The Las Vegas (quoted as being ‘behind the dance hall’ by Carter) is a simple terraced boarding house, located at 25 Coburg Street, just south of the Tyne. The owner, Edna, refers to it somewhat grandly as a hotel but a quick look at the garish neon light, modest location and basic interior and we all know it’s nothing more than a typical terraced property in Gateshead.
25 Coburg Street is featured four times in the film, with most of them featuring important and memorable scenes. We firstly see it as Carter arrives after visiting his brother’s house and he books in with Edna (“Will this do?”, “Yes, very nice.”). Secondly, following his visit to Doreen he returns to the Las Vegas to make a telephone call to London, followed by Keith knocking the door warning of Thorpey having followed him from the pub. Carter then engages in a chase from the Las Vegas to the nightclub in search of Thorpey (the line about the dance hall probably added earlier to back this up). Thirdly, he returns Thorpey to the Las Vegas where Thorpey gives him some misleading information and subsequently flees the house. Finally, we see Carter return from Cliff Brumby’s and seduce Edna and spending the night, only to be rudely awoken in the morning. He then says his final goodbyes to both Edna and the Las Vegas (“What are you gonna do?”, “Sit in the car and whistle Rule Britannia.”), leaving through the back alley in his rented car.
At the time of filming the house was lived in by a Tom McEnaney, and he had a visit from Michael Caine during filming to take a look at his newly born puppies.1 We also see the recreation ground on which the Pelaw Hussars had just been performing – this is now the site of St Jospehs RC Primary School. The row of houses in Coburg Street are still fairly faithful to their 1970s appearance – they have been modernised somewhat with double glazing and sturdier fences to bring them up to scratch. Most of the businesses in and around the street have been removed or redeveloped, the school added and the back of the properties remodelled. But the unmistakeable 25 Coburg Street is very much how it was and well worth a visit to one of the most recognisable locations from the film.
The daytime shots from Coburg Street give us a better sense of the place in 1971:
The street is outside of a busy school and has parking restrictions in place. If you are visiting to view the house, please bear this in mind and respect the current homeowners.