How many of these buildings and landmarks do you remember?
The Huntridge Theater has seen good times and bad times. It has been a first run movie theater, a second run house, and a concert venue. For many, they only know it as that empty building at the corner of East Charleston and Maryland Parkway.
Over the years, many have tried to help restore the building, renovate it, there have been many ideas over the years. Here at Classic Las Vegas, we were involved in the preservation efforts in 2006 and 2007. The Great Recession brought those efforts to a halt. Then, last year, Michael Cornthwaite and a group of investors, announced that they were going to revive the Huntridge. Hundreds showed up to help paint the facade and clean up the parking lot.
While there hasn't been much headlining making news on the venture lately, work has been going on. Joe Schoenmann, of the Las Vegas Sun, reports that the building has a new logo adorning it.
New Huntridge Logo being added- Photo Courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun
Until today, little new information has emerged about renovating the historic Huntridge Theater, plans of which so energized the community that an online fundraiser collected more than $200,000 to assist in the renovation.
After that money came in, several companies then vowed to donate time for lighting, design and more. In addition, hundreds of residents answered the call and showed up to whitewash the building, whose ancient paint job had flaked away.
Months passed. Some thought the theater revival plans had faded away. Others figured that a December deadline for Huntridge Revival LLC to raise $4 million to buy the 69-year-old building had been missed (another $11 million is needed for renovation).
Then late this morning, signs of life.
A crew with a hydraulic cherry picker began to erect a massive square banner on the building containing a new logo — an “H” inside a circle.
Chris Fahlman, hired as Huntridge general manager last year and on site to watch as the banner-crew worked, said the banner serves as a reminder that the project is moving forward. He also said that the $4 million deadline had been extended to June as “qualified investors” are sought.
“We’re at a phase where we’re raising additional investment to finalize the purchase,” he said. “The clock is ticking.”
For more on the article: http://lasvegassun.com/news/2014/feb/24/new-logo-graces-huntridge-signaling-projects-progr/
Share your memories of the Huntridge with us in the comments section!
Read about the history of the Huntridge and articles on the efforts to save her, here:
Fifty years ago, the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Comic duo, (Marty) Allen and (Steve)Rossi also appeared on Sullivan’s show that night.
Marty Allen remembers that night:
“The (other) thrill was on the Sullivan show, being with the Beatles in 1964 when they arrived in America. And the, the kids were screaming and Steve says, how we going to get them? You know, we're on right before and the kids are going, agh, agh. So, I, I was thinking to myself, well, how would you get the kids? And it, the show went on ate eight o'clock and at about 8:15 or 8:20 when Sullivan said, here they are, Allen and Rossi, I walked right out and looked in the camera and went, hello there, I'm Ringo's mother. And the kids start, it's his mother. It's his mother. [LAUGHTER] But, you know, that was a great thrill, being with the Beatles on the Sullivan show when they arrived in America in 1964.”
A few months later, two of the best PR men in Las Vegas, Herb McDonald and Stan Irwin arranged to bring the Beatles to Las Vegas in August to perform.
“Well, I knew (who)the Beatles (were). So I said yes, but it’s gonna be too big for just the Sahara. I’m gonna put them into the Convention Center. Milton Prell, the owner of the Sahara, says ‘Well, you’re the director. You direct’. And I said, I’m bringing in the Beatles and I’m putting them in the Convention Center. Hotel Sahara and Stan Irwin proudly presents the Beatles. ‘You, you’ll have, you have a sign like that, I’m sure’, Mr. Prell replied.
“And when I put them into the Convention Center, I split the Convention center into segments - - Flamingo, Frontier, Desert Inn, Thunderbird.”
“Right - - and [STUTTER] El Rancho. And I called all the owners and I said I’ve reserved seats for you for when the Beatles appeared here. Not one of them understood it or wanted the seats. I was told that the convention center seats 7,000 people. But I put people in back of them also, and I did two shows in one night. The first person to ever do that with the Beatles. And I sat 8,408 people each show. The top ticket was 25 and the average ticket was 12.50.”
“They (the other hotel owners) didn’t know, they didn’t know who we were talking about. They had no idea what Beatles were. You know, they could’ve been bugs as far as they were concerned. Again, I think it was my younger age that kept me aware of that which was going on in the entertainment field.”
“Now it’s about a week and a half, ten days before the Beatles are coming in. Every hotel owner called - - do you still have our seats? That’s because the nieces, nephew and children of the top gamblers wanted to see the Beatles. And this was an ideal place and they were going to cater to them. “
If I weren’t brought up the way I was brought up, I would’ve charged a thousand dollars a ticket and I would’ve gotten it. And the place, of course, filled up and if two events ever filled, entertainment events ever filled the convention center at that time, one was Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the other was the Beatles.”
“We knew the havoc that would be there. So we had the Beatles land at a siding of McCaren Airport. We picked them up into the limos. Police escort into the Sahara. Up into their suites on one floor. We blocked with security that floor, the floor above and the floor below. So a lot of these stories about girls getting in and all that never happened. But it was great promo. Every one of the Beatles was a gentleman, same as Elvis Presley, who stayed at our hotel prior to performing at the International, which is now, uh, a Hilton. Truly to their mark, an wonderful, gracious gentlemen. What I remember most is how I could’ve been killed. We put the Beatles into the Convention Center.”
Bill Conger, Las Vegas Sheriff’s Department, was working that night:
“I was on duty the night when they first came to Las Vegas. And I remember they came in the back door of the Sahara Hotel in, in their limousines. And we were trying to keep the kids back, and - - which was impossible. They just ran over the top of us. But there was only four or five officers there. And thousands of kids. “
Don English was a photographer for the Las Vegas News Bureau
“We shot pictures of them, you know, at the plane and going to the hotel. Uh, then we shot them at the, the, they appeared at the, uh, convention center. And it was kind of a scary thing, we’re shooting the pictures. Then I talked to one of the policemen who was one of the guards there, and, uh, we reminisced about it and he said it was, it was an unusual experience for him too, the Beatles came out on stage, started, started the, uh, the program and for some reason another, like in mass, the people from the audience just started moving forward, got out of their chairs and started moving forward. And the, uh, the guards linked arm and arm to repress them and somehow they had stopped them and they faded back. But it was a scary, scary moment. “
Hotel Publicist, Harvey Diederich, remembered:
“Got kind of wild, wild for the kids I know. Most of my children went to that show, and of course, they went crazy about it. It was, uh, it was a big score, 'cause they were top of their, uh, top of their role in those days.”
“I’m the only person realized that if I put on the Beatles, that Convention Center is going to be filled twice. And I did not take into consideration that the Los Angeles contingencies would come because this was an excellent place because of the relationship of gaming to the owner, to the player, to his family, that they would want to see the Beatles. The, the funny thing that happened - - I had 50 police around the stage. And in the first show, a young girl came running down. Aaahh - - out went a policeman and picked her put and took her off to the side. Following that, another lady - - Out went a policemen, picked her up - - she said, ‘Put me down, you idiot. I’m that girl’s mother’.
It was one of those memorable Las Vegas events and I interviewed a number of people who were in the audience that night.
“Oh, the Beatles. Oh my goodness. Um, I remember my mother coming home and announcing, she thought she’d done the wonderful thing for me, and had bought two tickets to see the Beatles. But I didn’t really care for the Beatles, so I was going, ‘ah, I don’t know if I wanna go see the Beatles because, you know, you, it, they’re, everybody screams and it’s so loud, you won’t even get to hear 'em’. “
“She says, well, I bought the tickets, so you’re going. And so I had a boyfriend at the time and I called him, of course, he was pretty excited about going to see the Beatles. And we went to see the Beatles, they performed, in the Rotunda part of the Convention Center.”
“And I’m trying to remember the young lady who performed before them. Dusty Springfield, that’s who it was. Blonde. Pretty, yeah. And the Beatles came out and, of course, our seats were rather high, they weren’t right on the floor, but I do remember seeing the Beatles and it was - - I was very, very glad I went, I was so excited that I’m sitting there, actually seeing the Beatles live and they came all the way from England to be here. You couldn’t hear a word they said, you couldn’t hear a word they sang. I mean, it was total chaos it was, very exciting. And something I’ll always remember.”
“And at that time, I thought that was the biggest crowd I had ever seen in my life. You know and you couldn’t hear a thing. And you couldn’t see much either. I don’t think they even sang, cause they knew nobody could hear a thing. Uh, but yes that was very exciting. The Beatles. The Beatles, Elvis Presley, we’ve had our landmarks.”
“That was when, when they came to town, the lady that worked for my dad for many years, her name was Betty Prichard, because of the affiliation with the Associated Press and also Betty, did a lot of things, you know, like for Sinatra and people like that and with Jack Entratter at the Sand and she was able to get a lot of tickets, buy a lot of tickets, maybe ten tickets.”
“So she asked if I wanted to go and I said yeah, I’ll go out there, you know, to see them, you know, they were just, at the time they were just happening. So I went out and I had to sit way up in the stands and I was with two young girls that were part of the complex that Betty lived in. They were like next door neighbors and they were two really cute, nice, young girls that had on white gloves and were dressed to the T, you know, for, for young kids.”
“And were just very, very lady like and so here I am, I’m sitting up here, you know, way up in the stands. You couldn’t hear a thing. They were, the crowd was so loud, I think Jackie DeShannon was the opener, you could hear a little bit of her ‘cause they didn’t roar. When the Beatles came on, it was like you wasted your, if you had to pay you wasted your money. You couldn’t hear a sound, it was all screaming and yelling.”
"So finally one of the girls turned to me and she said, uh, she said ‘Mr. Ullom, would it be okay if I screamed?’ I said yeah, I’m about ready to scream, I’ll scream along with you. [LAUGHTER] But, I certainly remember you know, when they came to town and I believe that may have been the only time they ever did play in Las Vegas, I’m not sure about that.
"My best friend and I at the time stood in line for those tickets and that line was so long. And we both asked our dates. By the time the concert got here, neither one of us liked the fellow we asked. We were just kinda stuck with him. But. I just remember a lot of screaming. And the presence of these entertainers - - it was way before they were real, real big. Their presence and they were foreigners. They sang funny. But because they were such a breakthrough group, and - - and we did see a lot of entertainment out at the Convention Center. That’s where we would see it. But that was my first grown up thing probably was seeing the Beatles and taking a date.”
“It was a - - it was a fun experience even though he wasn’t the guy I would have taken - - I mean when I was fifteen or sixteen years old, I wasn’t sixteen yet ‘cause I wasn’t driving. I might have been fourteen. the thought of have - - knowing someone who could drive a car and get me somewhere was good enough reason to - - to ask him to be my date.”
"We had three acts, an intermission, and then the Beatles. Uh, we had a girl singer, another group - - the names forgive me, I forget. And then the Beatles who performed, uh, 45 minutes onstage. Now again, if I were sharp, I could’ve cut up the stage into one inch pieces and sold those. I could’ve cut up the sheets of their beds and sold those. But, uh, I wasn’t brought up that way.”
"And at two in the morning, we took ‘em out to a plane to depart. The irony of all this is when that the Beatles wanted to see Vegas. That’s why they wanted to play there. They saw the inside of a limo, the airport, elevators in the hotel, their suites, their limo, the convention center, their limo, their suites, their limo, the airport, and the inside of an airplane.”
All interviews property of As We Knew It
In today's issue of the Huffington Post, Meyer Lansky II, the grandson of Meyer Lansky, writes about his famous grandfather and the actors who have either played him or played characters based on his grandfather:
In 1977 Grandpa Meyer and I were at Wolfie's in North Miami Beach, and I noticed two young boys in yarmulkes looking over at us. I was standing behind Grandpa when the boys walked up. One said, "Hey, Mr. Lansky, we'd like to get your autograph!" Grandpa paused for a moment. He looked seriously at the boys and said, "What did I do? Win an Academy Award?" One of the boys looked earnestly at Grandpa and said, "Well, we thought it would be worth some money someday." Grandpa then smiled and replied, "Sorry, son, I don't sign autographs."
As the years have passed, I have often remembered that afternoon in the deli. I wonder what Grandpa would have thought of the award-winning actors who have portrayed him, either as Meyer Lansky or characters based on Meyer Lansky. While Grandpa passed away in 1983 when I was 26, today, at 56, I watch. At times it's a bit shocking to hear his name (which is also my name) while enjoying a good story with great actors. I'm often entertained, and always appreciative of the casting, of Grandpa's appearances as part of the boys' legacy, including Charlie "Lucky" Luciano, Ben "Bugsy" Siegel and Frank Costello.
In every movie and television show featuring Grandpa, I listen for the voice, the inflection, and the vocabulary. I look for physical characteristics, the tailored wardrobe, and the Dunhill cigarette case. I compare. Every actor portraying Grandpa has proven exceptional in capturing a feature or essence, but I have my favorites, and I hope one day to see Grandpa portrayed in live theater.
Lee Strasberg as Hyman Roth in The Godfather: Part II, 1974
The most iconic film for Grandpa. He not only saw the movie but phoned Strasberg to congratulate and offer light criticism. In life, Grandpa spoke with his hands behind his back, and talked baseball (Yankees!), but could become irate quickly, as Roth suggests. Strasberg's acting emitted personal recollections of actual conversations, but I doubt Grandpa ever saw business guests in his home wearing an unbuttoned shirt. Roth's final scene in the Miami Airport is still haunting to me.
Robert De Niro as David "Noodles" Aaronson in Once Upon a Time in America, 1984
Reportedly De Niro requested an audience with Grandpa to prepare for this role but was turned down. Grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1982, passing on Jan. 15, 1983. However, De Niro clearly seized the role critically. The modest, humble demeanor and calm, steady articulation, only speaking when necessary, were familiar.
For more please go here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meyer-lansky-ii/the-many-faces-of-meyer-l_b_4579284.html
Looks like they are staying after all!
The National Finals Rodeo has decided to stay in Las Vegas for another ten years, meaning they will be in the Bright Light City every December through 2024.
In the end, the NFR chose Las Vegas over Dallas and Orlando but not before stirring up a great deal of controversy over the leaving.
The Dallas deal was spearheaded Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and had the blessing of Texas governor, Rick Perry.
The Orlando deal, first announced last month, now seems like it was used to bring about a better deal with Las Vegas.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal:
“In a way, we’re not too surprised,” Osceola County Commission Chairman Fred Hawkins said Friday. “We knew the PRCA was going to continue to work with Las Vegas, and we knew there was a long relationship there.”
It seems that negotiations between the PRC and officials from the Las Vegas Convention authority, Las Vegas Events and Strip hotel owners have been going on over the last several weeks., despite official word from the PRC that they were leaving Las Vegas after over twenty years.
The new deal has Las Vegas Events guaranteeing a $16.5 million purse in money and sponsorship annually for the event. For four years beginning in 2020, a cost-of-living increase to each purse is included.
Since it's arrival, the NFR has been held at the Thomas and Mack arena at UNLV. It only seats 24,000 and many consider it long in the tooth. A new stadium to replace it is under consideration.
Attendance for last year's NFR was 176,558 and had a non-gaming revenue of $87.9 million for Las Vegas according the R-J.
This new contract takes place after this year's rodeo which will be held Dec. 4th-13th at the Thomas and Mack Center.
Welcome back, NFR!