USA – Las Vegas – MGM Grand

Two Las Vegas hotels have been known as the MGM Grand.

Original MGM Grand: 
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino (1973 – 1986)
Bally’s Las Vegas (1986 – present)

The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (now Bally’s Las Vegas) was opened in December 1973.
It was damaged in a huge fire in November 1980 which led to higher safety standards for fire protection across Las Vegas. 85 lives were lost, many due to smoke inhalation as the hotel towers acted as chimneys to fill all floors with poisonous smoke and fumes from the burning decorative plastics. 

The showroom was damaged by smoke, but the Colortran Channel Track 2 lighting console survived. The hotel reopened 8 months after the fire, and after spending $50 million on upgraded fire protection equipment including sprinklers, a detection system, and a smoke removal ventilation system. 

The hotel was sold to Bally’s in 1986 and rebranded. A new MGM Grand was opened in 1993 (see below).

Past Performances – MGM Grand and Casino (1973 – 1986) / Ballys (1986 – present)

The MGM Grand housed two entertainment venues: the Ziegfeld Stage and the Celebrity Room.

  • Celebrity Room
    • Liberace (to be confirmed)
      The Channel Track 2 console, from the MGM Grand, had a Liberace show disk in it.
      (RESEARCH NOTES:
      Liberace performances in Las Vegas:
      Las Vegas Hilton from 1972. $300,000 weekly salary. Still there in 1978 and 1980.
      MGM Grand – photo of Mr Showmanship at the honky tonk piano during a 1983 show at the MGM Grand.
      Caesars Palace from August 1986 for 2 weeks. Final Vegas shows.
      He performed at Radio City Music Hall October 16 1986 – November 2 1986. He died in February 1987.)
  • Ziegfeld Stage
    • Jubilee (1981 – 2016)
      Spectacular show, which featured the sinking of the Titanic and parades of showgirls

MGM Grand exterior (from the MGM Grand website, 2018)

MGM Grand (1993 – present)

Built in 1993 on the site of the former Marina Hotel and Casino. The Marina building still exists, as the west wing of the MGM Grand. The rest of the hotel was built around it. 
Construction Photo Gallery at Vintage Las Vegas

Current MGM Grand (1993 – present)

Documents


LSI: EFX (February 1996)
[4.5Mb PDF]
From Lighting & Sound International

Exhibits in the Backstage Heritage Collection

  • Channel Track 2 (1979)
  • Location


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