If its owners have a say, Wonderland Cave, once a huge draw for tourists in Bella Vista, will soon be a boon to the tourism industry once again.
The cavern, entered in the National Register of Historic Places on Jan. 1, 1988, was transformed into an underground nightclub in 1930, after one of the Linebarger brothers, then owners of Bella Vista resort, was inspired by a lounge in Paris that was plastered to resemble a cave.
Wonderland Cave could accommodate about 500 people and featured a dance floor, stage and custom-made rock tables. It was a popular venue for big-band music in the 1930s and 1940s, hosting acts like Guy Lombardo and the Dorsey Brothers. It was allegedly a favorite haunt of then-Missouri U.S. Sen. Harry Truman and actor Errol Flynn.
The cave and the property above the... [ MORE ]