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‘The Deuce’: NYC filming locations for HBO’s gritty 1970s drama

See where the series, about the sex trade in 1970s New York, films in the five boroughs

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In HBO’s latest prestige drama, The Deuce, New York City is—as cliche as this is to say—a character unto itself. The series, created by The Wire mastermind David Simon and author George Pelecanos, is a compelling look at the city in the gritty, sordid 1970s. And as the name suggests, it focuses on one area in particular: Times Square, namely the two-block area of 42nd Street that was dubbed “The Deuce” and was, by the 1970s, filled with seedy peep shows and X-rated theaters.

The series is about the characters who inhabited that world, including sex workers (Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Candy, who eventually moves on to porn production), pimps, and the behind-the-scenes players who existed on the fringes of the industry. (James Franco, for example, plays double-duty as a bartender and his gambling, debt-ridden twin brother.)

But for amateur historians, part of the thrill of the series will be in picking out the locations used to re-create that period in time. Producers for the show have said that they used more than 100 locations throughout the city for the series, and while we can’t promise this will be a comprehensive list of every single one, we’re planning to hit the highlights as the series evolves over the next few months. Check back as we add more locations in the weeks to come. (Beware: Spoilers ahead.)

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Washington Heights

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Obviously, the sleazy Times Square of 1971 doesn’t exist today; to replicate the low-slung theaters that lined 42nd Street in that era, the production team looked to Washington Heights. According to executive producer Nina Noble, speaking to Crain’s, the area on Amsterdam Avenue around 165th Street had the exact look they were going for. “The storefronts had lots of iron and grates similar to those in the '70s. Even the streetlights resembled the originals,” Crain’s says.

Paul Schiraldi/HBO

Capri Social Club

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This old-school Greenpoint watering hole stands in for Vincent’s (James Franco) Brooklyn bar, meant to be close to his home in Bay Ridge. It’s no surprise that the Deuce crew turned to this bar when they wanted to evoke the feel of a neighborhood joint; it’s been used for similar purposes on Blue Bloods, Shades of Blue, and plenty of other movies and series.

Paul Schiraldi/HBO

House of Korea

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When he’s not tending bar in Brooklyn, Vincent is the manager of this Korean joint in Midtown—and it was actually filmed at a storefront on 30th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

Tina's Restaurant

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In the first episode, many of the series’ main players—pimps CC (Gary Carr) and Larry (Gbenga Akinnagbe) and the women who work for them—gather at a diner called Leon’s in Hell’s Kitchen. In reality, though, the interiors were filmed at Tina’s Place Restaurant, a diner with an appropriately ’70s vibe on Flushing Avenue in Bushwick.

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Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

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In the pilot, Vincent is held up by two Bay Ridge street toughs with the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge—which, at the time the show takes place, would have only been seven years old—in the background. It’s used again as an establishing shot when Vincent and his wayward wife, Andrea (Zoe Kazan), have a less-than-happy conversation about their future.

18 Avenue Station

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When Vincent decides to leave the drudgery of Brooklyn behind for gritty, debauched Times Square, he boards the subway at, ostensibly, Fort Hamilton Parkway. But in real life, the scene was filmed at the 18th Avenue station on the F line; if you look closely enough, you’ll see that the a sign for a medical supply store is visible as James Franco climbs the stairs to the elevated platform.

Screen shot via Google Maps

Washington Square Park

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It remains to be seen how Abby (Margarita Leviera), an NYU student, will factor into the seamy underbelly occupied by most of The Deuce’s main characters, though she and Vincent have a flirty interaction at the bar in the pilot after she’s busted for trying to buy speed. In the pilot, though, we see her in and around NYU’s Greenwich Village campus, including walking through Washington Square Park.

Paul Schiraldi/HBO

Village East Cinema

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This East Village stalwart has yet to make its debut on The Deuce, but when it does, it’ll be a stand-in for Times Square’s World Theater, where the infamous porn flick Deep Throat premiered in 1972.

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Washington Heights

Obviously, the sleazy Times Square of 1971 doesn’t exist today; to replicate the low-slung theaters that lined 42nd Street in that era, the production team looked to Washington Heights. According to executive producer Nina Noble, speaking to Crain’s, the area on Amsterdam Avenue around 165th Street had the exact look they were going for. “The storefronts had lots of iron and grates similar to those in the '70s. Even the streetlights resembled the originals,” Crain’s says.

Paul Schiraldi/HBO

Capri Social Club

This old-school Greenpoint watering hole stands in for Vincent’s (James Franco) Brooklyn bar, meant to be close to his home in Bay Ridge. It’s no surprise that the Deuce crew turned to this bar when they wanted to evoke the feel of a neighborhood joint; it’s been used for similar purposes on Blue Bloods, Shades of Blue, and plenty of other movies and series.

Paul Schiraldi/HBO

House of Korea

When he’s not tending bar in Brooklyn, Vincent is the manager of this Korean joint in Midtown—and it was actually filmed at a storefront on 30th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

Tina's Restaurant

In the first episode, many of the series’ main players—pimps CC (Gary Carr) and Larry (Gbenga Akinnagbe) and the women who work for them—gather at a diner called Leon’s in Hell’s Kitchen. In reality, though, the interiors were filmed at Tina’s Place Restaurant, a diner with an appropriately ’70s vibe on Flushing Avenue in Bushwick.

A post shared by Stonie Clark (@janetcanada) on

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

In the pilot, Vincent is held up by two Bay Ridge street toughs with the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge—which, at the time the show takes place, would have only been seven years old—in the background. It’s used again as an establishing shot when Vincent and his wayward wife, Andrea (Zoe Kazan), have a less-than-happy conversation about their future.

18 Avenue Station

When Vincent decides to leave the drudgery of Brooklyn behind for gritty, debauched Times Square, he boards the subway at, ostensibly, Fort Hamilton Parkway. But in real life, the scene was filmed at the 18th Avenue station on the F line; if you look closely enough, you’ll see that the a sign for a medical supply store is visible as James Franco climbs the stairs to the elevated platform.

Screen shot via Google Maps

Washington Square Park

It remains to be seen how Abby (Margarita Leviera), an NYU student, will factor into the seamy underbelly occupied by most of The Deuce’s main characters, though she and Vincent have a flirty interaction at the bar in the pilot after she’s busted for trying to buy speed. In the pilot, though, we see her in and around NYU’s Greenwich Village campus, including walking through Washington Square Park.

Paul Schiraldi/HBO

Village East Cinema

This East Village stalwart has yet to make its debut on The Deuce, but when it does, it’ll be a stand-in for Times Square’s World Theater, where the infamous porn flick Deep Throat premiered in 1972.

A post shared by @fed_1979 on