LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A showgirl who joined Les Folies Bergere in 1975 reminds us that visitors flocked to the Tropicana Hotel to see the renowned production and performers.

Les Folies Bergere launched in 1959 at the Tropicana Hotel, and ended its run in 2009.

Kathy Triffon, 89, explains that during the show’s heyday, tourists and celebrities flocked to bask in the presence of the showgirls. Her personal photos show her alongside Muhammad Ali, Liberace, Paul Anka and other film actors.

It’s a weekend of reminiscing at the Tropicana before it closes for good on Tuesday after 67 years on the Las Vegas Strip.

“If it wasn’t for shows, like the Trop, Stardust, Bally’s and everyone that had showgirls, this place would be back to a desert,” Triffon said. “At that time, that’s what people came to see,” Triffon said.

Before the era of superstar headline residencies, properties invested in elaborate stage productions to encourage visitors to come, stick around and gamble.

“The theater was always packed. When that curtain opened, it was so much fun. And I said, I get paid for this. I love it,” Triffon said.

Triffon’s career as a showgirl spanned 26 years. She has a wall full of photos and mementos from Les Folies Bergere and other stage productions, but stayed friends with her Tropicana cast for decades.

“Every time I look at any one of those pictures, I visualize the entire scenario. I just go back and I can see it all,” Triffon said.


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