I’m not able to find a lot of information about the “Nudes on Ice” show in Las Vegas. It seems to have been co-Produced by both George Arnold and Bill Moore. It ran from at least 1968 when this photo was taken, and was revived in 1988 for a 12-week show that ended up running 18 months.
In that time it seems to have played at the Aladdin Casino in the Bagdad Theater as pictured here, moved to the Hacienda in the Fiesta Room, and was for a short time at the Thunderbird Hotel. (Possibly started at the Thunderbird.) In 1988 the show was revived at the Union Plaza and played there until 1990.
Nudes on ice plays at 11:30pm and 3:00am!
Some of the performers in the show were Polish skater Jola Iglikowska, Joe E. Ross, and Diane Wisdom, (who later worked for Frank Sinatra Jr.) The show included pro-skaters both male and female (probably not nude,) typical Vegas Showgirls (not nude, but topless,) and other acts such as jugglers. Who we presume were not nude either. If anyone else was actually in the show, they’re not bragging about it!
In a different view of Las Vegas, we see the Stardust Hotel and Casino with it’s premiere show “Lido of Paris.” Interesting to note, Wikipedia says that this circular sign was replaced in 1967. Since the sign also says “Grand Prix 1968,” perhaps it was replaced late in the year in the off season?
Vintage photo of the Lido of Paris at the Stardust Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas in 1968.
The Lido of Paris show was one of, if not the biggest of the cabaret shows in Vegas. This is where the elaborate Las Vegas show girl costumes originated from. The show itself really was in Paris for many years. The Stardust’s Entertainment director, Frank Sennes, had been trying to get the popular show to Las Vegas in a variety of hotels for years. He finally succeeded in bringing it to the Stardust in 1958. It’s popularity was such that several competitors brought other shows from Paris in an attempt to compete. The show ran for many decades, finally closing in 1991 due to it’s ever increasing budget. Since the first year alone cost the hotel roughly $5 million dollars, one has to wonder exactly what that budget was!
Lido was replaced with “Enter the Night,” which lasted until 1999. Other acts that played here were Wayne Newton, Siegfried and Roy, George Carlin and Andrew Dice Clay. The hotel was imploded in 2007, but construction on it’s replacement has been halted since then.
The Las Vegas Strip looks nothing like this these days. The hotel names are the same, Caesars Palace and the Flamingo both exist still, but almost every single thing in this picture has been destroyed and rebuilt. Most likely twice since then because the one over arching truth about The Las Vegas Strip is that each Casino has to be better, bigger, and gaudier, then the next.
Old Photo of The Las Vegas Strip
Despite that, there is some great detail in this picture. From Theodore Bikel playing “Fiddler on the Roof” at Caesars Palace, the vintage autos driving down the street, or the Sands Hotel in the background. And of course, the weather that Las Vegas is known for due to it’s desert location. I wish I could see enough of some of the other signs to see what other shows were playing.
Interesting to see how slow the road is though. My experience with The Las Vegas Strip is that it’s always busy with cars driving up and down it. Especially Taxis advertising strip clubs and trucks advertising places to shoot fully automatic machine guns.
Landmark Hotel – 1968
From 1968 comes this picture of the Landmark Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Unfortunately it wasn’t a very popular attraction from the beginning as it’s history shows.
Building started in 1962, but funding ran out when it was about 80% complete. The building sat until 1966 when the Teamsters Union Pension Fund invested $5.5 million to finish it. Construction was finally completed in early 1967, but lack of funding again delayed progress and the opening date was pushed back to April 1968. A date that came and went with the building sitting empty still.
Landmark Hotel and Casino – 1983
Finally in January 1969, Howard Hughes purchased the building and was able to open it July 1, 1969. Despite the famous acts that played there, the hotel continued to loose money. Problems plagued the hotel, including a carbon monoxide leak on July 15th, 1977 that injured 138 people and unfortunately killed one.
Finally, the hotel closed in August of 1990. The building sat vacant until November 7, 1995 when it was imploded. Film makers took advantage of the “futuristic” look of the building and the implosion, filming it for a scene in the movie “Mars Attacks.”