The Bonaventure Hotel – Los Angeles, California - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

The Bonaventure Hotel

The space-age building is home to one of the few remaining rotating restaurants in America, and the only one that inspired a 1980s sitcom. 

Six seasons of the 1980s sitcom “It’s a Living” (later called “Making a Living”) were set in the rotating restaurant on the 34th floor of the Bonaventure Hotel, a location that’s familiar to movie fans thanks to its space-age design, silver glass towers, and rare external elevators.

The hotel stands 367 feet high, while the central circular atrium has suspended “pod” booths that serve as gym areas, with a running track that reminds you of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and gets busy with joggers and power walkers every lunch break. 

Opened in 1977, architect John Portman’s most notable building has featured in films and television series such as Strange Days, True Lies, Nick of Time, In the Line of Fire, Lethal Weapon 2, Rain Man and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century—plaques here celebrate some of them—and has also been depicted in video games.

The Bonaventure arguably offers the best 360-degree view over Los Angeles, and if you’re there at dusk when the street lights and neon signs switch on, and maybe a helicopter whizzes behind a skyscraper or the Goodyear blimp slowly motors by, you’ll think you’re watching the opening of Blade Runner.

Know Before You Go

A rotation lasts around 80 minutes, and you need to take the elevator in the red tower.