Elvis, Stallone and Chevy: 9 Famous Movie Sites in Las Vegas

It’s nearly impossible to list every movie in which the Las Vegas Strip has appeared. From car chase scenes in 2016’s “Jason Bourne” and “Diamonds Are Forever” to showing its destruction in movies such as 2007’s “Resident Evil: Extinction” and 2014’s “Godzilla.” The Strip itself has been the backdrop for many a blockbuster hit.

Where can you see your favorite movie scenes in real life? Try these nine popular locations while you’re in town. The most famous movie sites in Las Vegas are closer than you think.

1. 2009’s “The Hangover” at Caesars Palace

via Shutterstock

Most movie-buffs instantly recognize the lobby of Caesars Palace from the hit 2009 film “The Hangover.” Many features of the hotel resort can be seen throughout the movie, and although “The Villa” suite they stay in is actually a stage set, it is based on the Emperor Suite available at the Palace. As the most popular of the trilogy, you’ll see quite a few Las Vegas landmarks throughout the film as well. 

Caesars Palace has starred in quite a few other movies over the years, going back to 1967 with “Hells Angels on Wheels.” In the 1982 Rocky Balboa sequel “Rocky III” the title bout occurred at Caesars Palace, as you can see from the marquis sign. Iron Man himself, Tony Stark, can be found gambling in the casino when he fails to show up to accept an award at an event taking place at the Palace in the smash-hit Marvel movie of 2008. 

To name just a few, other films include 1984’s “Oh, God! You Devil,” 1988’s “Rain Man,” 1997’s “Fools Rush In,” “Ocean’s Eleven” and 2014’s “Step Up: All In.”

2. 1972’s “The Godfather” at Tropicana Las Vegas

via Flickr

Perhaps the most famous mob movie of all time, “The Godfather” fittingly has ties to Las Vegas. Even more ironically, in the film, Michael Corleone’s casino was the “Tropigala” but actually the Tropicana Las Vegas. The Tropicana has ties to the mob, including Frank Costello, going back to its construction. 

The 1972 crime film was the highest-grossing of the year and is still considered a classic. Although the Tropicana has been renovated several times since the movie’s filming, you can still see elements of the “Tropigala” as well as nods to its own historical ties to the Vegas mob.

The Tropicana appeared in Elvis Presley’s 1964 film “Viva Las Vegas” and was James Bond’s hotel of choice in “Diamonds Are Forever”, the seventh Bond film. The hotel casino has been featured in episodes for TV series such as “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Charlie’s Angels.” The newest edition of “Let’s Make a Deal” was initially taped at the Tropicana as well. 

3. 2001’s “Ocean’s Eleven” at Bellagio Las Vegas

image courtesy of James Vaughan via Flickr

Bellagio is one of the most recognizable attractions on the Strip, with the Fountains at Bellagio a beautiful water show delighting visitors regularly. Because of this, it’s not hard to spot when it’s featured in major films. In “Ocean’s Eleven,” a group of robbers attempts to make off with a large sum from the Bellagio’s vaults. It makes a brief appearance in the 2007 sequel as well.

The 2008 animated Disney movie “Bolt” shows the main character of the same name and his friends watching the Fountains at Bellagio like many of the other visitors to Las Vegas do every 30 minutes each night. Thankfully, the Fountains were not actually destroyed, as depicted in the 2009 film “2012” by an earthquake.

The Fountains at Bellagio are the perfect backdrop for music videos as well as movies. They appear in Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” and both Britney Spears and Drake have performed there live.

4. 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever” at Westgate Las Vegas

via Wikimedia Commons

The Westgate may not have been featured in any recent movies, but its previous incarnations certainly had. When it was known as the International, the exterior was shown as the Whyte House casino, the fictitious location in the Bond film, “Diamonds Are Forever.” 

Before that, a concert documentary was produced covering several of Elvis Presley’s performances at the location, called “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is.” Elvis performed regularly at the hotel resort from 1969 as only the second headlining performer at the International up to his death in 1977 and had lived on the property in the Imperial Suite. 

In 1993, the Hilton was also the site for the now-infamous scene depicting Robert Redford’s proposition of Demi Moore in “Indecent Proposal.”

5. 1997’s “Vegas Vacation” at The Mirage Las Vegas

The most famous movie filmed at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip is “Vegas Vacation.” As the fourth in the National Lampoon’s Vacation film series, the comedy stars Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, and Vegas’s own Wayne Newton. It follows the family of wacky characters through their comedic misadventures, including accidentally causing a leak at nearby Hoover Dam. 

While not the primary focus, the Mirage has appeared in several other films throughout the years. In 1998’s “Rounders,” Matt Damon dreams of the poker room at the casino here, and it was one of the casinos robbed during “Ocean’s Eleven.” It can be seen briefly in “Mars Attacks!” and in “Sgt. Bilko,” both released in 1996. The volcano attraction in front of the casino at Las Vegas Boulevard was used when filming “Volcano” in 1997.

Uniquely, the Mirage has appeared in several video games. Gamers may recognize the hotel casino in “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (The Visage),” in “Need for Speed: Carbon (The Mirror)” or in “Hitman: Blood Money (The Shamal).”

6. 1998’sFear and Loathing in Las Vegas” at Circus Circus

by Make It Old via Flickr

The 1971 journalistic novel by Hunter S Thompson “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” was adapted to film in 1998 and Vegas was the backdrop. The Circus Circus Las Vegas became the site of the fictional Bazooko Circus setting in the movie, although the hotel’s owners did not officially approve of filming on-site. Johnny Depp’s character, Raoul Duke, would later find himself in Red Rock Canyon, enjoying the beautiful surroundings in a drugged daze. The distinct, crass style that’s reflected in the work makes Vegas the perfect movie set.

The Circus Circus is another Las Vegas landmark that made it into “Diamonds Are Forever,” but it also appeared in Las Vegas Lady (1975) and 1978’s “Corvette Summer.” The Adventuredome indoor theme park at Circus Circus was just one filming location for 1999’s “Baby Geniuses” and was renamed Joyworld in the movie.

Circus Circus has more backstory beyond the movies. Read more about the Circus Circus Hotel to dive into its rich history.


7. Movie and Music Videos on Fremont Street

Fremont Street, and the more recent addition of the Fremont Street Experience, have appeared in movies, shows, and even music videos. It was one of the more exciting backdrops in 1992’s “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid” and “Hangover III” in 2013. Released in 1997, “Con Air” comes to an exciting ending on Fremont Street when the plane crashes here, and even 2004’s “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” has made a filming stop on the Street. 

More famous for music videos than movies, however, Fremont Street can be seen in “Waking Up in Vegas” by Katy Perry, “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars, “Do You Realize” by The Flaming Lips and the oldie-but-goodie “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2. 

Fans of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” may recognize Fremont Street as “The Old Las Venturas Strip.” 

8. “Mars Attacks!” And More at The Neon Museum

via Shutterstock

The Neon Museum, also called the Neon Boneyard, features signs from throughout Vegas’s past. You can find signs that may have appeared in movies filmed decades ago and learn more about where and when they last illuminated Las Vegas Boulevard and other popular attractions. As one of the most popular Las Vegas museums, it appears in several hit films like “Mars Attacks!” alongside Vegas Vacation” and 1997’s “Fools Rush In.” 

EXPLORE: Visit Space at Museum of Dream Space Las Vegas »

9. 2006’s “Rocky Balboa” at Mandalay Bay

image courtesy of Duncan Chen via Flickr

The most famous film made on location at Mandalay Bay was “Rocky Balboa,” the sixth in the Rocky Balboa series. The final title fight against Mason Dixon was filmed there, in an actual ring. Among the humans “in attendance,” they had inflatables that were dressed and appeared lifelike to make the audience appear bigger. The room Rocky stayed in was a stage set, but the views from the room were accurate. The Mandalay Bay is also one of the casinos robbed during “Ocean’s Thirteen,” the 2007 sequel of “Ocean’s Eleven.”

Explore More Famous Movie Sites in Las Vegas

Movie buffs can rejoice. There are several opportunities to dive into the cinematic universe from any decade or genre. Visit one of the Strip movie theaters for an authentic viewing experience, or see some live-action action at some of the famous Las Vegas Strip shows.

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