Where’s That Street Scene? Probably on the Warner Bros. Backlot

Where’s That Street Scene? Probably on the Warner Bros. Backlot

In the early days of the major studios, Universal Pictures was famous for its monster movies and MGM had its musicals, but it was Warner Bros. that was known for the urban crime drama or, more simply put, the gangster picture. The Warner Bros. backlot is the most expansive studio lot when it comes to shooting films set in cities all over the world.

Brownstone Street and New York Street date back to the late 1920s, when the studio was known as First National. Hennesy Street — originally Tenement Street, but renamed as a tribute to the production designer of 1982 film Annie, Dale Hennesy — goes back to the mid-1930s.

We scoured about 70 city movies — just the tip of the iceberg — and roamed the Warner Bros. backlot to prove that even though some of these sets have changed over the decades, it's still possible to identify where some of the most famous urban-set movies were shot.

All photos by Jared Cowan except where noted. Follow Jared on Twitter at @JaredCowan1.


In the early days of the major studios, Universal Pictures was famous for its monster movies and MGM had its musicals, but it was Warner Bros. that was known for the urban crime drama or, more simply put, the gangster picture. The Warner Bros. backlot is the most expansive studio lot when it comes to shooting films set in cities all over the world.

Brownstone Street and New York Street date back to the late 1920s, when the studio was known as First National. Hennesy Street — originally Tenement Street, but renamed as a tribute to the production designer of 1982 film Annie, Dale Hennesy — goes back to the mid-1930s.

We scoured about 70 city movies — just the tip of the iceberg — and roamed the Warner Bros. backlot to prove that even though some of these sets have changed over the decades, it's still possible to identify where some of the most famous urban-set movies were shot.

All photos by Jared Cowan except where noted. Follow Jared on Twitter at @JaredCowan1.
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