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

Note: While this post was originally written in 2016, it is continually updated to reflect movies and shows that have filmed here since then.

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.

Cicada Club 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, Cicada has been used in many movies and TV shows, as well as inspiration. Prior to Cicada moving it, the space was home to Rex II Ristorante, and the location served as the spot for the infamous “slippery little suckers” scene in Pretty Woman. It’s also been in music video’s including Eve’s “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”

The interior of 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. At the conclusion of filming, Cicada received the Art Deco light fixtures used in the lobby. Additionally scene from the 2011 film The Artist was also filmed here.

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.

In 2022 Paramount+ produced The Offer, a mini-series showcasing the trials of making The Godfather. In one episode there is debate about it will be too expensive to shoot the film in New York City, but how LA will never pass for New York City, however the show itself then uses Cicada Club as a venue set in New York.

Cicada popped up again in 2022 with Olivia Wilde’s trippy Don’t Worry Darling for a party and where Harry Styles cuts a rug. You can see the now iconic American Horror Story: Hotel chandeliers during some shots.

Cicada as seen in Don't Worry Darling

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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