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Where is this scene? Léon: The Professional (1994)


Where is this scene?

When I saw this film for the first time, I wondered exactly where this iconic scene was filmed.

The scene makes me feel very “New York,” and at first I thought it might be Park Avenue South or Madison Avenue, or 23rd Street close to the Chelsea Hotel where they filmed interior scenes of Mathilda’s apartment.

Unfortunately none of the movie guidebooks or websites mentions the exact location. After watching the scene several times, I noticed the steep slope of the street and two signs in the background. The signs say “Maxwell” and “Renaissance.”


Two signs behind…


Steep slope…


Léon: stop saying okay all the time. Mathilda: okay. Léon: good!


Then I figured it out it’s the Times Square area!

I googled “Renaissance” and found the Renaissance Times Square Hotel, and confirmed that it was there when the movie was made in 1993, though the current hotel is now a new building.

The scene could be on two possible streets, which are 48th Street and Seventh Avenue. When I walked around the hotel I found the uphill slope of Seventh Avenue towards Central Park. The summit of the hill is on 58th Street and the slope goes down to the park. When I turned back in the direction of Times Square at 59th Street, I found myself shouting “here it is!” Then I started pushing the shutter of my camera with a long lense.

— Alex Child, author of On Location NYC



To learn more about New York filming locations, pick up a copy of On Location NYC from Museyon Guides.

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