Vega$

Vega$ was an Aaron Spelling drama series that ran on ABC from 1978-1981 and starred Robert Urich as a private investigator based out of the Desert Inn, which was owned on the show by none other than Tony Curtis (who made random guest appearances chewing the scenery to bits). After watching 13 episodes in search of some cool screen caps of 70s Vegas sites and lights, I can safely say the show was beyond formulaic: Dan Tanna (Urich) helps save/rescue/stave off the killers of/capture the killers of someone he usually has a personal connection to from his past. Or, as in the final ep of the first season which I just finished watching, a special guest star in need of help; Kim Cattrall demanded his time and attention as a visiting Middle Eastern princess in the season finale. But enough undo analysis of a fluffy show which provided some brainless entertainment for 12 hours of my life…on to the 70s Vegas screen caps, courtesy of Vega$! (All these screen caps are from the latter half of the first season, which aired from January-May of ’79.

Aladdin exterior...this is the old Aladdin which was imploded to make way for the new one (now Planet Hollywood)

Aladdin exterior…this is the old Aladdin which was imploded to make way for the new one (now Planet Hollywood)

Aladdin porte cochere

Aladdin porte cochere

CES was alive and well in the 70s! The annual Consumer Electronics Show still happens each January in Vegas.

CES was alive and well in the 70s! The annual Consumer Electronics Show still happens each January in Vegas.

The long gone Caesars tennis courts. I loved getting to see these, as I'd never even seen a photo of them.

The long gone Caesars tennis courts. I loved getting to see these, as I’d never even seen a photo of them.

Caesars porte cochere

Caesars porte cochere

A penthouse patio at the Desert Inn. Notice the Stardust sign in the background.

A penthouse patio at the Desert Inn. Notice the Stardust sign in the background.

Dino on the old MGM Grand (now Bally's) marquee

Dino on the old MGM Grand (now Bally’s) marquee

The Hilton and part of the dome of the convention centre. The dome is long gone, but the Hilton still lives on as the LVH.

The Hilton and part of the dome of the convention centre–the dome is long gone, but the Hilton still lives on as the LVH.

Le Jockey Club! I nearly had a conniption when I saw this shot, as I've never known the JC to look remotely classy. It stubbornly still stands, completely surrounded by the Cosmopolitan and Bellagio.

Le Jockey Club! I nearly had a conniption when I saw this shot, as I’ve never known the JC to look remotely classy. It stubbornly still stands, completely surrounded by the Cosmopolitan and Bellagio.

Kim Cattrall and Robert Urich dine on a balcony inside the Desert Inn casino.

Kim Cattrall and Robert Urich dine on a balcony inside the Desert Inn casino.

This shot is from a scene filmed in the 27th floor lounge of the long gone Landmark hotel.

This shot is from a scene filmed in the 27th floor lounge of the long gone Landmark hotel.

Vintage McCarran Airport...quite quaint.

Vintage McCarran Airport…quite quaint.

Interior of the old Aladdin...for some reason I was surprised how ornate it looks.

Interior of the old Aladdin…for some reason I was surprised how ornate it looks.

The Stardust, including a peek at the enclosed Aku Aku restaurant (the triangle roof), which operated both stand-alone and inside the Stardust respectively

The Stardust is on the left, including a peek at the enclosed Aku Aku restaurant (the triangle roof in the middle of the shot), which operated both stand-alone and inside the Stardust respectively.

The Stardust porte cochere...notice the twinkling lights in the ceiling!

The Stardust porte cochere…notice the twinkling lights in the ceiling!

Not only is that the Frontier marquee in the background, but this bench has a vintage Taco Bell advert on it.

Not only is that the Frontier marquee in the background, but this bench has a vintage Taco Bell advert on it.

That's none other than Mamie Van Doren guest starring as a spa hostess. She was in her 40s when this ep was filmed.

That’s none other than Mamie Van Doren guest starring as a spa hostess. She was in her 40s when this ep was filmed.

The 70s-tastic DI marquee all lit up

The 70s-tastic DI marquee all lit up

Vega$ had the distinction of being filmed entirely on location in lovely Las Vegas, and the promotional tie-in with the Desert Inn meant carte blanche filming there in the common areas, country club, restaurants, bars, and suites. It’s fun to see still-standing, iconic places I love such as Caesars on film, but it’s even more fun to get a peek at the places I never got to enjoy. And to know that this scene was filmed in the real Dunes coffee shoppe or that scene was shot in the real lounge at the top of the Landmark, as opposed to a sound stage in Hollywood. It reminds me of all the stories of Gone With the Wind fans searching all over Clayton County, Georgia for the real Tara, when in fact that building only ever existed on a Hollywood backlot. Kudos to Spelling and Company for making the effort to film everything in Vegas, and to the cast and crew for the extra effort I’m sure that entailed.

That’s all for this week, folks. Thanks for reading and I hope y’all enjoyed the 70s Vega$ screen shots as much as I enjoyed capturing them.

brt

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