9 Eerily Realistic NYC Movie Sets Located Nowhere Near NYC

So many of your favorite TV shows and movies are set in NYC. But guess which ones were actually shot in Bulgaria?

1. NYC, aka Bulgaria

The Nu Boyana Film Studios is one of the premiere production locations for filmmakers for both European filmmakers, and Americans willing to take a long trip to save some money. One drawback: buildings can’t be taller than 20 meters, so directors need to computer animate skyscrapers. Or, shoot the real thing in Manhattan.

It is used in large part by Millennium Films. The recent Oscar-nominated film Kon-Tiki shot its New York exteriors here. Eliza Graves, starring Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, Kate Beckinsale and Jim Sturgess, is in production here, too.

Shot from two stories up; buildings only go to four stories.

Can the NYPD arrest you in Central Europe?

Looks like the cast of Newsies might bust out at any time.

2. NYC, aka Atlanta

David Goldman / AP

Atlanta has become a major hub for production in recent years. Here, its downtown is transformed into 1980 New York for Anchorman: The Legend Continues.

3. NYC, aka Toronto

One of the prime locations for TV and film production in North America, Toronto’s streets often stand in for New York. In 2007, Yonge Street was made to look like Harlem for The Incredible Hulk.


The huge Brooklyn Bridge crash in The Fantastic Four? Took place on a reconstructed bridge, surrounded by blue screens. In the Pacific Northwest. Only one of the four stars of the film even made it to New York.

The Thing is all real, though.

4. NYC, aka the Fox lot in Los Angeles

How I Met Your Mother in simpler times, pre-bombshell, on the Fox lot in LA.

The fire isn’t real.

5. NYC, aka the Warner Bros. backlot in Los Angeles

This is Hennessy Street on the Warner Bros. backlot, made to look like old New York. Rent, Minority Report, many Batman films, Bugsy, Annie and The Road to Perdition were shot here, among many films.

6. NYC, aka the Paramount lot in Los Angeles

Paramount lot has several different New York City locations, including this Brooklyn setting, complete with artificial snow.

Along Came Polly was shot in the Brooklyn section. So was Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

This is Paramount’s “Upper East Side” set.

This is the brownstone street, home to such projects as Everybody Hates Chris. These tony NYC residences are all façades, and that’s not social commentary.

The “Die” is a nice bit of authenticity.

7. NYC, aka the Universal Studios backlot

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

A shot of “Chinatown.” This lot reopened in 2010 after being destroyed by a fire.

8. NYC, aka the U.K.

As more and more movies get made in the U.K. — particularly at the Pinewood Studio — Northern shipping cities are being used to resemble old New York. The first Captain America had its 1940s Brooklyn scenes shot in Liverpool and Manchester.

This version of Greenwich Village seen in Eyes Wide Shut was built at the Pinewood Studios, due to director Stanley Kubrick’s fear of flying.

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