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Thursday July 19th 2018

Swingers | 1996

Swingers film location: The Derby, 4500 Los Feliz Boulevard at Hillhurst in Los Feliz, Los Angeles
Swingers film location: Liman parodies Scorsese’s famous tracking shot from Goodfellas: The Derby, 4500 Los Feliz Boulevard at Hillhurst in Los Feliz, Los Angeles

Doug Liman’s excruciatingly spot-on comedy of Los Angeles-scene manners is set against the retro-swing dance movement.

The coffee shop, where the swingers meet up for their heart-to-hearts, is the 101 Coffee Shop, within the Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills, 6145 Franklin Avenue, East Hollywood – this is where much of the script was actually concocted.

Swingers film location: Fremont Hotel and Casino, 200 East Fremont Street, downtown Las Vegas, Nevada
Swingers film location: Vegas, baby!: Fremont Hotel and Casino, 200 East Fremont Street, downtown Las Vegas, Nevada

Mike Peters (Jon Favreau) and Trent Walker (Vince Vaughn) take a trip to Las Vegas, where they gamble at the recently demolished, Stardust Hotel and Casino, which stood at 3000 Las Vegas Boulevard on the Strip, apparently. Although the exterior is the Stardust, the casino itself is the Fremont Hotel and Casino, 200 East Fremont Street in the old Downtown district, home of the Fremont Street Experience – roofed by the world’s largest (of course it’s the largest, this is Vegas, right?) LED display, which swirls images over your head to the accompaniment of music from a 550,000 watt sound system.

Swingers film location: 101 Coffee Shop, 6145 Franklin Avenue, East Hollywood, Los Angeles
Swingers film location: The guys meet up for heart-to-heart sessions: 101 Coffee Shop, 6145 Franklin Avenue, East Hollywood, Los Angeles

Back in Los Angeles, Mike plays a round at the Los Feliz Golf Club, 3207 Los Feliz Boulevard, Atwater Village just east of Griffith Park.

The convoy of cars from the Hollywood Hills party passes a couple of familiar locations – Canter’s on Fairfax, as seen in Enemy of the State, and the since-demolished Hollywood Star Lanes Bowling Alley on Hollywood Boulevard (the bowling alley featured in the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski).

Their destination is the Dresden Restaurant, 1760 North Vermont Avenue, just north of Barnsdall Park in Los Feliz, one of the top swing venues, where Mike meets the Starbucks waitress. You can see the Dresden again in 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Swingers film location: Dresden Room, North Vermont Avenue, Los Feliz, Los Angeles
Swingers film location: the swingers’ destination: the Dresden Restaurant, North Vermont Avenue, Los Feliz, Los Angeles

The club where Liman pays hommage to Martin Scorsese’s famous tracking shot from Goodfellas is now the Mess Hall Kitchen, 4500 Los Feliz Boulevard at Hillhurst Avenue, also in Los Feliz. It was at the time the Brown Derby, (though not the famed hat-shaped restaurant, which stood on Wilshire Boulevard) which was restored to its Hollywood glory 1993 as a swing bar. You can see it again in Speed.