Fans of the Ghostbusters film franchise may have more to worry about than getting the sometimes comittment-phobic Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) to sign on to Ghostbusters 3. It appears the rumor mill has ground on so long that one of the original and arguably most recognized locations, the Ghostbusters’ headquarters, from the first two films is facing extinction.
It’s no secret that the fate of iconic movie locations if often far more difficult and obscure than the films they star in. After the first blush of fame, in which the locations are flooded with visitors hoping to share in the magic produced there, most return to a semi-normal existence. After a few years they are just another house, hotel, beach, bar or whatever. It’s almost as though the film or films never happened.
This period between “box-office hit” and “movie classic” is very dangerous for locations. Many, prematurely worn-out by that first flood of fans, fall into disrepair. They are neglected and, except for the odd comment in passing or an illegible sign, largely forgotten. Ultimately, these iconic locations are destroyed before anyone realizes they are significant cultural landmarks.
Such could be the fate of the Ghostbusters’ HQ.
Hook & Ladder No. 8 is one of 20 fire stations targeted for closure. According to the New York Daily News, the closure of all 20 fire stations will result in a cost savings of up to $55 million. That’s a lot of money in this strained economy where families and communities are struggling to pay the bills, which makes it hard to argue against the proposed closures.
This is not just another fire house and the men and women who work there are not just any firefighters. Ladder 8 was established on 16 October, 1865. That’s more than a century before anyone heard of Drs. Stantz, Spengler and Venkman. Further, Ladder 8 is within a mile of the World Trade Center site. It is arguable that these men and women, like those at the other 19 fire stations on the chopping block, were there for the City when things were bad, perhaps even at their worst. Don’t they deserve the same consideration?
This doesn’t even count the hazards of leaving a paranormal containment unit in the hands of untrained civilians or, even worse, an empty building. Perhaps Columbia Pictures or some Ghostbusters fan organization will step in to save the building, at least until the rumors of Ghostbusters 3 and the next generation of paranormal exterminators are either proven true or false.