Eastside Cannery

The Cannery does have a neat lightshow on its hotel facade.

Waiting around for, well for something. That’s my whole life, I wait. I may as well be in the army here for all the hurry-up-and-wait I do here in my life. While I’m waiting around for something that ended up never materializing (again, that’s my life in a nutshell), I wandered over to the Eastside Cannery to take a few photos.

The Eastside Cannery is that one hotel you see off in the middle of nowhere along the Boulder Highway between Downtown and Henderson. It’s the one with the, well let’s just say that it has a totally fucking rad light display along the outside.

The exterior of the hotel tower is ringed by these LED matrix stripes that somewhat resemble the CRT lines in a very low-resolution interlaced-scan display. Each line is capable of changing colors laterally and when manipulated in concert with the lines above and below, images whip and whorl across the face of the hotel tower. Lines bip and blip up and down like a stereo equalizer and little circles spiral and zoom in and out in procedurally-generated blobs of color, light and enjoyment.

Really, it’s neat. I pointed my camera up at it and got about a minute of video on it as the facade changed colors like an excitable cuttlefish dazzles its prey before lashing out with its lightning tentacles and crunching down on an unsuspecting arthropod with its calcified beak. Nom nom (video).


Heading into the Cannery I noticed something, something I really didn’t like about it. Holy shit is this casino floor bright. Seriously I’m used to shooting indoors with my ISO set to 400 or 800. I had to tone it down to 200 and close the aperture a bit to avoid overexposed photos. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a casino floor so brightly damn lit. It was almost uncomfortable.

The clientèle was strictly locals-only. Elderly casino players staggered and shuffled through the floor, players club cards dangling from curly cord keyrings as they glide on their walkers to their favorite machines, playing club card comps to win more club card comps[2].

Bravo Twenty Niner, heading in on final approach. Copy that control, we have the green light to drop. Dropping in ten.

Upstairs was a bingo hall. I’ve honestly never in my life seen a bingo hall. I figured they were just in boring Back East states where gaming isn’t allowed. So seeing one was kind of an OOP, like that spark plug inside the agate from the Cretaceous.

My most recent video game console is older than these "retro classic" poker machines.

The Eastside Cannery sports some retro, vintage slot machines. If you can call machines with a copyright date of 1999 as “retro vintage,” that is. They take coins, and being a dude who grew up[1] around the old coin-op mechanical slots and digital-toggle (pre touchscreen) poker machines, the clatter and clank of coins dropping from a chute into a steel catchpan was sweetly, wistfully nostalgic. It brought back fond memories of smoke-filled casino floors in Gardnerville and Carson, electronic blips and tones filling the air in a cacophony of FM synth accompanied by the mechanical click-clack-clonk-tack of the analog roller-drum slot machines coming to a stop.

Do I hate the Eastside Cannery? No, not as much as I hate say the Mirage or the Wynn, but I also don’t love the property. It’s too bright, too clean, too impersonal and antiseptic. It’s the sort of place that was made for and appealing to old retired folk living in the suburban sprawl of the east valley. All in all, I’m pretty ambivalent.

[1]lies. You never grew up.

[2]this is how my grandmother gambles and it confounds me how she just goes in with an armload of players club cards and leverages comps against comps in order to win more comps. She never goes in nor leaves with cash.


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