Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Archaeologists of a Vegas Vanished

If I ever go broke in Las Vegas, this will be the real reason why. Lost Vegas Antiques at 625 S. Las Vegas has some of the same campy collectibles you might find at any shop devoted to antiquated pop culture (Betty Boop! Elvis!), but with a heavy concentration of stuff related to the old Vegas casinos, as you might guess from the neon signs in the window for the Mint and the Sands. There's an age-21-and-over admission restriction, but once you get past the vintage showgirl photos, signed porn star pictures, 1960's Playboys, and old ads for Nevada brothels, there's a treasure trove of souvenirs from the fabled casinos of yore, from coffee mugs to ashtrays and jackets. Oh, sure, other vintage shops in town might have some chips, dice and matchbooks in a case or two at the front of the store; at Lost Vegas, they have buckets of the stuff to sift through until you find that one you've been looking for. I haven't been so happy since I was a preteen stamp collector rifling through the two-for-a-penny bin. One of the owners was telling me they used to be located in the Tropicana, and later at Neonopolis downtown. Their current location is nestled between Showgirl Video on one side and the Graceland Wedding Chapel on the other, and it just doesn't get more Vegas than that.

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