Empire State Building Movie Moments

The Empire State Building.  A New York landmark that’s been immortalized in the minds of Americans.  Operated by the Empire State Realty Trust, a group run by building owner Anthony Malkin, the Empire State Building loves being on camera and has been featured in numerous movies.  Here are our favorite movie moments featuring New York’s favorite building.

Warning: Spoilers

King Kong (1933/2005)

The original 1933 film and 2005 remake both set their finales atop the Empire State Building.  Kong climbs up with the captive Ann Darrow (Fay Wray or Naomi Watts depending on the version) in order to avoid the forces sent in to stop his rampage around the city.  The scene is at the same time, exciting and tragic, seeing as how the audience has come to sympathize with Kong and his affections for Ann.  The airplanes vs. giant ape fight are just added for popcorn fun.

An Affair to Remember (1957)

This entry is not so much of a particular scene, but because of the lingering presence it has throughout the movie, serving as a major plot point.  Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr play two people who fall in love with each other while involved with other people.  They agree to meet at the Empire State Building six-months post their first meeting if the circumstances allow for them to be together.  It doesn’t go as planned but they do end up happy together.  During the film, the building is seen often, and it is mentioned a few times, making it a character in itself.  A unique way for the ESB to be portrayed, and a memorable one at that.

Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Maybe meeting on the Empire State didn’t work out as it was supposed to for Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, but it did just fine for Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.  A famous and heartwarming film, Sleepless in Seattle is best known for its climax.  This Nora Ephron romantic classic ends with the two main characters meeting on the Observation Deck, and it’s implied that they begin a romance.

Independence Day (1995)

Although the Empire State Building has been destroyed in numerous disaster movies this is one that’s ingrained in our imaginations.  The film revolves around an alien invasion of earth, and upon their initial attack they annihilate some of the United States’ most famous landmarks, the ESB being no exception.  Don’t worry; the American President (Bill Pullman), Will Smith, and Jeff Goldblum eventually save the world.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2008)

On this list for the sheer comedy of having Mount Olympus being located on top of the ESB.  Based on the Rick Riordan Young-Adult novel, this film follows the teenage demi-god Percy Jackson, as he discovers his true identity, Greek God parentage, and becomes a hero.  If there really were Greek Gods in New York, would they really be anyplace else?