New York : the must-see places of Leon: The professional
As we mention in our Guide New York of 1000 cult movie, series, music, comics, novel locations, only the façade, as well as the grocery store on the corner now no longer open, appear on the screen. The interior scenes, in particular the stairs, the wrought iron railings and the long hall leading to Léon’s apartment were filmed at the Chelsea Hotel.
Bureaux de la DEA
Having localised Normal Stansfield (Gary Oldman), the corrupt agent responsible for his family’s assassination, Mathilda (Nathalie Portman) follows him to his work with the aim of killing him. In reality, the Manhattan Municipal Building doesn’t house the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) offices but rather the New York City Municipal Services. 172m tall with a surface area of 90,000 m2, it’s one of the biggest administrative buildings in the world. Almost 2,000 people work here every day.
Roosevelt Island Tramway
Symbolically leaving her life of crime behind her, Mathilda takes the aerial tramway to return to school. Put into service in 1976, this means of transportation running along the Queensboro Bridge was supposed to be a temporary solution while waiting for the opening of the Roosevelt Island subway station. When it did open in 1989, the local inhabitants rallied to keep the tramway.
Pine Bank Arch
It’s from a rooftop and armed with a sniper rifle that Mathilda was taught her new profession by Leon (Jean Reno). With a blank bullet she hits a man out jogging just after he passes under this historical structure in Central Park dating from 1861. It is one of the last iron bridges in the park.
In one of the last scenes, Mathilda crosses Times Square at night carrying Leon’s plant in her arms.