A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 11, 2008
Cinema Island (City Island)

The “City Island” entry in the Wikipedia states that so many films, television shows, and commercials have been shot at City Island that it’s sometimes called “Cinema Island.” While it’s true that City Island has a place in cinema, this nickname does not appear in the New York Times and has had very few web hits, other than the Wikipedia article.

The currency and extent of the “Cinema Island” nickname remains small.


Wikipedia: City Island, Bronx
City Island is a small island approximately 1.5 mi (2.4 km) long by 0.5 mi (1 km) wide. At one time attached to the town of Pelham, Westchester County, it is now part of the New York City borough of the Bronx. As of the 2000 census the island had a population of 4,520. Its land area is 1.023 km² (0.395 sq mi, or 252.835 acres). The island is part of Bronx Community Board 10.

City Island is located at the extreme western end of Long Island Sound, south of Pelham Bay and east of Eastchester Bay. The body of water between City Island and the even smaller (and uninhabited) Hart Island to the east is known as City Island Harbor. The small island adjacent to the northeast is High Island. Stepping Stones Lighthouse, marking the main shipping channel into New York, is off the southern tip of the island, near the Long Island shore. It is part of the Pelham Islands, a group of islands originally belonging to Thomas Pell.
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“Cinema Island”
City Island has earned the nickname “Cinema Island” for the numerous films, television shows, and commercials that have been shot there. Films include Butterfield 8 starring Elizabeth Taylor, Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Katharine Hepburn), Awakenings (Robert De Niro and Robin Williams), Love Is All There Is (Lainie Kazan and Angelina Jolie), and A Bronx Tale (Robert De Niro and Chazz Palminteri), which featured the City Island Bridge and one scene which was filmed in the parking lot of Johnny’s Reef Restaurant, which is located at 2 City Island Avenue, at the southernmost tip of the island. Michael Douglas filmed Don’t Say a Word at the Hart Island Ferry and Hart Island. City Island was also the setting for the 2006 film The Groomsmen which was directed by Edward Burns; filming took place at many locations on City Island. In 2006 Margot at the Wedding starring Nicole Kidman and Ciarán Hinds was filmed on City Island Avenue and other locations on the island.

A very early film shot in a City Island studio was Richard III, made in 1912.

Television series that were filmed on the island include the classic Coronet Blue, Naked City, Car 54, Where Are You? and, more recently, an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent called “Sound Bodies” which was based on a real-life story of several local teenagers who drowned in Long Island Sound near City Island. Also the “Law and Order” episode of “Maritime” showing the City Island bridge.

Since 2002, the film production company Harrington Talents has had its offices and studio located on City Island. Notable celebrities who have worked on their productions include rapper/actor Ice-T, professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino and the rock band Letterkills. Also this summer of 2008, MVT’S Made crew will be taping on hand at City Island, Bronx for James Gisante. He will be made into a ladies man. James lives on City Island.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • (0) Comments • Monday, August 11, 2008 • Permalink