Las Vegas in Kodachrome c.1962 | A Continuous Lean.

Las Vegas in Kodachrome c.1962

Oct 17th, 2011 | Categories: Americana, Video | by Michael Williams

The guys at Devour just posted this great video of what I’m guessing is 16mm Kodachrome home movies from a group of Chicago Police officers and their wives while they visit Las Vegas in the early 1960s. The opening sequence takes place in a bus with long curved plexiglass windows (which makes for easy viewing of the Nevada / Arizona country) and is perfectly clear and in focus — incredible stuff. The quality of these home movies are pretty astonishing when you consider the era and equipment. Brings to mind the footage of VJ Day that we posted back this past August and the amazing Malibu home videos from 1965. Really interesting to see what Vegas was like in those days and how it has changed.

Comments: 24

24 Comments to “Las Vegas in Kodachrome c.1962”

  1. Andy
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 2:23 PM

    Great footage. What they need to do in Las Vegas now is rip down that awful covered Freemont Street Experience. In a town where it never rains, why would you want that roof overhead? The old Vegas, of bright signs against black nighttime skies, is what made it spectacular.

  2. Michael Williams
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 2:35 PM

    I think the roof is for shade, no? But not disagreeing with you — modern Vegas is a hell-hole.

  3. Shawn
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 2:44 PM

    Great find. Need to find one of those white jump suits some of the guys are wearing at the bus stop. That and a pair of Alden’s, my daily wear would be set!

  4. KC
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 2:48 PM

    Great stuff. Nothing is quite like Kodachrome. In college, I bought the remaining rolls of 16mm kodachrome reversal I could find when they discontinued it, then shot them on an old spring wound Bolex camera. It felt like a funeral.

  5. Larry Felitto
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 4:16 PM

    How Cool! If Vegas would’ve kept all that old stuff I might actually think about traveling there for something besides work. Thanks for the video… what was the song in the background?

  6. Chad Saville
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 4:36 PM

    I love the nice warm finish on the Kodachrome. Cops. Vegas. Home movies. Where’s Hunter Thompson when you need him?!

  7. Billy
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 5:03 PM

    Fantastic footage. An amazing collection of typography and signage. And I agree with Andy that the dome over Fremont is an eyesore but it just may have been a necessary evil to revive and preserve old downtown Las Vegas. And Larry, much of “that old stuff” is actually still there in old Las Vegas Fremont. An amazing feat in a town that loves to tear down its history.

  8. Jason Chalker
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 5:34 PM

    Wonderful. I love seeing all the old typography and I REALLY would have loved to see some of those acts. Vegas definitely had a lot more class back then.

    FYI- I think they were on a train, not a bus.

  9. Jake
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 6:15 PM

    Damn straight, Chalker — until 1979 or so you got to the old Union Pacific Station (now the Plaza Hotel & Casino) via the Desert Wind, I believe. Can you imagine the party aboard an LA-to-Vegas route these days? Now the only way you’d leave Sin City via overland mass transit is by spending your last $20 or in handcuffs.

  10. matthew langley
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 6:25 PM

    great images – especially to me was the golden nugget images. I’ve since been fortunate to photograph them since they were taken down.

    On a different note – and really the topic for posting: What’s going on with the ACL shop? is it gone or just taking a breather. Enquiring minds want to know…

  11. matthew langley
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 6:25 PM

    nevermind – I am dumb.

  12. Old Man Fancy
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 6:45 PM

    Why do I sense it was much better back then?

  13. Michael Williams
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 9:31 PM

    I thought it was a train then there’s a shot of the other side of it and I thought it was a bus again. Thanks for the info / intel guys. — ACL

  14. Michael Williams
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 9:33 PM

    Oh, and the ACL Shop is sort of being redone. I’m just thinking of using it only for collab product for the next few months. All of the stuff that was in there (except my ACL & Co. bags) is going to resurface soon though. Stay tuned. — ACL

  15. nancyhouse
    on Oct 17th, 2011
    @ 11:30 PM

    I thought it was a train then there’s a shot of the other side of it and I thought it was a bus again.so

  16. James
    on Oct 18th, 2011
    @ 7:57 AM

    Ah, the people Raoul Duke fucked with.

  17. Smith & Ratliff
    on Oct 18th, 2011
    @ 12:16 PM

    Kodachrome would make waiting at the DMV romantic.

  18. George S.
    on Oct 18th, 2011
    @ 1:29 PM

    Actually a LOT of that old stuff they are showing is still around at the Las Vegas Neon boneyard museum. I recognized the silver slipper and the stardust sign from the video. Its definitely out of the way from the strip, but not that much. From Fremont street (I think) my wife and I walked the mile or so to the museum.

    Long history short, the old neon signs were not usually destroyed as they could so easily be recycled into new signs and they were left at a lot until they could be reused… They never did use some and years later the museum was formed to try to save some of the history… Its a GREAT place to visit. The signs are not in working order or anything, but being as its the desert they are in pretty damn good shape and with enough money and time I think they want to build a full-fledged museum to store and rehab some of the signs (and leave at least part of the boneyard around as its just too cool)

  19. Kevin
    on Oct 19th, 2011
    @ 3:07 PM

    I would have liked to see Louis Prima. That would have been cool.

  20. Red Tractors
    on Oct 21st, 2011
    @ 12:16 AM

    That’s no Bus, it’s a Dome car on a passenger train.

  21. Jonas
    on Oct 21st, 2011
    @ 1:52 AM

    You seriously need to get rid of that malibu video with Hanoi Jane in it, or at least not sensationalize her appearance. She is the epitome of hippocracy.

  22. James S
    on Oct 24th, 2011
    @ 6:26 PM

    Any info on the background music? Kind of digging it…

  23. James S
    on Oct 24th, 2011
    @ 6:29 PM

    Nevermind. You have to love Google: The Metasciences – Weary Worker’s Project

  24. Sharon Pettit
    on Oct 28th, 2011
    @ 11:26 AM

    I was one of the lucky ones to have lived here before, during, and after this time and I did see all the acts they showed in this clip.. awesome ! Vegas has become bigger and brighter but not better, take it from someone who has lived it for over 65 years. Those were the days my friends!!