VEGAS MYTHS BUSTED: You Get on ‘Pawn Stars’ by Visiting the Shop

Posted on: December 25, 2023, 08:07h. 

Last updated on: December 25, 2023, 11:02h.

A bunch of guys famous for spotting counterfeit reproductions are the manufacturers of a colossal one themselves.

Fans line up to visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in downtown Las Vegas. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Up to 5,000 tourists a day have visited the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, downtown at 713 Las Vegas Blvd., since the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” reality series began in 2009.

Many clutch family heirlooms and dreams of appearing on TV as a customer, or at least of catching a glimpse of stars Corey Harrison, Rick Harrison, or Austin Lee “Chumlee” Russell. (Richard “Old Man” Harrison died in 2018.)

But neither happens for 99.999% of them. And that’s because none of the show’s cast works at the pawn shop anymore.

Before we continue, a big tip of our hat to’s own Vital Vegas blogger Scott Roeben, who busted this myth back in 2013. Yet it persists because the hit reality show refuses to be honest about its reality.

Gone Stars

What “Pawn Stars” never mentions on the show is that it shoots on a secret set. A replica of the store, only smaller, it’s hidden inside the second floor of the same building and is inaccessible to the public.

At left, a previously cast “customer” approaches Rick Harrison on the “Pawn Stars” set with an item to sell. Note the fake front door on the left and the real one on the right. The fake one is opaque, instead of clear, so viewers can’t see that it doesn’t open out onto the street. (Images: Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas, and Pinterest)

Producers shot the show in the real shop during its first season. But, once the series caught fire, swarming crowds of autograph and selfie seekers made it impossible to continue doing that. A separate studio also allows the real pawn shop to continue reaping a profit without interruption, though, as Roeben pointed out in his story, the gift shop does much more reaping than the pawn shop.

How You Can Get on ‘Pawn Stars’

It is possible to become one of a teeny, tiny number of people allowed to enter the “Pawn Stars” set.

A few extras will get pulled from the shop to take place in the tapings. However, the extras, who are instructed never to look at the cast, will only get to appear in the background. And the dates of the tapings are a closely guarded secret.

Yes, this is real. It was provided by a member of the show’s  casting team to blogger Scott Roeben. And it’s the only way you can get on the show as a “customer.” (Image: Vital Vegas)

The coveted customer roles are all cast in advance and no one is selected to audition for them from the real shop. Ever. Auditions are prearranged and there’s a protocol of pretense for the lucky few to follow if they pass.

For instance, the final prices are set in advance.

All of that bargaining you see on the show is acting, and the “customers” are instructed how to act by producers before each scene.

Also, if you ever wondered how the Pawn Stars seem to know the historical significance, and value, of every item they assess, it’s because they’re not assessing anything. They’ve been briefed about the items in advance.

So you didn’t realize until this article that show business was fake?

Merry Christmas!

Right now is one of those rare moments when “Pawn Stars” is holding customer auditions. Following two seasons of shooting “Pawn Stars Do America” on the road, the producers announced last week that tapings will resume in Las Vegas in 2024.

Fans are instructed to send photos of their items to

Look for “Vegas Myths Busted” every Monday on Visit to read previously busted Vegas myths. Got a suggestion for a Vegas myth that needs busting? Email

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