The Riviera: 60 years of Vegas history

Updated 12:50 PM ET, Tue May 5, 2015
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The venerable Riviera Hotel & Casino has its last night of operation on Sunday, May 3, in Las Vegas. The city's Convention and Visitors Authority purchased the 60-year-old property and plans to demolish it to make room for more convention space. Here's a look back at the Riviera's colorful history: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
This undated aerial view shows the Riviera's swimming pool. The landmark was the first high-rise hotel on the Las Vegas Strip when it opened in April 1955. Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Liberace's "Piano Roll Blues" helped roll out the carpet at the premiere of the Riviera in April 1955. Here, Liberace is shown in attire by Dior and with support from hotel chorus girls. AP
The Dunes was a rival to the Riviera in Vegas' Rat Pack era. This billboard advertises a show by singer Frank Sinatra at the Dunes in the late 1950s. That hotel and casino was torn down in 1993 to make room for the Bellagio. Archive Photos/Getty Images
Singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte performs at the Riviera in 1957. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Actress Joan Crawford relaxes with her husband, Alfred Steele, and her twin daughters, Cathy and Cindy, at the Riviera's pool in October 1958. AP
From left: Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and Richard Conte appear in the 1960 heist film "Ocean's 11." In the movie, the Riviera was among five casinos targeted for robberies. From Warner Bros.
Singer Tony Bennett poses with actress Jane Darwell at the Riviera on October 7, 1965. Everett Collection
A sign advertises Rat Pack singer Dean Martin's show at the Riviera in December 1969, the same year that Martin bought a share in the property. Epics/Getty Images
Country-music queen Dolly Parton was once paid $350,000 a week to perform at the Riviera. Dick Darrell/Toronto Star/Getty Images
Michael Spinks, left, blocks a punch from Larry Holmes at a heavyweight title fight on September 21, 1985, at the Riviera. Spinks won the fight by a unanimous decision in the 15th round. Focus On Sport/Getty Images
Robert De Niro starred in "Casino," Martin Scorsese's 1995 crime drama that was shot at the Riviera. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The Riviera is shown from the air in October 2005. As newer, flashier hotels crowded the Strip in the 1990s and 2000s, its popularity waned. Ethan Miller/Getty Images