‘Fabulous Downtown’ photo gallery makes a temporary home inside Las Vegas’ Mob Museum

Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau.

The Mob Museum showcases “Fabulous Las Vegas,” a photo exhibit featuring classic photos of downtown Las Vegas from the 1950s. From the archives of the Las Vegas News Bureau, you’ll see photographs of hotels, local businesses and storefronts. The exhibit will be on display for the next year.

Located in a special room on the third floor, access to this gallery is included in the normal ticket price to The Mob Museum.

The photos of these downtown buildings (many of which still exist today) take you through the various economic shifts through the years. You’ll also get a sense of how much the population grew over time. The Mob Museum, which used to be a U.S. post office and a federal courthouse (that held actual mob trials!) is also part of the exhibition.

“The Mob Museum is an excellent venue for the News Bureau to showcase its collection of images of the neighborhood businesses in the heart of downtown in the 1950s,” said Lisa Jacob, senior manager of the News Bureau, which is operated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). “We are proud to have a dedicated presence in the museum’s gallery and to have contributed a variety of historical video and photography.”

In 1947, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce established the News Bureau to promote Las Vegas as a leisure destination through photography. It started with staff taking pictures of tourists dining or getting married and then sent the photos back to the visitors’ hometown papers for publication — talk about great marketing.

Soon after, the News Bureau photographers took pictures of entertainers and community events. These shots spread around the globe, which ultimately helped Las Vegas get significant exposure. Today, the News Bureau continues to take photos of current events and share its archives with the community through exhibitions.

“While the current day revitalization is incredibly exciting, it is imperative we continue celebrating the city’s history,” said Jonathan Ullman, executive director of The Mob Museum. “This exhibition offers a unique glimpse into our past.”


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