A very successful spinoff from All In The Family, The Jeffersons debuted in 1975 and ran for 11 seasons.
The series focuses on George and Louise Jefferson, who were originally neighbours of Archie and Edith Bunker. After their dry-cleaning business becomes successful, the move into a fancy Manhattan apartment building. This set the story for the spinoff series.
The theme song describes the apartment:
“Well we’re movin on up,
To the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky.”
The series was filmed in Hollywood, but a real building in New York City was chosen for establishing shots. The building is called the Park Lane Towers and it is actually located on the Upper East Side, but everyone knows it as The Jeffersons building. The credits show the Jeffersons getting out of a cab and going through the front door. The camera then pans up and shows the apartment tower.
A little known fact is that the short scene of George and Louise exiting the cab and entering the building was actual shot at a building in Santa Monica, California. This is documented in a New York Times article found here. This was edited with footage of the building in New York to appear seamless. A major clue to this is that the NYC apartment has a revolving door, but in the credits, a doorman holds the door open for the Jeffersons to enter through. Another clue is that the taxi that pulls up to the building is yellow, but the Jeffersons exit a cab with a black roof.
I visited the building, and it appears a major renovation is going on. The front entrance is entirely covered in scaffolding, and the balconies had no railings on them (how scary!). There is an article about The Jeffersons building, documenting many issues in regards to the renovations being done. You can read the NY Daily News article here.
I was still able to get a few shots of the front door and from across the street. This is how the building looked in November 2019.
Just because it was one of the catchiest theme songs of all time, enjoy The Jeffersons theme song in this Youtube video.
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