The phenomenally successful supernatural comedy is set in New York, but its locations are divided between the east and west coasts.
The first of many supernatural appearances occurs in the New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue, where the marble lions in the opening shots flank the wide flight of steps along Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. The haunted stacks, though, were filmed across the continent in the Los Angeles Central Library, Fifth and Hope Streets.
After getting the boot from New York‘s Columbia University (which has neither a 'Department of Parapsychology' nor a ‘Weaver Hall’), Murray, Aykroyd and Ramis conceive their ghostbusting plan on the steps of the university ís Low Memorial Library, on the Upper Quadrangle of the campus, north of College Walk, between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway, West 114th and West 120th Streets, seen more recently in Spider-Man.
The fictitious ‘Manhattan City Bank’, which that hands out the loan, is the Irving Trust Building, 1 Wall Street.
The dinky little firestation (yes, it is a real one) that serves as HQ can be seen at 14 North Moore Street, off West Broadway in the Tribeca area.
While the New York location was a working firehouse, a decommissioned building was needed for interiors. This was found on the west coast, in downtown LA. (225 East Fifth Street)
Be aware that this isn’t the most salubrious area of town. Also in LA is the fictitious ‘Sedgewick Hotel”, where the Ghostbusters capture their first apparition in the ballroom. It’s that old favourite, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, downtown, featured in Beverly Hills Cop. Outside is where Murphy puts a banana in the dudes tailpipe.
Back in New York, ‘Spook Central’, Sigourney Weaver’s troubled apartment block, is 55 Central Park West at 65th Street, with a few upper storeys added in by the studio art department.The chosen location was originally to have been 1 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, an art-deco apartment tower block with Gothic trimmings and stylised gargoyles, but local residents finally nixed the idea. The building housed the (now gone) One Fifth restaurant, a location for Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Just across from Sigourney Weaver’s apartment, in Central Park, you can see the restaurant where Rick Moranis pounds on the window to escape a ravening hellhound. It’s another much-used location, the Tavern on the Green, Central Park West at 67th Street.