Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NYC Filming Locations

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have always made their home in the sewers of New York City, so it shouldn’t surprise you that a lot of their films have been shot here.

This post will provide a list of TMNT filming locations that you can visit in NYC.

We’ll also include a self-guided tour which includes some popular destinations that Ninja Turtles fans might enjoy.

 


Overview

This post features a selection of notable filming locations where some of the most popular TMNT films were shot.

We will discuss a variety of sites that you may have seen in films like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), and the most recent movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).

In addition to providing information about each location, we will also provide directions and a map to help you find the right spot.

There will also be suggestions for how to get there and tours you might want to take in the area.


1) The Trump International Hotel

Although it wasn’t a hotel when the movie was shot, this location was the site of a notable scene in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990).

There was once a movie theater where the Trump International Hotel now stands.

Trump International Hotel and Tower in NYC. Image Source: Pixabay user bones64 under CC0 Creative Commons license.After losing his Sai in a fight, Raphael decided to go out and watch a movie at this theater.

You can see it in the background as he walks out, clearly still upset about the earlier ordeal.

The Trump International Hotel can be found at 1 Central Park West, right across from Central Park and next to the Columbus Circle.

If you’re interested in learning more about the area, keep in mind that we offer both a GPS enabled audio tour and a pay-what-you-wish central park walking tour.

Use this map for more specific directions.


2) Central Park West & W 61st Street

After leaving the theater, Raphael crosses the street at the corner of Central Park West and W 61st Street.

The shot of this scene faces Columbus Circle, and you can see the surrounding buildings of what is now Time Warner Center and the Museum of Arts & Design.

This is also the street Raphael will cross when chasing a certain someone out Central Park.

Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park. Image Source: Pixabay user Sh1ra under CC0 Creative Commons license.Central Park West and W 61st Street is the intersection just north of the Trump International Hotel.

You can reach this destination quite easily by heading to the nearby Columbus Circle subway stop.

If you’re interested in seeing more famous filming locations in the area, consider taking our Central Park Movie and TV tour.

Use this map for specific directions to this intersection.


3) Central Park

After crossing the street at Central Park West and W 61st Street, Raphael runs into a crime-fighting vigilante known as Casey Jones in the park itself.

The site for this scene is located just over the wall into Central Park across from the Trump International Hotel.

Although it’s not recommended to do as they did and jump the wall, you can at least get a sense of where this scene was shot.

 

 

 

One of the nice things about these first few filming locations is that the continuity from one shot to the next is very accurate and true to what you will actually find in the area.

If you want to look for the exact location where the film was shot in Central Park, try entering the park from Columbus Circle and keeping close to the hotel.

There is a subway stop very close by, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get here. Since you will be in the park, it also makes sense to consider one of our Central Park tours.

Use this map for specific directions to the park entrance.


4) New York County Supreme Court

After tracking down April O’Neil, Raphael finds her walking out of a building that is recognizable as the New York County Supreme Courthouse.

In this scene, he holds a newspaper over his face to stay hidden from April and everyone else, but you can see the recognizable steps and architecture of the courthouse behind him.

This location has also been used for shots in films such as The Godfather, Goodfellas, Wall Street, Miracle on 34th Street, and 12 Angry Men.

The New York County Supreme Courthouse can be found at 60 Centre Street, about a block from City Hall and very close to the 9/11 Memorial.

The quickest way to get there is by using the Subway and getting off at the Chambers Street station at Foley Square/Thomas Paine Park.

This public square is located right across the street from the courthouse.

 

 

If you’re in the area, you may also want to consider a tour of the 9/11 Memorial or the Brooklyn Bridge.

This map will provide specific directions to the New York County Supreme Courthouse.


5) 270 Lafayette Street

Raphael was in yet another notable scene that was shot in New York City. During this shot, he was practicing his ninja skills on the rooftop of a building located at 270 Lafayette Street.

Although you won’t necessarily be welcome to go to the top and see the view for yourself, the shot in question finds Raph looking down at the city to the North with the Puck building on his right.

 

 

The fastest way to get here is to take the subway and get off at the Prince Street station which is only two blocks West from this destination.

Being so close to the area, you may want to consider taking our pay-what-you-wish SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown walking tour which runs twice per day.

Use the following map for specific directions to this location.


6) Four Freedoms Park

Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. Image Source: Pixabay user 12019 under CC0 Creative Commons license.If you’ve ever wondered where the Foot Clan’s Secret Lair was located, look no further than Roosevelt Island.

Although it was referred to in the film as Lairdman Island, this is the actual location of the lair.

Establishing shots were recorded from the Southern end of the island, revealing several vistas of New York City that you can only get by heading to Four Freedoms Park. Luckily, it’s actually pretty easy to get here – and a lot of fun!

One of the easiest and most interesting ways to get here is by taking the Roosevelt Island Tram.

This option will allow you to go over the water and enjoy excellent views of the city for a very low price.

Once you arrive, walk to the Southern end of the island (should only take 5-10 minutes) and take a look at how much this area has changed since the movie was shot.

Use this map to get specific directions to Roosevelt Island and the Four Freedoms Park.


7) Hoyt-Schermerhorn Subway Station

A New York City Subway entrance. Image Source: Pixabay user StockSnap under CC0 Creative Commons license.After leaving the courthouse, April O’Neil enters the subway station at City Hall – but the actual location where this was shot is known as Hoyt-Schermerhorn station.

While here, she encounters members of the Foot Clan and fights them off with some help from a half-shelled hero who is just trying to get his Sai back.

This subway station has been used as a backdrop for several notable films and other projects, most notably The Warriors and Michael Jackson’s music video for “Bad.”

This subway station is located in Brooklyn, and as you might have guessed, taking the subway is pretty much the easiest way to find it.

Alternatively, you could head to this location after walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, as the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station is only a few blocks south of this landmark.

The following map will provide specific directions to this subway station.


8) The Jim Henson Creature Shop

Did you know that the animatronics for the first two TMNT movies were actually created by the Jim Henson Creature Shop?

This is probably one of the reasons that they chose to make the former location of this site the backdrop for April O’Neil’s apartment in the Secret of the Ooze.

If you’ve ever wanted to see where April once lived and where hundreds of memorable puppets have been created, this is a fantastic opportunity to do both.

 

 

Although the Jim Henson Creature Shop no longer does business at this location, you may still want to head to 117 E 69th Street.

This building is just a few blocks East of Central Park, and it is only one block from the 68th Street subway station.

Use this map for specific directions to the former location of the Jim Henson Creature Shop.


9) Famous Roy’s Pizza

At the beginning of the Secret of the Ooze, we see a lot of New Yorkers eating pizza – presumably, all from the source, we visit first, a pizzeria known as Roy’s Pizza.

This is where one of the main characters (Keno) works, and it is the restaurant that the turtles order from.

The actual location where this was shot is actually known as Famous Ray’s Pizza in Greenwich Village.

Although this location has since shut down, you can still grab a slice at several Famous Ray’s pizzerias all over New York City.

 

 

If you want to see the specific site where this scene was shot, head to 6th Avenue and W 11th Street.

The easiest way to get here is to take the subway to the 9th Street station and walk 2 blocks North to your destination.

Since you’re in the area and headed to a former pizzeria, consider taking our food tour of Greenwich Village.

This map can be used for specific directions.


10) Grand Central Terminal

By the time Out of the Shadows was released a few years ago, they had a big enough budget to shoot in some much more impressive locations.

One scene, in particular, finds April O’Neil following someone through Grand Central Terminal.

Several shots were recorded inside the terminal and sharp-eyed fans might even notice a few familiar locations at this famous landmark.

 

 

Grand Central Terminal can be found at the intersection of Park Avenue and E 42nd Street. Both the subway and hop-on-hop-off bus tours provide stops at this famous location.

If you’re interested in learning more about the area, consider taking our Grand Central Terminal tour.

Alternatively, you can also use this guide to Grand Central Terminal to find your way around the landmark.

Use this map for specific directions to the terminal.


11) Staple Street

The Staple Street Skybridge in Winter. Image Source: Unsplash user Andre Benz under CC0 Creative Commons license.This is yet another shooting location for the most recent TMNT film Out of the Shadows.

You may remember it as the alley where the turtles were stopped by police halfway through the film.

One of the most notable architectural features that stands out from the rest is the connecting sky bridge between the two buildings on either side of Staple Street.

You will find this site on Jay Street between Hudson Street and Greenwich Street.

The closest subway stops to this filming location are at either the Franklin Street station or the Chambers Street station.

This map will provide specific directions to Staple Street.


12) Bank of America Tower

In Out of the Shadows, April O’Neil ends up at the TCRI building and manages to secure evidence of their nefarious plans.

When she leaves the building, we see that the location they used as a backdrop for this scene was actually the Bank of America Tower.

This structure is larger than the Chrysler Building but not quite as big as the Empire State Building.

It’s also halfway between the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, making it an easy site to spot from both observation decks.

 

 

You’ll find this filming location on 6th Avenue and W 42nd Street. The 42nd Street subway station is right in front of the building, making it one of the easiest ways to get there.

If you’re using a hop-on-hop-off bus, there is a stop across the street at Bryant Park – and that is a good place to get a look at the building from below.

Use this map for specific directions to the Bank of America Tower.


13) Madison Square Garden

The opening title sequence for Out of the Shadows finds our heroes in a half shell rushing to see a basketball game being played at Madison Square Garden.

Although you can’t necessarily go inside for free and see where this scene was shot, you can visit the building on a tour and take a look around.

If you really want to get a good look, consider attending one of the many events held at this stadium every month.

 

 

Madison Square Garden is located between W 31st Street and W 33rd Street on 7th Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

This building is also right on top of the famed Penn Station subway stop, so we recommend this option for getting here.

This map will give you specific directions to Madison Square Garden.


14) Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty in NYC. Image Source: Pixabay user stinne24 under CC0 Creative Commons license.At the end of Out of the Shadows, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are commended at the Statue of Liberty for their efforts in saving New York City.

Long-time fans will also remember that Lady Liberty was actually stolen by Krang in the arcade game Turtles in Time.

Needless to say, this beloved landmark has also been featured in many other famous movies such as Ghostbusters 2 and X-men.

You will need tickets to visit Liberty Island, but it’s actually a very affordable activity.

Luckily, Statue of Liberty tickets are included for free with many tourist passes.

If you don’t feel like paying for tickets, consider hopping on board the Staten Island Ferry for a free ride which will take you right past Lady Liberty.

Use the following map to get directions to the Statue of Liberty.


15) Times Square

April O’Neil has yet another scene in Out of the Shadows which was shot on location in New York City. In this shot, she is covering a news story with Times Square in the background.

Much like Lady Liberty, this is yet another notable site where several films have been shot over the years, including two other comic book movies: Spider-man and Captain America.

 

Times Square in NYC. Image Source: Pixabay user Wallula under CC0 Creative Commons license.

 

Times Square is located between W 46th Street and W 47th Street on 7th Avenue.

This famous site is easy to reach via the subway, but there are also hop-on, hop-off bus stops right next to the popular theater district.

Use this map for specific directions to Times Square.


16) The World Trade Center

Vintage image of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center. Image Source: Pixabay user geralt under CC0 Creative Commons license.The unforgettable sight of the Twin Towers is visible in establishing shots during both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991).

As if that weren’t enough, the World Trade Center was also depicted in both the original animated series and some of the earlier comic books.

Although these structures no longer exist, you may still want to pay a visit to one of the locations that was most frequently used to establish that our heroes in a half shell made their home in New York City.

You’ll find the original site of the World Trade Center and its Twin Towers at the corner of Greenwich Street and Fulton Street.

There are several subway stops nearby and you should consider using them to get here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the area, consider taking our pay-what-you-wish World Trade Center tour.

This map will provide specific directions to the World Trade Center.

 


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TMNT Self-Guided Tour

For the past few years, New York has given our heroes in a half shell the job of NYC Family Ambassadors.

This role is largely ceremonious, providing both travelers and locals with brochures and signs all over the city which feature the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

In addition to these services, NYC GO has also provided a set of itineraries for fans to consider while visiting the city.

There are four different lists of places you can go representing all four turtles.

While Donatello’s itinerary includes places like the Brooklyn Public Library, Michelangelo’s list of activities features the Chinatown Fair and the Gotham Comedy Club.

There are far too many locations to list right here, so we recommend checking out each itinerary for yourself and going on a self-guided tour brought to you by the Ninja Turtles and NYC GO!

 


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About the author

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers.

Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.