Old Images of Reno, Nevada

Old photo of Reno, Nevada, looking North East, 1000 feet elevation from Lawrence Captive Airship, circa 1908

Glimpse history through old images of Reno, Nevada, in the USA.

Old Photos of Reno


Reno in the 1950s

A 1950s video shows Reno as a vibrant city known for its entertainment and night life, also serving as a Convention centre for events. It highlights that Reno’s economy is not solely reliant on playing for money; more industries are being attracted to the area due to Nevada’s favorable tax and corporate laws. There is a permanent population offering normal family life.

The video provides a brief historical background on the city’s founding in 1868. It was named after Jesse Lee Reno, a career United States Army officer who served in the Mexican–American War, in the Utah War, on the western frontier and as a Union General during the American Civil War from West Virginia.

But the settlement had, by 1868, existed for a number of years with the name Fuller’s Crossing. Fuller was an early pioneer. He kept an inn on the South side of the Truckee River. By the 1950s, that spot had become the Riverside Hotel.

The 1950s scenes include Reno, where they had lunch with a beautiful view, Carson City with its small population, Capitol building, the famous Carson City Mint and visiting one of the popular guest ranches. There’s also a famous gold course in town.

Out at Lake Tahoe, a lifeguard demonstrates an impressive dive into the water while other people enjoy a leisurely time on the terrace.

The video also discusses the history of timber in the New Forest and its connection to the mining industry in Virginia City, as well as the current importance of lumbering in Reno and the tourist attractions in Virginia City.

“This is a city of glitter and glamour, a city of neon and bright lights, of spinning wheels and dancing feet. This is Reno.”

Biggest Little City In the World (1950s) – travelfilmarchive on YouTube


Reno in 1966

An American filmmaker shot these scenes of Reno’s busiest streets in the late summer or early autumn of 1966.

The locations seen include Mapes Casino, Holiday Hotel, Harrah’s hotel sign, the second Reno Arch sign, Primadonna hotel, University of Nevada, Fine Arts department, Harold’s club, and the Horseshoe Club slot machines.

Reno 1966 archive footage – Footageforpro.com on YouTube


Reno in 1974

Reno’s streets made the backdrop for scenes in Robert Altman’s 1974 feature film ‘California Split’.

Sadly, 43-year-old actress Barbara Ruick, wife of the composer John Williams and an actress best known for her work in Rodgers and Hammerstein productions, died of natural causes in her Reno hotel room during filming of a small role for this feature film.

The bus crosses the Center Street bridge, where you’ll get a glimpse of the former Nevada Bell concrete building with its copper vertical stripes, turns off of Commercial Row South onto North Virginia Street, bringing the Reno Arch and downtown Reno into shot.

As the characters start walking, we see North Center Street looking north. Crossing East Second Street through the alley between Center and Virginia, they then enter Mapes Casino, passing the black glass of the Reno City Hall building.

Reno, Nevada in 1974 – renoclips on YouTube


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