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Finding Scenes From Vegas Films: Last Vegas

May 16, 2014 at 4:52 PM | by | Comments (9)

We all love to watch movies about Vegas, but as we watch them it always begs the question -- does that venue exist in real life or was it created just for this movie? This was a question brought to us by Vegaschatter reader Jim L. who wondered if the lounge in Last Vegas was really a venue inside Binion's or any other casino in Vegas or just another movie fabrication.

Having seen this movie a good few times, notably and ironically on a flight back from Las Vegas, that thought had crossed this writer's mind a few times as well. To see this question was no surprise, but warranted some investigation into the filming locations to find out if this awesome venue really did exist in Vegas.

To be more specific, Jim was referring to the scene (seen below) in which Mary Steenburgen (Diana) is singing in a lounge inside Binion's which is stumbled upon by Morgan Freeman (Archie), Robert DeNiro (Paddy), Michael Douglas (Billy), and Kevin Klein (Sam).

Throughout the film, this lounge is referred to as "The Showplace" and is presented as being inside the Fremont property. This, however, is not the case. As with many Hollywood fabrications, the lounge was the creation of Hollywood magic. Although much of the movie was filmed on location at Binion's and Aria, the portions showing the lounge were filmed on a sound stage in Atlanta.

Unfortunately, this is just another Vegas trick played by Hollywood; but, we could all easily imagine the lounge existing in downtown Vegas. The movie uses a few cues to really fool the viewer, but the exact bar is not real and not many like it have survived the purge of new Vegas, even in downtown.

Comments (9)

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Benny's Bullpen

I recently stopped by Benny's in the back of Binion's for a beer and hot dog, and deliberately asked about this scene in the movie.  The bartender on duty was working the couple of days that the on-site filming took place, and he didn't really have fond memories.

As you might expect, shooting disrupted the normal operations, but the downside was that the staff was apparently given specific instructions not to approach or interact with the performers, and it made for an unpleasant couple of days that he said were quite tedious (no customers, no tips).  

He also stated that the filmmakers had considered erecting a lounge-style stage on location, but that the space was too small.  So, according to the bartender, the interiors were filmed in a mock-up somewhere on the outskirts of Las Vegas itself, not Atlanta.

Can't say whether any of this was true...just relaying the story as it was told to me.

I'm no movie snob, but...

Last Vegas was a pretty awful movie, and that is really saying something considering the all-star cast and being filmed in Las Vegas.   It was hard not feel sorry for everyone involved in that film.

Thanks

I assumed that would be the answer. Kinda like the park benches in front of Binions. Thanks

@Tmaster

The awful script and acting by an all star cast with a backdrop in Vegas are what make the movie for me. At one point you can see a microphone in a scene. Priceless.

The Hangover Pic

It took me years of research and false leads to find out that this famous "Hangover" picture location didn't actually exist in Vegas.

<a href="http://www.denveroffthewagon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/fracking-hangover-.jpg">http://www.denveroffthewagon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/fracking-hangover-.jpg</a>

My and my boys really wanted to take a similar picture. While researching, many people pointed me towards the "Best Little Chapel" or "Little White Chapel" but this actual picture/location was fabricated on a  lot in LA. Too bad. Would have made a great picture op.

Love those old lounges

I wish they still existed in Vegas. Does anyone remember the name of the little stage area off the casino floor at Sahara? Was it the Congo Room? They used that venue right up until closing, and sometimes there were some really neat bands playing in there. I love that type of stuff---not these HUGE venues they have now, where  you have to be "beautiful people" to be allowed inside. Blah!!

awful flick

I hated the movie, so disappointed to see Kevin Klein work in such a bad movie. the only redeeming feature was how Douglas' character mirrored his own shallowness. not sure if he got the irony or not, looked like he just mailed it in.

The movie was SO Funny

are you kidding? jokes for days. im from brooklyn so that was a huge plug that the gew up there. im a 34  yr old female and me the hubs thought it was great. everyone in the theatre was dring laughing too

@smitty195

The lounge at the back of the Sahara you are thinking of is (or was) called the Casbar Lounge. Was a great throwback! Still miss that property :(

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