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Los Feliz and Silverlake | 3
Lloyd Wright Jr’s exotic Sowden House on Franklin Avenue
L.A. Confidential showcases yet another piece of East LA high-style with the 1926 Sowden House, 5121 Franklin Avenue at Normandie Avenue. The work of Frank’s son, Lloyd Wright Jr, it rears up over Franklin like the jaws of T Rex emerging from a primeval jungle
This was the site of Pierce Pratchett’s decadent party In L.A. Confidential, and later became the home of Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale) in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator (please note that this is a private home).
After all this architecture, it’s about time to cut loose on the dance floor and, where better than Los Feliz – the centre of LA’s swing scene? Below Glendower, on Los Feliz Boulevard, is The Derby, 4500 Los Feliz Boulevard at Hillhurst Avenue, the club where Doug Liman pays hommage to Martin Scorsese’s famous tracking shot from Goodfellas in Swingers.
The Derby in Los Feliz
This was the old Brown Derby (though not the famed original hat-shaped restaurant, which stood on Wilshire Boulevard), reinvented in 1993 as a swing bar and restored to its Hollywood glory. Stand further back and you’ll just about be able to see the Derby’s original dome.
You can see the Derby again in Speed (it’s where Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) celebrates gettiing his award), and the icing on the cake for movie buffs is that its oval bar is the original from the classic Joan Crawford noir Mildred Pierce.
101 Coffee Shop in the Best Western Hollywood Hills – where the script for Swingers was concocted
The coffee shop, in which the Swingers meet up for their hearts-to-hearts, is the 101 Coffee Shop, within the Best Western, 6145 Franklin Avenue, East Hollywood – which is where much of the film’s script was actually concocted.
The Dresden Restaurant – centre of the Los Feliz swing scene