Celebrating 75 years of documenting Las Vegas

Celebrating 75 years of documenting Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s a collection 75 years in the making. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority (LVCVA) has released images to the public documenting important moments in Las Vegas history – from casino openings to presidential visits.

The images include the opening gala at Caesars Palace in 1966, a 1953 poolside image at the Sahara used to promote Las Vegas, and the great weather with the slogan, “fun in the sun.”

The photographs are part of the 75th anniversary online collection from the LVCVA’s News Bureau.

we wanted to go with images that people recognized, the most published,” LVCVA archivist Kelli Luchs told 8 News Now. “The images that showed up in movies and documentaries, books and common websites.”

Luchs is the archivist behind this 9 month project. She says some of the negatives are 75 years old and requiring extra care. “They are older negatives. We do our best,” Luchs said. “We have a full preservation program in place where we scan the negatives, digitize them, rehouse them into our archives, and then we freeze them.”

Another image shows President John F. Kenndey speaking at the old Las Vegas Convention Center. And then there’s one that shows Liberace on top of a birthday cake in front of the Sahara that was used to help promote Las Vegas and the unique life in the desert.

Luchs says even the atomic mushroom cloud was uniquely portrayed in several photos, “You see Vegas Vic, the Pioneer sign, and a mushroom cloud, and it became one of the most public photos in Las Vegas, in the world, and became Life’s photo of the week.”

The LVCVA says the collection of more than 7 million images and 11 thousand films and videos begin in 1947 with the focus to promote Las Vegas. Today that concept remains intact. “The entertainment, the shopping, dining, you see that in the images in the 40s,50s,60s, and you still see that today,” Luchs said. “While it was smaller and (more) formal, that emotional excitement you get about coming to Vegas is still there.”

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