Hulu's Only Murders in the Building is a new comedic whodunit starring the unlikely trio Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, who combine forces to solve a murder mystery in the Upper West Side apartment building.
While the story is a good one, combing humor (with great comedic timing by all three stars) and intrigue, it's certainly a New York City tale.
Three strangers Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short) and Mabel (Selena Gomez), who share an obsession with true crime, and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one when a grisly death occurs inside their exclusive Upper West Side apartment building. They begin to record a podcast of their own to document the case and end up unraveling the complex secrets of the building which stretch back years.
The majority of the show takes place inside their tony apartment building, but it opens on the streets of NYC and sets the tone right away about what kind of show it's going to be. Each character has an opening monologue about the city and each is correct in its own right:
"New Yorkers have a special way of communicating. And by special, I mean direct."
"Don’t be here if you don’t like it a lot."
"And don’t we all feel like orphans here at times? Struggling to find our place?"
As New Yorkers, we appreciate when a show gets living here right...and part of that is the sets and the backdrops, too. Fortunately, Only Murders in the Building comes through. Below are some of the real-life NYC locations that make an appearance in the show:
The show takes place inside The Arconia, a ritzy Upper West Side apartment building that is meant as a nod and mix of The Ansonia a few blocks away and The Dakota, according to UntappedCities. The Belnord is the real-life apartment building where the show filmed its exterior shots, including the beautiful courtyard, as well as elevator scenes. The palazzo-like Belnord (at 225 West 86th Street) finished construction in 1909 and is an NYC landmark.
"The setting is based on a conglomeration of buildings where the courtyards take up an entire city block," he said. "There are not many of them left in the city and they are kind of unicorns. We were leading into this idea of a world within a world."
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The Dakota certainly has its own dark history (as the scene of John Lennon's murder), but it only features briefly in the show. Steve Martin's character is walking along Central Park West, when he is stopped by a fan. In the background, you see The Dakota and its ironwork as well as the subway entrance globes.
United Palace Theater
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It is also reported in Atlas of Wonders that the theater where we watch Oliver put together his cast of suspects is none other than the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights. Built in 1930 as Loew's 175th Street Theatre, the venue was originally a movie palace designed by architect Thomas W. Lamb. It has a lavish and eclectic interior by Harold Rambusch, who also designed the interior of the Roxy Theatre and the Waldorf-Astoria.
270 Riverside Drive
UntappedCities says that most of the show's interior scenes were filmed at the luxurious pre-war, 270 Riverside Drive, including the lobby, which is reached through filigreed wrought-iron doors.
Broadway and other Upper West Side streets
Back in February, West Side Rag reported that the show was filming at Broadway and 88th Street, which you can now see in episode one especially.
Keep an eye out for more Upper West Side locales—the show is ongoing on Hulu, premiering new episodes every Tuesday.