Site-seeing with Tony Soprano, Carrie Bradshaw and King Kong

By Bob Schulman

Photo courtesy of New Mexico Tourism Department.

You don't have to go to Hollywood to see spots where they filmed or taped your favorite movies or TV shows. The cameras clicked away in plenty of other locations, like sites in New York and Boston you can visit on special bus tours.

Iconic scene from the original King Kong. Photo credit: On Location Tours.In the Big Apple, for instance, a company called On Location Tours (www.onlocationtours.com) gives you a choice of 10 different movie- and TV-themed tours. Some will take you to the city's iconic Empire State

Building, Times Square and Grand Central Station where you'll visit various production sites used to shoot everything from King Kong to Superman.

What's more, you'll get the inside scoop on these and many other productions from the likes of Tony Soprano, Carrie Bradshaw and Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf (actually, actors who play these parts while guiding the tours). One tour zips over to New Jersey, where “Tony” gives you a look at the Bada Bing, Pizzaland and the restaurant seen in the final scene of The Sopranos.

A recently debuted tour showcases locations seen in the Turner Classic Movies library, such as the spot where Marilyn Monroe's skirt flew up in The Seven Year Itch and the place in Central Park used for scenes in Ghostbusters.

Another new tour in New York lets you see where the hit TV show TMZ catches celebs partying, playing around and otherwise getting into trouble. For instance, you'll get first-hand looks at the nightclub where Lindsay Lohan was arrested and at the dive bar where Lady Gaga got her start.

In Boston, On Location buses take you to spots where the studios shot popular movie and TV productions like Good Will Hunting, Boston Legal, Legally Blonde, Ally McBeal, Mystic River, The Departed and – of course – Cheers. One trip takes you on a walk down Beantown's Movie Mile along Boston Common and Beacon Hill to check out some 30 locations you'll remember from productions over the years.

Similar tours offered by other operators take visitors to movie and TV sites in a number of other cities such as Atlanta, Monterey, Calif., and the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Kauai.

Tour New Mexico with Clint, Indy and the Lone Ranger

The folks at the New Mexico Tourism Department want you to know that the state is packed with sites where 600 movies and TV shows were filmed. And to make it easy for you to find your faves, they've come up with a handy guide – New Mexico Film Trails (newmexico.org/filmtrails) – to what was filmed where, complete with special itineraries and filmographies.

.  Shut your eyes and imagine stars like John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart moseying around Gallup, N.M.Use your imagination, and you can get in on the action of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade while visiting the Cumbres Toltec Railroad outside the city of Chama. Or do some serious shoot-'em-ups at Las Cruces with Clint Eastwood in Hang 'em High. Or drive through the picturesque boonies of Laguna Pueblo in the old overloaded truck of the Joad family in Grapes of Wrath.

In Carrizozo, you can mosey down the post-apocalyptic Main Street with Denzel Washington in The Book of Eli. In Albuquerque, you can bite the dust with Josh Brolin at the Desert Sands Hotel (supposedly in Texas) in No Country for Old Men. While you're there, you can check out scenes from the hit TV series Breaking Bad on a popular tour named – you guessed it – the “Albuquerque Breaking Bad Tour.”

Among locations used in filming The Lone Ranger around the state, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski chose Rio Puerco as the setting for the movie's “wild west town” and shot its thrilling train sequence in Cimarron Canyon near Angel Fire.

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