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