The little Candlelight Wedding Chapel, sister building to the world famous Little Church of the West Wedding Chapel, opened it's doors in 1966. Having a guestbook including James Moore and Bette Middler, it was a favorite among Las Vegas tourists. Located across the street from Circus Circus, and next door to the Riviera, it ended the line of classic sixties architecture on the east side of the strip that included The Silver Slipper and The Algiers, among others.
In 2004, the property the chapel sat on was purchased for redevelopement along with the adjoining block. The chapel was abandoned for a newer chapel downtown on 4th street, which has since changed it's name. The motel and casinos were demolished one by one, but the little Candlelight Chapel held it's own, along with the perfume shop attached to the rear. It became a popular hang out for bums and riff-raff, having been defaced, the doors broken and removed, and even the steeple toppled.
Scroll over the image above to see what she looked like at the end of her life on the Las Vegas Strip.
On March 1, 2007, the chapel was finally and thankfully moved to it's new home at the Clark County Heritage Museum in Henderson, Nevada where it awaits restoration and reuse. It will be a part of "Heritage Street" in a collection of historic and preserved buildings. At the moment, it sits very far from it's home in the middle of an empty lot at the front of the museum, looking very out of place after being such a familiar fixture on the Strip. The steeple lays on it's side next to the building, awaiting reinstalation.
At the original site on the strip, the demolished red brick wall, tile floors, carpeting, and the altar steps were left behind.
The sign sits in the bone yard, sadly far away from the chapel. This author would hope that the two museums might work together for the greater good and that the Neon Museum would donate or lend the sign to the Clark County Museum once restoration is finished...
Work is progressing on the restoration of the chapel. The exterior has been fully restored sans the neon cross at the top. Interior restoration has yet to commence, but will follow shortly. The chapel looks beautiful.