When season one of the television series “You” hit Netflix, the influx of traffic to New York’s Logos bookstore blew up. “Until the pandemic, we had big sales all the time,” said Harris Healy, the owner of Logos bookstore since 1991. “And people from all over the world came to see us.” It turns out that Netflix’s popular psychological thriller that tells the story of a serial killer who is delusionally obsessed with a young woman was partially filmed at Logos, a quaint bookstore in the Yorkville neighborhood of the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The filming crew used Logos’ exterior and front interior as the design of Mooney’s, the bookstore in the show where Joe Goldberg, the serial killer, works as a manager. “Anything related to bookstore that’s outdoor or just coming into the bookstore is our store,” Healy said.
The exterior and front interior of Mooney’s in Netflix’s “You” was filmed at Logos bookstore.
The outdoor entrance to Mooney’s basement where Goldberg holds his prisoners was filmed at a construction site two blocks north of Logos, while the majority of Mooney’s interior scenes were filmed at a separate studio in the Bronx, as the filming crew had a slightly divergent vision for the interior design of the bookstore in the show. However, the overall setup in the studio is actually very similar to the interior of Logos, according to Healy. “For a moment I thought I’m looking at my store in the trailer,” he said. “But then I realized that although there’s a rolling ladder and there’s a big window in the back, the ladder isn’t my style ladder.”
The interior design of Mooney’s resembles that of Logos bookstore.
“You” did not mark the first time a filming crew walked through Logos bookstore’s door. The bookstore specializing in religious texts and children’s books first appeared on the big screen in the 2018 biographical film Can You Ever Forgive Me starring Melissa McCarthy who plays a biographer who falsifies letters from dead authors and playwrights. The head of the scouting unit for the movie happened to be scouting locations for “You,” which at the time was going to premiere on Lifetime, a cable television channel. After some site visits to Logos bookstore, the filming crew decided to use Logos as the filming location for Mooney’s. “It was that easy,” Healy said.
Different from McCarthy, who filmed all the relevant scenes inside Logos bookstore, the two stars of “You,” Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail who play Goldberg and his love interest Guinevere Beck, did not appear on the set as often. “The stars only made quick little entrances,” Healy said. “They usually have stand-ins.” The actor who was more present at Logos was Mark Blum, who played Goldberg’s abusive mentor Mr. Mooney in the show and died of coronavirus complications in March.
Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail play the two main characters in season one of Netflix’s “You.” Photo courtesy of Netflix Media.
The filming at Logos started in late August of 2017 and was wrapped in less than a week. When “You” premiered on Lifetime a year later, it did little change for Logos bookstore. In fact, the show itself was struggling to find viewership and audiences on cable television. That was until 2018, when Netflix started streaming the show in and the “You” audience surged into the tens of millions. The series’ popularity widened into an outpouring of visitors to Logos bookstore. “It was amazing,” Healy said. “You name the country in the world, there they were.” The bookstore was also on track to be the filming location for season two of “God Friended Me,” a comedy-drama television series on CBS.
“You” had almost nonexistent viewership before it was streamed by Netflix. Photo courtesy of Netflix Media.
And then the pandemic hit. The traffic to the bookstore waned, and God Friended Me has since suspended its filming. However, that didn’t stop people from visiting Logos after New York City entered phase two of its reopening plan, and the sales records in July and August at Logos was actually better than those of the same months from last year. “Much better in July because July is usually totally dead,” Healy said. “But more people are around, and it was the first real month that people could go into bookstores and other shops.”
Logos offers extensive selections of fictions, history, biographies and poetry, so while season three of “You” seems more distant than ever, pay this bookstore a visit and support an independent bookstore.
Next, check out the top 10 hidden bookstores in New York City.