We spent the past weekend in Las Vegas, and I hoped to find a couple of photobooths, ready for enthusiastic partygoers to document their weekends of debauchery. I should have known that in a place so heavily trafficked and constantly upgraded as Las Vegas, most of the booths would be digital. At the arcade at New York New York, the photobooth was digital, as it was at the arcade at MGM, and from examples I’ve seen on the web, the photobooths at Stratosphere and the Rainforest Cafe are both digital, as well. A photobooth in front of the Imperial Palace casino closed last year, and was probably digital anyway. So, I was pleased to find a Flickr photo of a photostrip from a real dip and dunk chemical photobooth in Las Vegas.
On Saturday afternoon, I paid a visit to this photobooth, at the Golden Palm Hotel. From the MGM Grand, where we were staying, I took off along Tropicana Boulevard toward the Golden Palm, about a mile away. I expected a brief stroll, but it was more like a hike, over two giant pedestrian bridges, through the parking lot of the Excalibur, over Interstate 15, and around the chainlink fence and into the Golden Palm’s parking lot. Crossing I-15 from the Strip is like entering another world, and the hotel was pretty dead. It used to be the Golden Palm Casino and Hotel, but it seems to be the Golden Palm Hotel and Lounge now, with the “Casino” unceremoniously painted over on their sign. The photobooth was indeed a real Photo-Me booth, but it was in the lounge, and the lounge didn’t open for another four hours. So, I was stuck snapping a photo through a locked exterior door, and I hope an intrepid Las Vegas photobooth enthusiast will send us a scan of a photo from this booth at some point in the future. I also hope I’m not right, and that there are a few more old-style photobooths still around in Las Vegas.