Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2018

Currently: 67° — Complete forecast

John Katsilometes on the fame sure to be bestowed on Dino’s Lounge now that it is featured in a movie

This is the line of dialogue from the upcoming movie "Lucky You" that Kristin Bartolo hopes survived the final edit:

Billie Offer (played by Drew Barrymore): "I got the job! I got the job, at Dino's! Do you know where that is?"

Huck Cheever (played by Eric Bana): "Everybody knows where it is."

You can't buy such exposure and Bartolo paid nothing. Rather, the owner of Dino's Lounge, the long-standing self-proclaimed "Last Neighborhood Bar" across from Olympic Garden on Las Vegas Boulevard South made quite a sum a couple of years ago when the production crew for "Lucky You," which opens this weekend, took over the place for a week-and-a-half of filming in the tavern's parking lot.

The story centers on a star-crossed poker player trying to win a tournament in Las Vegas while he wrestles with personal problems. Among the locations used in the film are Binion's and the Silverton, and Dino's figures prominently in the movie as well as the film's trailers, in which the familiar neon green "Dino's" sign proudly glows. The crew performed a makeover on the tavern's exterior, repainting its walls and the trademark "Last Neighborhood Bar" sign, and also (regrettably) took down the "Drunk of the Month" promotional visage. But no filming was attempted inside the bar, which has occupied the same spot on the boulevard since 1962 and, in some spots, does show the nicks and scars of time.

"What they did was build Dino's in L.A., on a soundstage, to make it look like the inside of the bar," Bartolo said Monday morning. "They just shot the characters coming in and going out." The bar was closed for nine days when filming was being conducted, and the only two customers Bartolo served during that time were Barrymore and Bana.

"They were very, very nice," she said. "She is so tiny. But everyone was so nice and no expense was spared. We're talking Warner Bros. money, and money was no object from the moment they stepped on the premises. They fixed light bulbs in the signs, repainted ... They paid what I would make in a day, plus a daily rate for the trouble."

And they did not change the name of the club.

"That was the coolest thing," Bartolo said. "We will be famous."


"Mamma Mia!" continues to sail along at Mandalay Bay, and a couple of weeks ago two couples from Utah took in the production from the second row. They were so moved (possibly to the point of succumbing to mind control from the show's ABBA soundtrack) they asked an usher whether they could hide under their seats for the second performance. They were told, um, no, but would be welcome to buy tickets to the second show and (wink-wink) we'll see what we can do. They bought the $49.95 seats, and showroom supervisor Gilbert Romero scooped up the crew and led them to a private booth. They also met and chatted up some of the cast members and that is how to spread word of mouth ...

The Spider-Man effigy that is to hang from the ledge of the Venetian just below the Madame Tussauds sign beginning this week is not the first time a Spidey figure has been fixed to a building. In 2004 a Spider-Man figure was set atop the London Planetarium for Madame Tussauds in advance of "Spider-Man 2." The Venetian Spider-Man is to promote "Spider-Man 3." ...

While on the subject of using structures as promotional tools, you'll notice a huge LED screen on the north end of the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. Well, you'll notice it if you're on the Strip, at least. But it will not be the largest such screen used by the property. In June a 150-by-50-foot rectangular video screen displaying all the mall's shops will be in place. The pieces are being installed now ...

Our favorite vocal quartet, the Las Vegas Tenors (Bill Fayne, Mark Giovi, Teddy Davey and Bobby Black) begin a monthlong series of Monday night performances at the Suncoast Showroom next week. The crew will warble throughout the month at 7:30 p.m. Mondays. Tickets are $22, $27.50 and $33 ...

A colleague who speaks Spanish and is environmentally responsible drives a Toyota Prius with the plate PLANETA.