I used to walk down Monmouth Street in Newport, Kentucky every day without realizing how historically relevant the area was to American history. Today, there is a Newport Gangster Tour that allows you to experience the history of the place.
Several decades ago, Newport was very different from what it would become today. At the time, Newport used to be known as the original "Sin City." It was the Las Vegas of its time especially from the 1920s to the 1960s. It was the place to be for gambling and prostitution.
Naturally, Newport attracted the high rollers of the day and age including famous celebrities and Hollywood stars.
Here are some of the most famous celebrities associated with Newport from that period of time.
In her heyday, Marilyn Monroe used to visit Newport for gambling, drinks, and entertainment. According to a report, she was a frequent visitor to the area.
When Marilyn visited Newport, she would reportedly hang out in the area of 633 York Street. At the time, 633 York Street was the location of now-defunct clubs such as the 633 Club and the Flamingo Club. Interestingly, the site later became the location of a punk rock club called the Jockey Club which was popular in the 1980s.
Marilyn also used to sing at different venues along Monmouth Street.
At Newport, Marilyn stayed in the East Row Historic District which is located on the National Register of Historic Places today. It is the second-largest historic district in Kentucky. Marilyn would stay in an Italianate Mansion in the East Row Historic District.
Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra
Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra used to frequent the Glenn Rendezvous for gambling in Newport. The Glenn Rendezvous was an illegal casino which was owned by Tito Carinci in the 1960s. Carinci was a scam operator and eventually his gambling revenue started falling. Carinci converted the Glenn Rendezvous to the Tropicana by adding a strip club.
Like Marilyn, Dean Martin also stayed in the East Row Historic District in an Italianate mansion.
Dean Martin was reported to be a friend of Frank "Screw" Andrews who was a member of the Newport mafia. Dean Martin would attend Andrews' house parties.
Bob Hope used to frequent the Strand Theatre on Monmouth Street. He would host his comedy at the Strand Theatre and at the Newport Hippodrome in the 1930s. After he was done, he would eat at Dixie Chili in Newport.
Once Newport was revitalized and "Sin City" moved to Las Vegas, the celebrities left the town of Newport to pursue their fame elsewhere.
Today, modern-day Newport has moved away from its notorious past to become a gem of a city in the Greater Cincinnati region.
If you know of any other classic Hollywood stars who used to visit Newport, Kentucky, please let me know in the comments section.
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