On October 1st, we are focusing on the history and myth surrounding the famed Moulin Rouge Hotel on the Westside of Las Vegas.
The hotel opened in 1955 as the first integrated hotel and casino in town. The opening night was attended by some of the biggest names in entertainment. Everyone had high hopes for this wonderfully designed (by Walter Zick and Harris Sharp) hotel with its giant, neon-script sign (designed by Betty Willis).
The hotel seemed to flourish and stories have been handed down over the years of deserted casinos on the Strip late at night because everyone was at the Moulin Rouge gambling, hanging out and enjoying the jam sessions and the late, late show.
In less than two years, it was closed. Rumors have been rife for years of the mob being involved, of financial improprieties and more.
On Thursday, Oct, 1st, we will try to distinquish fact from fiction, history from myth and try to discern what really happened.
Joining us on the panel will be:
Carrie Pollard, dancer who performed at the Moulin Rouge back in 1955
Trish Geran, local author who focuses on the African-American stories of Las Vegas and who's grandmother ran one of the most famous boarding rooms for African-American performers.
Claytee White, director of the Oral History Research Center at UNLV,
Richard Taylor, local historian who has written two books on the history of the Rouge.
Also, I will have a DVD presentation with rare and rarely seen photos of the Moulin Rouge on opening day.
Thursday, Oct. 1st
Las Vegas Springs Preserve
Desert Learning Center
Admission $9 (note the new lower price!), (discount tickets available if you buy the next three months).
We hope to see you there!
Photos from the Jay Florian Mitchell collection, courtesy of the Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas