#jokerstairs: Who’s Laughing Now?

Film fanatics have a long history of scouting out off-the-beaten-path filming locations from their favorite movies. I am no exception. Since moving to New York City almost three months ago, I have been to Katz Deli from When Harry Met Sally, almost every filming location from You’ve Got Mail, and now the Bronx stairs from the recent Joker film.

Last weekend, I made the long trek up to the Bronx. It was pouring rain, which, interestingly enough, added a certain Joker-ish feel to the stairs. When I arrived, there were several other groupies as well as someone dressed as the Joker. It was grimy and cold. The atmospere director Todd Phillips was looking for when he begin scouting locations for film locations.

Phillips had originally wanted the staircase in American Gangster; however, because of city beautification projects, the stairs had gotten a face-lift. He wanted something grimy. A staircase that would leave the audience with a “hopeless,” feeling, drawing the audience into the Joker’s world. I can tell you first-hand he found the perfect location.

Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?

the Joker, Todd Phillips

The now famous Joker stairs are located between two buildings at 1165 Shakespeare Avenue. I came from midtown when I went and got off at the 167th subway stop on the 4 line and walked a short distance to the stairs. They are easy to find and even easier to spot: there will be a crowd of fans swarming the area.

Joker has now become the highest grossing R rated film ever. Surpassing both Deadpool and IT Chapter 2. The film could be a trend-setter for the DC universe. Time will tell. Taking an Instagram-worthy picture is a great fan opportunity; however, as fans, we should also support the community in which we enjoy these iconic spots. Shop at a local store or eat at a restaurant in the area. Do something that brings economic growth to the people hosting us. It’s a long climb into madness, but it’s worth the trip.

3 thoughts on “#jokerstairs: Who’s Laughing Now?

  1. Great article and I agree with the last point about supporting the community there. I get the fustration of some of the locals but I dont think they are being smart about the situation. They should be taking advantage of this new found fame and encouraging and advertising to tourists who come for the stairs, instead of driving them away or wanting them gone.


    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I agree that anytime there are new opportunities that bring tourists and publicity to your area, you should use it to your advantage for your community.


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