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Neighbourhood > The Old Lassiter's Complex

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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. It is currently owned by Lambert Industries, who renovated the complex extensively in 2002.

• 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!

• In 2002, the Melbourne-based Brand's Receptions venue doubled for additional interiors in the hotel.

The 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.

The complex, situated around a man-made billabong, is the hub of day-to-day activity in Erinsborough, including a shopping arcade and other amenities.

In addition to the public house, Lou's Place - formerly The Waterhole and Chez Chez, it houses The Coffee Shop - at one time Daphne's, The Hungry Bite and The Holy Roll respectively. The popular cafe moved to the complex in 1986. The A Good Hair Day salon joined the complex in 2000.

• The Coffee Shop interior set does not match its backlot exterior; the outer windows are arranged parallel outside, yet half are positioned further ahead on the studio set.

• 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. This design remained in use until the 2004 explosion.

• 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. It was revamped again in 1993, following the gas explosion, and once again in 1996 when Lou took over the business from his late wife Cheryl. The 1996 look, featuring dark wood, remained until the explosion which destroyed the pub in 2004.

The Erinsborough Medical Centre has been a fixture of the complex in recent years, having formerly been the site of Lassiter's offices and Home James, the limousine company operated by Helen Daniels.

• The surgery office features a window, remarkably, since it directly adjoins the next-door Coffee Shop!

NB: 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.

Illustrations by Rhys

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