Feeling the Halloween spirit, I decided to do a quick write-up on the eighth Friday the 13th Film, subtitled, Jason Takes Manhattan. However, the title should really be Jason Takes Vancouver, because due to budgetary restraints, almost the entire movie was shot there instead.

Since it was significantly cheaper to film in Canada, it wasn’t uncommon for movies in the 1980s and 90s to have Vancouver or Toronto double for New York City (although hardly ever to great effect). But out of all of them, Friday the 13th Part VII might be the worst culprit, barely using any real NYC locations, and filming the majority of the “New York” scenes in a single, one-block alley. Even storywise, the first two-thirds of the movie didn’t take place in the large metropolis. Instead, it took place on a nondescript boat in the middle of nowhere. So maybe the title should’ve been, Jason Goes Yachting. 

But since they did shoot a couple brief scenes in the Big Apple, I thought I’d take a closer look at the locations, as well as a bunch of the fake New York locations shot in Vancouver. 


Opening Credits

The movie opens with a view of Lower Manhattan, taken from Brooklyn Bridge’s on-ramp in DUMBO.


The movie starts with a couple establishing shots of New York City, but even this simple opening montage epitomizes how cheap production was. Aside from the shot of the Manhattan skyline (shown above), pretty much all the rest of the establishing shots were simply outtakes from other scenes that take place at the end of the film. The most noticeable one was of a bunch of punks hanging out in Times Square who end up being the same ones who confront Jason later in the story.

It’s really bizarre they didn’t have more of a variety of establishing shots of the city since that is one of the easiest and least expensive parts of on-location filming. That’s because it’s usually done by a second-unit team made up of a skeleton crew who can theoretically “steal” shots without getting a permit.


Arriving in New York

After an extremely prolonged trip on a boat traveling from Crystal Lake, the few survivors from Jason’s wrath escape onto a lifeboat and float past the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.


Relieved, they slowly row the boat towards Lower Manhattan, unaware Jason is riding along from underneath.


It takes over an hour before the movie gets us to New York City, and aside from these brief generic shots taken in the New York Harbor, the action quickly switches back to Vancouver, starting as soon as they reach the docks.

The online consensus seems to be that production shot the dock stuff in the industrial section near Downtown Eastside, just north of Centennial Road. But no one has provided any definitive proof, and since the area is generally closed off to the public, it’s probably not going to be solved anytime soon.

A still from the 1989 film (top) compared to a Google 3D satellite image of the waterfront area near Centennial Road in Vancouver (bottom).

I did notice that there are a few other similar-looking industrial areas located along Vancouver Harbor, so it’s possible this scene was shot at one of those instead. However, since we know it was definitely not shot in New York, I’m not overly concerned if it remains a mystery.


The action switches to an alleyway south of West Hastings Street between Cambie and Abbott Streets in Vancouver.

For years, it’s been widely established that the majority of the “New York City” scenes were shot in Vancouver, Canada, but a lot of the exact spots were unknown. Then, a couple years ago, some of the production’s original call sheets were published online, and they provided specific details to some of the filming locations.

From Day 7’s call sheet, you can see exactly what alley was used in these first scenes, which turned out to be the same alley used in almost all the other city scenes as well. The alley is located in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood, which is one of the oldest the city and has been the go-to place for filmmakers wanting to recreate New York City.

Interestingly, since the studio was trying to keep the movie a secret during filming, the fake working title was “Ashes to Ashes,” and the Jason Voorhees character was listed as “Ethan” on all the call sheets.

This strategy seemed to work. In fact, actor V. C. Dupree, who played Julius the boxer, apparently didn’t know he was hired for the new Friday the 13th movie until he actually showed up on set.


The Boxing Match

Julius, the boxer, tries to call for help at an oddly-placed phone booth in the alley behind 154 West Hastings Street.


Jason crashes through the booth and tries to grab Julius, but he manages to run away.

Julius climbs to the roof and looks down Hastings Street towards Victory Square, trying to find an escape.


Realizing he’s trapped, he decides to fight Jason with his fists.

After punching Jason nonstop, the boxing champ finally runs out of steam and tells the killer to “take his best shot.”


With one punch, Jason literally knocks his block off, sending Julius’ head off the rooftop.


The decapitated noggin ends up in a dumpster in the alley.


After investigating the established alleyway, it became clear that the beginning and ending to this scene took place there. And thanks to the very distinctive top on the building at 164 West Hastings Street, it was clear they shot the rooftop stuff on the neighboring building at no. 156, whose interior was later used in the diner scene.

Looking at the front corner of no. 156 with a still from the film showing the same corner (inset).

By looking around in Google Street and Satellite Views, I was able to piece together all the angles used in the scene. The only part that confused me for a minute was the point-of-view shot looking down from the roof onto a receding street. I assumed that they shot it on the same roof, but the angles seemed a little off, and I couldn’t find any matching buildings.

After brightening up a couple frames, I was able to make out some details on a couple structures, but still couldn’t find a match. Then, I considered that some of the buildings might’ve been replaced since 1989. So, I checked out some older views of Hastings in Google Maps and could see that one of the more prominent buildings in the POV shot did indeed get replaced around 2015.

A brightened up frame from the POV shot, along with two views of Victory Square (whose monument can be seen in the shot on the left) and the different buildings at 308 W Hastings (the top from 2009, the bottom from 2019).

After I matched up the since-razed building at 308 W Hastings (along with the monument in Victory Square) with the film, I was able to close the book on this entire scene.

As to the “before/after” images above, since I didn’t have access to the rooftops, I had to rely on Google 3D Satellite images to serve as the modern pictures. That’s why a couple of them look a little cartoony.


The Police Car

One of the teachers, Colleen Van Deusen, roams around the alley near the Cambie Street entrance. 


After being startled by the most Canadian NYPD officer in the world, Van Deusen is joined by McCulloch, and the two remaining students, Rennie and Sean.


The group gets into the back of the cop car but before the officer can get in, he’s attacked by Jason.

Jason pulls the cop into the rear entrance of 169 West Pender Street, leaving the four others behind.

Rennie drives the cop car into an empty lot at 177 West Pender Street, then after seeing a vision of a young Jason, she slams the car into him, creating an explosion that kills Van Deusen.

I could tell they shot the first part of this rather bizarre scene in the all-too-familiar alleyway in Vancouver. I was able to pinpoint the exact spot by matching up an archway at the alley’s west entrance with what appears behind the Van Deusen character in the film.

Finding the empty lot where the car exploded was easy since it was only a couple buildings away.

A reverse shot from the 1989 film showing the cop car driving into the lot from the alley (top), compared to a 2019 view of the lot, looking from W Pender Street (bottom).

While it was weird and absurd to have a “child Jason” suddenly appear, one of the more disconcerting things about this scene was the actor who played the New York cop. He absolutely had the most noticeably Canadian accent in the entire film, which seems like a very lazy casting choice. Of all the characters in the movie, a New York cop needed a thick local accent the most.

That being said, we do get a taste of the cliché Noo Yawk accent from a waitress (played by the director’s sister Peggy Hedden) in the subsequent “Diner” scene.


Killing McCulloch

The two students leave McCulloch on his own, who runs into the back of 165 W Pender Street to escape Jason.


A few seconds later, Jason throws his body out of one of the windows.


Jason looks out the window and sees that McCulloch is still alive.


He then grabs the teacher and drowns him in a barrel of what looks like toxic waste.

Once again, this killing scene took place in the alley south of West Hastings, just a few feet from where the last scene took place and the scene before that took place.

A 2022 3D satellite image of the limited area used in Vancouver for this film. The red arrow shows where almost all the alley scenes were filmed and the X indicates the building used for both the rooftop boxing scene and a later diner scene.

The one cool thing about this part of the movie is that the building McCulloch gets thrown out of has barely changed since 1989 (it’s just a little shabbier). As a result, it ended up being the most satisfying alley scene to match up.


After Jason pops out of an alley, Rennie and Sean escape to a subway station at 655 Seymour Street, Vancouver.


Never one to use s doorknob, Jason crashes through the plate glass door, charging after them.


The couple races down an escalator at the Granville Station for Vancouver’s Skytrain.


As mentioned countless times before, most of the city action took place in a one block area in Vancouver between Hastings and Pender Streets, but I knew this Subway scene had to have been shot somewhere else. Yet, I figured it probably wouldn’t be too far from the alley location.

To find it, the first thing I did was focus on the escalators inside the station, which I knew were not at New York’s 8th Street and Broadway, as indicated by the sign. (The real 8th Street station for the BMT looks nothing like that and is not deep enough to require such a long escalator.)

A fake MTA station from the 1989 film (top) compared to a 2021 photo of the recently-updated escalators at the Granville Station (bottom).

Knowing it wasn’t shot in NYC, I just did a Google search for “Vancouver subway escalators” and almost immediately found a match in the Granville Station.

Unfortunately, when I was in Vancouver in 2019, I hadn’t figured everything out for this location. So for the “before/after” image above, I had to use a random photo I found online for the “after,” which consequently didn’t line up perfectly with the “before.”

While the Granville Station looked nothing like what existed in the New York subway system at the time, the set designers did do a great job with the sign. I’d even go as far to say it’s one the best fake MTA signs I’ve ever seen in film, matching the font and layout almost flawlessly. (Although, the movie failed in authenticity immediately afterwards when they entered the train car.)

A Canadian-looking subway car (despite the added graffitti) with an even more Canadian-looking rider to the left of Jason.

When it came to the exterior, I had hoped it was shot at the same station, but when I first looked around in Google Street View, nothing stood out.

I then decided to look up the name “Derek London” whose sign appears behind Jason when he crashes through the door. After a little digging around, I found an address on Seymour, which I quickly assessed was the building that appeared across from the “Subway” entrance in this scene.


Times Square

The action finally switches to the real New York City, as Rennie and Sean emerge from a subway entrance in Times Square on the center island just south of W 46th Street.


They look around at all the bright buildings in a daze, starting with.the corner building at 1552 Broadway.


The camera continues to pan right to left, passing the former Howard Johnson’s at 1551 Broadway.


The camera pan ends with a shot looking south at One Times Square.


The couple slowly walk south towards W 45th Street.


Meanwhile, back at the subway entrance, Jason steps out and looks around at all the flashing lights.


He then marches south towards the young couple who are in front of the Marriott Marquis at 1535 Broadway.


Rennie and Sean then turn around and see Jason on their tail.


As the couple runs away, Jason strides after them, kicking some punks’ boom box as he passes by.


The gang quickly pull out some weapons and threaten the masked stranger, who seems unphased.


Instead of attacking them, Jason simply lifts up his mask, revealing his hideous face and scaring them away forthwith.


This was the only principal NYC location used for Friday the 13th Part VIII, and anyone even vaguely familiar with the city could tell it was filmed in the iconic (and overused) Times Square.

Since the scene started with a slow pan around the Square (milking this location for all its worth), it was easy to get a general fix on where it took place. Some of the big clues that helped me zero in on the exact spots were the McDonald’s (which has since been moved a couple blocks south) and the Marriott Marquis hotel (which is still there today).

A still from the 1989 film (top) compared to a 2018 view of the same block with a matching McDonald’s before it closed.(bottom).

The Marquis Marriott was pretty new to Times Square when they filmed these scenes in the spring of ’89 and was still considered a somewhat controversial addition to the area.

NYPD officers watch as a demolition crew takes down the Morosco Theater next to one of the protestors discarded’ “Keep Broadway Alive!” signs..

When the gigantic hotel was first being planned in the late 1970s, it stirred up a great deal of criticism from the Broadway community because it would require the destruction of five old theaters on the site. Various lawsuits and protests kept delaying the start of construction, culminating in 1982 when several leaders in the theater community blocked bulldozers from knocking down the historic playhouses,.

The crowd included some famous faces from the stage and screen such as Christopher Reeve, Treat Williams, Richard Gere, and Susan Sarandon. Unfortunately, this last-ditch stunt didn’t delay things by more than a few hours, and ended with many of the protestors being escorted off the property in handcuffs.

Three years later, the new hotel opened for business and became one of the most profitable in the Marriott chain.

While the protests in 1982 ultimately failed in their specific goal, it did inspire the Landmarks Preservation Commission to be more proactive in dealing with the Times Square area. Within a few years following what’s come be known as “The Great Theatre Massacre,” the Commission landmarked around 25 theaters, thus saving them from possible demolition.

When I first starting investigating the exact whereabouts of this filming location, the one “clue” that might’ve thrown me off the track was the subway entrance. As it turns out, the entrance was completely fake, not to mention, weirdly positioned at a 45 degree angle. The filmmakers obviously placed it there to create a more impactful visual —having the characters emerge smack center of Times Square— but it also added some artificiality to the scene. If you watch closely, you tell the actors were just crouching down below the railing and then just slowly rose up as if ascending the stairs.

It’s kind of sad that even the most authentic NYC location from the movie had to have a little fakery dropped in.



The action switches back to Vancouver, where Rennie and Sean run into a diner at 156 West Hastings Street, followed by Jason who busts the door down.


Rennie and Sean run out the back door, as the diner’s short order cook approaches Jason.


The cook steps up to the masked maniac, who immediately overpowers him, grabbing him by the throat.


He tosses the cook away, smashing him into a mirror behind the counter.


Like the alley scenes, the address of the diner was listed on the production’s call sheets which were recently released online. They even included a a nice little map showing its exact location at 156 West Hastings Street.

A 1914 photo of the Trocadero Grill, shortly after its opening.

Built in 1901 for a total cost of $10,000, 156 West Hastings was home to a variety of different businesses, such as a bicycle dealer, a plumbing company and sausage makers. By 1911, the retail space on the ground floor, which would later be used in this film, was occupied by the Trocadero Grill.

When the restaurant first opened, it was advertised by owner Donald D McKinnon as “A Café for Highlanders, run by a Highlander,” meaning it was tailored for a Scottish crowd. By the 1920s, after changing ownership, the Trocadero became a Greek restaurant with its own bakery and mezzanine balcony. It remained a Greek eatery at least into the 1950s.

During that period, the Trocadero catered to residents of nearby hotels, as well as the employees of other retail businesses in the area. In fact, it was primarily those local employees who refused to patronize the restaurant during a week-long trade dispute in 1936 when management tried to bring in strikebreakers to replace the protesting staff.

Like most labor strikes, it was all about higher wages and better working conditions. One of the strikers, Marion Sarich, recalled the demands sought by the staff in a 2001 interview:

“I was a bus girl, I was working seven days a week at, I don’t know, I think it was 25 cents an hour. They weren’t allowed to work us over eight hours but they did. So we started organizing and had a strike.”

Anita Anderson, another striker and bus girl at the Trocadero remarked:

“The police were sympathetic to the strikers because they ate there and got to know the bus girls and the waitresses. The customers became just like a family because they were eating there everyday and you saw them everyday“.


Looking at 152-150 West Hastings Street in 1940 vs 2013. (Photo collage from the Changing Vancouver website.)

By 1984 and into the time this scene was filmed, the restaurant was called The Hastings Mill Restaurant, co-owned by Karl Engel, a former pastry chef at Vancouver’s Four Seasons Hotel. As described in a 1986 article for The Province newspaper, Engel was a capricious sort of guy who could be downright cranky at times, but always for the benefit of his business and its customers.

The Mill’s specialty seemed to be in the dairy category, and they even had an old fashioned soda fountain which you can get a glimpse of in the movie. But one thing is for sure, the place didn’t look like any New York diner I’ve ever seen.

From left to right, partners Karl and Barbara Engel and Maria Hindmarsh sample their soda-fountain concoctions at their Hastings Mill Restaurant. (Photo by Les Bazso for The Province.) 

By the time Friday the 13th Part VII was filmed there, the Gastown neighborhood in Vancouver was starting to go downhill and the Mill eventually had to shut its doors.(I couldn’t find an official date, but I assume it was at some point in the 90s.)

156 West Hastings Street in 2008, before the building received a much-needed makeover.

As the 21st century rolled around, Gastown started to rebound, becoming a center for hip contemporary boutiques, as well as tourist-geared businesses. However, even today, the neighborhood has many pockets of poverty and criminality, stemming mostly from an ongoing opioid epidemic.

But the ground floor at a rennoved 156 W Hastings Street has since reopened. Now called Hastings Warehouse, it’s a trendy craft cocktail spot serving elevated bar food, while also embracing a rustic-industrial vibe.


The Ending

WIth some sort of magical ora in the air, electrical bolts hit the Statue of Liberty, while down in the sewer, waste water overcomes Jason, causing him to melt away and transform back into a child.


Back at Times Square in New York, Sean returns to Rennie her locket while standing on the northwest corner of W 45th Street and Broadway. 


As the two embrace, some unseen thing approaches them from around the corner which catches Rennie’s attention.


It turns out to be just their dog, Toby.


The three of them walk off as the camera turns towards the south end of Times Square.


Back in Times Square, I figured out the exact location of these last shots based on the Minskoff Theatre at 1515 Broadway which appears in the background. While most of the buildings around the Square have changed dramatically over the years, most of the theaters have stayed the same, including the Minskoff.

You can see by the film that back in 1989, the theater housed the Tony Award-winning revue, Black and Blue, which ended up playing there for two years. Today, it’s home to the world-famous musical, The Lion King, which first debuted in 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theatre then moved to its current location at the Minskoff Theatre in 2006.

A still from the end of the film (left) compared to a 2009 view of the same corner (right) with a matching tree fixture which has since been removed.

Aside from the theater, everything else at the intersection of Broadway and 45th has changed quite a bit over the years, especially the Marriott Marquis building at 1535 Broadway which got renovated in 2014.

And even though the tall and narrow skyscraper at One Times Square featured in this film’s closing shot is still around, it has received many technological updates since 1989.

It’s really a shame so little of New York was used in this eighth installment of the Friday the 13th series, as it was actually a pretty cool concept. But it was ultimately squandered by an inexperienced director and neutered by a frugal studio who didn’t want to shell out the extra cash necessary to film on location.

It’s one of those high concepts that needed to be done right, or just abandoned all together. Afterall, if you are going to have Jason and Manhattan in the title, you better deliver on that promise. The fact that they didn’t is probably why part eight is usually considered one of the worst in the franchise. (If they just named the film Jason Escapes Crystal Lake or something like that, audiences would’ve been pleasantly surprised when it ended up in NYC.)

Actor/stuntman Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees in between takes.

What might have been fun was to structure the story like a giant monster movie, such as King Kong, where everyone knows a supernatural killing machine is on the loose, ending with some big battle between Jason and the NYPD or the National Guard.

Anyway, it is what is, and at the very least, Friday the 13th Part VIII has one of the coolest images from the entire series — a shot of the iconic Jason Voorhees in the middle of the iconic Times Square.