Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vintage Las Vegas & Reno Neon Signs In Color

ChiTownView has recently uploaded a couple of clips that looks at a couple of America's gambling meccas. There is a 1939 visit to Las Vegas where we see the Freemont street neon signs blazing away. Then there is a trip to 1953 Reno where we once again see the nighttime neon display and some vintage slot machines.

1939 Las Vegas Neon At Night In Color & The Al Capone Connection 

 A lot of people like to give Bugsy Siegel the credit for bringing the mob to Las Vegas in the forties. And while it's true that he transformed a sleepy cow town into the destination for vice in the second half of the 20th century. The man that originally brought gambling to Nevada more than a decade before Bugsy was Al Capone.

As the story is told in Gus Russo's book The Outfit it was Chicago mob money that carried the day in May of 1931 when gambling was legalized. This only a couple of months after work began on the Hoover dam. Bringing in tens of thousands of workers making good money without much to spend it on.

Las Vegas boomed for a few years until work was finished on the dam and the captive audience drifted away and the twon went into decline. Until Mr. Siegel came on the scene.

Reno Casinos In 1953; Neon,: Harold's Club, Ship Bar, Vintage Slot Machines, Etc. 

 Here is casino action in Reno Nevada circa 1953. We see the street scene during the day and there is some fantastic nighttime footage of the blazing neon. We also go inside a casino and see some of the action. Including slot machines in the shape of cowboys & indians.

The music is by Ronnie Singer a jazzbo whose connection to the footage is he died the same year the film was shot. Both the sights & sounds are public domain items found on the internetarchive.org


  1. Wow!I like your vintage signs especially Reno Casinos.

    1. Thanks I was over on your web site and you've got some really cool signs.