How a 1976 St. Louis Fire Gave 'Escape From New York' Movie Its Setting

  • Source: Riverfront Times
  • Published: 08/20/2021 12:00 AM

PHOTOS: The dark streets, the shuttered buildings, the nightmare sci-fi future — St. Louis had it all when director John Carpenter featured the city's downtown as the main setting for his 1981 action masterpiece Escape from New York. The mix of devastation and grime wasn't a product of the city itself, but rather the aftermath of a firestorm that had consumed six buildings and left the area near Locust Street and North 21st Street looking like it had been carpet-bombed in 1976. For local filmmaker Mike Gualdoni — who this week released a tightly produced documentary video exploring the St. Louis settings in the legendary film — the choice to replicate a dystopian "New York" in a section of downtown St. Louis was nothing short of genius.


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