Creature feature

A look at four monster productions that left their jumbo footprints in New York

Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
Budget: $90 million
Stomping Grounds: The subway station, 72nd Street and Broadway; Ninth Avenue; Tomkins Square Park; Federal Reserve Bank building; Central Park
Haunting Memories: "That was pre-9/11. It was easier to shoot back then," producer Michael Tadross says. "You didn't have to go through 30 agencies to blow up a building. That was a different time. The restrictions were not as difficult. It was more fun to shoot back then. The whole world was more fun back then."

Ghost Busters (1984)
Budget: $30 million
Stomping Grounds: 2 Columbus Circle; 55 Central Park West; Columbia University; New
York Public Library; Tavern on the Green; Hook & Ladder Co. No. 8
Haunting Memories: "Central Park West was jammed up for a week," director-producer Ivan Reitman recalls. "I shot the (demise of giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man) by dropping flaming foam from condors (cranes) up and down Central Park West. Extras and stunt people ran around spraying shaving cream, which was the inside of the marshmallow."

Godzilla (1998)
Budget: $125 million
Stomping Grounds: The MetLife Building; Broadway and 24th Streets; South Street Seaport; Fulton Fish Market
Haunting Memories: "We took over 10 square city blocks," producer Dean Devlin remembers. "On the radio, they had the 'Godzilla' traffic report. Sometimes, New Yorkers drove by, honked their horns and gave us the Bronx salute. The city was otherwise wonderful, though. If you can afford New York, there's nothing like it."

Men in Black (1997)
Budget: $140 million
Stomping Grounds: 69th Regiment Armory; Flushing Meadows Park, Queens; the intersection of Orchard and Broome Streets; Queens Midtown Tunnel; Shea Stadium; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Haunting Memories: "Often, you might look for an easier or less expensive option than New York, like shooting in Toronto and making it look like New York," producer Walter F. Parkes says. "In our case, New York was essential because it was a real character in the film. We used specific architectural icons. The experience was much less a hardship than anyone imagined."
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