Celebrating "Casino"


Darlene Dalmaceda is working hard to save the Riviera. On Saturday, December 5th at 2:00 at the Clark County Library on Flamingo, she will host and celebrate the Riviera with a special 20th anniversary screening of Martin Scorsese's classic mob film, Casino.

As Classic Las Vegas fans know, Casino tells the story of Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal's and Tony Spilotro's days on the Las Vegas Strip in the late 1970s-early 1980s. Though the real story took place at the Stardust, when Scorsese was looking for a Strip hotel that still retained its 1970s vibe, the Stardust came up short (too many renovations had killed its Classic Las Vegas vibe) and Scorcese instead filmed at the Riviera.

After the screening there will be a gathering at Piero's, a restaurant steeped in Las Vegas lore.

To RSVP for this event, please visit the Save the Riviera's Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/events/1504756079835440/

This Saturday November 7th, the Mob Museum will celebrate the real story behind the story of Casino with a panel discussion that includes attorneys, FBI agents and reporters involved in the investigations of the facts behind the movie as well as Oscar Goodman, Rosenthal’s criminal defense attorney in real life and also in the film.

Journalist Gwen Castaldi (and friend of CLV) who covered the story for local news,

Oscar Goodman, Rosenthal's attorney and the former mayor of Las Vegas, 

Marc Kaspar retired FBI agent,

Deborah Richard, retired undercover FBI agent and

Jeffrey Silver, long-time gaming attorney.

The discussion begins at 7:00 at the Mob Museum and admission is $25.00 with a 10% discount for museum members.

Mob Museum website

It promises to be a great evening of stories, so don't miss it!

Also, for those who were extras and had small parts in the movie, they were interviewed for an article by Leslie Townsend Rogers that appears in Vegas Seven magazine: Vegas Seven article.

Our friend, reporter Jane Ann Morrison, interviewed Deborah Richard for a series of articles and they can be found here: Part One and Part Two.


Halloween Haunts and Parties, Las Vegas Style!


As Halloween is almost here, we thought it might be fun to share some of the places in Las Vegas where you can partake in haunted houses and parties.

Have fun and enjoy the creepy, scary fun!!

  • Fright Dome

Twisted clowns and goblins descend upon the Circus Circus Adventuredome, twisting it into darkness and turning it into Fright Dome again this year.

This year marks the thirteenth edition of Fright Dome, which can mean only one thing, a visit from the frights at Friday the 13th. Delve into the horrifying world of Jason Voorhees with “Friday The 13th 4-D: A Deadly 4-D Experience.”

Get your fright on in six haunted houses and four scare zones, including the new Freakshow attraction.

This is the place to face your fears. One of the haunted houses, Insanitarium, is unique in that you go through alone.

The haunting starts after dark at 7 p.m. on weekends and select weekday dates.

For more information on Fright Dome, please visit fightdome.com.

  • Freakling Bros.

The popular trio of haunted houses that is Freakling Bros. returns for 2015. This year, Gates of Hell and Castle Vampyre are joined by a new haunt, The Coven of 13.

There is a little something for everybody here, depending on your level of sickness and depravity.

Gates of Hell remains the first and only R-rated haunted house in Nevada. What does this mean? In order to enter Gates of Hell you must be at least 17 years old or accompanied by parent or guardian and you must sign a waiver.

Unlike most haunted houses, the actors may touch you. You can expect both mental and verbal abuse throughout. In case you cannot make it out, you are provided a safe word that will end your experience and return you to safety.

Also returning to Freakling Bros. is The Victim Experience. Based upon the Gates of Hell, The Victim Experience takes it up to a whole new level. Not much is revealed about this ahead of time, except that in the first year, only 30 percent of the “victims” were able to complete the experience.

Freakling Bros. is located at 4245 S. Grand Canyon Drive and opens at 7 p.m. nightly.

For more information of Freakling Bros., please visit freaklingbros.com. For more information or tickets on The Victim Experience, please visit thevictimexperience.com.

  • Asylum and Hotel Fear

Located in the Northwest Corner of the Meadows Mall (4300 Meadows Lane), Asylum and Hotel Fear are two haunted houses not to be missed.

Not to give too much away about these haunted houses, but the Asylum and Hotel Fear actually have themes and backstories that are linked together. Going through both houses gives you the complete story.

New to these haunts this year is a partnership with ScareCams.comScareCams.com provides photos of people getting scared inside the haunted houses.

The haunting begins at 6:30 p.m. on weekends and select weekdays dates.

For more information on Asylum and Hotel Fear, please visit the website at lasvegashaunts.com.

  • Paws on the Patio Halloween Party

Halloween is not just for humans anymore. Now, with the Paws on the Patio Halloween Party, you can celebrate with your furry friends too.

The party is taking place on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Crave in Downtown Summerlin.

It is a great place to bring your pet and socialize with other pet lovers.  Crave features a spacious patio, which is the perfect setting to mix and mingle.

Crave American Kitchen and Sushi Bar is located at 10970 Rosemary Park Dr.  For more information on Paws on the Patio Halloween Party, please visit them on Facebook.

  • Haunted Halloween Party at Sagos

Darkness falls upon Sagos Tavern on Thursday, Oct. 29 when the Las Vegas Informer hosts its Haunted Halloween Party.

Enjoy a scary-delicious Halloween-inspired cocktail special, including the Vampire Blood $3 shot.

Dress up as your scariest, sexiest or best duo costume and win a prize.

See into your future with a psychic reading.

Or just mix and mingle with your fellow ghosts, witches and super heroes.

Pictures from the event will be published in the Las Vegas Informer online.

Sagos Tavern is located at 4790 S. Fort Apache Rd. Party time goers from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information on the Las Vegas Informer’s Haunted Halloween Party, please see the event page on Facebook.

  • Oktoberfest Fright Fest at Fremont Street Experience:

Fremont Street turns into a monster party during the Halloween season. This year Fremont Street will be celebrating it's seventh annual Oktoberfest and Halloween with halloween themed FREE live entertainment and specials. OktoberFrightFest is the ultimate festival that combines Oktoberfest and Halloween for a month-long street party. Costumes are welcome. 
Show Dates: October 4 to November 1, 2015

This years Performers / Events

 "Frank & The Steins"
"Frank & The Steins" will perform on 1st Street Stage (near Binion's and Golden Nugget), - Date/Time: Oct. 4 through Nov. 1, 2015, 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (dark Mondays and on Oct. 20). On Halloween night, they'll perform 7:00 p.m. to midnight.

 Halloween-inspired Viva Vision light shows
Special Halloween Viva Vision shows will play each night, set to musical favorites such as "Thriller," "Ghostbusters," "Monster Mash," "Time Warp" and the themes from "The Addams Family," "Halloween" and "Nightmare on Elm Street."
Date/Time: Nightly, following the regular light shows at 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. 
Duration: 3-4 minutes long

 Sixth Annual Fall Beer Festival at Golden Nugget
Featuring beer selections from more than 30 breweries, live entertainment, culinary offerings and more.
Date/Time: October 9 - 10, 2015

  • Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball 2015:

Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball 2015returns to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. Considered the mother of all Las Vegas Halloween parties, the annual Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball is a jaw dropping event guaranteed to be one of the most outrageous, bizarre and risque Halloween parties you will ever attend. Expect lots of go-go girls, laser lights, fire breathers and aerial silk dancers.

Strict admission requirements dictate that everyone wear something fetishy, fantasy like, or a Halloween costume.

 When: Saturday Oct 31, 2015
 Venue: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
 Hours: 10:00pm – 4am
 Must be 21 & over to attend

  • Zombie Ball:

Join Las Vegas PRIDE at Fuso Nightclub for Halloween Party and Zombie Ball on October 25th. Expect ghoulish GoGos, tasty treats, Jell-O Shots and a fabulous costume contest for cash and prizes!.

 Location: Fuso Nightclub on the roof of Larry Flint's Hustler Club
 Date: October 25, 2015
 Time: 10pm
 Admission: No Cover
 Must be 21 & over to attend

If you are looking for more kid-friendly adventures:

  • Town Square Las Vegas

Saturday, October 31
3 p.m. to 8 p.m for Halloween activities
4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for trick-or-treating
Town Square turns into Town SCARY this Halloween, and children of all ages are invited to trick-or-treat through the streets of Town Square as participating stores and restaurants will be passing out candy from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on October 31. Several activities will take place throughout the shopping center including:

  • Trick-or-Treating
  • Costume Contests brought to you by 98.5 KLUC and pediped footwear
  • Halloween Photos in Town Square Park
  • Undead Maze- *not recommended for kids under 10 years old
  • Cactus Coaster Rides
  • Clark County Fire Department
  • Bounce Houses

Town Scary is free and open to the public. Children are encouraged to bring their own basket for trick-or-treating.

  • Haunted Harvest at the Springs Preserve

Spring Preserve's annual Haunted Harvest is a family-friendly event that's fun for all ages. The spooktacular Haunted Harvest at Springs Preserve features a haunted hay maze, trick or treat stations, carnival games, live entertainment, a petting zoo, "haunted" train rides and much much more.

When: Oct. 16-18, 23-25, Oct. 30-31, 2015
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.; Admission: $7.00

  • HalloVeen at Opportunity Village:

Every weekend in October 2015 Opportunity Village will transform the magical forest into HallOVeen. This Halloween family friendly event will feature lots of fun games, events and entertainment for all ages. Included will be:

• The Haunted Adventure by Santino and Rocco Panaro
• Boris the Elf's 3D Experience
• The Spooktacular Forest Express Passenger Train
• Cheyenne's Enchanted Carousel
• The Slightly Scary Snowflake Slide
• Rod's Monster Mini Golf
• Nightly parades, crafts and movies

Dates: October 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 26-28 and 30-31 from 6:00 to 10:00p.m.

HallOVeen at the Magical Forest is located at 6300 W. Oakey Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89146

  • Linq Promenade Halloween Party:

This halloween The LINQ Promenade is the place to celebrate halloween. Begining October 22, The LINQ Promenade transforms with Halloween decorations as street musicians, face painters, stilt walkers and zombies take over the promenade and create a very festive halloween party.

2015 The LINQ Promenade Halloween Events

Thursday October 29
Families can TRIQ or Treat for candy at various retailers throughout the LINQ Promenade. Time: 6 p.m.- 10 p.m.

Friday October 30
Children TRIQ or Treating.Time: 6 p.m.- 10 p.m.
A Thriller flash mob will perform the classic horror of Michael Jackson's "Thriller". Time: 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Saturday Oct. 31
The High Roller wheel lights up with a Halloween-themed pattern. The High Roller will feature an all new Zombie Zone with actors and staff members dressed up as zombies throughout the High Roller experience. Time: 6 p.m. to midnight.

Saturday Oct. 31
Free live band performs at The LINQ fountain stage as The LINQ Promenade hosts a Halloween costume contest for guests 21 and over with $15,000 in cash prizes. Time: 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.

  • Haunted Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay:

Ghosts and goblins will take over the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. Enter the Haunted Reef's dark and eerie tunnels at your own risk as rattling chains, creaking doors and spine-chilling music replaces the jungle noises and soothing sounds of the ocean that typically fill the air at the aquarium.

On opening day October 30th, kids 12 and under in Halloween costume and adults who donate blood at the United Blood Services booth from 10 am to 6 pm get FREE admission and candy treats.

(Space is limited, appointment recommended) To make an appointment contact United Blood Services at 702-638-7400 or visit unitedbloodservices.org and enter sponsor code: SharkReef

Dates: October 30 – November 1, 2015
Haunted Reef Hours:
Friday, October 30th; 10am - 10pm. (last admission at 9pm)
Saturday, October 31st; 10am - 10pm. (last admission at 9pm)
Sunday, November 1st; 10am - 8pm (last admission at 7pm)
General Admission: Adults: $20.00; Children (4-12): $14.00; Children (3 & under): free; Seniors (65+): $18.00
Contact: 702-632-4555


Special thanks to http://lasvegas.informermg.com/2015/10/24/halloween-haunts-parties-las-vegas/

and http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/halloween-in-las-vegas.php

Talking history and saving the Riv with Darlene Dalmaceda

"Nostalgia is not a fake emotion. Nostalgia is an ache for something that did exist....Sentimentality is always about a lie. Nostalgia is about real things gone. Nobody truly mourns a lie."  Pete Hamill

We had the opportunity to talk to Darlene Dalmaceda who has been a driving force behind the efforts to save the Riviera and we wanted to share the interview with all.

1) How did you get interested in Las Vegas history?

I have always been fascinated by the Mid-Century, especially the 1950s and early 1960s. My parents were older when I was growing up so I knew about the Standards before I ever found out about the Top 40! I was also exposed to the movies and pop culture of that time. 

Las Vegas has also been a special place for me. My family went on vacations during the mid to late 80s when the old places were still here. As a child I was dazzled by the glitter and neon lights of the Strip. I remember some of the old road signs and Tropicana was my dad's favorite place to stay. Circus Circus was where my parents took me to play games and watch the circus acts. I used to beg my folks to take me back, but I didn't return to Las Vegas until I moved here from Southern California in 2004.

However, my interest in Vegas history did not really begin in earnest till I discovered LeavingLV.net, a defunct website that was created by Joel Rosales (now Lost and Found Vegas on Facebook) that meticulously documented the Stardust and Frontier implosions. I only visited the Stardust twice before it closed and I regret I did not visit more; the place had so much history. I also enjoyed watching the movie Casino and reading the stories about the mob and how they used to run the town. Our history is not that old compared to other parts of the country and becoming increasingly rarer to find anything about, especially on the Strip. So a combination of all these things really spearheaded my love of vintage Vegas.


2) What spurred you to start your Facebook group? 

I have a Facebook group called The Golden Age of Las Vegas: Vintage Hotels, Casinos, Headliners, and History, which has been around since 2009. At the time it was the only vintage Vegas group I knew of on Facebook. I wanted to find like-minded people who also had a love of vintage Vegas. It had grown to 500 members and at some point Facebook changed their groups format. The group was archived and became dormant for a while till it was resurrected about three or four years ago. At last count it has over 2,000 members and many of them frequently post pictures and videos, mainly from the 1950s-1970s, but we also cover a little bit from pre-1950 and the 1980s.

As far as how my group is different from the others, I know a couple of groups tend to focus more on local places that are gone now while mine focuses more on the Strip and Downtown. The others also post the same kind of content that I do; I also enjoy looking at what they are posting and re-post their content to my group as well.


3) What is your favorite hotel from the classic Las Vegas era and why.

It's so hard to choose! They were all special in their own way, but I have to say Riviera. The "Riv" hung around longer than a lot of the places that are gone, 60 years, which is an extraordinary accomplishment in this implosion-crazy day and age! It's ironic because of the fact that it almost didn't make it in the beginning, but there was always someone to step in and bail it out, who believed in keeping it going. 


the Riviera

I spent a lot of time there over the years at various events. I hosted several pool parties and a dinner party at R Steak and Seafood on April 20th to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the hotel's opening. My mom and I had a staycation there the last week before it was closed. I was also there on Closing Day, May 4th, when the Crazy Girls statue was removed. It was very sad to see so many customers and employees lose a place that had been so special to them, and to me as well. I was always treated well by the staff and met so many great new friends from my group at my events and at the liquidation sale. All these things combined made it my favorite classic Vegas place.

4) Why are people still drawn to those hotels and their history? 

I think people who were around in those days are drawn to them because it reminds them of a time when they were happy. Vegas was such a smaller and different town from what I know. They just miss those days because they feel it was better than what has replaced it. I cannot say for sure if it is or not because I only experienced it through the eyes of a child, but I wish I was around to experience the classic Vegas era in its heyday. We have some of the most colorful history in America and it is sad that a lot of it has been lost to progress. I understand times have changed and Vegas is a place that has to change with the times to stay relevant. Still, it would be nice to keep something for future generations. Where do we draw the line? My fear is that soon there will be nothing left and I think that's why people who care about our history and heritage want something to hold onto to show future generations where we came from, what our legacy is, because we shouldn't forget our roots and where we came from.

5) Why is the Riviera important to Las Vegas Strip history?

The Riviera was the ninth Strip resort to open in 1955. It was the first high-rise hotel on the Strip, nine stories, which was a big deal back then because the hotels at the time were one-story motor courts. Liberace was the featured headliner and cut the ribbon on Opening Day. There were all the other fabulous entertainers as well: Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Engelbert Humperdinck, Dean Martin, I could go on and on. Anyone who was important headlined there at one point or another. There were so many movies and TV shows that were filmed there throughout the years. In the mid-80s it ushered in the "Burger King Revolution", and was the first property on the Strip to have a fast food restaurant. Also, it was the only Strip resort to survive completely intact. Not much original Mid-Century architecture survives on the Strip anymore from our first resort "boom" of the 1950s. It is among a handful of "Rat Pack" era hotel/casinos that are still standing, but not for much longer unless we can do something to save it in some way, shape, or form.

6) How can others get involved in helping save the Riviera building?

The LVCVA just announced their plans to demolish the building for $42 million, but that has not deterred us from our efforts. Miles Campbell, one of my group members that lives in Grass Valley, CA, started a petition on Change.org to submit to the LVCVA. We have reached a little over 200 signatures in three weeks, but we are looking for a lot more! To sign and share the petition, please go to https://www.change.org/p/las-vegas-convention-and-las-vegas-convention-and-visitors-authority-save-the-las-vegas-riviera.

Also, I am looking for volunteers to petition in front of the Riviera itself to ask people for physical signatures and to direct them to the Change.org website. To find out how you can help and become a volunteer, please contact me at misslv80@yahoo.com or contact me through my Facebook profile at http://www.facebook.com/mizpens or through my Facebook group, http://www.facebook.com/groups/vintagevegas.

There was a young man in his early 20s I met briefly at my Riviera pool party on May 3rd that was wearing a t-shirt that said "Save the Riviera". He was the only one I know of that spoke out against the LVCVA purchasing and demolishing the resort at the meeting they had. I don't remember his name and I am trying to find him. If anyone knows who he may be, please contact me because I would like to get in touch with him.

7) What is the big difference between the classic era and today's Strip?

I think the biggest difference is people want bigger, flashier, more over-the-top spectacle, and more to offer besides gaming. Many people I met when I used to work in the hotels said they came to Las Vegas for things other than gambling. Nowadays we have much more in the way of shopping, nightclubs, attractions, and many tourists bring their kids as well. Also, the younger generation tends to gravitate toward more of a club culture rather than going to lounge acts and live entertainment like in the past. If there are live entertainers they tend to be in larger arena type venues, big musical festivals like Rock in Rio, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), Life is Beautiful, etc., rather than intimate showrooms like the Rat Pack used to perform in. The headliners now tend to be DJs who play at ultra pools and clubs on the Strip. For more of an "old school" Vegas feel, Downtown Fremont Street is the way to go and still has many of the original hotels/casinos from the Mid-Century period.

Also, Vegas was much smaller and felt more intimate 40-60+ years ago. Going to the casino was an elegant affair where people would get dressed up in their finest clothing for a night out on the town. From what I have heard, it was more service-oriented and the staff members at the old hotels and casinos really got to know their customers a lot more than the bigger corporate-owned places. There were also better deals as far as what the hotels/casinos had to offer their guests. Robert De Niro in Casino said it best, "Nowadays it's like checking into an airport. If you order room service, you're lucky if you get it by Thursday." It really was more of a "Wild West" town in the old days, so there was this sense it was this wide open frontier. Vegas has grown so much now that it feels more like a major metropolitan city and top resort destination where people not only come for vacation, but also for business and conventions.

However, not everything back in the classic era was positive. For example, we were known for being the "Mississippi of the West" and there was a lot of segregation going on. The Moulin Rouge helped to break that color barrier and so did some of the entertainers like Frank Sinatra who were involved in integrating the hotels/casinos. I can say in that respect it is much better now as far as the diversity of the people who live and work here in Vegas is concerned.

8) What do you want people to know about Las Vegas that they might not?

Las Vegas is not just about hotels and casinos, it is about people from all walks of life. We have a great community here beyond the Strip and Downtown, people who live and work everyday to make it the "Entertainment Capital of the World". We have art and culture just like everywhere else, you just have to want to look for it. It's the same thing with our history. It's important to remember the past so that we can see where we've been and how we can apply what we have learned toward making a better future.

Darlene Dalmaceda is originally from Southern California and moved to Las Vegas in 2004. She is a graduate of The Art Institute of Las Vegas with a Bachelors Degree in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production. She has produced two short films and has several upcoming projects in the works. She also owns an online specialty retail boutique called Vegas Fine Pens and Gifts. 

She was the former Ms. Henderson United States 2013/2014 and the current Ms. Nevada Regency International 2015/2016. She is an active member of several networking groups and a supporter of various charitable organizations. Her new platform is to focus on preserving historic landmarks not only here in Nevada, but nationwide. 

Most recently she was a cast member in the murder mystery dinner show "Marriage Can Be Murder" at The D Hotel and Casino.

Our thanks to Darlene for taking the time to talk to us and if you know the young man in the "Save the Riv" tee-shirt, please contact her or us!