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Friday September 17th 2021

Los Angeles for Film Fans: West Hollywood 4


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Skybar, Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
The Mondrian's Skybar

The luxury boutique hotel Mondrian, 8440 Sunset Boulevard, popped up in Roger Avary’s Killing Zoe (well, it was supposed to be Paris). The Mondrian, of course, houses the intimidatingly exclusive Skybar, with its sensational nighttime views over the city. It’s guest list only, but through-the-roof record sales or your name above the title of at least one blockbuster movie might ease you through the door.

Tocaya Organica, 8720 Sunset Boulevard, used to be industry hangout Le Dome, where Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin) hassles producer Jerry Renfro (Robert Downey Jr) in the movie biz satire Bowfinger. It now serves up modern, organic Mexican fare.

The Viper Room, Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
Whisky A Go Go, Sunset Boulevard – the legendary venue still thrives

Back when the word 'sexism' hadn't been coined, the original home of cage-dancing disco dollies was the Whisky a Go-Go, 8901 West Sunset Boulevard. It's still lithe enough to have played itself in The Doors, but the legendary 'London Fog' nightclub, which stood at 8919 Sunset Boulevard (and where The Doors were house band), has suffered the indignity of being turned into a nail salon.

Skybar, Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
The Viper Room – sadly synonymous with Hollywood tragedy

For Oliver Stone's movie, the Viper Room, 8852 West Sunset Boulevard, stood in for the ‘Fog’. Forever associated with the death of River Phoenix in 1993, it’s perhaps better to remember the Viper for the onstage implosion of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, captured in Ondi Timoner’s 2004 documentary Dig!.

After all this furious clubbing, you may feel the need to chill out like the jittery Kit Ramsay (Eddie Murphy) with the silkily seductive Mind Head cult headed by Terence Stamp in Bowfinger. Its HQ is the vast green and blue glass Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Avenue, just before Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue merge as they approach Beverly Hills.

Affectionately dubbed the ‘Blue Whale’, the centre’s abstract angular lines proved ideal as the ‘San Angeles’ apartment block of cop Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock) in Marco Brambilla’s satirical 1993 sci-fi Demolition Man, back in the day when ‘21st century’ meant scarily futuristic.

It’s since been seen as the classy Hollywood restaurant to which movie star Tad (Josh Duhamel) takes smalltown girl Rosalee (Kate Bosworth) in amiable romcom Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!

In reality, it’s a luxury furniture and design showroom complex, though you can relax with an organic, al fresco feast in the Design Café on Melrose Avenue.

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