On Friday, HBO dropped an advance premiere episode of The Deuce, its new television series starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal about Times Square in the early 1970s through mid-1980s. The show, created by George Pelecanos and David Simon, stars James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and chronicles the rise and legalization of the porn industry.

Here are the film locations so far we can ascertain from the first episode and the trailer, with assistance from our Gritty Times Square tour guide, Bob Brenner. The show officially releases on September 10th.

Join us for an upcoming tour of Gritty Times Square! 

Gritty Old Times Square

1. The Deuce

Photo: Paul Schiraldi/HBO
In the trailer, we see the north side of the Deuce, which was the section of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenue. You can also see the Lyric (213 West 42nd St.) and the Apollo (223 W. 42nd St ) in one shot. These two theaters are now combined into a single theater.
The film location for 42nd Street is on Amsterdam Avenue between 163rd and 165th Streets in Washington Heights, a popular shooting spot also for Marvel shows like Luke Cage. As The Deuce’s production designer, Beth Mickle explains to the New York Post, Amsterdam Avenue in this stretch uptown is the same width as 42nd Street, and the sidewalks and storefronts are the same scale as well. Equally importantly, there were no chain stores in this area that could mar the shots.

2. One Times Square

The establishing shot of Times Square shows One Times Square, originally the headquarters of the New York Times when first built and now home of the Times Square New Years Eve Ball, when it was owned by Allied Chemical. Allied is responsible for the refacing of the building from its original granite and terra cotta facade to marble design influenced strongly by mid-century architectural ideas.

Today, One Times Square is mostly covered over by billboards and is one of the emptiest but also most profitable buildings in Midtown.

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One thought on “NYC Filming Locations for The Deuce about Gritty 1970s Times Square on HBO

  1. I’m watching the first episode of The Deuce, how did they re-create the theatre marquees in the scene where the girls are hanging out?

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