Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

It Happened Today in New York City

On July 19, 1967, the movie Up the Down Staircase premiered. Based on Bel Kaufman’s semi-autobiographical novel about an idealistic young teacher in a grim and gritty high school, the movie was the first film to be shot on location under the auspices of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting. In the Golden Age of Hollywood, every studio had a standard “NYC street scene” set on their backlot. But as audiences grew to crace more realism, the difficulties of shooting on the real streets of New York had to be overcome and the Mayor’s Office was the way it was done. The exteriors are mostly on the streets of East Harlem and the movies that followed placed vivid images of the city in the minds of viewers throughout the world.

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