Las Vegas on the Big Screen . . .

. . . (and sometimes the little screen too)

With Las Vegas’ colorful history of mobsters, swanky hotels, and famous entertainers, it’s no surprise that the big screen (and sometimes the little one too) are attracted to Sin City. There is a lengthy list of films and television shows that have graced our 24-hour town. Some feature actual locations in Las Vegas while others are happy to simply use our city to set the story.

During your conference downtime, check out some of the locations that appear or inspire your favorite films and television shows. Don’t take your directions straight from the silver screen though; be sure to consult a map, GPS, or even a friendly local for the best way to visit these movie hot spots.

How many of these movie and television locations do you know?

Films:

  • Ocean’s Eleven (1960) – The closing shot shows the main cast walking away with the Sands Hotel marquee behind them.’  The Sands Hotel is no longer around, but if you go to the Venetian Hotel & Casino you’ll be standing in part of the stomping ground of the infamous Rat Pack.
  • Rain Man (1988) – Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman play blackjack at Caesar’s Palace.
  • Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) – Filming took place at well-known places around Las Vegas including the Hard Rock Café, Mirage Hotel, and even the original Wet ‘n Wild water park (which closed in 2004).
  • Casino (1995) – Filming took place at the Riviera Casino (which served as the fictional Tangiers) but used the entrance of the nearby defunct Landmark Hotel as the entrance.
  • Mars Attacks! (1996) The demolition of the Landmark and the Luxor make a cameo in this comical science fiction film!
  • Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997) –This one was filmed at the Riviera Hotel and Casino on the Strip.
  • Con Air (1997) John Malkovich and Nicholas Cage land at McCarran Airport and later take out the Sands (and a few other landmarks along the Las Vegas Strip).
  • Vegas Vacation (1997) – This film is also known as “National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation”. The Mirage Resort was a major location for this film, but Wayne Newton’s Shenandoah also made an appearance.
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) – Circus Circus Hotel & Casino and Flamingo Hotel both make a cameo in this cult classic.
  • Rush Hour 2 (2001)- This film took place in the Desert Inn, which no longer exists, but if you stand in front of the Wynn Hotel, you will be standing over the ashy remains of the Desert Inn.
  • Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – Danny Ocean plots to rob the Bellagio Hotel & Casino and the MGM Grand Resort & Casino.
  • The Hangover (2009) The Hangover was mostly filmed on location at Caesars Palace, including the front desk, lobby, entrance drive, pools, corridors, elevators, and roof, but the suite damaged in the film was built on a soundstage
  • Get Him to the Greek (2010) – Planet Hollywood, Red Rock, PURE, and the Ultra Sports Lounge in the Plaza all make appearances in this box office film.
  • Last Vegas (2013) Last Vegas takes place at the Aria Resort and Casino and at Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel.

Television:

  • American Restoration (2010; History Channel) – I was surprised to find out that this History Channel favorite is a based in Las Vegas AND is a spinoff of Pawn Stars.
  • Bad Ink (2013; A&E) – Bad Ink has been filmed in various locations in Las Vegas, but the show is based out of the Pussykat Tattoo Parlor off the Las Vegas Strip.
  • Criss Angel Mindfreak (2005; A&E)
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000; CBS) – CSI often visit “The Rampart” Hotel and Casino, but viewers may not know that it’s far from the bustling Strip.
  • Heroes (2006; NBC)
  • Las Vegas (2003-2008; NBC) – Set in fiction, but the show is said to be inspired by the Mandalay Bay.
  • Lucky (2003; FX)
  • Pawn Stars (2009; History Channel) – This show is filmed on location at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Downtown Las Vegas, only minutes away from the Fremont Experience.
  • The Real World: Las Vegas (2002, 2011; MTV) – Las Vegas was so awesome that The Real World filmed here twice. They filmed at the Palms Casino & Resort for the 2002 season, but returned to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for the 2011 season.
  • Vegas (2012; CBS)

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_set_in_Las_Vegas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_television_shows_set_in_Las_Vegas

Submitted’ by Natalia Tabisaura, YALSA Local Arrangements

“Welcome to Battle School”: Ender’s Game Party

by Mirele Davis and’ Elizabeth Savopoulos

In order to spark more interest in recreational reading, our school library decided to throw an Ender’s Game party in anticipation of the release of the Ender’s Game movie. Our library at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School had never had an event like this in its history, and we were proud to be the pioneers. ‘ The goal, we decided, was to stimulate student interest in reading the book and in reading for pleasure in general. ‘ We began preparing a month in advance, posting announcements on our website, putting up flyers around the school, and making special announcements during lunch-time and advisory meetings.

Mirele and Liz_2

We selected a student who was enthusiastic about the project to take on a formal participatory role in planning the event. He attended planning meetings, helped with advertising, and contributed to the overall vision and goals of the event. We advertised a space-themed party that would include neon snacks, space-themed video games, a spaceship Lego building contest, and a simulated laser-tag battle based on the tournaments in Ender’s Game. Continue reading

April Eureka Moments

Happy Spring! Or is it still freezing cold where you are? Or already hot as summer? Regardless of the weather, spring is a great time for the birth of new ideas, approaches, and programming. Maybe something here will inspire you.

  • You might be working and living in the “stroke belt,” did you know? Eleven states (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia) are designated as areas with incredibly high prevalence of stroke, and new research shows that teens living in these areas are at higher risk for having strokes when they are older. This means that encouraging healthy habits and the cessation of unhealthy ones that could contribute to strokes, like smoking and diet, should be emphasized. Have you done any health programming lately? Read a news report on the study here, or check out the full article in Neurology. Continue reading

September Eureka Moments

Even if you don’t work in a school media center, I’m guessing your life still tends to run on an academic schedule when you work with teens. So welcome to the new school year! Here’s what I think might be interesting, useful, or intriguing to you and your patrons this month.

  • If your teens are interested in what’s new in the going green movement, have them look more globally to see what’s going on. In coastal Ecuador, young people from farming families are heading up efforts to save, cultivate, and redistribute heirloom seeds to revitalize the environment and help farmers prosper. Part of an organization called FOCCAHL, 20-year-old Cesar Guale Vasquez travels throughout nearby areas collecting seeds from farmers and also hosts swapping events so that farmers can trade seeds with each other in order to have more vibrant and diverse crops. Now take that for inspiration and add to it your own library’s resources on climate change, farming, and nutrition and plan an interesting program that combines science with activism and see what your advisory board wants to do with it. Many libraries now are creating their own seed libraries, and whether they’re for wildflowers or corn, they can be a great way to bring communities together, get young people to work with older people, and freshen up your local environment while doing your small part to keep the world cleaner and greener.
    Matthews, J. (2012). Ecuador’s seed savior. World Ark, May 2012: 10-15. Continue reading

App of the Week: Oscars

Title: Oscars
Cost: Free
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. iPad version requires iOS 4.2 or higher

home screen of Oscars appTeens interested in movies and the Oscars can gear up for the annual event (this year on February 26) with the Oscars app. The key to the app is the Backstage Pass feature that will be available the night of the Oscars. But, before that content is available there are still aspects of the app that are worthwhile as movie lovers of all ages prepare for the red carpet evening. These include:

  • A Twitter feed that includes posts with the #oscars hashtag. While the Oscars are still three weeks away, that doesn’t mean people aren’t tweeting about them. The feed is a good one stop shop for keeping up on Tweets about hosts, Oscar related events, and more.
  • My Picks, a section of the app where users can make their predictions of winners. Use of My Picks requires logging in with a Facebook username and password. However, the picks are not available to others unless the user turns on the Play with Friends component which makes picks visible to Facebook friends. There is also a countdown clock in the My Picks section which tells users how long until the ballot choices are locked in. A good idea in case a teen wants to change a choice along the way. Continue reading

App of the Week: IMDb

Title: IMDb Movies & TV
Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android (Android app is a little different, this review refers to the iPhone app)
Cost: Free

The Internet Movie Database is one of my most frequently used reference sources. I use it with my friends when we decide to admire obscure actors and need to remember which movies they’ve been in. ‘ I use it when I’m working with the public to find out what movie someone is trying remember (it’s easy to search by actor or director) or how many episodes are in a series. ‘ I use it with teens, mostly when we’re playing Apples to Apples and a card comes up with the name of an actor the teens don’t recognize. ‘ When I’m not working at a public desk and I don’t have a computer in front of me, the IMDb mobile app comes in particularly handy.

While it is not ‘ innovative, new or specific to teens and those who work with teens, IMDb is just an all around good app. ‘ With the Academy Awards coming up, I decided to celebrate this’ extremely useful resource.

Continue reading

30 Days of Back to School: Teen Book Recommendations

As much as I’d love to read every book in my collection, it’s not a particularly realistic goal–nor is reading every forthcoming young adult book. Like all teen librarians, I have to pick and choose, and I often rely heavily on other people’s reviews and recommendations when it comes to collection development.

I’ve been pretty pleased with the success of my fiction choices, but every once in a while I buy something that looks great to me, but never leaves the shelf.

So how do you find the instant hits?

Continue reading

From Panels to the Big Screen: Summer Movies Based On Comics

I don’t know about you, but the last few days we’ve been getting a lot of requests for and questions about Iron Man. Whether they are trying to find out who Tony Stark is, how he can fly or just find some fun stories, I suspect it’s mostly to feed their energy into the US release of Iron Man 2 this weekend. With that in mind, I thought it might be a good idea to give a quick rundown on some of the movies this season based on comic books and the titles they are based on. Continue reading