A New York Location Scout Explains Why Movie Chinese Restaurants Don't Exist in Real Life

A New York Location Scout Explains Why Movie Chinese Restaurants Don't Exist in Real Life

Jan 16, 2013

Movie location scouting website Scouting New York recently dispelled a popular myth: most Chinese restaurants in the Big Apple don't look anything like they do in the movies. As SNY relays — and being a native New Yorker I can back writer Nick Carr up — most of them lack the dramatic red walls, gold accented wallpaper, and massive dragon sculptures. In fact, the average one looks a lot like this — white walls, outdated or mismatched furniture, and the most random decor:

Hollywood has been lying to you again! You can find Chinese restaurants designed to mirror what the movies have shown, but they'll be expensive to shoot in, as SNY details, or they're probably more modernized than most directors have utilized as a backdrop.

SNY points out The Fisher King, Mickey Blue Eyes and Men in Black III as a few examples of films that have helped popularize the Chinese restaurant myth. What others come to mind? While you ponder that, here are a few examples of what New York's Chinese restaurants used to look like — not terribly different from the average joint, today.

1940

 

 

1950

 

 


1900-1910

 

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In the movie The Fault in Our Stars, what is the name of the character played by Shailene Woodley

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Hazel