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What Is Wax Museum (Part 2-Notable Wax Museums)
- Dec 21, 2017 -

Notable wax museums

Madame Tussauds, historically associated with London, is the most famous name associated with wax museums, although it was by no means the earliest wax museum, as is sometimes thought. In 1835 Madame Tussaud established her first permanent exhibition in London's Baker Street. By the late 19th century most large cities had some kind of commercial wax museum, and for a century these remained highly popular. In the late 20th century it became harder for them to compete with other attractions.

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Today there are also Madame Tussauds in Dam Square, Amsterdam; Berlin; Madame Tussauds Hong Kong; Shanghai; and five locations in the United States: the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, Times Square in New York City, Washington, D.C., Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco and Hollywood.  


Louis Tussaud's wax museum in San Antonio, Texas, is across the street from the historic Alamo. Others are located on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, and Grand Prairie, Texas.


One of the most popular wax museums in the United States for decades was The Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, California, near Knott's Berry Farm. The museum opened in 1962 and through the years added many wax figures of famous show business figures. Several stars attended the unveilings of the wax incarnations. The museum closed its doors on October 31, 2005, after years of dwindling attendance.


However, the most enduring museum in the United States is the Hollywood Wax Museum located in Hollywood, California which features almost exclusively figures of movie actors displayed in settings associated with their roles in popular movies. This group of museums includes Hollywood Wax Museum Branson in Branson, Missouri along with Hollywood Wax Museum Pigeon Forge in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and Hollywood Wax Museum Myrtle Beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. With the original location having been developed in the mid-1960s, the most recent reports suggest that this group of museums is experiencing brisk business with the Branson location having undergone a substantial expansion and remodeling in 2008 and 2009 including an animated ride and a mirror maze.


Another popular wax museum is the Musée Conti Wax Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, which features wax figures portraying the city's history as well as a "Haunted Dungeon" section of wax figures of famous characters from horror films and literature. This museum is currently closed as the Conti building is being converted into condos. The museum should reopen at Jazzland Theme Park some time in the future. Another popular wax museum in the U.S. is the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, California.


The Royal London Wax Museum was open in downtown Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, from 1970 to 2010 in the Steamship Terminal building, it featured "royalty to rogues and the renowned." It was forced to close when the building required seismic upgrades.


The National Wax Museum in Dublin, Ireland is a wax museum which hosts well over a hundred figures. For many years it has had only one sculptor, PJ Heraty, who continued producing figures even while the museum was closed. Meanwhile, it could be re-opened at a new location. During the last few years some other new wax museums are starting around the world. In 2009 Dreamland Wax Museum opened in Gramado, in the south of Brazil.


The National Presidential Wax Museum in Keystone, South Dakota is the only wax museum in the world to feature every U.S. President. Their exhibits also include other notable figures from history such as General George Custer, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Sitting Bull. Originally created by the famed sculptress Katherine Stubergh, the museum includes death and life masks of notable Hollywood celebrities including Mae West Sid Grauman. Their most revered exhibit is a depiction of George W. Bush standing on the rubble of the World Trade Center with NYFD fireman Bob Beckwith following the attacks on September 11, 2001.

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