Monday, December 15, 2014

           The PALACE OF WAX & 
RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! MUSEUM


PALACE OF WAX AND RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! The Palace of Wax and Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum, in Grand Prairie, was called the Southwestern Historical Wax Museum and the Wax Museum of the Southwest until 1989. The institution originally opened in the Varied Industries Building at Fair Park, Dallas, in September 1963. It was founded by W. Thomas Bolton, John A. Prather, and J. C. Brown. The museum's exhibits included scenes of western gunfights and many historical figures of the southwest such as Cynthia Ann Parker and Antonio L√≥pez de Santa Anna. A number of other figures included Bonnie Parker andClyde Barrow, John F. Kennedy, and Elvis Presley. The museum also included a collection of firearms once owned by the outlaws and heroes of the Southwest. By 1982 the museum had moved to its Grand Prairie location and was operated there until a fire destroyed it in October 1988.
In January 1989 the owners of the museum, Classic Attractions, Incorporated, announced the construction of a new wax museum on the site of the old museum. They renamed it the Palace of Wax. The new structure also included a Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum. Both museums are housed in a 41,000-square-foot building fashioned after an Arabian palace. The new wax museum contains approximately 100 wax figures crafted by the museum's sculptor, Peter Carsillo.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Dallas Morning News, January 13, 1989. Ann Ruff, Amazing Texas Monuments and Museums from the Enchanting to the Bizarre (Houston: Gulf, 1984).
                                                           **FROM THE TEXAS STATE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION**




( This Palace of Wax brochure is but one of many items from the private collection of Timothy Randall and can be found, along with thousands of others, within the ever growing 'WAXIPEDIA ARCHIVES'.
Dedicated to preserving the history of Wax Arts, and the unique stories of all those involved in it's development, WAXIPEDIA strives to become the ultimate source of information on the subject of wax museums.  Anyone interested in donating items for preservation are invited to contact me at timothywrandall@gmail.com. Donated items will be cataloged, digitally scanned, photographed, and restored.  Any items donated will also be credited as part of the specific donors collection {ie. STUBERGH COLLECTION, T. W. RANDALL COLLECTION, etc} and will be preserved and made available to future generations of artists, designers, historians and fans).

Friday, December 12, 2014

PLAZA THEATRE OF WAX 
& Ripley's Believe It or Not! 
San Antonio, Texas

Opened on February 1, 1987 the Plaza Theatre of Wax joined the company on it's sister attraction, The Southwestern Historical Wax Museum (in Grand Prairie, Texas) to create a chain of Texan wax museums. The original museum contained hundreds of figures imported from Orlando's 'Stars Hall of Fame' and was later complimented by original sculptures by Peter Carsillo. Exhibited in sets designed by Dr. Blood himself, Drew Edward Hunter, the museum was purchased by Ripley Entertainment and re-branded as the 'Louis Tussaud's Waxworks' in January 2000.
Though very few of the original figures remain (most seem to have been removed and sold off) the museum remains a mainstay of San Antonio's tourism scene despite vocal opponents to the attractions somewhat tacky nature. 

(This brochure is from June 1993)





( This Plaza Theatre of Wax brochure is but one of many items from the private collection of Timothy Randall and can be found, along with thousands of others, within the ever growing 'WAXIPEDIA ARCHIVES'.
Dedicated to preserving the history of Wax Arts, and the unique stories of all those involved in it's development, WAXIPEDIA strives to become the ultimate source of information on the subject of wax museums.  Anyone interested in donating items for preservation are invited to contact me at timothywrandall@gmail.com. Donated items will be cataloged, digitally scanned, photographed, and restored.  Any items donated will also be credited as part of the specific donors collection {ie. STUBERGH COLLECTION, T. W. RANDALL COLLECTION, etc} and will be preserved and made available to future generations of artists, designers, historians and fans).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

As 2014 draws ever closer to a close let us look back to a 'PUNCH' Cartoon from December 31 1881 and visit 'Time's Waxworks'



( This historic 1881 cartoon is but one of many items from the private collection of Timothy Randall and can be found, along with thousands of others, within the ever growing 'WAXIPEDIA ARCHIVES'.
Dedicated to preserving the history of Wax Arts, and the unique stories of all those involved in it's development, WAXIPEDIA strives to become the ultimate source of information on the subject of wax museums.  Anyone interested in donating items for preservation are invited to contact me at timothywrandall@gmail.com. Donated items will be cataloged, digitally scanned, photographed, and restored.  Any items donated will also be credited as part of the specific donors collection {ie. STUBERGH COLLECTION, T. W. RANDALL COLLECTION, etc} and will be preserved and made available to future generations of artists, designers, historians and fans).
      CREATING THE CREATURE

Back in 1976 the Stubergh Wax Studios, of Niagara Falls, was approached to create a scene based upon Universal Studios's great Monster Classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon. The "Creature" and his buxom victim were to inhabit a corner of the famed New Orelans Wax Museum, the Musee Conti, in The Haunted Dungeon.  Here we havE the original figure descrription sheets (from the STUBERGH COLLECTION of the WAXIPEDIA ARCHIVES) showing all necessary measurements, costs and colors of this green terror. To round out this update I've also added some relatively current images of the display.

OF SPECIAL NOTE: The Musee Conti Wax Museum has been listed as being for sale for a while now and though I'm optimistic some caring, kinda, multi-millionaire will eventually purchase this historical gem I must urge you all to make a visit to New Orleans and grace this unique place with your admission. It's through our support that places like this continue operation.





















( The Creature from the Black Lagoon - Musee Conti figure sheets are but one of many items within the historic STUBERGH COLLECTION, and are only a small part of the ever growing 'WAXIPEDIA ARCHIVES'.
Dedicated to preserving the history of Wax Arts, and the unique stories of all those involved in it's development, WAXIPEDIA strives to become the ultimate source of information on the subject of wax museums.  Anyone interested in donating items for preservation are invited to contact me at timothywrandall@gmail.com. Donated items will be cataloged, digitally scanned, photographed, and restored.  Any items donated will also be credited as part of the specific donors collection {ie. STUBERGH COLLECTION, T. W. RANDALL COLLECTION, etc} and will be preserved and made available to future generations of artists, designers, historians and fans).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Potter's Wax Museum Mold List - May 1992

Among the thousands of items I have within my wax museum archives, this has got to be one of the
most interesting. It is a list of available molds for the figures displayed at Potter's Wax Museum. George L. Potter's International Hall of Fame opened on the ground floor of the Plaza Hotel at 1 King Street in beautiful, historic St. Augustine, Florida and featured (literally) hundreds of wax figures created by Gems Wax Models of London. At it's peak, this small city attraction was the second largest wax museum in the world (only beaten by Madame Tussaud's of London).
   Now how or when the molds made their way to the United States, I have no idea, and where they are today is even a bigger unsolved mystery, but I am an optimist who hopes that one day they will fall (unscathed) into the right hands and will be put to good use! But, until that time, enjoy this list and imagine all the hard work that went into producing these molds (and pray they are safe and sound......somewhere).






( The Potter's Wax Museum mold list sheets are but one of many items from the private collection of Timothy Randall and are only a small part of the ever growing 'WAXIPEDIA ARCHIVES'.
Dedicated to preserving the history of Wax Arts, and the unique stories of all those involved in it's development, WAXIPEDIA strives to become the ultimate source of information on the subject of wax museums.  Anyone interested in donating items for preservation are invited to contact me at timothywrandall@gmail.com. Donated items will be cataloged, digitally scanned, photographed, and restored.  Any items donated will also be credited as part of the specific donors collection {ie. STUBERGH COLLECTION, T. W. RANDALL COLLECTION, etc} and will be preserved and made available to future generations of artists, designers, historians and fans).


x
STARS HALL OF FAME
Orlando's 
Movie & Entertainment Wax Museum
May 1975 - September 1984

PRE-OPENING BROCHURE (from the personal collection of Timothy Randall)












( This Stars Hall of Fame Pre-Opening brochure is but one of many items from the private collection of Timothy Randall and can be found, along with thousands of others, within the ever growing 'WAXIPEDIA ARCHIVES'.
Dedicated to preserving the history of Wax Arts, and the unique stories of all those involved in it's development, WAXIPEDIA strives to become the ultimate source of information on the subject of wax museums.  Anyone interested in donating items for preservation are invited to contact me at timothywrandall@gmail.com. Donated items will be cataloged, digitally scanned, photographed, and restored.  Any items donated will also be credited as part of the specific donors collection {ie. STUBERGH COLLECTION, T. W. RANDALL COLLECTION, etc} and will be preserved and made available to future generations of artists, designers, historians and fans).


THE WORLD'S #1 WAX MUSEUM CHAIN
(which isn't a "wax museum" anymore)

The undisputed grand-dame of Wax Museums has got to be Madame Tussaud's. Having a history that spans from the 1780's the museum has morphed itself into an interactive "wax attractions" attempting to shed the perceived negative stigma of being a museum (though I've never personally understood what's wrong with museums, especially seeing as though the Themed Entertainment Association figured an estimated 106,000,000 people visited the world's top 20 "museums" last year alone!)
   With that all said, Madame Tusssauds (they dropped the apostrophe after the acquisition of the museums parent company, The Tussaud Group, by Merlin Entertainments) has now/plans to expand aggressively. This map represents Madame Tussauds current locations (with Orlando, Florida and Chongqing, China presently under construction). The museum chain will continue it's global expansion with no signs of slowing down and already has several possible international locations being considered. But until they're confirmed (or denied) we'll just have to use our imagination of what a Madame Tussauds South Korea, Toronto or Chicago would be like and settle for a visit to the real deal in any of these (almost) 20 world cities!


 Madame Tussauds from around the World
                              (and across time)

1835 - The First Permanent Madame Tussaud's & Son's Exhibition located on the second floor of the                                                               Baker Street Bazaar, London.
                                      

1884 - twenty-four years after the death of the museums founderess, Madame Marie Tussaud, the exhibition moved to the current site on Marylebone Road, London.

1925- A great fire destroys the exhibition. Luckily, many of the priceless molds were stored in the basement of the building and survived.

 1928 - The exhibition reopens in a newly rebuilt building Though it lacks many of the grandiose features of the previous museum it does eventually install a restaurant and cinema. During the Second World War the Cinema was destroyed and was eventually replaced with the London Planetarium.


1970 - The first permanent exhibition of Madame Tussaud wax figures opens on the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

1973 - Madame Tussaud's purchases Wookey Hole and uses the former paper mill as a storeroom for the priceless molds and opens several attractions, including a recreation of what Madame Tussaud's Exhibition looks like as she traveled the English Isles for 33 years! (The attraction would later be closed and the property sold off)

 1978 - Tussaud's purchases Warwick Castle, in Staffordshire, and over time develops several important recreations and exhibitions many of which use Madame Tussaud wax figures.

1982 - Madame Tussaud's Limited creates an original exhibition at the Windsor & EEton Central Railway Station called Royalty & Empire: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (the exhibit would close in the 1990's)

1989 - Rock Circus opens in the heart of London's Piccadilly Circus and features dozens of Rock n' Roll legends recreated in both wax and life-like robots (The attractions would later close)

1991 - Madame Tussaud's Amsterdam moves from it's original location to the heart of the cities famous Dam Square.

1997 - Madame Tussaud's begins an international Touring Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia.

1998 - The Touring Exhibition moves from Melbourne to Sydney, Australia

1999 - Madame Tussaud's makes it US debut in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Venetian Resort & Casino.


1999 - The Tussaud's Traveling Exhibition moves to Singapore.

2000 - Opening in the heart of New York's Times Square, this museum featured 85,000sq ft of interactive wax exhibits.

2000 - After three years of traveling over thousands of miles, the Tussaud's Traveling Exhibition makes Hong Kong's famous Peak Tower it's permanent home.

2002 - After the Tussaud Groups purchase of the Heide Park theme park, in Soltau, Germany, the company sets up a limited-time exhibition called 'Rock & Pop'. The exhibited featured many of the best exhibits from London's closed 'Rock Circus'.

2006 - breaking into the mainland Chinese maker, Madame Tussaud's Shanghai opens on the 10th floor of the New World Department Store.

2007 -  Madame Tussaud's Washington DC opens in the Woodies Building, not far from Ford's Theater.

2008 - Madame Tussauds Berlin opens as Merlin Entertainments (the new owner of the chain) 8th attraction along the cities famed Unter den Linden.

2009 - Housed in a purpose built $55million (US) building located directly next to Hollywood's famous Chinese Theater (with it's 'hand print' display) this attraction featured the creme-de-la-creme of cinemas past and present stars.

2010 - With a December 4th opening, Madame Tussauds Bangkok took up residence on the 6th Floor of Siam Discovery.

2011 - Madame Tussauds opens on the famous Blackpool Promenade at England's most famous beach resort. The attractions takes over the nearly 100 year old location of the much less dignified (and often mocked) 'Louis Tussaud's Waxworks'.

2011 - Beneath the fabled cars of Prater Parks famous Ferris Wheel, Madame Tussauds Wien (Vienna) allowed visitors interact with the like of both Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Hasselhoff.

2011 - A special, limited time engagement exhibition opened in Tokyo, Japan.

2012 - Sydney's Darling Harbor gained a new attraction (and the Aquarium gained a neighbor) when this branch opened "Down Under".

2012 - A special, limited time engagement exhibition opened at the Centum City (The Guinness Book of World Record holder for the biggest Department Store) in Busan, South Korea.

2013 - A permanent Madame Tussauds Tokyo makes it's debut at Decks Tokyo Beach in Odaiba, Tokyo.

2013 - Inland China's 1st Madame Tussauds opens along Wuhan's Han Street.

2014 - Opened in May, Madame Tussauds Beijing, China's 4th attraction, is located in a historical building along the cities Qianmen Street but blocks from the famous Tiananmen Square.

2014 - Replacing the much missed Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf, Madame Tussauds San Francisco is a expertly crafted addition to the famous waterside tourist district. 

2014 - A special exhibition located within one of the Halls of cities already existing Wax Museum, Madame Tussauds Prague recently announced that it's "limited time engagement" had been extended until at least October 2015. With the city already home to the highly successful 'Grevin Praha' (the third branch for the French 'Grevin' wax museum company) we might see, as we did in Blackpool San Francisco, and Singapore, the Tussauds permanent take over of yet another wax museum.

2014 -  Opening on October 25th of this year,  Madame Tussauds Singapore features a wax figure filled boat ride and replaced Sentosa's former wax museums, the Images of Singapore.  

2015 - Madame Tussauds Orlando

Chongqing, China..............and beyond.