The El Rancho Vegas was a place for premier entertainment in Las Vegas
for nearly twenty years. In fact, it is one of the casino resorts
that helped to define Las Vegas as the entertainment capital of the
world, to the extent that entertainment is defined as an art practiced
in lounges and stages by comics, singers, and dancers.
The El Rancho had two main entertainment venues: the dinner theater
(first called the Round-Up Room but, after 1951, known as the Opera
House), and Nugget Nell's cocktail lounge. The headliners played the
Opera House, while the lounge acts predictably played the cocktail lounge.
The adveristements below show both the diversity of acts at the El
Rancho Vegas and its late night schedule. The gallery of entertainers
below them include some of the brightest luminaries to appear at the
El Rancho Vegas.
Some of the noted headliners to pass through
the El Rancho Vegas included Chico Marx, Betty Grable, Sophie Tucker,
Lili St. Cyr, Dorothy Dandridge, Yma Sumac, and the perennial attraction Joe E. Lewis.
Click here for a list of headliners
in the Opera House
The El Rancho
Girls, the chorus line accompaniement for the El Rancho Vegas's dinner
expect their names on this sign across the Strip from the resort.
The El Rancho
Girls in another stage spectacular.
To the left is an advertisement for what might have been-high
culture Las Vegas, sixty years ago. But visitors didn't want to soak in
art while vacationing--they would rather be visually stimulated by eye
candy like Candy Barr or amused by the clownings of Joe E. Lewis.
Ad from Hendeson Home
News, August 5, 1948.