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Swingers

Swingers................................(swingersnevadadesert2.jpg)

It's Los Angeles, 1996. A group of young actors are hanging out in east Hollywood, emulating (with varying degrees of success) their heroes, the Rat Pack. Filmed entirely on location, Swingers has been praised for capturing the city and its wannabe lifestyle – so much so that it was recently named one of the LA Times' top 25 LA movies.

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The action takes place all over the hip eastside. The apartment that Mike (Jon Favreau) lives in is the real deal: 5874 Franklin Avenue, to be precise. The coffee shop where he and his buddies meet is the Hollywood Hills, now 101 Coffee Shop (above), inside the Best Western at 6145 Franklin (below).

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Mike's depressed, so his friend Trent (Vince Vaughn) whisks him off to Las Vegas. As they drive through the endless Nevada desert, they know they've arrived when they spot the soaring beams of the casinos from afar (anyone who's ever driven to Vegas will know this feeling).

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When they get there, Mike and Trent gamble at the Strip's Stardust Hotel and Casino, which was demolished in spectacular Vegas fashion in 2007. The interior is, however, that of the Fremont Hotel and Casino in the older Downtown district. You can see the sign for its Paradise Buffet in the picture below, and its glorious upholstery is visible in other scenes. 

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When they return to LA, Mike hits the golf course – specifically the Los Feliz Municipal Golf Course on Los Feliz Boulevard.

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Much of the other activity in LA is at night, as the friends make their way round the city's nightspots. In one scene, their cars drive down Fairfax, passing Canter's Deli (below) and the Hollywood Star Lanes Bowling Alley on Hollywood Boulevard, now demolished.

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The guys hang out at the Formosa Cafe (7156 Santa Monica), and at swing bars the Dresden Room Restaurant (1760 North Vermont, above) and the Derby (4500 Los Feliz, below).

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It's a great slice of LA and Vegas life in the Nineties, including footage of places now consigned to history. – Roshan McArthur

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