jon brenneis

Unfinished courtyard of the Flamingo, Las Vegas, February 5, 1947. 

Photo taken after the opening of the casino, before the hotel’s opening, by Life Magazine’s Jon Brenneis.

“In January of 1947 I received my first long term LIFE assignment and spent three weeks photographing the phenomenon that was Las Vegas … We covered the gaming, the entertainment, the outdoor recreation, the movies that were shooting, and the divorce business. Bugsy Siegel had just opened the Flamingo Hotel. The Vegas entertainment included Jimmy Durante, The Ritz Brothers, Lena Home, Peggy Lee, and Xavier Cugat and his band. This was still in the flashbulb era and the big gaming halls and showrooms had to be painstakingly wired for multiple flash and the bulbs had to be changed for each shot. We lived in a hotel room with cases of bulbs stacked on all sides.” – Jon Brenneis