Raul Jusinto

Moulin Rouge


Moulin Rouge
"Moulin Rouge Casino" by Roadsidepictures is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Moulin Rouge

1960 Las Vegas Civic Leaders and NAACP meeting
Meeting at the Moulin Rouge Hotel coffee shop to end segregation on the Las Vegas Strip: photographic print. Marie and James B. McMillan Photograph Collection (PH-00334). UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives.

Moulin Rouge

Montmarte Motel
The sign was originally in front of the Moulin Rouge. It was adapted and moved in front of the Mo'Mart Motel. The sign is located feet away from the former Moulin Rouge site.

Mouline Rouge
Film negatives of aerial views of Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino and Montmartre Motel, August 21, 1956. Nevada State Museum, Jay Florian Mitchell Photo Collection. UNLV Libraries Special Collections & Archives. Original cropped by Raul Jusinto.

Las Vegas Pioneer Trail Marker 5 reads:

The first integrated hotel and casino in Las Vegas, the Moulin Rouge opened in May 1955. It is celebrated as a landmark of racial integration in Las Vegas and the United States.

Entertainers from the Las Vegas Strip and Hollywood flocked to its showroom and casino, where celebrities and patrons, black and white, mingled freely – an electrifying experience in segregated Las Vegas. Boxing champ Joe Louis, part owner of the hotel and official greeter, welcomed crowds of gamblers, performers, visitors and locals to the color blind entertainment venue. The Moulin Rouge successfully challenged the long standing segregation practices of the Las Vegas hotel casino industry.

Despite its popularity, the Moulin Rouge closed in October 1955. Although there are several theories about the reasons for its closure, the truth remains a mystery. In 1960, it again played a major role in the community's slow progress towards integration when civic leaders and NAACP officials met at "the Rouge" and informally agreed to desegregate Las Vegas hotels. During the last 50 years, many people have attempted to re–open the fabled resort. Originally built by white investors, the property passed into black ownership in 1989. An arson fire on May 29, 2003, burned the original casino floor and showroom. Fortunately, the hotel, commercial area and neon sign were saved. This iconic sign was designed by Betty Willis, the creator of the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign at the south end of the Strip.

Opened on May 24, 1955. Closed in October 1955.

The original casino and showroom floor burned in an arson fire in 2003. Final fire occurs in 2009. For public safety reasons, the remaining structure is demolished in 2010.

Architecture: "Googie-populuxe" Modernist; Zick & Sharp.

Sign: Betty Willis.

Associated with: Sarann Knight-Preddy (first black woman to obtain a Nevada gaming license).

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

Listed on the City of Las Vegas Historic Property Register in 1992.

Was located at 900 West Bonanza Road, Las Vegas, Nevada.