When you think of classic Christmas movies, the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street is always in the conversation. The film is a festive staple; however, it may shock you to know that its remake in 1994 had to make one major change from the beloved OG script – its setting in The New York department store, Macy’s.
If you haven’t seen the ‘90s movie of Miracle on 34th Street already, the story takes place at Cole’s Department Store and was filmed in Chicago. This is in stark contrast to the ’40s kids movie, which follows the story of a man who is hired to play Santa at Macy’s New York City store on 34th Street. While the change may seem strange, given the film’s title and iconic story, the ’90s film, directed by Les Mayfield, had to rewrite the script due to shooting complications.
According to an old report from the LA Times, Macy’s refused to participate in the remake. This led to the namesake location of Herald Square (on 34th Street) in Manhattan being unavailable to the remake’s team, period.
“We feel the original stands on its own and could not be improved upon,” said Laura Melillo, a spokeswoman for Macy’s. And that was the end of that. Cole’s, a fictional department store, was added to the script to replace the New York location.
While it is a pity that Macy’s wasn’t in the remake, the family movie still earned a respectable $46.3 million at the box office. It also received an average Rotten Tomatoes rating of 60%. It may seem in comparison to the Academy Award winner, the 1947 movie, that it didn’t fair well. But in actual fact the new Santa Claus movie did fine, given its hard circumstances.