How the 1930s Came to Life in 'Cafe Society'

From Town & Country

This summer Woody Allen released his 52nd feature film, Cafe Society, a comedy-drama set in the 1930s. Its star-studded cast - Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, and Steve Carrell - embodies familiar Allen themes: love triangles, glamour, and the enduring power of anxiety.

As for the locations? Decidedly chic. With Hollywood mansions and New York nightclubs, the movie sets dazzle with 1930s extravagance. Cafe Society's production designer, Santo Loquasto - an 18-time Tony Award winner and frequent Allen collaborator- described to T&C how his team mixed "LA treasures" with some common New York locations.

Opening Party Scene

The gleaming white, art-deco home of 1930s Hollywood star Dolores del Rio is nestled in the Santa Monica Hills. Its backyard is the glamorous setting for the outdoor party in Cafe Society's opening scene. Loquasto explained that he remembered this house from a book and thought its bright colors distinguished it from the New York locations. "[The cinematographer] really wanted to create that strong contrast. There is lot of aqua because of the pool, and subtle washed out colors because of the house."

Central Park

Loquasto divulged that Woody Allen selected both Central Park sites for Eisenberg's character Bobby's romantic scenes. His scene with Vonnie (Stewart) took place on Bow Bridge. "Central Park is always a tricky thing and I let Woody take charge of it-he knows better... like a psychiatrist's office," Loquasto said.

Cafe Society's Nightclub

This New York nightclub scenes took place on a set. The design was inspired by a combination of places Loquasto and Allen had visited, even "a touch of El Morocco," a prominent 1930s nightclub. "We're usually in sync, and the nightclub we worked out together." Its zebra stripes are a striking antithesis to the film's Hollywood pastels.

Uncle Phil's House

A 1930s home, which had been restored and expanded, served as the mansion where Uncle Phil, played by Steve Carell lives. "It was an amazing house with a warm feeling because of its Italian-style architecture. It even had the proper time period electric switches, so we added very little," Loquasto explained.

The Jazz Clubs

These scenes were shot in a variety of real locations, from a 20s era smoking lounge in California's Redland Heights,to the intimate spot, pictured above, on Brooklyn's Myrtle Ave, and the back of Jimmy's No. 43 in the East Village. "These small gems were usually happened upon," says Loquasto.

Beverly Hills Homes

During Bobby and Vonnie's Hollywood tour, they gaze upon the likes of Joan Crawford and Robert Taylor's illustrious mansions. Their sites weren't staged - they were real Beverly Hills residences. The production department just dressed them appropriately, parking vintage cars in the driveways or using plants to strategically hide security systems.

Bobby's Motel Room

The interior of Bobby's room at the Ali Baba Motel is awash in glowing neutrals. "Woody likes warm-tones," Loquasto emphasized. The filmmakers used a room in Forest Hills, New York to create these scenes.

Bobby and Vonnie's "Mexican joint"

This charming restaurant looks reminiscent of L.A.'s famous Olvera Street circa1932. Yet, Bobby and Vonnie's favorite Hollywood restaurant is a friendly bar in New York's East Village named Jimmy's No. 43. Loquasto noted that the production team simply added the mural, making it "a real treasure."