Monday, February 01, 2010

Mae West: No Mopes at Mapes

MAE WEST entertained thousands of Mae-mavens at The Mapes — — and her fans remembered how she lit up the Sky Room.
• • Happy memories of the Mapes Hotel outlasted lingering anger over its implosion 10 years ago, as 200 people gathered Sunday [31 January 2010] for a celebration of the downtown icon, according to reporter Bill O'Driscoll of the online news outlet
• • "I was there opening night in 1947," said Harry Spencer, longtime area publicist and writer. "Overnight, the whole atmosphere of Reno changed from honky-tonk cow town to upscale. Reno truly was cosmopolitan."
• • According to sports betting expert Ross Everett, The Mapes Hotel in Reno, Nevada was an important part of Northern Nevada history. Ushering in a new era in casino gambling, The Mapes was actually the first property in the country to combine a hotel, casino, and live entertainment under the same roof.
• • Name the stars of the day, and they likely appeared on the Mapes stages, Harry Spencer recalled, remembering fondly the excitement of the legendary Mae West, who performed for a standing room only audience in the elegant window-walled Sky Room Lounge on the 11th floor. Live stage shows also billed big-name entertainers such as Liberace, Milton Berle, Nelson Eddy, Sammy Davis Jr., Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, Wayne Newton, Dean Martin, Louis Prima, Keely Smith, and Milton Berle.
• • Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe stayed there while shooting "The Misfits" film.
• • After enjoying a long bout of prosperity, The Mapes foundered and closed in 1982 and was demolished in 2000 despite attempts to preserve it.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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