Vegas plays itself in many surprising film and TV settings

Los Angeles residents know what it's like to live in and around filming locations, but Las Vegas also boasts a surprising number of film shoots. Known recently as the setting for shows like "Pawn Stars" and films like "The Hangover," the city is also host to many classic and lesser-known shooting locales.

Fans of Martin Scorsese's "Casino" might recognize Piero's Italian Cuisine on Convention Center Drive as the restaurant owned by Joe Pesci's character. Several scenes from the movie were shot inside the restaurant as well. While the majority of "Casino" was shot at the Riviera, the pivotal ending scene involving Sharon Stone's character was filmed in the halls of the old Ogden House Motel -- now the El Cortez Cabana Suites. The Riviera still houses the casino suite featured prominently in the film. It's available for parties and the two-level suite has a wet bar and a grand piano.

While many movies and television shows film at the Strip's luxurious resorts, downtown Las Vegas is also a strong supporting character in Vegas films. The historic Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is where Helen Hunt's character worked as a change person in the film "Pay It Forward," and its exterior was featured in "Now You See Me." Fans of "CSI: Las Vegas" might also recall the Golden Nugget's pool complex, The Tank, being used in an episode where a shark attacks a woman.

If you've dreamed of being a reality star, both suites featured in MTV's "The Real World" are still available for stays. The three-bedroom Real World Suite at the Palms Casino Resort features the original "Confessional," while the three-bedroom Penthouse Real World Suite at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has its own single-lane automated bowling alley.

Of course, no trip to Las Vegas would be complete without riding some of the Stratosphere's thrill rides like your favorite stars. Michael Douglas and Mary Steenburgen braved the teeter-totter-like X-Scream while filming "Last Vegas," and Flavor Flav took the leap on SkyJump, plunging 855 feet on "Celebrity Wife Swap."

-Heather Turk, Brand Publishing Writer

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