life, we’ve got your back!

West Side Story Filming Locations

The film was shot in New York and New Jersey, using a mix of on-location and studio filming. A few large-scale sets were also constructed to give the movie its signature feeling of grandeur. Principal photography reportedly kicked off on July 1, 2019, and wrapped up by September 27 of the same year. Now let’s take a look at the specific locations used for filming.

New York City, New York

The iconic ‘West Side Story’ is set in New York City, and filming took place on location in multiple parts of The Big Apple. Most notably, scenes were shot around Manhattan, including dance numbers in Harlem. The production crew also spent time lensing in the neighborhood of Flatlands in Brooklyn, and in Queens.

Scenes were reportedly shot at 24 Commerce Street, West 131st Street, West 113th Street, and West 107th Street. The film crew was also spotted at work on Avenue P, Hendrickson Street, and St. Nicholas Avenue between 111th and 113th Streets in the city. The Met Cloisters, a museum located at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights, Manhattan, also provided the backdrop for a few shots. Sets were constructed at Steiner Studios on 15 Washington Avenue in Brooklyn.

Paterson, New Jersey

The production crew reportedly spent about 10 days shooting in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, where an outdoor set was built. Additional indoor filming was also carried out at Art Factory Studios, located on 70 Spruce Street. The crew also filmed on location outside the Paterson City Council, located on 155 Market Street.

Lensing continued in the City Hall district and on parking lots on West and East Veterans Place in downtown Paterson, where large sets were reportedly built to resemble torn-down buildings. Multiple storefronts in the downtown area were also given temporary makeovers to make them look like New York City of the 1950s, including one depicting Tunney’s Irish Pub on Washington Street and Yamasa Restaurant on Ellison Street.

Newark, New Jersey

The city of Newark also hosted the filming of ‘West Side Story.’ The National Newark Building, at 744 Broad Street, reportedly stood in for Bamberger’s department store. The crew also reportedly shot around South Orange Avenue and in a few additional spots in Essex County, including the city of East Orange.

Read More: Is West Side Story Based on a True Story?