> The Lassiter's
Lassiter's is the founding branch of the Lassiter's worldwide chain of hotels, located on Sutherland Street, situated by Erinsborough's Lassiter's Lake. Branches exist in Darwin, London, Montana and New York. Originally owned by Jack Lassiter, Rosemary Daniels and the Daniels/Robinson Corporation bought the Erinsborough branch (and somehow later took control of the entire chain). As of 1999, rooms cost more than $200.00 a night. Between 2002 and 2005, it was owned by Lambert Industries, who renovated the complex extensively. The complex was then further re-developed in 2005, and bought back by Paul Robinson, post the arson attack.
The Lassiter's Hotel Complex is an exterior set housed on
the backlot behind the Neighbours studio. It was originally
built for the short-lived 1981 series Holiday Island,
set on a Queensland tropical resort.
The set fell into relative disuse in the latter half of the
1990s, with the shell used to house a few temporary sets,
including Lou Carpenter's restaurant, Little Tommy Tucker's.
In late 2001, as production logistics dictated a need for
more backlot recording, the set was extensively refurbished,
with a new canopy featuring distinctive white pillars, and
an interior reception area added. Interesting, the door to
Chloe's office in the hotel reception appears to lead into
the adjoining hair salon!
2002, the Melbourne-based Brand's Receptions venue doubled
for additional interiors in the hotel.
Grundy were told by officials that most of the set contained asbestos, and so to allow for the problem to be dealt with the arsonist storyline was created.
area's chequered past has included an explosion which all
but destroyed the Waterhole pub in 1993, and a second
which gutted the Erinsborough Medical Centre in 1996.
Disaster struck the complex once again in 2004, when an unknown arsonist (later revealed to be Paul Robinson), set Lou’s Place and The Coffee Shop alight. The fire in The Coffee Shop spread to the adjoining Erinsborough Medical Centre, igniting oxygen canisters leading to a large fireball consuming the two businesses. Meanwhile an inferno engulfed Lou’s Place causing the structure to collapse.
When Lassiter’s complex reopened in 2005 after the arson attack, it once again became the hub of day-to-day activities for the residents of Erinsborough, the complex includes a Shopping Arcade along with other amenities and is situated around a courtyard containing miniature windmills and water tanks as found in the Australian outback.
The renovated complex also features new businesses. Scarlet Bar is Erinsborough’s modern and funky, meeting place. Formally the site of Scarlet Bar was home to Lou’s Place, Chez Chez and The Waterhole.
The then Waterhole was also renovated in 1991's spate of unexplained
set revamps. Overnight, the set received a fresh coat of paint
on the walls and bar, as well as new tables and chairs.
As of 2004, all new sets feature backdrops composed of an enlarged photographic image of the actual location, giving a more realistic feel, resulting in windows not having to be covered to the same extent, however this meant that the doors and windows of the Scarlet Bar looked out onto a deserted Lassiter’s complex. Therefore a few months after the set started been used, blinds were put in the windows to disguise this fact.
A modern scarlet and stainless steel colour scheme is used throughout the Bar. Steel structural columns are left on display and corrugated iron panels give an industrial feel.
Bishop and Carpenter’s General Store plays an important part in the daily life of Erinsborough residents. The General Store offers customers the facilities of dry cleaning and postal services. Gourmet foods are available along with stationery and newspapers, as well as a selection of light snacks and beverages that are served on the premises. The site of The General Store was previously Erinsborough’s famous Coffee Shop. Along the way it has also been known as Daphne’s, The Hungry Bite Cafe and The Holy Roll.
The Coffee Shop was given a major revamp in mid 1991, along
with many of the other sets. Its then radical new look included
an aqua colour scheme, along with a new counter and furniture.
No onscreen explanation was given for the change. The set was fully redecorated in 1997 by Darren Stark, with a cinematic motif using primary colours.
The General Store has a traditional feel, the walls are tiled in crème and grey. A solid stained wood counter is the centre piece of the General Store, here food can be seen on display, an old fashioned coffee machine steams and customers relax.
On the exterior set of The General Store, the building ends at the edge of the window, however on the interior set the building appears to go back further, accommodating the kitchen area.
The Erinsborough Medical Centre has been a fixture of the complex in recent years, since 2003 the law firm Tim Collins and Associates has also operated from the premises. Formerly this has been the site of Lassiter's offices and Home James, the limousine company operated by Helen Daniels.
As of 2005 the building has become detached from the adjoining premises. An alley way now runs between it and The General Store, making the building appear smaller on the exterior set. However the interior set doesn’t appear to have reduced at all in size. This means the exterior and interior sets don’t match up at all.
In 2000, the A Good Hair Day salon opened in the complex. Previously the building was actually the entrance to the Lassiter’s Shopping Arcade, which featured in the show in the early nineties.
In 2006, Paul Robinson turned the Lassiter's Brasserie into a boutique cafe named Lucinda's, after his daughter. The cafe was intended to drive Lou and Harold's General Store out of business by undercutting their prices.
The show's production team seem to have some confusion over
the spelling of the complex, with both 'Lassiter's' and 'Lassiters'
seeing regular use, the latter particularly on press releases
and props. However, 'Lassiter's' is the spelling used on its
main signs consistently, and it is that spelling which has
been adopted for this website.
To see what Lassiter's used to look like, click here.
Illustrations and text
by Rhys and Andy