2013-07-05 / Community

A Boardwalk Empire In Rockaway

By Dan Guarino


A location set for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire rises above the boards and the sand at Beach 40th Street. Photo by Dan Guarino A location set for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire rises above the boards and the sand at Beach 40th Street. Photo by Dan Guarino Beachgoers, joggers and casual strollers have come across strange building fronts that have seemingly risen out of the sand at Beach 40th Street.

What looks like a couple of two-story period buildings are actually facades for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire television show.

Although much of the Rockaway boardwalk had been destroyed, there is a section from approximately Beach 59th Street to Beach 38th Street that is largely intact, allowing the show to use a real boardwalk when it films.

The show, now entering its fourth season, is set in Atlantic City in the roaring 1920’s. It revolves around a cast of real, fictional and semi-fictional characters immersed in a world of shady dealings, violence, bootlegging, gangsters, corrupt politicians and good times.

During night filming, actors will step off the boardwalk and into an exclusive club. A lit-up club sign, blue screens and digital effects will create the rest of the illusion.

The shoot has been delayed until July 19th due to environmental concerns. Shore birds are currently nesting and cannot be disturbed.

Boardwalk Empire frequently films in the Rockaways, often using areas in Fort Tilden and Riis Park.

The show also has standing outdoor sets at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. None of it is actually shot in Atlantic City. But sometimes they need to come to Rockaway, for a touch of a real beach and boardwalk.

Whether the birds let them film, well, that’s another matter.

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