Where was 'Friends' filmed? From Greenwich Village, London Marriott to LA’s Warner Bros Ranch, all shooting spots
Since ‘Friends: The Reunion’ is all set to stream on Warner Media’s streaming service HBO Max, we take you back to the good old days where all the magic happened
We all remember the very famous Central Perk café from the '90s and early 2000s popular show ‘Friends’ where Joey, Rachel, Chandler, Ross, Monica, and Phoebe used to chill, hang out, share their joy and sorrows on a regular basis. And what about the iconic fountain in the opening credits or the apartment where most of their story took place. You might be familiar with the places but do you know where most of ‘Friends’ was filmed?
‘Friends’ first aired on NBC on September 22, 1994, and the last episode was broadcasted on May 6, 2004. The multiple award-winning show revolved around six close friends in their 20s and 30s who live in Manhattan, New York City. Lasting ten seasons, the show starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer in lead roles. Since ‘Friends: The Reunion’ is all set to stream on Warner Media’s streaming service HBO Max, we take you back to the good old days where all the magic happened. The new episode will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original TV series and therefore, there could be no better occasion to go down memory lane and track down the popular shooting locations you have loved all these years.
'Friends: The Reunion': Air time, how to live stream and all you need to know about sitcom's special episode
New York City
The sitcom was set in Manhattan, New York City, and therefore several establishing shots were filmed on location in the city. Even though the interiors of Monica’s apartment were filmed in Los Angeles, the exteriors were shot in Greenwich Village - a place now popular for restaurants and cafes in New York. Even the building where Monica lived is actually located on 90 Bedford Street at the corner of Grove Street in Greenwich Village. Also, ‘Friends’ showed the Central Perk café located below the apartment, in real life, a café called Little Owl does exist there and there are chances that it might have served as the fictional café.
Another famous location shot in New York City were the exteriors of Chandler’s office. ‘Friends’ filmed his office at Solow Building on West 57th Street in New York City which is also famous for getting featured in ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Zoolander’. Monica and Chandler’s engagement in season 7 was filmed at The Plaza Hotel on West 58th Street which is very close to the above-mentioned location. Lucille Lortel Theatre was another real-life location used which we all know as the place where Joey acted in a play in Season 3. The Moondance Diner is another location where ‘Friends’ was filmed. It is the same place where Monica used to work. The place, unfortunately, got shut down in 2012 after moving to Wyoming in 2007.
A major portion of what we see in ‘Friends’ was shot at Warner Brothers Ranch in Burbank, California. The iconic fountain in the opening credits which fans have mistaken to be in New York was actually filmed at the ranch on a lot called Park Boulevard. Interestingly, the first season of the sitcom was almost entirely filmed on Stage Five of Warner Bros. Studios. The show moved to a bigger set known as Stage 24 in Warner Bros. Studios to film its second season, as reported by Conde Nast Traveller. Apart from these popular locations, places around California like Vasquez Rocks, Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu were also used to film different episodes.
Even though ‘Friends’ was based in New York City, the finale of season 4 took the star cast to London. In an interview with Boston Globe, director and producer Kevin Bright had said, “We were the only TV show I know of that shot a show in a foreign country, the reception there made me realize that ‘Friends’ was an international thing.” Ross’ wedding in season 4 was filmed in the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. Also, the scene where Joey and Chandler are on the top of a bus was shot at Tower Bridge in London. Speaking of other places, Ross and Emily’s wedding was shot at the Fountain Studios in Wembley, however, the exterior of the building was St. John’s Church in Wapping.
‘Friends: The Reunion’ airs on HBO Max on May 27. Viewers can simply visit the official site of HBO Max to sign up.