Holiday Contest! Can You Identify This NYC Shooting Location?

While I’ve spent spare moments over the last couple of years looking for stray Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 shooting locations, Scouting New York is singularly devoted to looking for stray shooting locations for anything filmed in New York!

When I recently hit a stumper of a location, I reached out to Scouting New York’s head honcho, Nick, who is a full time , professional location scout while I’m a total dilettante at this. Sadly, he confirmed everything I sent – all my assumptions as well as the conclusion that none of those assumptions helped nail down an address: this was a tough one. It looks familiar, but herein lies the danger – it’s familiar enough that it could practically be anywhere in Manhattan (if it is in Manhattan!).

So! We’ve decided to hold a contest and turn it over to our readers to identify the location. At the Scouting New York website are shots from the film and the clues we’ve picked out. If you can identify the New York street depicted, simply send an email to nycscout@gmail.com with your name, address, and where you believe the location is (street / cross streets). From the correct answers, we will choose one winner to receive a special Ghostbusters prize pack, made up of some to-be-announced goodies! Wooh!

FINALLY: DO NOT REPLY IN THE COMMENTS OR YOU’LL GIVE IT AWAY TO EVERYONE!
ALSO, DO NOT REPLY TO PROTON CHARGING – SEND ALL ENTRIES TO SCOUTING NEW YORK EMAIL ABOVE!

ENTRIES ACCEPTED UNTIL JANUARY 10TH!

Ready?

Early in the film, we find Raymond Stantz and Winston Zeddmore appearing at a children’s birthday party, their ghostbusting business having been shut down by the city. The big question: where is the street featured as the exterior of the birthday party scene?

Tavern on the Green to close – future uncertain.

As reported earlier in the Fall, The Tavern on the Green filed for bankruptcy protect, giving them time to restructure without pressure from creditors. Now it seems all that hasn’t panned out and the Tavern will close next week. As of January 1st, the location will close and the owners, the LeRoy family, will have until February to remove or auction off items from the famous interior. It’s hard to imagine a Central Park landmark will entirely disappear, but you can never be too sure with a prime location like that, and regardless if it does remain, it will never be the same.

[VIA Spook Central]

Column: The Private Sector – A Knock-About Punch of Pure Joy

Okay, let’s have a real quick show of hands… how many of you out there in Ghostheadland were first exposed to the original Ghostbusters film not in the theaters, not on home video, but on the original ABC “Sunday Night at the Movies” airing of the film?

The event atmosphere surrounding the national broadcast television premieres of films has all but dissipated in this on-demand, streaming, DVD/Blu-raying, bit-torrenting, digital cableing world that we live in, so even the thought of being excited for a movie to air on ABC might be lost on some of the younger ‘heads out there. But let me tell you, when a new release film was going to air on TV back in the “good-old days”, you were sitting in your family room with the VCR cued up and the remote in-hand to record it. Video rentals, especially in the small remote town in Colorado that I’m from, were a special occasion reserved for weekends or birthday parties. And forget owning VHS tapes. They certainly weren’t as cheap as the home video items that currently populate the five dollar bin at your local Wal-Mart. Waiting for the movie to air on broadcast TV (unless you had a friend or relative cool enough to tape the movie off HBO for you) was the ONLY way that to feasibly own a copy of the original Ghostbusters film.

So, my strong love affair with Ghostbusters insisted upon one Sunday evening (best I can recall circa-1987), where I monopolized the two TVs in the Benjamin household. One to record the movie, and the other for me to watch as I very slowly and deliberately took at least an hour to get ready for bed, much to my parents chagrin. What can I say, Sunday Night at the Movies interfered with bedtime for this then six-year old.

Ghostbusters airing on ABC’s Sunday Night at the Movies certainly was an event that was not to be missed and for me, it was recorded from start to finish on a Memorex tape that has survived nearing a thousand views. That tape and I stood through thick and thin, through attention moving from Ghostbusters to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and then moving to the ladies, the Sunday Night at the Movies version of the film followed no matter where I went. And when Ghostbusters II aired on HBO, and my grandfather was kind enough to tape it for me, the stalwart Memorex tape was joined by its companion. And they endured for years to come…

It’s for this reason that I’m going to come clean and make a true confession that no true Ghosthead should ever have to admit:

I hadn’t seen the true theatrical version of Ghostbusters until my early teenage years.

Yes, yes, I know – that’s about as shocking of a revelation as telling Star Wars geeks that you never saw the first two films but loved Return of the Jedi — but until I got older and wiser, I never knew of difference between the Sunday Night at the Movies version that I had watched over and over and held near and dear to my heart… and the store-bought VHS version that fate would put into my hands somewhere around 1992/1993.

Getting home from the store that night and popping in the true version of Ghostbusters was like seeing it for the first time. Pete Venkman was a bad-ass bursting out of the ballroom doors at the Sedgewick and not exclaiming a sentiment about joy that I couldn’t make sense of, but informing the world they had kicked some ass. Walter Peck apparently lacked necessary genitalia instead of being “a rodent of some sort.” And my God, there was a whole missing scene where Ray got a happy ending.

It was that moment, seeing the first film for the “first time”, that really got be back into the franchise that I loved as a kid but had waned away from as I hit junior and senior high school. Combined with a visit to Universal Studios in Florida shortly after, the purchase of the first Ghostbusters movie and my rekindled interest was the main reason that fate steered me to Alta Vista the moment that I ventured onto “the internet” and discovered the Ghostbusters Homepage.

And here I am, another Private Sector column waxing nostalgic again. It’s hard not to venture into the past during the holiday season, and especially as I’m sitting in my old bedroom, visiting my folks for Christmas… and the old die-hard Memorex tape of the Ghostbusters Sunday Night at the Movies showing sits directly in front of me on the shelf…

Happy Holidays from myself and from the fantastic proprietors of the websites in which you’re reading The Private Sector. The column will be on hiatus next week as I take a much needed vacation (and finally get to researching and interviewing folks for a long-planned column) but we’ll be back in 2010 with all-new ways for you to kill time at your favorite Ghostbusters websites. As always, if you have questions, comments, or need a sponsor as you venture into a fierce hot dog eating competition, I’m always here for you by emailing netsolo@aol.com.

[The Private Sector is a weekly syndicated column written by Troy Benjamin presented every Wednesday on Proton Charging, Ghostbusters.net and GB Fans as an op-ed look at the goings on in the world of the Ghostbusters franchise. Learn more about Troy at www.troybenjamin.com]

Ray Parker Jr. Academy Awards performance

Paul at Spook Central is constantly involved in an ongoing, personal scavenger hunt for certain Ghostbusters rarities, and he just found one of the rarest – Ray Parker Jr. performing Ghostbusters at the 57th Academy Awards ceremonies. Sadly, Parker didn’t win Best Original Song – he lost out to Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called (To Say I Love You)” – but he did get to share the stage with Dom Deluise (ask your parents). This particular Academy Awards set in stone the conventional wisdom that a comedy can never win Best Picture, as the film was overlooked in every catagory except Best Original Song and Best Visual Effects (which it also did not win.)

Head on over to Spook Central to check out the video Paul found of that singular performance!

This is a good time to send out a gentle reminder to people that if you’re on Twitter, you can follow Proton Charging – I retweeted Paul’s original post from 30,000 feet, meaning PC follower got the news while I couldn’t post on the site until now.

For those of you not on Twitter, and not interested in being on Twitter, you can always follow PC on Twitter via RSS!