Joker's Iconic Stairs Have Become A Big Tourist Spot

The Joker dancing on the stairs

There are tons of movie locations we’d love to visit, but sadly, many are fictional. So we can’t play with the gadgets in the Batcave, stay at the Grand Budapest Hotel, enjoy the technological wonders of Wakanda or sleep in a hammock in Hometree. One thing you can do, though, is visit the stairs from Joker. The stairs Joaquin Phoenix's version of the Clown Prince of Crime dances on in Todd Phillips’ film have quickly become iconic, and now it seems that they have become a big tourist spot as well.

Following the film’s release, fans have flocked to The Bronx in New York City to climb the now iconic stairs. The stairs are located in New York City’s northernmost borough, where they connect Shakespearean and Anderson Avenues at West 167th Street. How appropriate that the stairs are adjacent to a street named after William Shakespeare, who was known for writing both tragedies and comedies, the very genres Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck muses his life belong in.

As noted by CNN, despite being home to The Bronx Zoo, Yankee Stadium and the New York Botanical Gardens, tourism in the Bronx isn’t what it could be thanks to its reputation as a rough place. That hasn’t stopped Joker fans from venturing there to take their picture in the place that provided such memorable images in the film, which have become immediately ingrained in pop culture and provided major meme fodder.

And while some just get their picture taken in front of the stairs, many fans have imitated the triumphant moment Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker has on the steps later in the film, when he finally truly embraces who he is. Take a look:

A photo posted by on

Thankfully, Joker didn’t inspire violence as some predicted, but instead, it has inspired... dancing? That’s right, going to the Joker steps without dancing as Joaquin Phoenix did is a missed opportunity, one that some made sure not to make. Check it out:

A photo posted by on

This is just a sample of the fans who have been drawn to the steps from the film. It seems as though they may be just a small sample though. Apparently this is a common occurrence now, possibly to the great annoyance of Bronx residents who need to use those stairs as they go about their days. One of those Bronx residents is Desus & Mero’s Desus Nice, who tweeted:

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There’s an idea; maybe the funds can be put towards the mutant rat problem the city has in Joker.

Stairs might seem like an odd thing to become a tourist attraction, but this wouldn’t be the first time that people the world over have been drawn to a set of stairs due to a popular film. When Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa climbs the steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1976’s Rocky, it is a symbolic act, showing how with enough grit, determination and self-belief, an underdog can rise and stand on top of the world.

Amazingly, there is even a Rocky statue in Philadelphia commemorating the fictional boxer. People come from all over to climb the Rocky steps and raise their arms in triumph when they reach the top. It seems that now, like the Rocky stairs before them, the Joker stairs will be their own tourist spot. That said, it seems less likely though that the mass murdering clown will be cast in bronze for his own monument.

It’s easy to see why the Joker stairs have become so iconic though. The stairs are featured in the film’s posters and they appear at a pivotal point in the film. We first see the downtrodden Arthur Fleck trudging up them, on a stairway to nowhere early in the movie. Later, he dances down the stairs in full Joker attire and makeup to the tune of Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2.” It’s a moment that represents the completeness of his transformation and the freedom he now feels to have shed Arthur Fleck.

If box office is anything to go by, the Joker stairs will remain a popular tourist attraction for some time. Joker has made over $700 million worldwide and become more of a cultural touchstone than anyone could have foreseen.

Joker is now playing. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what else is hitting theaters this year.

Nick Evans

Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.