The Sopranos

Where The Sopranos Was Filmed: Main Locations

The exteriors of The Sopranos' main locations are filmed in North New Jersey, delivering a level of authenticity for which the series is renowned.

The Sopranos television series deviated from similar dramas in setting its mafia story in North New Jersey, where the show filmed most of its exteriors on location. The HBO crime drama tells the story of Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano seeing therapist Dr. Melfi — his struggle to balance his personal life as a husband and father with his professional role as the head of a crime organization having forced him to seek psychiatric counseling. Widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time, The Sopranos ran six seasons from 1999-2007. Although most interior shots were filmed at Silvercup Studios in New York City, the majority of exterior shots set in New Jersey were filmed on location at various homes, shops, diners, and other local establishments.

Each episode of The Sopranos opens with a famous title sequence featuring Tony Soprano driving through New Jersey, establishing the mafia story’s atypical setting where the characters’ lives will unfold. The two main locations are Tony’s house and the Satriale’s Pork Store, where the machinations of Tony’s contradictory personal and professional lives originate. His maneuverings as head of the DiMeo crime family are punctuated by acts of violence in seedy lots and street corners as well as innocuous shops and diners. Filming on location outside of the controlled environment of a soundstage requires logistical planning to ensure an efficient production. Three main factors often determined which locations were chosen for The Sopranos: proximity to each other, corner lots, and ample parking.

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The title sequence of The Sopranos culminates with Tony pulling into the long, curving driveway of his family home, where much of the series takes place. A roughly 5,600-square-foot estate on a 1.5-acre lot located at 14 Aspen Drive in North Caldwell, NJ was used for the home’s exterior. The exterior of Satriale’s Pork Store was filmed at an abandoned auto parts store on Kearny Avenue in Kearny, NJ. A corner building down the street from Satriale’s was used as an apartment building, chosen because it satisfied all three requirements for location scouts. Pizzaland, seen in the opening title sequence, is a real pizzeria located at 260 Belleville Turnpike in North Arlington, NJ. Joe’s Bake Shop and Skyway Diner are two locations featuring memorable shootings from the series. A Goodfellas scene is recreated at Joe’s Bake Shop, located on Ridge Road in North Arlington, NJ, and a prominent member of the DiMeo crime family gets shot outside of the Skyway Diner, a once popular filming location in Kearny, NJ no longer in operation. Finally, the Bada Bing, which was seen throughout the series, was filmed at a real strip club: Satin Dolls, located at New Jersey Route 17 in Lodi, NJ.

While most interior shots of Tony’s home were filmed at Silvercup Studios, the pilot episode of The Sopranos introduced Tony’s wife and children in the North Caldwell house’s kitchen. The production crew continued to make the yearly trip back to the New Jersey neighborhood for exterior shots around the home. The pilot episode was also the only one to use a real meat market for scenes at Satriale’s Pork Store. Centanni’s Meat Market in Elizabeth, NJ was used for the integral location before HBO picked up the pilot and transformed the abandoned auto parts store into Satriale’s for subsequent episodes. The former auto parts store was demolished after the series ended.

Filming The Sopranos on location in North New Jersey delivered a level of authenticity for which the television series is renown, helping to establish it as one of the widely-regarded greatest series ever. At a time when similar dramas were flocking to New York, the producers of The Sopranos slipped across the Hudson River and opted for roads less traveled in suburban neighborhoods, Mom-and-pop stores, and other local establishments. The television series may have ended, but many of the locations remain as brick and mortar reminders of the characters fans have come to know and love.

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