Pleasure Palace–be careful Googling that title or you might stumble upon some naughty films–is a 1980 TV film starring Omar Sharif, Hope Lange, and Dallas vixen Victoria Principal. On a side note, I’m pretty sure the font used in the title and credits is the same font used in the 1985 Alice in Wonderland miniseries (in other words, a very standard 70s/80s media font). Much like Where It’s At, the 1969 feature film I screen capped awhile back (you can view that blog of pics *here*), Pleasure Palace had the privilege of filming carte blanche inside Caesars and was free publicity for the casino. Ironically, the same thing could be said of the movies Rain Man and The Hangover, and I’ve never seen either one of those. Who knows, perhaps I’ll be screen capping those for nostalgia’s sake in ten or twenty years!
The cast: Hope Lange, Omar Sharif, & Victoria Principal
The plot of Pleasure Palace is embarrassingly convoluted; I read somewhere that poor Omar Sharif took the part of the globe-trekking gambler character solely to pad his pockets for his own real-life, globe-trekking, gambling habit. It was also an easy paycheck for Emmy winner Lange and primetime soap superstar Principal, so far be it from me to have qualms with the lame plot when so much vintage footage of Caesars from the year I was born exists because of this film. Without further ado, let’s enter the Pleasure Palace.
The Appian Way rotunda inside Caesars…this looks remarkably the same, even with the opening of the adjacent Nobu hotel/restaurant just this month.
The wire mesh and brick facade of Caesars (Principal’s character attempts to climb down the facade in the film)
Here’s Victoria (AKA her stunt double) climbing down the facade.
Great shot of the sparkling Caesars marquee
The North entrance porte cochere at Caesars–I’d never seen this before, and it’s long been demolished due to the resort’s expansion over the years.
Very video game-y!
I’m curious about this balcony overlooking the casino.
Love the way the columns are inverted at the top.
Great chandelier, too.
Notice the cocktail waitress on the left. They still wear a variation of this costume!
See the change machine?
This is a dark shot, but I was amazed how similar that carpet is to the brand new carpet they’re laying down in Caesars currently. What goes around comes around…
These elevator doors to the Roman Tower are exactly the same 33 years later!
Sharif’s character was put up in one of the Fantasy Tower suites, which are in the present day Forum Tower.
Look at that wall treatment. Look at that bar. Look at that carpet!
That wall…that carpet…70s-tastic indeed.
Sharif asleep in the Fantasy Tower suite bedroom. Notice the headboard.
Front desk signage
Possibly my favourite shot of the movie…Lange and her fur-covered bed and headboard. Wow, just wow.
The guys having a drink in the Galleria Bar off the pit, both of which still exist and look remarkably similar.
A random hallway shot. Again with that ridic carpet.
The high limit area
A great shot of Lange’s character and the fab red wall behind her
A shot of Imperial Palace and the Flamingo from the penthouse. Again, these look remarkably the same 33 years later.
The “luxurious health spa”…so funny how now this looks like an outdated high school locker room.
Sharif and the charming(?) gap in his teef. Did he always have this, even in his ‘Dr. Zhivago’ days?
Not a noteworthy shot, except for the Omnimax Theatre directional sign behind Sharif. The Omnimax went bye-bye in the 90s, I believe.
Nice window detail of the two-story Palace Court, as seen from the pool area.
Hope Lange gets off the Palace Court elevator.
This is her in the foyer outside the high limits lounge after getting off the elevator. No clue what this second story area is now or if it even still exists.
The grand staircase leading to the Palace Court
Another shot of that grand staircase…gorgeous.
This was the Palace Court restaurant, or at least that’s what it was called in the film.
Principal and Sharif dine in Palace Court.
Lange and Sharif toast champagne in the penthouse, which Lange’s character–the owner of Caesars–lived in.
This penthouse is on the rooftop of the Nobu hotel tower (formerly the Centurion Tower). The last I was able to tell, the penthouse and its large patio had been gutted.
Kinda hokey, but there was lots of Caesars artwork in the penthouse since Lange’s character was the owner and lived in the penthouse.
Breakfast on the penthouse patio. This space is viewable from the top floor of the Forum Tower and looks remarkably the same, minus a few cosmetic changes.
Lots of original Caesars stone facade! All this is long gone.
That’s the MGM Grand (now Bally’s) in the background.
And here’s a bit of the Flamingo’s new tower…
…so new, in fact, that it was still being built! (Actually, it was being added onto. The wings of Flamingo’s tower were built in stages as Bugsy’s old motel wings out back became outdated and came down.)
More of that unfinished Flamingo tower
The Dunes marquee is to the far right in this shot. (The Dunes was bulldozed to build Bellagio.)
The penthouse patio at night…so swanky in its 60s/70s glory.
Flowery window treatments in the penthouse
Another penthouse shot
The huge hot tub at Caesars–I’d never seen this before!
Requisite pool shot…very similar to shots from ‘Vega$’ and ‘Where It’s At’.
Pool shot with the Palace Court in the background…this looks a lot like the present day Rao’s space.
More of that amazing stone facade
Notice the Roman scroll railing on the right. Neat!
Victoria in the casino
This is the first time we see Victoria’s face in the movie. This would’ve been a big reveal since she was at the height of her ‘Dallas’ fame when this movie aired.
Victoria in her mini-suite. Cute, very 70s room.
One last shot of Victoria gambling. Can you tell I’m a fan?
One of the best shots I’ve seen of how transparent the wire facade was. It’s hard to tell in most shots, esp. the night shots where it’s lit up.
I wonder if Hope Lange’s fur bedspread and headboard were also by Mannis.
My apologies for the poor quality of the shots, but as I told a friend, this $1.99 digital copy of the movie on Amazon was literally like watching a worn-out VHS tape. I’m just glad I found it (and now supposedly own the digital copy), as I’d seen it several years back before I knew as much about the layout of Caesars as I do now. As I’ve said before, screenshots are an unappreciated form of photography, especially as far as casinos of the past are concerned (since photography wasn’t allowed on the gaming floor back then). It’s been my pleasure to get these shots of the Pleasure Palace, AKA Caesars Palace, to share for posterity’s sake. If you enjoyed them, please share the blog link!
‘Til next time,