Saturday, May 10, 2014

More Las Vegas, 1970-sih

Once again I find myself having to compose something for this blog at the last minute. Arg. So, here are the rest of the photos from this group of slides from the very early 1970's.

This one is nicer than most of them, with the Stardust hotel and casino. The façade of the building, however, is considerably less spectacular than it had been just a few years earlier. Bummer!

Not a lovely view, but I still like it for its tackiness! In the distance you can see Circus Circus, the Stardust, and the Frontier casinos.

The Sands is famous for this sign, with its swooping script - and for being the venue where the famous Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop) became a thing. Ring-a-ding-ding! Sorry, Alan King, but I am going over to the Celebrity Theater to see Louis Prima with Sam Butera and The Witnesses! The Sands was demolished in 1996.

I love this sign for the Flamingo! It resembles a showgirl's feathered headdress. I don't know who Sergio Franchi is (I looked him up - he was an Italian-American tenor who, at one time had 4 albums in America's top-200) but Pat Cooper is still around. His comedy is not my thing, but hey, he's a survivor. Fats Domino gets third billing, but I would go see him! The Flamingo is still around, it's now the oldest resort on The Strip. 

Here's another great sign, looking very "1960's". It opened way back in 1942, and was only the second resort to open along the Las Vegas Strip. It closed in 2007. (Dick Shawn, wasn't he in "The Producers"?)

And finally, here's a look at some fountains next to Circus Circus, which opened in 1968 - which means that it was basically brand-new, and yet it already has that abandoned, unsuccessful look. The lack of a hotel made this casino a struggling concern. In '72 a hotel was added, and even though it has struggled occasionally, it is still around today! 

I hope you have enjoyed these vintage Las Vegas photos!


Nanook said...


Last minute, or no, any shots of Vegas will brighten anyone's day-!

And yes, Dick Shawn was in The Producers, playing 'L.S.D.' - Lorenzo St. DuBois. And of course, Abbe Lane, (singer, dancer, performer), who at one time was married to Xavier Cugat, and was also famously quoted as saying: "Jayne Mansfield may turn boys into men, but I take them from there" Indeed-!

Vegas was certainly the place to be back then.

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

These are really great photos Major - your efforts are always appreciated!

Here's a link to a postcard that confirms your Circus Circus - your photo shows how these hotels started small and were expanded endlessly...and in CC's case, hopelessly.

Bill in Denver

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Great vintage sin city photos Major.

Good call Nanook. The second I saw the Dick Shawn on the marquee I thought of "Lorenzo St. DuBois" singing "Love Power". Then his role in Mad(X5)World. Driving the red convertible at break neck speed crying for his "mama".

Classic Hotels and classic movies!
Happy Saturday!

K. Martinez said...

The "sleepy bear" TraveLodge sign in image 2 brings back lots of childhood memories of family vacations on the road. Do they even have those anymore? Always enjoy vintage Vegas. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

What gorgeous, color-soaked pictures! And make sure to get an extra Louis Prima ticket for me.

To me, 1970's Vegas means one thing: Diamonds are Forever (1971). I can't turn a corner without expecting to see James Bond and Tiffany Case up to some kind of hijinx with Plenty O'Toole, Bambi and Thumper, Willard Whyte, or Mr. Wynt and Mr, Kidd.

Car chase scene down Fremont that shows a lot of the old Vegas buildings and façades
Deleted scenes, including some with Sammy Davis, Jr.
Bond climbs up the side of the Las Vegas International Hotel (now the Las Vegas Hilton)
Q has a system for winning the slots
A guide to the locations of Diamonds are Forever
More on the use of the LVH
"Las Vegas" page from the "James Bond Locations" blog

Melissa said...

The first time I went to Las Vegas, I was my dentist's test case for a class he was taking at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. I had spent the whole day in the chair getting my top teeth ground down for a full set of temporary veneers (had to return later for the permanent ones). Once the Novocaine wore off, the pain was so bed the drugs weren't covering it, so in desperation, I went ahead on and got one of those giant novelty-glass drinks at the Hilton bar.

From the window of my room, delirious with pain, alcohol, and whatever else they had given me, I could see the tower of the Stratosphere, the tent top of Circus Circus, and the giant, unearthly face of Barry Manilow on the opposite wall of the Hilton. I was sure MegaManilow was the leader of the aliens who had come to kidnap me and steal my teeth. I'm so glad my sister had come along to keep an eye on me.

Melissa said...

OK, I had to drag out my DVD of Diamonds are Forever and grab a few relevant screenshots.

The LVIH dressed as the Whyte House
Jill St. John picks up stolen diamonds at Circus Circus #1, #2, and
The parking lot where James and Tiffany meet after the caper

Melissa said...

Third Circus Circus screenshot here.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that's right, "L.S.D", now I remember! As for Abbe Lane, if she out-does Jayne Mansfield, she must have been something!

Bill in Denver, I wonder if the Circus Circus folks figured there were already plenty of hotels in Vegas! Little did they know.

Alonzo, I haven't seen "It's a Mad Mad (etc) World" since I was a kid, I don't remember Dick Shawn at all - there were so many celebrity cameos in that one!

Melissa, Vegas looks so clean in that car chase scene… almost artificial, like a movie set! Jill St. John, hubba hubba.

Melissa, I can't tell if your story is for real or not! I hope your dentist gave you a price break on your full set of veneers (which would be huge bucks today)!! From what I observed of my brother's behavior after he had his wisdom teeth pulled, I totally believe that you thought there was a MegaManilow after you.

Melissa 3 & 4, wowed, you love you some vintage Las Vegas! I thought today's pictures were rather drab (weird grayish colors, bad lighting), but I am glad that you liked them. I have some older slides to come that are much more attractive to look at!

Melissa said...

All I had to pay was lab fees and travel expenses - it was the deal of a lifetime.

Nanook said...

I almost forgot Pat Cooper released one of the six-? 'parody' albums cashing-in on the success of the Herb Alpert album (and its iconic cover) - Whipped Cream and Other Delights. Pat's was entitled: Spaghetti Sauce and Other Delights

Anonymous said...

Ah, the sleepy bear. The Travelodge near my office has dropped him. Almost forgot till now.

Love to see the familiar signs and musicians. Google Abbe Lane, wowzers.


Connie Moreno said...

Ooooh what a great collection of pics! I remember going to Circus Circus the year the hotel opened. I walked around completely amazed. And then....then I walked through Caesars Palace - WOW! I made up my might right then and there I was going to stay there when I grew up, LOL. It took much longer than I thought but I finally did stay there in 2010.

Unknown said...

Great Vegas photos! I remembered Sergio Franchi from the mid-1970s doing Plymouth Volare commercials (which was about the same car as the Dodge Aspen, if that helps any!). He usually sung a few bars of the song "Volare" (yeah, I know... nice tie-in). I'm pretty sure he was one of the many singers who did cover versions of that song during the 1960s. I checked, and YouTube does have a Plymouth Volare commercial with him.

Chrysler Corp must have been really going "Continental" those days, cause they also had Ricardo Montalban pitching Chrysler Cordobas, and Louis Jourdan hawking Dodge Monacos!

Sir Lung said...

Great pictures. The date: October 1969. Here's a newspaper listing from 10/2/69 that mentions the name seen on ever one of the signs in this and your other set: