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Goodbye, Stardust

Stardust Hotel and Casino

Today the famous Stardust Hotel and Casino was demolished in Las Vegas, joining other lost icons such as The Sands, The Dunes, and The Hacienda. The Stardust and it's mobster owner Frank Rosenthal, were the basis for Martin Scorsese's Casino.

According to The New York Times, Nicholas Pileggi spent four years there researching the screenplay and said “The Stardust was the Bellagio of its day, the most dazzling casino out there.”

More images and stories after the jump.

Stardust Pool

The Stardust opened at Noon on July 2, 1958. Built at a cost of ten million dollars, the 1,065 room hotel featured a 105 foot swimming pool, a decor of rich reds and browns, and incorporated its famous sign into the architecture, turning the rather mundane structure into a giant billboard along the strip.

Atrdust and Aku Aku

The Stardust was also home to the Aku Aku, one of the great Vegas Polynesian Restaurants and while the Aku Aku was torn down long ago, the giant Easter Island Tiki still sits on an island in the middle of the Lake at Sunset Park.

Eli-Hedley-Carved-Moai-At-Sunset

Here is an excellent photoset on flickr, Goodbye Stardust worth checking out.

Early Las Vegas has some great pictures of the Stardust and some of the showgirls (some NSFW)

And for all you Tiki and Polynesian Pop fans out there, Humu Kon Tiki has an amazing collection of images, menus, and information about the Aku Aku and other fabulous Vegas Tiki establishments.

Today, I raise a Mai Tai to the fabulous Stardust.

Stardust sign
Photo of Stardust sign at the Neon Museum.

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