Saturday, July 18, 2015

Viva Las Vegas

I still haven't decided on a new scanner (I've had other fish to fry), so today's photos are things that I just happened to have already scanned. They're not the most amazing vintage Las Vegas images ever, but hey... it's Vegas!

I love this first image, showing the classic Stardust Hotel, from September 1958. Wow, what a fa├žade!  The foreground looks appropriately desert-y (I wonder what behemoth of a casino is there now?). The parking lot is full of beautiful American cars. 

The marquee touts the "Lido de Paris". "50 Stars! Exciting Acts! Gorgeous Girls! Direct From Europe In All Its Glory". In the lounge, you could enjoy Billy Daniels and The Happy Jesters.

The photographer returned to the same spot later, for this night shot. I'm sure this is a poor representation of the true dazzling splendor of the real thing.

The next two are from January, 1962; this time we're over at another classic hotel and casino, the Flamingo. My mom and dad honeymooned there! My mom says they had fun there, and yet they never returned to Glitter Gulch.

Why not take a photo of the Flamingo from an unattractive angle? The cylindrical tower was covered in lights, which was quite a sight at night, and was a real landmark along the Strip.


Nanook said...


Sin City once again. Bring it on-! The Stardust sign is what legends are made of.

Now, from L to R... A 1959 or '60 Rambler; the rear end of a 1960 Cadillac; a 1960 Ford; a 1959 Pontiac; a 1960-'62 Corvair; and finally, a 1960 Chevrolet Impala. And, of course, in the last picture - a Volkswagen.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Early Vegas! The one I never saw! Yee-haw!

Judging by the larger, square rear window, the Beetle in the last photo is no older than a 1958 model.

The wall to the right beyond the fire escape on the right looks an awful lot like the wall facing the parking lot where Dean Martin meets Shirley MacLaine in "Ocean's Eleven." Been too long since I saw the film to remember which casino this is supposed to be, but it sure reminds me of it.

Chuck said...

Okay, so I found the scene in question (, and while the sandy color is the same, the brickwork is different. The location in the film has rectangular bricks laid in a traditional stretcher or running bond, while the Flamingo wall appears to use square bricks or concrete blocks in a stack bond.

Oh, well. At least I know what movie I want to watch tonight.

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-

Thank you for adding that.

K. Martinez said...

The car people are here! You guys always amaze me with your knowledge of the American automobile.

The Stardust looks like something right out of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon "The Jetsons". I love it!

Nice set today. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I had the feeling that you would be doing your car thing!

Chuck, my dad used to own a 1958 Beetle (sort of a metallic bronze color). It was stolen and never recovered - the cops theorized that it wound up in a chop shop in Tijuana.

Chuck again, I’m sure there are lots of brick walls in Vegas! It’s been so long since I’ve seen “Ocean’s Eleven” that I only recall bits and pieces of it. There was something about glowing footprints.

Chuck III, the thing I noticed is that it must have been freezing. You can see Dino’s exhalation after Shirley kisses him. Unless she just raised his temperature to the extreme (which is understandable)! The quality of that YouTube clip is very nice, makes me want to see the whole film (as you did). Yes, I think the Flamingo has concrete/cinder blocks rather than regular painted bricks.

Nanook, are you going to watch the movie too?! ;-)

K. Martinez, the Stardust definitely had that space age, mid-century modern design. I love it. Glad you liked these!

Sir Lung said...

Pepper, I’m late …

STARDUST: "I wonder what behemoth of a casino is there now?”

None. It’s been a start/stop construction site in the 9 years since Stardust was demolished. This incredible space-ace facade (which covered a rather plain motel) was ditched another (less incredible) in 1977.

What’s the month/year date the date from?

FLAMINGO: shot of the front shows a wreath saying, "Seasons Greetings." If you got the January 62 date from a stamp on the slide, I'll bet you the photo was taken around Christmas 61, and the film developed in January.

As for Chuck’s comment, Oceans 11 was filmed on location at a few casinos – Flamingo, Sands, Desert Inn, Riviera, and Sahara – all of which looked fantastic in 1960. Oceans 11 is not exactly the greatest movie, but it captures mid-century high style better than any other movie I know.