Visit the Faux 20s Club that Inspired the Lobby for AHS: Hotel

Over the weekend one of my friends celebrated her birthday, and she decided to do it in style by having a Gatsby themed dinner at Cicada Club, which is located in the Oviatt Building, the oldest Art Deco building in Los Angeles. Even before moving to California I had heard of Cicada. Portland friends like Sarah of Simply Vintage and Julie of FabGabs Vintage had been during visits to LA, and boasted of its elegant ambiance. So, needless to say I was excited!

If you truly ever wanted to step back in time to a jazz supper club of the 1920s or 30s, with dinner, drinks, live entertainment, and dancing, Cicada is closest you’re going to get. With its live performances, it’s simply spectacular, and many people take the evenings quite seriously, as there were quite a few women in floor length gowns. For the evening, I pulled out my one real 20s gown. Even though I recently purchased a repro beaded flapper dress from Unique Vintage, but I’m saving it for an event in April. And just before the event I found blue velvet heels at Elsewhere Vintage! Along with repros of Daisy’s pieces from Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby.

The interior of Cicada may be familiar to fans of American Horror Story: Hotel, as its interior is the inspiration for the lobby of the Hotel Cortez, and the outside was used for the exterior shots of the Cortez. And at the conclusion of Hotel, Cicada received the Art Deco light fixtures used in the lobby. But Cicada wasn’t always a swank supper club, it actually started out as a haberdashery that many classic stars of the silver screen frequented. Speaking of the silver screen and seeming a bit familiar. A scene from The Artist was also filmed here, and prior to Cicada taking over the space, another restaurant, Rex Il Ristorante, was home here, and was the location for the infamous “slippery little suckers” scene in Pretty Woman.

Our whole party had a delightful time, and I am looking forward to returning, as it is the perfect place to go all gussied up!

December 2019 Update: Cicada popped up three times in in Quentin Taratino’s film Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. The interior was used twice, the upstairs bar was used when Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino’s character) watches FBI, and then calls his Italian director friend, the main dining floor was used when Schwarz calls up Rick Dalton to further discuss Dalton starring in Italian films, and as the restaurant in Rome that Dalton dines at.

Al Pacino sits at a bar, smoking a cigarette.

Al Pacino sits at a dining table, talking on a phone.

Leonardo DiCaprio and his costar stand in front of an art deco style restaurant.

What’s Nearby?

Apple Tower Theatre

Angel’s Flight Railway

Bradbury Building

Clifton’s Cafeteria

Grand Central Market

1920s Blue Velvet Gown: Thrifted, if you can believe it!
Vintage Fur Stole: Nobody’s Baby, Eugene, Oregon
Pearls: Gift from my mother
Brooch: Belonged to my grandmother
Purse, Heels, Gatsby Repro headpiece and bracelet/ring combo: Elsewhere Vintage, Orange, California

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