One of Atlantic City’s first opera houses was built on the Boardwalk at States Avenue. Is distinctive and somewhat Moorish façade stands out in many photographs of the early Boardwalk. In 1899, the London Ghost Show was the entertainment at the States Avenue Opera House. Although the opera houses occasionally featured classical vocal entertainment, more frequently they showcased vaudeville productions, animal acts, staged disasters, and sporting events. In fact, a close look at the façade reveals an advertisement for a boxing match. Disasters like the destruction of Herculaneum, the Johnstown flood, and Custer’s last stand were popular entertainment. The stages at the northern end of the Boardwalk in the late 1800s and early 1900s, like the States Avenue Opera House, presented “family vaudeville,” as opposed to more bawdy variety acts. The latter were clustered closer to the southern end, near the beer gardens.
Size matters at Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal. The casino floor is the size of four football fields. It has just opened a new $5 million baccarat and high-end gaming pit. Its original hotel tower, which reaches fifty-one stories, will soon be paired with a new 800-room tower. The lavish penthouse suites boast bathrooms as large as guest rooms, enormous living rooms with the best appointments, and dining rooms with domed ceilings. Even these suites are dwarfed by the 4,500-square-foot Alexander the Great suite, complete with wet bar, private exercise room, and grand piano. Although the palaces in India were originally built for royalty, now even the commoners can dine on the “Sultan’s Feast” or eat at the New Delhi Deli. As the Taj’s telephone operators like to greet callers, “Thank you for calling the Trump Taj Mahal, where wonders never cease.