Tucked away in the Emergency Arts Building at the corner of Fremont and 6th Streets, The Burlesque Hall of Fame (www.burlesquehall.com) is definitely off the beaten path. That said, it also offers a historical look at an entertainment niche that made Las Vegas what it is today.
There’s level access to this small museum, but it’s easy to miss if you don’t know the layout of the Emergency Arts Building. Take a left as you enter the building, (don’t go through the cafe to the other galleries), and you’ll find the museum in a small alcove on the left.
The museum is operated by a non-profit whose goal is to preserve, celebrate and inspire the art of burlesque. And they do a pretty good job, starting with a timeline that credits the invention of the striptease to Flo Ziegfeld’s wife, Anna Held, back in 1908. Also included are some interesting novelty items such as the record How to Strip for Your Husband, that promises “to make your marriage merrier”.
Then there are the chili pepper earrings worn by Candy Barr, a 1936 program from the Ziegfeld Follies that featured Gypsy Rose Lee, a pair of Blaze Starr’s sexy shoes, a variety of skimpy costumes, and Gypsy Rose Lee’s trunk. Although this fun museum only has two small rooms, it’s packed with nostalgia. And after you’ve seen it all — so to speak — you can settle down and enjoy a cup of coffee at The Beat Coffeehouse, which is located just outside the museum.
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