The Millennium Biltmore Hotel’s Gold Room from “Beverly Hills, 90210”Mar 21st, 2016 | By Lindsay | Category: 90210 & Beverly Hills, 90210 Filming Locations
Some locations hit you like a ton of bricks. Today’s locale was one of those spots. For ages, I had been trying to track down the supposed Las Vegas casino prominently featured in the Season 4 episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 titled “And Did It . . . My Way.” I was fairly certain that production had not actually travelled to Sin City for the shoot, but I could not for the life of me figure out where filming had taken place. Then last year, while writing a post about San Francisco’s famed Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, I learned about a ballroom at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles named the Gold Room. Now the Grim Cheaper and I have stayed at the Biltmore countless times over the years and I know the place like the back of my hand, yet somehow I had never seen or heard of that particular ballroom. I did not think much more about it until I began researching the historic hotel for a recent Discover Los Angeles post and came across this online brochure that lists some of the productions filmed at the Biltmore. I read through it and as soon as I saw the words Beverly Hills, 90210, everything suddenly aligned in my head! The Gold Room was the casino from “And Did It . . . My Way.” I popped in my DVD of the episode to confirm things and, sure enough, I was right! I was lucky enough to tour the ballroom recently as part of my research for the Discover L.A. article and, since getting there had been such a long time coming, figured I should pen a detailed post on the gorgeous space.
The Gold Room is easily one of the most ornate ballrooms I have ever visited. The lavish space is two-tiered and separated by a curved stone balustrade, as you can see below.
The Gold Room originally served as a dining room for the Biltmore’s more elite guests and, at the time the hotel opened in 1923, was separated into two spaces. The lower level, where patrons entered the venue, was known as the Palm Room . . .
. . . while the top level, where patrons dined, was named the Supper Room.
Once the two spaces were merged, the ballroom was re-christened the “Gold Room.” And it has certainly earned that name. The gilded venue, which can accommodate 350 guests, boasts a striking gold frieze, nine mirrored windows adorned with gold leaf, and a stunning gold cast-plaster ceiling.
During the Prohibition years, the Gold Room served as a nightclub/speakeasy where guests, celebrities and “thirsty” Angelinos could partake. The mirrored window pictured below actually contains a hidden doorway that was utilized to bring liquor into the space, as well as to shuttle guests out when the need arose.
I had read about the hidden doorway while writing my Discover Los Angeles post and had even seen photographs of it, but the tiny opening is so discreet that, even though I knew what I was looking for, I could not find it until it was pointed out to me.
Also of note, dotted along the gold frieze that lines the ballroom’s ceiling are panels containing invisible windows that were utilized by the paparazzi to spy on celebrities partying down below during the space’s tenure as a nightclub. You can see a great photograph of one of those panels here.
Thanks to the Gold Room’s beauty and versatility, it is not very hard to see how it has ended up onscreen countless times over the years. In “And Did It . . . My Way,” it convincingly served as the Las Vegas casino that Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) and Stuart Carson (David Gail) secretly headed to in order to elope after becoming disillusioned by their parents’ reaction to their recent engagement. No secret is safe in Beverly Hills, though, and the rest of the West Beverly gang, as well as Jim (James Eckhouse) and Cindy Walsh (Carol Potter), inevitably follow and finally manage to talk some sense into the couple, who call off the nuptials.
Way back in 1973, the Gold Room popped up very briefly in the caper classic The Sting as the upscale Chicago restaurant where Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw) offered to finance Kid Twist (Harold Gould) and Johnny Hooker’s (Robert Redford) bookie scheme. Though recognizable, the room looked quite a bit different at that time.
The Gold Room is where Dr. Alex Hesse (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Dr. Larry Arbogast (Danny DeVito) attend a pharmaceutical convention in 1994’s Junior.
In the 2005 comedy Wedding Crashers, John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) attempts to crash Claire Cleary’s (Rachel McAdams) engagement party, which is taking place in the Gold Room.
That same year, the Gold Room popped up in Rumor Has It as the spot where Sarah Huttinger (Jennifer Aniston) first laid eyes on Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner).
Also in 2005, the Gold Room once again masked as a casino, albeit one in Monte Carlo, in the Season 5 episode of Alias titled “Mockingbird.”
And in the recently-aired Season 5 episode of New Girl titled “Decision,” Cece Parekh (Hannah Simone) and Schmidt (Max Greenfield) tour the Gold Room, their dream wedding venue, which just so happens to have a last minute availability due to the fact that Shia LeBeouf cancelled his upcoming solitaire tournament.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Gold Room is situated off of the Galleria at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles, which is located at 506 South Grand Avenue in downtown L.A. You can visit the hotel’s official website here.