12 Forgotten Photos of Las Vegas in the Olden Days: When you think of Las Vegas, you usually think of glitzy casinos, hypnotic shows, and rows of slot machines, but that wasn’t always the case. The city was still a sandy desert in the middle of the past century as it transformed into a fortress of riches and splendor. Continue reading if you want to take a nostalgic trip back in time and see breathtaking photographs of vintage Sin City.
1. El Rancho Swimming Time
In the 1940s, Las Vegas was growing into a destination for the affluent and famous, as well as those looking for new ways to have fun. This photograph was shot in 1942, during World War II, and depicts three ladies relaxing in the swimming pool at El Rancho Hotel.
2. Star Performances
Before new young stars began appearing in Las Vegas, male singers such as Frank Sinatra ruled the entertainment scene. Their performances were so popular that they were able to repurpose the city’s image and make it into an entertainment destination.
This photograph was shot in the 1950s at the Dunes Hotel and features Frank Sinatra costumed as the Sultan of Swoon, surrounded by a harem of Vegas beauties. In Las Vegas, the city of spectacular entertainment, everyone could do anything they wanted and wear whatever they wanted!
3. Sands Hotel Fun Times
Las Vegas reached its pinnacle in the 1950s. Attending numerous concerts was perhaps the most popular pastime at the time. In December 1952, the photograph captures a moment of the colorful dance extravaganza at the Sands Hotel. The hotel was the setting for some of the most magnificent acts of the period. As you can see, Sands and a few other hotels helped Las Vegas become a prominent pop culture destination.
4 Levitating Nymphs
The Bluebell Girls may be seen in this photo during their dazzling city performance. These stunning females moved from France to the United States to fulfill their goals. They were sure that their otherworldly beauty might be used to dazzle tourists at the Stardust Resort and Casino. Their presentations captivated crowds, and the journey to Las Vegas was unquestionably worthwhile. The company performed on platforms linked to the Stardust Hotel’s ceiling, giving the illusion of nymphs floating in the air.
5. Big Gamblers
Aside from traditional acts, the Dunes attempted to wow its visitors with one-of-a-kind entertainment. The most entertaining act was an elephant named Tanya, who occasionally bet with the tourists in the interval.
However, everything has changed today. Visitors to Las Vegas are no longer permitted to wager with elephants. Having fun with exotic creatures is no longer viable, no matter how crazy Sin City appears.
6. The Mesmerizing Trio
Las Vegas has long been a popular and skilled entertainers’ destination. This also applied to female performers, resulting in a plethora of options for women to pursue their aspirations. The legendary Gabor Sisters were a trio of attractive actors and socialites who came to Hollywood from Hungary in the hopes of launching their film careers. Zsa Zsa was the eldest sister, Magda was the second, and Eva was the youngest.
7. The King With His Fans
Elvis Presley placed a high emphasis on spending time with his fans and making them happy. Despite his hectic schedule, he was always willing to sign autographs. Next to Presley is a lady who was most likely a performer in one of the Las Vegas hotel shows. In any case, everyone seemed to be overjoyed to be standing close to the King himself.
8. The Beauty Walking Down the Street
Have you ever strolled down the street and encountered one of the world’s most gorgeous women? That’s exactly what occurred in 1966 when Brigitte Bardot was seen with her new husband, affluent and polite industrialist Gunther Sachs Von Opel. The pair traveled to Las Vegas to married in an unusual ceremony, demonstrating that Vegas is the place for short and memorable marriages.
The Sands Hotel came up with an innovative idea in 1954, bringing new meaning to the phrase “fun in the sun.” Can you think of a greater Las Vegas combo than gamblers betting and gambling in a swimming pool? Despite all of the positives, there was one huge disadvantage to gambling and swimming at the same time: how did the visitors keep their winnings dry?
10. Star Salon
11. Dining Together
In 1955, several of the world’s most famous people (including Frank Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and others) convened at the Sands Hotel and sat at the same table. The only thing the other visitors could do was freeze in shock.
12. When Luck Has Turned Its Back
This image was captured in the 1950s. The man in the center of the photo is Jake Freedman, proprietor of the Sands Club, which was competing with the Dunes at the time. Freedmen wanted to learn more about their opponents, so they went to the Dunes.
He is shown in the shot trying his luck at the craps table. Unfortunately, Freedman lost $10,000 that evening (about $92,000 today).