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Viva Las Vegas! Adverts and Ephemera from Sin City in the 1960s-70s

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desert inn

The over-the-top opulence here would make Henry VIII blush, but that’s what Vegas is all about – nothing in moderation; everything is sexed up to the extreme.  Let’s take a walk down the Vegas Strip and check out some of the advertising, postcards, and other ephemera from Sin City from the 1950s through the 1970s.  Let’s go!

 

saharan

The October 1963 issue of The Saharan, a magazine of the famed Las Vegas hotel/resort.  Elvis played Vegas this year, and he’s throughout this issue.  The caption to the cover picture:

“Voluptuous Valda Esau, former Sydney, Australia beauty now one of Hotel Sahara’s “Most American Girls in the World” introduces the resort’s famed official greeter – the Sha-Hara.”

 

$_57 (6)

This 1962 Tropicana advert definitely sells the sizzle.  A golf course, superb pool, continental cuisine, health club, and dancing chicks in very little clothing…. who wouldn’t want to go there?

 

vegas circus circus 1968

The Circus Circus resort dart toss booth may look a little lame by today’s standards, but in 1968 this worthy of a postcard.

 

vegas advert

It’s true, the glory days of Sinatra and the Rat Pack were over, but this 1968 Vegas promotion reminds us that Vegas is better than ever.

 

castaways

 

marina

Featuring prime aged beef called “Madamoiselle” and “closed mouth vacationers”.  I’m sold.

 

mgm

To have seen Dino and the Golddiggers at the Grand would have been amazing. The downside: the rest of your life would be an anti-climax.

And here’s the MGM Grand with a different lineup…

mgm grand

Sorry, but Dino and the Golddiggers trumps Roger Miller and Fabian any day.

 

zaras

The Sahara Presents: The ZARAS – S.R.O. in Las Vegas – 1971

(For those wondering, S.R.O. = Standing Room Only)

Personally, I’d rather see Buddy Hackett (featured in the sign above); but after a few Vegas cocktails, would it really matter?

 

liberace

Liberace at Caesar’s Palace 1971… wearing a pair of red, white and blue spangled hot pants!  Apparently, they were designed by Liberace himself and cost $4,000 (a shit ton of money back then).  Question: How was there any debate that Liberace was gay?

 

fab vegas

Fabulous Las Vegas was a magazine that ran from the 1940s through the 1970s.  For Vegas nostalgia buffs and armchair historians, there’s probably no better place to go than this periodical.

 

vegas magazines

 

A couple slightly less historically valuable Vegas magazines (but no less fun to look at).

 

frontier

The Frontier Hotel looks a bit…. well, average.   It’s amazing how times have changed – where once this looked like the height of living large.

 

frontier hotel

Another Frontier Hotel postcard.  The back reads: “600 luxurious rooms and suites, Comstock Coffee Shop, Branding Iron Steak House, Day and Night Tennis Courts, Putting Green, Olympic Size Swimming Pool,…”

Again – a far cry from the insane level of “amenities” today.  Note that this was a resort purchased by Howard Hughes in 1967.  (Sadly, it closed its doors less than ten years ago.)

 

circus postcard

An interesting look inside the Circus Circus casino.  The back of the postcard reads: “A death defying leap of 100 feet into a pad of foam rubber.  This act begins in the ceiling and finishes among the Blackjack and crap tables.  An unbelievable feat performed by Mr. Geriach.”

 

vegas wedding

Vegas wasn’t all casinos and shows; it was also about quick-n-dirty marriages…. while inebriated.

 

paris vegas

Two competing “Parisian” shows at the Dunes and the Stardust.

 

Want to eat dinner in the mid-70s at the Sands’ famous Copa?  Here’s your menu…

copa room

And while you eat Chicken Broth with Matzo Ball, you’ll be treated to the comic stylings of Danny Thomas and Peter Marshall…

 

copa room entertainment

Thomas would’ve been great; however, the Marshall segment, maybe not so much.

 

dunes

Nowadays, the night clubs are the main attractions in Vegas.  Not in the 1960s-70s – it was about adult entertainment; namely shows, cocktails and gambling.  From the back of the postcard:  ” Certainly one fo the most glamorous views in the world can be obtained at the Top O’ the Strip Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge – 24th Floor.  Never a cover or minimum charge.  Name Band Dancing.  Open daily from 12 noon to 4 AM.”

 

lido

A couple Lido de Paris (Stardust Hotel) promotionals.  Let’s face it, cocktails and Siegfried & Roy are nice, but it’s all about the showgirls…. at least it was back in the day.

 

minsky

Minsky’s at the Aladdin 1972.  Feel free to use as your desktop wallpaper, and you’re welcome.

 

073

As I said, Sinatra, Dino, and Sammy had past their Vegas heyday by the late 1960s; but there was plenty of awesomeness that arrived in their place.  The King, Wayne Newton, and, of course, the Playboy Casino.

 

dunes showtime

Showtimes at the Dunes.  The hotel/resort was another fixture on the Vegas Strip that, sadly, closed its doors in 1993.

 

tropicana club

A 1975 magazine advertisement for the Tropicana Hotel and Country Club, featuring a Folies Bergere showgirl.

 

mgm showgirls

 

“High stepping precision dancers and the world’s greatest stage productions are the order of the night for this 120 million dollar, 26 story hotel.  Where else will you find 2100 rooms, two major show rooms, five entertainment lounges, and a movie theater.”

 

silver slipper

A nice look inside a typical Vegas lounge (the Silver Slipper).  From the back:  “Great shows and top entertainment starring picture, T.V. and nite club comedian Hank Henry.  A must for visitors seeking fun and recreation.  Four exciting shows nitely with never a cover or minimum charge.”

 

vegas ads

the winners

I’m not familiar with The Winners, one of a million acts playing in smaller Vegas venues.  This legion of shmarmy lounge singers and leggy songstresses deserves an article of their own.  Stay tuned.

 

slot machine

Of course, Las Vegas wasn’t the only hot spot in Nevada.  The northern region was home to the state’s largest slot machine.  Top that, Vegas!

The End

 

las vegas end picture

  • timdub70

    Peter Marshall was a singer and actor before coming to Hollywood Squares at the behest of Morey Amsterdam (Bert Parks was the host for the pilot). His sister was Joanne Dru and his son is former Major League Baseball player Pete LaCock (Peter’s given name is Ralph Pierre LaCock). He is still alive at 88 years old.

    • Lacey W

      Thank you. I was only familiar with him becasue of his game show jobs.

  • LOL – Liberace wearing a pair of red, white and blue spangled hot pants!