Entries in las vegas history (51)
How many of these do you remember?
We saw Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Hot Rock and on one particular New Year's Eve, The Poseidon Adventure at the wonderful Fox Theater. Took the bus all the way from Charleston Heights. Afterwards, we went across the street to Macayo Vegas for Mexican food. I took guitar lessons at Ted Vesley's Music Store, also across the street.
How about you?
We had a Woolco at the corner of W. Charleston and Decatur. It was a giant store (today it is a Walmart). In the early 1970s, an underground blast at the Nevada Test Site rattled the Las Vegas Valley so badly it took out the front display windows.
Across the street (kitty corner) from the Woolco. Always loved that signage! (today it is a Walgreen's)
Across W. Charleston Blvd. from Nevada Savings, this Zick and Sharp building has always been a bank building but not always a Bank of America. I had my first checking account at this bank.
The wonderful Hill Top Supper Club out on the way to Mt. Charleston. They had frog legs on the menu, real frog legs.
Vegas Village in Commercial Square
Hit the comments and share your memories with us!
We'll be back tomorrow with the ratings.
Will the cop drama Golden Boy best Vegas in the ratings? If so, does that spell trouble for our favorite retro cop show?
In the meantime, if you are a fan of Golden Boy, it moves to Friday nights at 9:00 pm this week with another episode. It does have some interesting hooks, especially Chi McBride and the supporting cast which shine much more than the main story line but it's definitely worth hanging with for a few shows to see if the hooks take.
We'll have more analysis tomorrow when we see the numbers!
We are thrilled to announce that one of our favorite places, the classic El Cortez Hotel and Casino, on Fremont Street has been added to the National Register of Historic Places!!!!!
If you know us, you know we love the El Cortez and we love the fact it has kept its original facade all these years! Designed by Wayne McAllister, once owned by Bugsy Siegel and pals and owned in its prime by Las Vegas legend, Jackie Gaughan, the El Cortez has sat on the corner of Fremont Street and 6th Street for over seventy years. At one time, our Sears and Roebuck was located across the street. Bet you never bought your back to school clothes at a store across the street from a casino but those of us who grew up in Las Vegas back in the day, WE DID!!!!
When Jackie Gaughan sold the Cortez a few years ago, everyone held their breath. What would happen? Would he sell to developers who would raze the hotel? Would he sell to someone who didn't understand its history or appreciate its neon? Crisis was averted because Jackie kept the casino (and surrounding properties) in the family.
Mike Nolan and his team went to work on restoring the interior of the El Cortez which by then, was known more for its smoky interior and its geriatric clientele.
Today, you can walk through the El Cortez and not feel like your lungs are on fire. Today, the El Cortez appeals to all ages, hipsters, locals and everyone looking for a bargain in a city better known for high priced table service than bargains.
The El Cortez and those who run the hotel have been on the forefront of anchoring the East Fremont Entertainment District and doing all they can to encourage locals and visitors to look beyond the neon canopy of upper Fremont Street and join the fun.
In a city known more for demolitioning it's historic buildings in a party atmosphere, the El Cortez stands as a reminder that classic Las Vegas is worth preserving!
Congratulations to the El Cortez for joining the National Register and all those involved in making this happen!!!!
El Cortez Hotel and Casino, located at 600 Fremont Street in Las
Vegas, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on February 13, 2013.
The National Register is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation.
When it opened in 1941, Fremont Street’s El Cortez became the premiere hotel/casino in
downtown Las Vegas. The popularity of El Cortez helped bolster the city’s economic
development while its various owners helped define the city as it emerged as an international
entertainment capital. Following the 1959 installation of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las
Vegas" sign (NRHP listed 2009), new resorts established the Las Vegas Strip and later
eclipsed the popularity of downtown. El Cortez, however, would remain a constant presence
in downtown Las Vegas.
Constructed in 1941, El Cortez is primarily Spanish Colonial Revival style but reflects the
1952 remodel when the façade was ‘modernized’ and the marquee and prominent rooftop
signage were added. El Cortez remains one of the oldest establishments on Fremont Street
and is the only establishment to continue operation under its original name. Today, El Cortez
Hotel and Casino continues to convey the feeling of 1952 Las Vegas.
“We are pleased that such a beloved and well-tended icon has been given this national
recognition. We encourage visitors looking for an authentic vintage Las Vegas vacation to
seek out this cherished resource,” said Rebecca Palmer, acting state historic preservation
We apologize for the delay! The travel, the iffy internet and not feeling well all combined for a perfect storm.
But, everything is better today and we appreciate your patience and understanding!
Two of a Kind, Episode 15
The Feds arrive and maybe, finally, there’s a story to tell? But before we get there, there’s Jack’s flashbacks to being tassed by Daddy Rizzo.
The crime of the week is a dead guy, shot through the head, who knew his killer according to Ralph. Seems the dead guy sold health shakes (great logo, by the way) that helped people lose weight.
Savino is sending the double skim money back to Chi town but, OH NO!!, the Feds seemed tipped to the delivery and nab the sweet old lady carrying the skim.
The one thing the show gets right, the interior of the Savoy. Props to the production design guys, art director, props and costume people.
The Feds tell Savino that no more skim money is going to make its way back to Chi-town. For the first time in weeks, I’m intrigued by the story before the first commercial break. Could this be a good sign or just one more heartbreak for me?
A movie producer, his young starlet (who only sleeps on violet colored sheets) and entourage show up at the Savoy. Barry Silver, the movie producer, drops the name of real life movie producer, Hal Wallis. Nice touch, show.
Ralph smiles (DRINK!) as he joins Katherine and Agent Burns (the head of the field bureau) for lunch. JFK’s name gets dropped. Ralph points out that it’s not illegal to operate a casino. But, Agent Burns points out it is illegal to skim. Follow the money, advises the Fed. Still hopeful! (Please don’t let me down, show!).
Savino wants Mia’s help in coming up with a plan for getting the skim to Chi-town without the Feds knowing.
Of course, the young starlet gets caught by Dixon going 100 mph so he has a reason to stop her and flirt with her. (Have we hit all the weekly plot points?)
Ralph smiles (DRINK!) while talking with Katherine, who tells Ralph that her goal is to bring down Savino. No surprises there but, of course, the case of the week gets in the way. Seems the dead guy has two families and a not very friendly brother –in-law.
Mia thinks she has the goods on Savino being responsible for Daddy’s death and shares that with Jack. Will Jack come clean to her before the end of the episode so we can move on?
We get a great Quaid smile (DRINK!!!!!) when Ralph interrogates the dead guy’s unfriendly, Hungarian brother-in-law.
Vince, who has the goods on Jack, tries to blackmail Jack to get him to help get the skim money out of town. The screws are tightening on Jack.
This week’s Dixon story line continues to distract.
Humphrey Bogart and Rita Hayworth both get name-dropped.
Ralph smiles again (DRINK!!) when he interrogates the party line operator. Can Ralph interrogate more in an episode?
And he smiles again (DRINK!!!) when Jack meets Agent Burns and does as Savino asked, giving the Fed the info that Savino wanted him to have, so that the real skim can reach Chi-town.
And again (DRINK!!!!) when Katherine, Jack and Ralph piece together who killed the dead guy.
If nothing else, there’s lots of Quaid smiling this episode! (DRINK!!!! Again, he knocks out the killer of the dead guy).
And right after the commercial break, we get a great big Quaid smile (Double DRINK!!!).
Jack feels the screws tightening and seems to be about to do the right thing. He stops Savino, who is heading out of town, and tells him that the blackmailing stops now. Vinny is not happy. He also tells Savino that Ralph and the Feds are picking up the skim. So no money for Chi-town, yet.
Agent Burns and Ralph shake hands on working together. Does Ralph have competition for Katherine?
Jack comes clean to Mia. She’s naturally upset. He explains it was self-defense, explains the cattle prod and torture. She’s not listening and tells him to get out.
He then goes to tell Ralph, who has already figured it out.
Quaid smiles (DRINK!) at remembering how Jack sliced his finger open on their daddy’s spurs and then the conversation gets serious. Jack explains that Savino set him up and that Rizzo had it coming. He explains that he covered it up because he didn’t want to lose Mia. “But I think I lost her anyway”.
Ralph then burns the finger print sheet and says “We’re going to get you out of it.”
ARGGHHHH!!! So, now Ralph is now part of the cover-up.
Well, at least the Feds vs Savino storyline is interesting and may have legs. We’ll see, but it won’t be next week.
On Feb. 26th, the show is pre-empted by a new show, Golden Boy. That show then moves to Friday nights. But, Golden Boy has been getting some heavy promotion from CBS and could spell trouble for Vegas. If it debuts to good numbers (and better numbers than what Vegas is currently pulling) but loses viewers on Friday nights, CBS could conceivably move it back to Tuesday nights.
There are only four more episodes of Vegas and the show is definitely on the bubble when it comes to renewal. It needs to maintain its numbers and not lose any viewers between now and the season finale.
Will Mia forgive Jack? Will the starlet/Dixon storyline continue? Will Ralph have competition for Katherine? Will Agent Burns tighten the screws on Savino?
What do you think? Does the fed storyline interest you? Hit the comments and tell us what you think!
The Third Man Episode 14
This is what Fremont Street really looked like and should look like in Vegas:
photo courtesy of Life Magazine
Welcome back! Hope you are ready for tonight’s review of the latest episode of Vegas. I’ve started to think that the Crime of the Week is the equivalent to the episode from Lost, Stranger in a Strange Land, the one all about how Jack got his tattoo. That’s how these crimes feel, they are there while the showrunner (Greg Walker) and the writers figure out where the show is going.
The show was sold to viewers as an epic battle between good vs evil in the desert oasis of Las Vegas with the good guys (the Lambs) battling the mob. That’s not really the show we got. Instead we have gotten a show that is more procedural and more interested in the Crime of the Week than it is about the battle to keep the mob from overtaking Vegas.
And so, each week we tune in wondering if this will be the week that Vegas finally finds its footing and becomes the show it keeps hinting it wants to be.
Let’s find out if this is the week-
At the top of the show we get a shout-out to The Godfather with a Frankie like singer by the name of Nicky Fontaine, an up and comer with friends in Hollywood and Vince wants to lock him up in a contract for a year. (Am I the only wondering if a horse’s head is in someone’s future) Never a good idea to remind viewers of greatness when you aren’t striving for that greatness.
Looks like Daddy Rizzo is dead (He is the Crime of the Week!) and Jack is between a rock and a hard place. He should just come clean to everyone, he has evidence that Daddy tortured him. Who would blame him? Certainly Mia knows her father had a temper. But, in a terrible character turn, Jack lies to Mia and tells her he has no idea. No matter what, this can’t end well for them, especially since he all but confessed to Vince. And now, Vince has something over Jack Lamb.
I don’t know about you but at this point, I really wish this show was more about the battle between the Lambs and Savino and his guys than this turgid, soapy, we have no idea what story we are trying to tell, drama we have right now.
And the bad news for fans of Jack Lamb (Jason O’Mara), once he starts lying, messing with evidence can’t be far behind and that puts him on the short train to conflict with Ralph. He lies to Ralph and Katherine before the opening credits are half way through. And, of course, Ralph catches him before the credits are done. And then , of course, he messes with the evidence big time, changing his name on the finger prints that could implicate him. He has now broken the law and the conflict is now about when will Ralph find out and what will he do. So a story about the law vs the mob has become the story of two brothers, both good and what one did for love and can the other forgive and forget.
With all the different ways to create conflict in this setting, this path that they have put Jack Lamb on seems only done not for the greater good of the story but because they have no plan.
The secondary story line was about hot rods, drag racing and a high school buddy of Dixon’s. The drag race had some good production design as did the hamburger drive-in that made me think of the Blue Onion on the east end of Fremont Street and the hang-out for a generation of Las Vegas High School students.
I do have to say, despite the marrying of Fremont Street and the Strip into one area, the production design is the star of this show. Well, that and Dennis Quaid’s smile. He smiled at the mechanic garage. Drink! He smiles again talking to Dixon ( a nice wide smile) Drink! And he smiles at the cute woman making eyes at him. Drink! That Quaid smile can cure a lot of things but, unfortunately, not the story line.
Katherine has a major jones for prosecuting (or persecuting) Vince. She seems to be the only one interested in what the show was originally about- the law vs the mob. Unfortunately, she comes across more obsessed than anything. And why is Katherine working out of the Sheriff’s office and not the DA’s office?
Mia bargains with Vince and becomes the head of Casino Operations in addition to staying on as the Count Room Manager.
Enver Gjokaj, late of Dollhouse, is the up and coming talent coordinator at the Hacienda who goes to work for Vince as the Entertainment Director. He happens to have an exclusive contract with Nicky Fontaine so Nicky will go back to working for Vince as well. No horse’s head any time soon far as I can tell.
No episode next week as the show is pre-empted due to the State of the Union address.
In the meantime, enjoy this Youtube video that features the Blue Onion and other landmarks of East Fremont Street and hit the comments and tell us what you think of the show!