|Click Here For More Las Vegas Info|
|Now you see it...||Now You Don't...|
On Tuesday, November 7 ,1995 at 5:35am using a mere 100 pounds of dynamite, a part of Las Vegas history came crashing to a dusty end. The Landmark Hotel and Casino was imploded by the new owners, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority who purchased it in 1990. In it's place will soon be a new 22 acre parking area for over 2000 future convention attendees.
The implosion of the Landmark hotel which stood 365 ft tall with 31 stories and 500 rooms, was the second tallest building in the world ever imploded. The tallest was the Mendez Caldera office building in Brazil in 1978 which was only a few feet taller. Incidently, the same demolition company, Controlled Demolition, Inc., executed both projects along with the completion of the demolition of the Oklahoma City federal building.
Construction of the famous "futuristic" structure was started in 1961 by Howard Hughes the famous inventor and finacier and took until 1969 to complete. It opened July 4th weekend in 1969 with Danny Thomas playing the showroom. Other famous celebrities who often appeared at the Landmark included Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.
One consolation is that the Landmark will not be completely forgotten. The hotel is to featured in a number of scenes from the movie "Casino" about to be released at the time this is written. The actual implosion was recorded (with some added hollywood theatrics) and will be used in a planned movie by Director Tim Burton (of "Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Edward Scissorhands" fame) tentatively named "Mars Attacks!". He was responsible for the pyrotechnics effects seen in films of the implosion immediately before the collapse. These fireworks will appear in the story as a laser strike from a martian spacecraft which collapses the building. Not to ruin the plot, but in the movie the Landmark will be a new futuristic hotel under construction called "The Galaxy Hotel".
As I was taking pictures for this feature shortly before the fatal day and again a few hours after the controlled destruction, I encountered a number of older Las Vegas citizens and repeat out-of-town visitors who had come to pay their last respects to the hotel/casino which had been built with such promise, but never seemed to make enough money for its owners to stay open. Some had tears in their eyes as they fondly recalled playing at the craps tables or enjoying the 360 degree view from the observation level. Of all the properties which have come and gone, the Landmark will unquestionably be one of the most missed.Warning some of the following pictures may be too intense for devoted fans of the Landmark who prefer to remember it as it was :).
Last Updated: November 10, 1995