Of all the iconic cities in the United States, the one that always makes the ears perk up is when anyone mentions fabulous Sin City. Set in the desert, about 40 miles from the California border, it is an adult wonderland where everyone can be someone else, and like the adage says, “what happens there, stays there.”
Although that second part has proven not to be true. With the smartphone camera, the need to put everything on social media, and of course, the random drunken conversation, these days it seems that what happens here is now your dirty laundry. And while that might cause you some embarrassment, it hasn’t stopped it from finding new ways to entice its guests to play their lucky numbers on Mr bet.
A Quick Stroll Through Sin City
Many people drive to Sin City if they live close enough, but for a lot of folks, their first taste of Paradise City is McCarron, also known as the Las Vegas airport. If you are flying in, do it at night. The lights of the city are the best welcome you could ask for. And flights to Las Vegas are often very reasonable unless flying on the weekend or holiday.
For clarity, Sin City is a large sprawl, and while most people associate Sin City with only the Strip, it is much more than that. The Strip itself is actually in a smaller town called Paradise City. The old strip north of the more popular Paradise City strip is technically in North Vegas. The distinction is important when telling a cab driver where to go.
Walk down Las Vegas boulevard and look up. All you will see is towers, towers, and more towers rising above you like sentries watching over the town. Beautiful themed Vegas hotels with their own unique spectacles. The historic Flamingo, the Mirage with its Volcano, and of course, Planet Hollywood Las Vegas that now stands where the Aladdin used to be.
If spending time in the hot Las Vegas weather, you absolutely must come into one of the many theaters and see some Las Vegas shows, such as Cirque du Soleil’s Ka or O. See a magic act, a ventriloquist, or one of the many free shows scattered down the Strip. The free shows are every hour or so, so play some mr bet slots while you wait. And don’t forget about Las Vegas Holidays. New Years’ is insane.
Movies in Vegas
Because of its iconic status, it has been the setting of many TV shows, but even more movies. All the way back to Frank Sinatra, films have been shot in Sin City and only added to the mystique of the town. Films like:
Ocean’s 11/Ocean’s 13: Originally done in 1960 with the Rat Pack, and this classic was shot in the earlier days of the town. It was remade 2001 with a similar plot, although the plot was adapted to today’s audience. A sequel, Ocean’s 13, followed it 2007.
The Hangover: Shot in 2009, this whacky film covers the hijinks of four friends who get drunk on a bachelor party weekend. They lose the groom and must follow clues to find him.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Mostly set in the now demolished Stardust casino hotel in 1998, this movie chronicles the bizarre, drug-induced behavior of Hunter S. Thompson, played by Johnny Depp.
Leaving Las Vegas: This shows a seedier side of the town, as the moviegoer follows two people: Nicholas Cage as a suicidal drunk, and Elizabeth Shue as a self-loathing prostitute. The budget for the movie was low, so much of it was filmed during normal operations.
National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation: We follow the Griswold’s on another adventure, and of course, we get together with good old Cousin Eddie who lives on an old nuclear testing site. This movie also featured the famous Hoover Dam.
Casino: A 1995 classic about a casino manager, his best friend who causes him no end of grief, and the woman he loves who is a train wreck all her own. A terrific performance by Robert Di Nero in this Scorsese gem
Viva Las Vegas: Elvis Pressley in 1964 made his mark on the city of sin with this dancing, singing classic. He wrote plenty of songs to commemorate his love of the town.
Last Vegas: Four friends from childhood that have grown apart get back together as senior citizens to have a bachelor weekend for one of their buddies. A fun film with some surprising twists.
Diamonds Are Forever: We can’t have a list of movies set in Sin City without adding one with the man himself, James Bond. This 1971 film has plenty of the classic strip and 007 doing what he does best.
21: Math geniuses from MIT, along with their smooth-talking teacher, take Sin City my storm while playing Blackjack. They count cards to take the House, but eventually, the House fights back.
It is a truly magical place but try not to lose your head. Have fun, but remember, just because you can go a little crazy, doesn’t mean you should.
Sin City has an energy that is hard to describe, but impossible to ignore. That is why TV shows, video games, and of course, movies, become so much more fascinating when they are shot there. It lends its vibe, its draw, and its texture to anything it connects with. It has its own pulse, and your pulse becomes in time with it. That is why we love movies filmed there. It isn’t just a town. It is its own life form. Have you wanted to visit Sin City after seeing it in a movie?