Bill Miller's Riviera Nightclub, Fort Lee, 1950s
The Riviera nightclub in Fort Lee, New Jersey, was built on a cliff top overlooking the Hudson River and within sight of the George Washington Bridge and the bright lights of Manhattan. The club was known as America's Showcase in the 1940s because stars such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis performed here. Opened in 1937 as Ben Marden's Riviera Russian born impresario Bill Miller bought the nightclub in the late 1940s. It only operated during the summer and opened for one additional night on New Year's Eve. The fabled art deco building, painted yellow, had a retractable roof so guests could dance under the stars and also had a revolving stage. The Riviera was demolished in 1953 to make way for the Palisades Interstate Parkway. Mr Miller then moved to Las Vegas to work as entertainment director at The Sands before moving on to The Sahara, The Dunes and The Flamingo. Exhibits from the Riviera are on display in Fort Lee Museum and a book about the nightspot, Bill Miller's Riviera, has been written by Tom Austin and Ron Kase.
Courtesy Private Collection
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