To be notified of new PopSpots entries, follow PopSpotsNYC on Twitter: Follow Popspotsnyc on Twitter

For questions or comments you can email me (Bob) here.

Annie Hall (1977) - Rooftop Balcony Scene: 36 East 68th Street, 5th floor, between Madison Ave and Park Ave, New York.

My goal in this PopSpot was to find the balcony where Woody Allen filmed the scene from Annie Hall where his character, Alvy Singer, has his first long conversation with Diane Keaton's character, Annie Hall.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

During the scene, as the characters have a surface conversation about art, subtitles underneath their faces spell out what they really are thinking - their insecure and nervous thoughts about how they are coming across - as they try to impress each other with their cultural criticisms.

In my search for location clues, the first thing I did was take Alvy and Annie out of the scene to get a clear view of the roofscape through the use of Photoshop.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

There weren't any clues that screamed out at me. It was mostly just roofs.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

So I zoomed in to look at the architectural elements, like windows and stairway. But this didn't give me any great clues either.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

So I went back to Google Images, looking under "Annie Hall - balcony scene." I looked through about 50 various pictures of the two of them on the balcony. The pictures all looked almost exactly like the first picture I showed you -- and then I ran across this one (below).

It was cropped more vertically than the others. It gave me the key clue. Can you see it in the background? It's the pyramid-shaped building next to Woody's head. The top of the pyramid is not in most of the other publicity photos.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

Now I had to figure out where the pyramid-shaped building was.

I knew Alvy and Annie were on the Upper East Side from the general architecture of where they parked after driving up from the tennns club downtown in the previous scene.

Also, since the camera was pointing straight at them, I knew the balcony would be between the same two avenues as the pyramid-shaped building further downtown.

So, using Bing's Bird's Eye View, which lets you see the side of buildings, I "flew" down from 96th street on the Upper East Side to 59th Street in midtown, looking down at buildings - until I saw the pyramid-shaped building in the center of the picture below. It was a match for the one behind Woody.

It turned out to be on 57th Street, between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue (in the picture we are looking south).

Here's the shape of the top a seen in two views.

The building is called The Fuller Building and was built in the Art Deco Style in 1928-1929.

Now knowing that the balcony was located somewhere between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue, I slowly "flew" back up over the Upper East Side (the part of Manhattan east of Central Park) looking down for balconies.

Then....BINGO! I spotted a balcony in the perfect location!

With a little digging (using "tax maps" maps from the library (they show the outlines of all the city's buildings from above - you'll see it later) I found out that the balcony was located at 36 East 68th Street.

But now I had to confirm that this balcony was the actual one they were on.

First off, I found another building in the background that had a tall slim tower with 3 dark vertical bands on it. That matched up.

Then, looking at the right side of the photo, behind Woody, I saw that the two chimneys on the roof had decorative horizontal white bands of concrete around their tops. That matched up with the overhead Bing photos.

Here's a view of those chimney bands from the street.

...and a close up.

That building behind Woody, by the way, had an asking price of $32.2 million dollars -- which put Annie's apartment in some pretty swanky territory.

I then looked for yet another clue.

When Alvy walks out from the apartment onto the balcony, you can see a brown apartment building next to a white apartment building behind him.

Those two buildings, along Madison Avenue, lined up perfectly, as you can see below.

Here's a picture, via Google Earth (so it's a little computerized), looking down on the roof of the building with the balcony. The balcony has a little bend in the left side.

You enter the balcony from the 5th floor apartment, so Annie's apartment is the 5th floor of 36 East 68th Street. From the street, her floor is the top one with the mansard roof (which you will see a few photos further down as you continue.) There are probably two apartments on the floor and she would have the back one.

Here's the "tax map" to show you how I found out it was #36.


Here's a shot even closer....

..and here's one with Alvy and Annie it.

Now, having found out where the balcony was, I wanted to also find out the location of the famous picture of Alvy and Annie, holding their tennis equipment, talking on the street after their wild ride up from the tennis court. (The car ride that ends with Annie's bad parking job and Alvy saying, "Don't worry. We can walk to the curb from here.")

At the end of the scene they walk offscreen - we don't see them enter an apartment building - so I never put 2 and 2 together that the apartment building they were walking toward (the one with the awning in the picture below - #36 East 68th Street) would be the same one that had the balcony.

Most movies show the exterior of building, then film the indoor scenes in a studio, or find a great looking apartment somewhere else for the interior. So when I looked for where they were on the street I didn't even think that they might be right near the building with the balcony.

Only later, when I was putting this all together, did I realize they were probably walking to the same building where they filmed the balcony scene.

This is one of the more famous publicity shots from the movie. Alvy and Annie have just driven up to the Upper East Side from the Wall Street area indoor tennis courts. Annie had been an erratic driver, which terrified Alvy.

The scene ends with the car driving east from Central Park (which you can see in the background in the film), which would make the street on which they park an even-numbered street (which go east in Manhattan).

At the time I researched this over a year ago, three movie books said that Annie's house was on 70th Street, but when I went up there and walked around, I did not find the building.

So I checked the next lowest even-numbered street - 68th Street - and bingo! - the picture matched perfectly with the architecture of the mansions along 68th between Madison and Park.

The building right behind them with the 2-column doorfront is a girl's school called The Dominican Academy, located at 44 East 68th Street if you want to Google Street View the scene.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

Here's another view of the scene, in color.

This looks like a frame from the movie, but I just erased everything between Alvy and Annie and moved then behind a car, pictured in Google Street View.

Once they park the car, Annie invites Alvy up to her apartment. In the composite photo below, we see them walk as far as the photo of them in the middle, and then the film cuts to the interior of Annie's apartment.

But since it turned out the balcoy was in this same building (36 East 68th Street) they must have continued along the dotted line into the bilding. (Look up at the top of that building to see the gray mansard roof with the 3 windows in it; Annie's apartment is behind that.)

Mixing fact and fiction, if you go to to the real estate website called Streeteasy, you can see photos of apartments in that building. Here's one. This could be Annie's apartment years later (though no balcony is advertised).

Here's the "Annie Hall" street on a map.

Once I found the balcony and the street scene, I got on a roll with Annie Hall, which has always been one of my favorite movies, so I continued looking for some more locations from the film

In the scene below, Alvy takes Annie and his pal (played by Tony Roberts) to his childhood home, which is awkwardly (and humourously) located right under a roller coaster in Coney Island and is routinely rattled by the roller coaster in a flashback to Alvy's youth.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

In the heyday of Coney Island. that house was actually the Kensington Hotel, located beneath the Thunderbolt Roller coaster (1925-1982) near the boardwalk in Coney Island.


Here is where it would have been on an overhead shot of Coney Island

Another one of my favorite scenes is when Woody stops a good-looking, straight-laced couple on a street in Greenwich Village and asks them how they account for being happy. She answers: "I'm very shallow and empty and we have no ideas and nothing interesting to say." Then her boyfriend chimes in: "And I'm exactly the same way." Woody responds: "I see. So you've managed to work out something.".

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

That scene takes place on West 4th Street, just west of MacDougal Street and Washington Square Park which you can see in back left. (The actress was Shelly Hack, later Kate Jackson's replacement on Charlie's Angels.)

At one point in the film Alvy and Annie walk around the South Street Seaport and they share a romantic moment at sunset.

The image of that scene became the main poster for the film.

Here's where it took place: at the end of Pier 16 just next to the four-masted boat called "Peking." In the far background, up the East River, you can see the Brooklyn Bridge.

Here's the scene without the poster.

And here's another shot from that same sequence.

The scene starts with them in front of the 4-masted ship called the "Peking." Then the camera rotates slowly as it follows them around to show the Brooklyn Bridge background. The beginning of the scene is filmed in deep darkness and I had to blast up the brightness in Photoshop to make out where they were.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

Here's a map of the pier they were on at the South Street Seaport. We are looking south.

As their relationship grows, they also visit The Hamptons, the group of upscale summer beach communities on the eastern end of Long Island, where there is a funny scene in their weekend cottage with Alvy terrified of a lobster.

Their walk along the beach at sunset also became a backdrop for movie posters and the DVD packaging.

This publicity shot shows two piers in back of them. I have not found out (yet) exactly where this shot takes place, but that's my number one clue. The other is that the pier is not strong enough for the ocean, so it's either on Long Island Sound or the smaller bays between the sound and the ocean. Way in the distance you can see land: another clue. Check back.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

This shot shows the unique roof at the end of one of the piers: clue #3. This could be gone by now. In the film the camera pans to the left and wee see he sunset, so that means the Pier could be pointing West, which would suggest it was filmed on one of the bays. (see map below)

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

This is a map of the fork at the end of Long Island. The town of Amagansett, part of East Hampton, is circled. The cast and crew stayed at a hotel in Amagansett during the filming of the beach scenes. The top half of the circle intersects with the beach along Gardiner's Bay....

...that's where Woody's beach house was in the movie (he goes there first with Annie; has the funny lobster scene; then later he's seen there with another girlfriend -- and Annie's picture of Alvy and the lobster are on the wall in the background).

This (below) is a picture of the beach house taken by a blogger watching the annual Amagansett fireworks. He wrote that the photo was taken "near a public beach, which was my clue to locating where the house is (along with an internet blog clue, which proved to be true, that indicated the owner was a former publishing editor).

(To keep revelers carrying lobsters away, I won't give the exact address, except to say it in the circle on the previous map, so the intrepid of you might be able to track it down with a little searching.)

But to prove that it still exists, here it is today from Bing Bird's eye view.

Back in New York, Annie bumps into Woody outside the legendary art cinema called the Thalia Theater on the Upper West Side on 95th just west of Broadway. For trivia buffs (and aren't we all) the woman Alvy is dating is Sigourney Weaver.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

The Thalia is now part of Symphony Space, a performing arts center.

And here's the old meeting the new.

The last scene I looked for was Alvy and Annie's last scene together.

A while after they have broken up, Alvy and Annie meet up for lunch in a restaurant (then called O'Neal's Balloon; and now called P.J. Clarke's) across from Lincoln Center (Google Street View to: "44 West 63rd Street" - at the corner of Columbus Avenue).

After they eat, they say goodbye across the street, and the shot is taken from inside the restaurant.

Here's the scene from the movie, looking out the restaurant window.

(photo: Rollins-Joffee Productions, United Artists, 1977)

I took this photo through the window on a Sunday afternoon, when I was taking these other photos, and I noticed the Alvy/Annie table was empty. So I waltzed right in and no one noticed me amid all the familes having lunch. I added Annie and Alvy into the central window frame.

A normal PopSpot would look like this.

Here's the corner where they were sitting from where they were later standing.

To put it all in a wider perspective, here's a panorama of the scene, so you can see it all in relation to Lincoln Center. Click the picture to see the panorama LARGE.

That's all, folks!. I'll leave you Alvy Singer's closing narration following the Lincoln Center scene:

Alvy: "After that it got pretty late, and we both had to go, but it was great seeing Annie again. I... I realized what a terrific person she was, and... and how much fun it was just knowing her; and I... I, I thought of that old joke, y'know, the, this... this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, uh, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken." And, uh, the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs."

"Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y'know, they're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and... but, uh, I guess we keep goin' through it because, uh, most of us... need the eggs."

(from Annie Hall by Woody Allen - via IMDB)