When Patrick and I decided to stop in Vegas on our way to Idaho, I suggested we stay at Circus Circus, as I am a fan of the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever, as the hotel is featured somewhat prominently in the film. Also we were able to visit two more filming locations that I thought would be fun to share as well!
I think it’s fair to note that when discussing filming locations, there will be some spoilers involved! So you have been warned!
Let’s go chronologically, shall we? First off we have Slumber Inc. Where Bond takes his “brother” to be cremated, and he receives the diamonds inside the urn. The hearse pulls in off a rather desolate road, past the parking lot in front of the adjoining cemetery, and the parks in front of the building.
Slumber Inc. is really Palm Henderson Mortuary in Henderson, a couple miles away from Las Vegas, but is, as shown here, still very recognizable, with its very mid-century A-frame portion. Sadly, a black glass front was added later, likely in the 80s or 90s, over the entry.
After receiving the diamonds, Bond makes his way to a mausoleum to perform an exchange by placing the urn in a crypt and taking an envelope of money. What he doesn’t know is that he is about to be knocked out by the two gentlemen he passes, Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint.
While it’s made to believe that the mortuary and the mausoleum are at the same location, they are in reality at two different ones. The mausoleum is the at Palm Downtown Cemetery in Las Vegas.
A rather odd thing I noticed is that the entire stained glass window in the back was flipped at some point in time!
The “Garden of Remembrance” as it is called in the film, is actually the Building of Eternity at the cemetery.
After being knocked over the head, Bond is taken into the Slumber Inc. mortuary where he is almost cremated, but it is my understanding that the interior shots were done on a soundstage at Pinewood Studios.
Later, Miss Tiffany Case rejoins Bond, demanding the diamonds, and he asks her “When was the last time you went to the circus?” And she is off to Circus Circus.
While no front exterior shots of the building were shown in the film, it’s just too crazy of a building and sign not to share with you!
With over 30 agents on the floor, Tiffany goes to a blackjack table where she is instructed to go to the water balloons.
While a lot has changed at Circus Circus, much is still the same. As seen above, a carousel, albeit with a different paint scheme, is visible in the background, which is actually a small restaurant, and at one time spun.
There are still acts inside the big top too, but the area has changed. There is now a raised platform for them, as opposed to them swinging and spinning above the tables and slots.
Tiffany makes her way to the water balloon race, where she joins a bunch of kids, and doesn’t take the game too seriously. I observed Tiffany used gun number two, and bolted for it, when I saw the game was still there!
Tiffany “wins” the balloon race, and is given a stuffed dog, and one thing I thought was so funny is that stuffed dogs are still a prize you can win, just look in the photo above! Albeit not the gaudy by fabulous neon green and pink one she gets!
Did I win a dog? Sadly, no. But I did win a small teddy bear!
After winning her dog, Tiffany wanders off to see Zambora, the girl who turns into a gorilla. This either no longer exists, or was made just for the film, but was located next to the Kentucky Derby game, which is still there.
Other notable Diamonds Are Forever locations that we did not visit, are the Las Vegas Hilton, which was the stand in for the Whyte House, and the Tropicana where James Bond stays. And of course there is the famous chase through Fremont Street, although a great deal has changed since Bond ripped through the strip.
This also wraps up the Vegas posts! But the road trip posts don’t end there! I have so many wonderful photos from the road of vintage signs and abandoned buildings that I’m planning on sharing next!