“Forgotten Hollywood”- Blowing Up The Riviera …

Posted on June 15, 2016 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   The Riviera Hotel and Casino — the Las Vegas Strip’s first high-rise that was as famous for its mobster ties as its Hollywood personification of Sin City’s mob past — officially exited the scene with a cinematic implosion, complete with fireworks. It closed in May, 2015 after 60 years on the northern end of The Strip. A plan to expand its Las Vegas Convention Center is in the works on the site.

rat pack   Three of the most famous movies ever filmed in Las Vegas used The Riviera as a backdrop, including the Rat Pack’s original Ocean’s 11, the James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever, and Casino, the 1995 movie based on real-life Vegas mobsters Frank Rosenthal and Anthony Spilotro during their 1970s heyday. More recently, it was featured in The Hangover in 2009. The Riviera also pioneered the business model that helped Vegas turn into an entertainment capital. The casino’s first headliner was Liberace. Dean Martin was a part-owner for a short time as part of his exclusive residency.

The Riviera   The Riviera’s implosion will mark the latest kiss goodbye to what’s left among the relics to Vegas’ mobster past. When the hotel opened in 1955, organized crime outfits from across the country had already sunk their teeth into the casinos in a takeover that had started the decade before. Gambling profits were skimmed to send back home to pay for their illegal enterprises involving illegal betting, drugs, prostitution, murders, and racketeering.

dessin-mafieux-5   The mobsters were known to have controlled the money-counting at the most famous casinos in their day, including The Desert Inn, The DunesThe Sands, and The Stardust — all of which have already disappeared from The Strip. Only The Tropicana and The Flamingo casinos are still in business. The Flamingo (originally built by Bugsy Siegel) has been completely remodeled at its original location, but The Tropicana still has pieces of its original building, making it the last true mob structure on The Strip. The casinos were cleaned up in the 1970s and 1980s, courtesy of state and federal crackdowns on organized crime.

   The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, also known as the Mob Museum in Las Vegas will house remnants of The Riviera for posterity sake.


mainimage   Ann Morgan Guilbert was a film and television actress, best known for her recurring roles in The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Nanny. She also guest starred on My Three Sons, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Adam-12, The Andy Griffith Show, I Dream of Jeannie, Room 222, Dragnet, The Partridge Family, Love American Style, Maude, Barney Miller, Cheers, Murder She Wrote, Newhart, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Picket Fences, Blossom, Seinfeld, and Modern Family. In cinema, Ann appeared in Two For the Seesaw, A Guide For the Married Man, Viva Max, and Grumpier Old Men.

   She began her career in a Los Angeles musical variety cabaret act, which toured throughout California. In 1959, The Billy Barnes Revue opened in New York as an off-Broadway production, and then moved to Broadway. Guilbert had extensive theater credits, including in productions of To Kill a MockingbirdThe Matchmaker, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Harvey.

   Ann Morgan Guilbert (right) was 87.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 at 12:08 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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