The series “Only Murders In the Building,” released season three on Hulu today and it will again tickle the hearts of old New Yorkers (and new). First, the filming locations for the comedic murder-mystery are entirely shot in New York City and the action is set on the Upper West Side. Second, the show is the brainchild of Steve Martin, along with screenwriters Dan Fogelman and John Hoffman. It has an old-school vibe in how the show is conceived (narrators included) but is fully set in modern times.
The show’s main characters Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short), and Mabel (Selena Gomez) live in the same apartment building and become friends and podcast collaborators in season 1 when a murder occurs in their building. The cast is studded with guest stars like Tina Fey, Sting, and Nathan Lane. Shirley Maclaine, Cara Delvigne, and Amy Schumer. Season 2 left viewers with a cliffhanger as new guest star, Paul Rudd, seemingly drops dead center stage in the middle of a performance. The new season, which premiered August 8th, brings more shocking moments and stars (like Meryl Streep!). Discover the filming locations for “Only Murders in the Building” below! We’ll update this list as new episodes air and do our best to avoid any spoilers.
1. The United Palace Theater
In the first episode of season 3, we return to the scene of the crime where season 2 left us. The theater scenes were shot at the gorgeous and opulently decorated United Palace in Washington Heights. This theater was one of the five Loew’s Wonder Theaters built in the 1920s and 1930s. The others include Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, Valencia in Jamaica, Queens, Paradise in the Bronx, and Jersey in Jersey City. In the show, we see a wide sweeping shot of the gilded auditorium and ornate proscenium that frames the stage, then we meet the main characters in the decadent red-carpeted lobby.
2. 42nd Street Stages
The first two episodes of the new season take place largely in the theater and the eponymous building (which we’ll cover next), but we also see the characters gathering for rehearsals for Oliver’s play, Death Rattle, inside a rehearsal space called 42nd Street Stages. The logo of this fictional space looks strikingly similar to that of New 42nd Street Studios, a building filled with rehearsal spaces that are used by the casts of hit Broadway plays like Hamilton and more.
3. The Belnord aka The Arconia
“Only Murders in the Building” takes place in a fictionally-named apartment building called “The Arconia.” The show does not explicitly share the real name of the pre-war Upper West Side building where all the action takes place, but it’s The Belnord at 225 West 86th Street along Broadway. The Belnord was a real estate speculation project by the Astors, completed in 1909 and designed by architect H. Hobart Weekes. It was designated a New York City landmark in 1966. It’s one of the few buildings in New York City large enough to have an interior courtyard where a car can enter and make a loop around, similar to the Apthorp and Graham Court, real estate projects on the Upper West Side also backed by the Astors. All three have a palazzo-like exterior architecture, imposing front gates, and an open-air courtyard to bring in light to the apartments.
The fictional name “The Arconia” certainly evokes the apartment names of the period and is quite close to The Ansonia, another Upper West Side apartment building completed just a few years before The Belnord (and is featured in a black and white photograph in the Arconia lobby). Graham Court was also featured as a filming location in Mozart in the Jungle. Untapped New York writer Julia Vitullo-Martin, who resides in The Belnord, says that only the exteriors and the courtyard were used for the show and the scenes in the elevator. Most of the interior scenes were filmed at 270 Riverside Drive, including the lobby. Filming for the second season of Only Murders in the Building began in December 2021 and continued into January 2022. Vitullo-Martin tells us, ” The stars were freezing. But they soldiered on.” The opening sequence of season two shows Charles walking on Broadway near the Arconia imagining he has become famous for the podcast, falling into a manhole cover, and landing in an interrogation room at the police. The characters return to the Belnord for Season 3. Stay tuned for more locations as Season 3 continues to air, and keep reading to check out locations from previous seasons!
1. Supreme Court of the State of New York
The real Supreme Court of New York State (the actual name, not the Supreme Court of the State of New York) is located in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan next to City Hall and the other local courts. In Only Murders in the Building, the exterior of the Supreme Court is filmed in Long Island City at Court Square. Things have taken a real twist with our trio of heroes getting framed for the murder of the former board president of the Arconia, Bunny Folger. As Hulu teases, “They must choose whether to lay low or risk their safety by catching the killer themselves. As they grapple with that choice, fireworks ensue.”
2. The Dakota
In the opening of “Only Murders in the Building”, Charles (played by Steve Martin) walks with the backdrop of Central Park. We also see him next to The Dakota, another famous Upper West Side apartment building, when a fan stops him. You see the beautiful ironwork ornaments on the exterior of The Dakota, the globes of the subway station on 72nd Street and Central Park West, and then the facade itself. The scene sets the stage for Charles’ character — he was once a star on a famous crime television show called “Brazzos” a long time ago but even fans are not too interested in taking photographs with him.
The Dakota may be most infamous for being the scene of John Lennon’s murder but the building has an illustrious history beginning from its creation by the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company as one of the earliest apartment buildings on the Upper West Side.
We meet Mabel and Oliver as they walk along Broadway. Like with Charles, each character muses, comedically, about New York City. The city is “a lot,” says Mabel. “Don’t be here if you don’t like a lot.” And Oliver says, “NYC, what is it about you?”…Don’t we all feel like orphans here at times, struggling to find our place?” Broadway on the Upper West Side has a mix of local businesses and chain stores. In the scene with Mabel, you’ll see a recognizable Upper West Side business whose signage isn’t shown: Westside Market. The grocery store was also a filming location in the Netflix show Grand Army.
In episode five, Oscar gets out of prison and meets up with Mabel. He accompanies her on her mission to track down why Tim Kono might have written down O.M. and Shore Road, and reminds her that her brother’s FBI code name is Oliver Mora and his cover is a tattoo parlor on Shore Road in Bayport, Long Island. Oliver and Charles follow the duo, first across Central Park’s 85th Street Transverse, passing the NYPD station built into the remnants of the Yorkville Reservoir. The then head up the Upper East Side, passing Metropolitan Hospital, a filming location for the show New Amsterdam and head up the FDR Drive. They would have to keep going up the Harlem River Drive to get their intended bridge, the George Washington Bridge. Eagle eye New Yorkers would know that there would be no reason to cross Manhattan to the East Side to get to that bridge, they should have taken the West Side Highway. But with the revelation they are going to Long Island, the crosstown trek becomes convenient, and they head onto the Triboro Bridge.
Charles and Oliver riff on a bunch of Long Island jokes and accents, mentioning towns like Setauket (home of the first spy ring in America under George Washington, which the AMC television series Turn was based on), Patchogue, Syosset, Massapequa, Sag Harbor, Amagansett and more. When a stop is made at a gas station and convenience store, the filming location is actually located in the Rockaways — not on the way geographically for the plot but convenient for filming. The filming location is at Waterview Car Care located at 112-10 Beach Channel Drive. In the scene, you can see the Cross Bay Veterans Bridge in the background.
5. The Bronx
Mabel and Oliver are kidnapped by Theo, who takes them to a location that is filmed at Stuyvesant Energy Corporation in Port Morris in the Bronx. It’s located on the waterfront just near North and South Brother islands and just a way down from the abandoned Port Morris gantries. In the scene, you see several large green fuel tanks.
There, they are met by Teddy Dimas, Theo’s father, who is bankrolling the podcast but has also become the primary suspect. Teddy threatens them on the car ride back to the Arconia. A later scene in this episode is also filmed on the Bronx waterfront, as a yellow taxi pulls up to a landing behind Stuyvesant Energy Corporation where the trio meets Detective Williams.
6. Lincoln Center
Charles decides to go to Jan’s big concert at the Symphony, encouraged by his stunt double, played by actress Jane Lynch. The concert hall scene is filmed at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. Charles sees that Jan is not actually first bassoon and leaves the concert early. Jan sees Charles and rushes back to his apartment during intermission, setting off a chain of events that leads into the finale of Only Murders in the Building.
We’ll be updating this article with more filming locations as the show continues For now, please enjoy these behind the scenes on-set photographs shared by Untapped New York writer Julia Vitullo-Martin:
Next, check out the Filming Locations for Modern Love
Written by Michelle Young and Nicole Saraniero