NEW YORK (Reuters) - From an old-world Italian restaurant where Leonardo DiCaprio ate to the bakery where Cher found love, a New York tour company is taking movie fans to see where their favorite films were shot -- in Brooklyn.
Photographs of DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese are proudly displayed in the window of Ferdinando’s Foccaceria restaurant, a location for the 2006 film “The Departed,” which won the Academy Award for best picture.
The fact that “The Departed” was set in Boston makes it an even more exciting find.
“Brooklyn is now the ‘it’ borough and people are not as interested in big bad Manhattan as much anymore,” said Pauline Gacanja, spokesperson for On Location Tours Inc. “People are always surprised about how many movies have been filmed there.”
The four-hour Brooklyn TV & Movie tour, which begins in lower Manhattan before crossing into Brooklyn, showcases the bridges, restaurants and brownstones featured on the small and big screens.
“It was great seeing where ‘Moonstruck’ was filmed,” Tessa Benjamin, 38, of Dallas, Texas said about the 1987 film for which Cher won an Oscar for best actress in the romantic comedy that also starred Nicolas Cage.
Benjamin’s 13-year old daughter was just as excited to see a house in a quaint neighborhood that featured in “Remember Me”, the movie starring teen heart-throb Robert Pattinson.
The tour includes more than 40 locations such as the historic Brooklyn Bridge, which featured prominently in the 1971 film “The French Connection,” which won the Best Picture Oscar, the courthouse seen in “American Gangster” and the bakery made famous in “Moonstruck”.
The critically acclaimed Prohibition-era HBO show, “Boardwalk Empire,” that is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has also been shot in Brooklyn.
Most of the On Location Tours, including “Sex and the City Hotspots,” “Gossip Girl Sites” and “Soprano Sites,” are concentrated in the more recognizable Manhattan. The company also offers tours in Washington D.C., and Boston.
An early popular stop in the Brooklyn tour is Junior’s Restaurant, a New York tradition that claims to have the world’s most fabulous cheesecake.
The restaurant is where Carrie Bradshaw, who is played by Sarah Jessica Parker, and friends shot her wedding reception in the first “Sex and the City” film, which delighted many women on the tour. They found the mini-cheesecake that each received at the stop even more exciting.
“People really enjoy themselves,” said tour guide and actor Amadeo Fusca, who shared his knowledge about the films and inside industry information and behind-the-scene scoops with the tour guests.
“Everyone loves the movies and they love to see these places up-close,” he said.
Reporting by Paula Rogo; Edited by Patricia Reaney