Stairs have played a surprisingly vital role in some of the most riveting scenes in cinema since it began. Until now, you’ve probably just seen staircases as blending into the background; the following scenes however make it abundantly clear that these staircases should have made it into the credits at the end of the movie.
Home Alone is regularly lauded as a great holiday movie about what not to do as a parent. It also includes a ton of scenes of Macaulay Culkin having the run of his home and doing whatever the heck he wanted to, something that every kid watching it secretly wished they could do. This movie also displayed Mac sliding down a beautiful example of straight stairs straight out into his front yard. While we would never suggest doing something like that at home, we loved seeing such a great example of straight stairs in a movie.
Gone With the Wind
Some of the most iconic stairs in film history; these stairs are a wonderful back drop to one of America’s most beloved stories. These stairs are also known as flared stairs, but even today many people still refer to them as Gone With the Wind stairs when asking for them.
Joeseph Gordon-Levitt walks Ellen Page’s character through some of the rules of architecture in dreams, while doing so he walks her around Penrose stairs that are inspired by artist M.C. Escher. Obviously these stairs don’t exist in the real world, but if they did, they would be some of the most unique custom stairs that we’ve ever seen.
The monumental staircase on the Titanic pops up regularly throughout the film, and is seen to take part in most of the major events experienced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett. It is the meeting place of their first dinner date and serves as a key location in the reunion of the two lovers when Rose finally passes away and finds Jack again. These stairs are clearly custom built for the ship, but they aren’t unlike many of the custom extravagant stair cases of their time.
Harry Potter film Series
Stairs have played such an intrepid role throughout the Harry Potter series that they should have been billed as one of the leading roles. Initially, we find that young Harry lives in the cupboard beneath the stairs at 4 Privet Drive in the fictional town of Little Whinging. This cupboard is shown to be cramped and especially dusty due to the unsound nature of the stairs above the room. When we later hear of Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts, we are introduced to the Grand Staircase, a set of monumental stairs that is frequently found to be shifting and moving at all times. If ever a custom set of stairs existed that should be called Grand, this one is it.
If you have somehow not heard of the Ghostbusters over the course of the last 30 years you’ve been missing out. 4 guys in New York decide that their intellects and charm are best suited to handle various ghost “busting” activities. From ex-convicts haunting the prosecutor that put them away to ancient haunted paintings, these guys do it all while cracking jokes and never breaking a sweat. New York’s architecture lends itself to the many adventures these guys have, from the New York Library’s exquisite exterior stairs to the stairs of the Ivo Shandor building, these guys have their work cut out for them. Even their base of operations, an old NYC firehouse, prominently features a fireman’s pole and a spiral staircase leading to their living quarters.
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is equal parts visually striking and utterly terrifying. Set in the real life (also said to be haunted) Stanley Hotel, the movie’s entranceway features a set of custom stairs which the main characters' fears play out on. In the movie, Shelley Duvall expertly wields a baseball bat as she hobbles backwards up the stairs and away from her once-husband now crazed-inn-keeper, Jack Nicholson. In real life the stairs are said to be haunted by the ghost of Lord Dunraven, a one time owner of a nearby competing hotel.