sin city history 101

A Video Tour through Las Vegas History

By DenverGambler via vegaschatter.com

It’s no secret that a large part of what we love about Las Vegas is its history. Las Vegas, however, is a town that respects its history by tearing it down and replacing it. Few casinos from The Strip’s early days are still around and those that are barely resemble their former selves. It’s always fun to look at the archives of old Strip pictures to see how things used to look, but pictures can’t put the whole Strip in perspective. Luckily we have YouTube. YouTube has tons of home videos of the Las Vegas Strip throughout its history. Here are three of our favorites:

If you believe the title, this video is from 1959. That’s right, 1959! There is tons of great footage here.The Hacienda Horse and Rider (which now sits on Fremont Street) appears gigantic with nothing in the background. The Silver Slipper is shown rotating in all its glory and there’s even a quick glimpse of the Royal Nevada, which would end up being annexed by Stardust. Our favorite part is the vintage Texaco gas station, which is a reminder that The Strip was once a highway. It really speaks to The Strip’s growth.

No Vegas post would be complete without some neon beautifully lit at night. This video starts out with some great nighttime shots driving down Fremont Street. As the video rolls on and starts moving down The Strip, it becomes striking how much different the signage is these days. Neon is a dying art in Las Vegas, and these neon signs really were quite beautiful. Sure LEDs are more efficient and electronic signscan show so much more, but there’s definitely something to be said for the beautiful display of lighting created by a well-designed neon sign.

The last YouTube video is from 1992. It is so amazing how much has changed in almost 20 years. The north Strip looks so vibrant with the Stardust, Frontier, and Westward Ho. Even Slots-A-Fun had itsoriginal signage that has since been replaced with a Circus Circus sign. We love Harrah’s with the showboat theme, it’s tough to believe it was seen as an improvement to make it so generic. The video fasts forward to 1995 about halfway through and it’s pretty cool to see the MGM Grand Lion entrance again. The video ends at the Las Vegas sign. That might be the most incredible shot that demonstrates how much the city has expanded in just 20 short years.

[Photo: PhotosLasVegas.com]

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