March 13, 2007 at 06:47 PM EDT

Good morning from hot, dry, and sinful Las Vegas, PopWatchers! I’m here at the movie industry’s annual convention, ShoWest, where studios do all sorts of song-and-dance numbers in order to get theater owners jazzed about the films on tap in the coming year. It’s always a good time, always good for movie-star meet-and-greets, and always good for me to lose all my money at the blackjack table. (When I’m not hustling to get quotes and report on what’s going on, of course!) You can look forward to reading all about it on this here blog all week.

ShoWest officially begins this morning, but it really got started with a bang last night. In more ways than one. For starters, there were a few old faces in the house. Siblings Andrew and Elisabeth Shue (pictured) popped by a screening of their semi-autobiographical movie, Gracie, about a girl who wants to play soccer on the boys team. Now, I know what you’re thinking, because I, too, was convinced that Elisabeth Shue had left Las Vegas. But, no, there she was, looking better than ever, supporting the latest directorial effort of her husband, Davis Guggenheim, who just won an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth (which, many remembered, played here last year). Very cool.

And yet, for a really explosive time, ShoWesters had to stay up till the wee hours of the morning and travel down the Strip to watch the final demolition of the famed Stardust resort and casino. That’s right, the half-century-old hotel, once the biggest and fanciest in Sin City, is now gone. (It was detonated at 2:30 a.m. Both the boom of the explosions and the cheers of onlookers echoed up and down Las Vegas Boulevard.) But the Stardust’s place in entertainment history — as the one-time home of legends like Wayne Newton, George Carlin, and Siegfried & Roy, and as the centerpiece of the classic Vegas movies Casino, Swingers, and, that’s right, Showgirls — is secure. So while I busy myself with doubling down on 11 and preparing my next dispatch from ShoWest, why don’t you share your memories of this dearly departed temple of the tawdry.

addCredit(“Shues: Ryan Miller/Getty Images”)

You May Like