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Photograph: Universal Pictures

This iconic ‘Scarface’ location will now sell you actual drugs

Say ’ello to this little pharmacy

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

Ask a fan of Brian De Palma’s gaudy, garish and borderline iconic drug baron thriller Scarface to name their favourite scene and the answer would probably involve the quote ‘say ‘ello to my lil friend’ or maybe the payback on Frank backdropped by that incongruous palm tree mural. 

Only the truly sadistic would go into bat for the motel slaying of Tony Montana’s (Al Pacino) Cuban compadre Manny. One, because the boyish Angel (Pepe Serna) seems tragically out of his depth in this ruthless corner of the Miami underworld, and two, the chainsaw.

But in the kind of ironic twist the universe likes to throw up, the real-life location for that violently abortive coke deal has just reopened as... a drug store. The universe must be a Brian De Palma fan. 

Situated at 728 Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami, the building is now a CVS Pharmacy. The three original art deco portholes are still there but the rest of the building is unrecognisable from its ’80s on-screen alter ego. 

The 1953 apartment block was caught in a political crossfire at the time of the movie’s shoot. Miami’s powers-that-be unsuccessfully attempted to use filming permits as leverage to get Tony Montana’s character rewritten as a communist spy. It was bought by a New York property group in 2015 for $12.4 million. 

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