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Mid-Century Las Vegas Entertainment In Photographs

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Las Vegas News Bureau

Photographs of well-known and may not so well known entertainers from mid-century Las Vegas.

Ann-Margret, The Kim Sisters, The Ritz Brothers, Liberace, Mae West – photos of these iconic Las Vegas entertainers –and about 45 more images – are now on display at the City Hall Chamber Gallery.

“The Midcentury Las Vegas Stage: Acts that Built the Entertainment Capital of the World” is curated by Kelli Luchs and Karan Feder.

Luchs is archivist at the Las Vegas News Bureau.

“It’s exciting!" she said of her work for the bureau, "Every day we find new photographs. I just love going through the collection. We have a 127,000 that are currently cataloged out of the 5 to 6 million. So we find new images every day.”

Feder curates the costume collection at the Nevada State Museum/Las Vegas. She credits the idea for the exhibit to the city of Las Vegas gallerist.

“Jeanne Voltura who is the city’s gallerist introduced Kelli and I," Feder said, "And said, ‘you know I wonder if there is a synergy here because Kelli you’re dealing with two-dimensional objects with your collection and Karen you have three-dimensional objects and maybe there is something really rewarding about pairing those two archives together and presenting them to the public.’”

However, the project proved to be more difficult than originally thought. It took two years to put the exhibit together. 

“It turned out to be quite more difficult than we thought it was going to be,” Feder said, "I thought I would be able to choose something from our entertainment costume collection at the museum and Kelli would be able to find a photography of that costume on stage. But it wasn’t that easy.”

Some of the photographs, videos and costumes are from very well known entertainers like Barbra Streisand, who opend for Liberace at the Riviera. Others are more obscure, like the Kim Sisters, who were popular act in the late 50s and early 60s. 

One of the customes featured is from an act called the "Marie Cannon and the Las Vegas Review." However, Feder told KNPR's State of Nevada she's been unable to find out much about who Marie Cannon was, where she played or what happened to her. She hoping the exhibit will jog some memories. 

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Las Vegas News Bureau

The Kim Sisters

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Las Vegas News Bureau

The Kim Sisters on stage

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Las Vegas News Bureau

Riviera marquee for Liberace and Barbra Streisand

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Las Vegas News Bureau

Ann-Margaret

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Las Vegas News Bureau

The exibit of mid-century photographs at the Las Vegas City Hall Chamber Gallery. 

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Las Vegas News Bureau

The Ritz Brother

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Buddy Hackett

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Las Vegas News Bureau

Las Vegas lounge

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Las Vegas News Bureau

Mae West and her muscle men

From our archives: Presenting... The Kim Sisters

 

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Kelli Luchs,  archivist at the Las Vegas News Bureau; Karan Feder, curates the costume collection at the Nevada State Museum/Las Vegas

 

 

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