Sin City of 1960 is reborn for CBS drama 'Vegas'
This image released by CBS shows Dennis Quaid, left, and Michael Chiklis in a scene from the new CBS series, "Vegas," premiering Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. (AP Photo/CBS, Monty Brinton)
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) — Striding through his Las Vegas casino, tough guy Vincent Savino has a beef.
"You went behind my back to Chicago," he growls to the woman beside him. "I thought we had an understanding: You run the count room, I run the casino."
Just another day in 1960 at the Savoy, home base for CBS' new drama "Vegas."
With its Sputnik chandeliers, swooping circular stairway, pleated-fabric walls and shapely cigarette girls, The Savoy is a masterpiece of Googie architecture and Kennedy-era glamour.
And there's more.
If you were to step out its doors, you would seamlessly encounter the Vegas strip, complete with the Golden Nugget, the Tumbleweed Club and, for not-so-heavy hitters, a storefront boasting "All Day! Bingo."
Parked along the curb, of course, are vintage cars from a half-century ago.
All in all, it's an impressive time trip for a visitor to Santa Clarita Studios where, in August 2012, production is cranking up on "Vegas."
Inside Stage 1, the scene is about to be shot again with Michael Chiklis, who plays Savino, as he presides over this casino-full of 1960s-costumed gamers and staff. It's the very first day filming on the 14,000-square-foot Savoy set, which, along with the replica of Fremont Street outside, existed only as blueprints, empty studio space and a slab of parking lot just a few weeks ago.
(The pilot for "Vegas," which airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. EDT, was shot last spring on locations in New Mexico, so this permanent new home won't be seen until the second episode.)
The Strip ends abruptly at a bluff as a hot wind rushes past. But the huge green scrim will allow for CGI effects to extend "Fremont Street" into an illusory distance.
This image released by CBS shows the set of the new CBS series, "Vegas," starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, premiering Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/CBS, Robert Voets)
The job called for more than being pretty.
"Everything on the street had to be specially engineered," says the show's production designer, Carey Meyer, standing in the neon-glowing Savoy entrance. "Each pole of those facades goes into the ground 15 feet, because the wind load up here is just tremendous. And there's also the risk of earthquakes."