At the suggestion of blogger HunterGathererNYC, I watched Moscow on the Hudson. It has some good scenes of New York in the early 80s: Boomboxes, breakdancers, muggers, New Wave yuppies. And the marquee and lobby of the St. Marks Cinema, now Cohen's Fashion Optical with the Theatre Condos above.
In the movie, Robin Williams' character lives in a tenement apartment on 7th Street between 1st and 2nd--above an egg shop. Did you know there was an egg shop on 7th (still open in 1991)? Gothamist discovered a movie of the shop, where now you'll find Howdy Do. And, in the background, that's David's shoe repair with the yellow sign complete with Cyrillic lettering (none of that today).
At the end of the movie, there's a scene in long lost Moisha's Luncheonette (239 Grand St.), where one legend claims the egg cream was brought to Manhattan from Brooklyn in 1920 by Moisha Zambrowsky. (See another shot here.)
Moisha's is gone. The egg shop is gone. St. Marks Cinema is gone. (David the cobbler is still there.) Thank goodness for the movies.