On the Strip

Riviera memorabilia: The sweet nectar of Tony Orlando chips and Dean Martin menus

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Iconic casino closures bring the unleashing of personal stories, saccharine media coverage, final respects paid, drunken toasts given and choruses of farewellers locked in arms, collectively swaying in the moment. When the explosives arrive, the celebratory dismantling of Americana begins. Nothing but tradition, anticipation and market expectation could have predicted this. It’s a Vegas ritual by now.

When the dust settles, the gaping void becomes a must-see attraction, and the desire to keep the magic alive is absolutely haunting. This is why there’s eBay. A friend pointed out that there’s plenty of Riviera memorabilia to find and savor online.

There are Crazy Girls playing cards, a powder-blue Paul Anka button, various ashtrays stolen over the years, La Cage programs, matchbooks, T-shirts and, of course, a Dean Martin vintage menu.

Nothing, however, captures the spirit of a ’50s-era, French-themed, long-dated and financially struggling gem of cherished Las Vegas better than this: a Tony Orlando casino chip, an embroidered black satin Riviera jacket and an old coin cup. Place the needle on the Harry Belafonte record, dim the lights and extract the beautiful nectar.

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Kristen Peterson

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