Why Macy’s Said No To the Request To Film the Movie “Elf” In the Department Store

Buddy the elf could have fought a fake Santa Clause inside Macy’s department store in the 2003 movie Elf, but he didn’t. Instead, Buddy wound up working at Gimbles, a once popular competitor of Macy’s that closed back in the 1980s. The production team of the movie approached Macy’s, and store executives were willing to let them film there, use their Santaland, and even incorporate the film into their parade. However, when they found out that Buddy the elf discovers that the Macy’s Santa is an imposter, the retailer backed out of the deal. Director Jon Favreau had to make the decision to film the scene in the cafeteria of a mental hospital in Vancouver instead of Macy’s. They built their own version of Santaland and changed the department store from Macy’s to Gimbels. In the end, the film grossed $223 million, was nominated for 9 awards and won 2, and is considered one of the greatest Christmas films ever made.