Big Retro Slide Show Extravaganza

Orleans Hotel Showroom
4500 W Tropicana Ave
Las Vegas, NV

Prepare for your national pride to swell when Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix, launches retro pop culture into the stratosphere! With his keen expertise, unbridled enthusiasm and eagle eye for oddball detail, Charles shares the very best of his retro road-trip discoveries and colorful kaleidoscope of found vintage Kodachrome slides from the pages of his latest book, Addicted to Americana.

This is a marvelous mashup of mid-century of stories and glories of spectacular space-age style, amazing attractions, local landmarks, roadside wonders, festive foods, crazy car culture, futuristic transportation and more galore all in glorious Kodachorme COLOR! Your imagination will be inspired and your American spirit will soar!

NOTE: each show is different. Check Event schedule for show times.



Live Performance Celebrating the Original Disneyland Park in the 50s & 60s

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Walt Disney World
4401 Floridian Way
Orlando, FL

Be prepared for your Disney lovin’ spirit to soar when Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix, sweeps us away on a fun-filled, time-travel adventure to the granddaddy of all theme parks, when it was new.

With his unbridled enthusiasm and keen expertise, Charles shares the backstories as he shares glorious vintage color images captured by tourists visiting Disneyland in the 50s and 60s –

Experience the early days of Main Street USA, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and original Tomorrowland, when it was promoted as “The World of 1986.” Revisit long-gone attractions including the Skyway, Flying Saucers, Indian Village, Stage Coaches, People Mover, Carousel of Progress, House of the Future and more.

Charles also shares the flaming beginnings of Disneyland’s iconic monorail, takes you inside of the legendary, House of the Future and transports you to outer space on the iconic TWA “Rocket to the Moon” and much more.

DETAILS: Shows runs 80 min, all seats general admission. A limited number of tickets may also be available at the door. Show is appropriate for all ages. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Children 3 and under do not require tickets. Refunds will only be issued should the show be canceled.

Select the Breakfast ticket option for the 11am show and join Charles from 9-10:30am for a traditional breakfast buffet (plus Mickey waffles!) in the Grand Floridian Conference Center before your show. See for more info



Live Retro Slide Show Performance Celebrating SoCal's Enchanted Island!

Avalon Casino Theatre
1 Casino Way
Avalon, CA 90704

Catalina Island Museum presents … Ambassador of Americana, Charles Phoenix, at the iconic Casino’s spectacular 1929 Art Deco movie palace.

Be prepared for your Catalina loving’ spirit to SOAR when Charles sweeps us away on a time-travel storytelling and retro slide show adventure extravaganza exploring the island’s classic landmarks, legends and lore.

Experience the backstories and glories of the S.S. Avalon, glass bottom boat, flying fish, Bird Park, Catalina Pottery, vintage souvenirs, Casino, Wrigley family, the mysterious Catalina-shaped swimming pool, and much more.

Charles also shares his vintage guide to today’s Catalina sightseeing, shopping, dining, and where to find the Island’s hidden treasures, time warps, and what not to miss as you discover Catalina as a great big theme park!

The performance is two-acts with an intermission. Festive dress is encouraged but not expected.

Aftershow Cake & Book Signing Party

You are invited to meet Charles following the performance at the Catalina Island Museum. Copies of his latest book, Addicted to Americana, will be available for purchase.



Milk Farm

Everybody loves it when a cow jumps over the moon. But we love it even more when it’s a neon cow jumping over a neon moon perched high-in-the-sky on an erector set platform on the roof of a ranch-style roadside restaurant. Looks like she might even be a tail wagger! I’m sure the ‘59 Chrysler, ’55 Mercury, ’57 Chevy and Ford pickup are enjoying the view from the front row.

According to the long and narrow signage, hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks and fried chicken may be on the menu here, but milk is definitely the main course. It’s all-you-can-drink for 10 cents. If you really like leche you can enter their famous “Who-can-drink-the-most” contest. Win or lose, don’t forget to smell your way back to the pasture to meet and marvel at the milk makers.  Cows and restaurants go so well together!

The Milk Farm originated in 1928. In 1986 it closed after, according to the legend, the wind huffed and puffed and blew a big ‘ol hole in the roof.  In 2000, what was left of the building was dismantled and put into storage with hopes that someday the Milk Farm would be resurrected.

Today, only the luna hoppin’ Holstein still stands on the property where it serves as an unofficial, yet beloved local landmark.

If the day ever comes when the Milk Farm moos again, I’ll be the first one in line for the milk-drinking contest. Unless your lactose intolerant, or even if you are, I hope you can be there when they plug in the neon cow so we can all be over the moon when she jumps the neon moon once again!

Here’s to the cow, the milk, the Milk Farm and YOU!

Charles Phoenix
May 17, 2011
Los Angeles, CA


Tonga Traffic - San Francisco, 1960

A gray-suited man is casually perched on the side steps of San Francisco’s iconic ride as it travels Nob Hill. Before him a ’60 Plymouth taxi follows the dovelike flight of a ’60 Ford Starliner as it blurs into a turn. Behind him, perspective plays games as the cable car heads up that oh-so fashionable hill past a little red side-mounted sign on which Fairmount Hotel Tonga Room is written in neon. It marks the entrance to San Francisco’s most deluxe and enduring tiki bar and restaurant.

Tucked away deep inside the famous Fairmont Hotel, the Tonga Room is the city’s kitschiest tourist attraction. The centerpiece and crowning touch is the pool where, to this day, the live band plays floating on a little stage. And if that’s not exotic enough for you, it fake rains every 20 minutes. And who doesn’t love fake rain while drinking and dining!

So if you are in mood for a Mai Tai and puu-puu platter this is the absolute perfect place for you and your tribe to belly up to the tiki bar and unleash a primal scream of pure joy. Rice-a-Roni isn’t the only San Francisco treat. So is the legendary Tonga Room.

BUT…BIG BUT… whatever you do…don’t dawdle get there ASAP. Developers have been threatening to demo the Tonga Room to build a mondo condo tower for years.

Speaking of SF, I’m deeee-lighted to be debuting my RETRO SLIDE SHOW there, a deep-fried and delicious live comedy performance celebrating classic and kitschy mid-century American life and style…tourist traps theme parks, space age suburbia, car culture and much much more!

Thursday night, April 14th, 8 p.m. at the Roxie Theater.

Here’s to San Francisco, the Tonga Room and YOU!

Charles Phoenix
March 26, 2011
Los Angeles, CA

P.S. You are cordially invited to join me on Facebook for more Americana goodness!


Party Store Rentals, Van Nuys CA

Clotheslines and power lines pattern an overcast sky. A trio of gents poses with a ferocious lion, fortune teller, blue-eyed clown and barefoot monkey. They are in the backyard of a classic Van Nuys track home. One of the men, I don't know which one, owns a party store on Van Nuys Blvd. He rents these standees out. Each is a precious one-of-a-kind work of art as you can see...



Another Weird Cake

Going through other people's old slides I've seen a lot of cakes but this one is unexplainable. Yellow, orange, Chinese red, avocado green and black lumps of mystery matter on top of tan frosting. It's ANOTHER WEIRD CAKE - and the SLIDE-OF-THE-WEEK. Cake is special. It would be unfathomable to celebrate a wedding, anniversary or birthday without one.



Plymouth Fury

The 1960 Plymouth Fury is one of the most spectacular cars of the space age! First of all, the name, FURY! It's the only car ever named for violent anger or rage. How weird is that? That pointy front fender; the shape of the wheel wells and yes, just in case you didn't notice, those ravishing rooster tail fins! Cock-a-doodle-doo!