Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MOVIELAND WAX MUSEUM BUENA PARK, CA

I’ve always enjoyed Wax Museums and I was glad to have the chance in 1999 to visit the Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, California before it closed in 2005.

For your viewing pleasure here’s a fun souvenir photo of a family hamming it up with Frankenstein’s Monster in Frankenstein’s Photo Gallery. I like how the dad is trying to light his cigarette on the neck bolt and that they’ve pinned some type of silly button on his lapel.




The next three photos are 1960's souvenir postcards of Boris Karloff as the Monster, Lon Chaney as the Phantom of the Opera, and Vincent Price as Prof. Henry Jarrod from House of Wax.




Here we have a 1966 souvenir coloring book and I’ve scanned all the monster pages.






The last three images are snapshots that I took during the only time I visited the museum.



4 comments:

Steven in Bangkok said...

Movieland Wax Museum finally closed??? I'm surprised it lasted than long. That place looked like it was on the brink of bankruptcy as far back as 1979 when I last visited.

The fun family who are mocking Frankenstein's monster were typical of visitors to the wax museum. People used to climb on the displays and do cheeky things like pulling down Fonzie's pants and posing for pictures. It didn't help that the staff had put huge molded tinfoil packages in the pants of many of the male characters. Naturally, people were curious...

Mike Middleton said...

Great stuff NC! Hopefully the Extinct Attractions Club will have their Movieland DVD out soon.

CC said...

Like so many others, I cherish my memories of Movieland, and it was with sadness I watched the auction all day long last winter. I pitched Ira Glass' PBS show to do a story on "where are these works now," realizing millions of people enjoyed this museum. For those who weren't familiar with Movieland, I hoped the PBS show "All Things Considered" might us Movieland to explore the human psyche as to why we as a culture are so fascinated with celebrity and icons (wax and real) that many would spend thousands of dollars to own a life sized piece of wax and display them in their homes (creepy in some cases, perhaps, but that just makes the story more intriguing). I thought it would be a great story. Sadly, I never got past a "thank you for sharing."

However, its been a year and I am inspired by the many people talking about their fond memories of Movieland online. Having run across these neat sites, I have to assume the folks at PBS Chicago just don't think there's an interest for this story. I was thinking- if enough people are interested in this story as am I, perhaps I could repitch PBS (I'm a TV and radio producer myself) … this time with a petition. Would it be possible to draft a letter and have you send that out to your database? All I'd need (I think) is their first name and city/state. What do you think? I still think it would make an amazing story that fans of the museum, as well as those learning of it for the first time, would really enjoy it. Interested in being on a petition? If so, drop me your first name and city (your addy will not be sent) to bcastgrrl (at) gmail.com Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I worked at MWM from about 1976-78

I worked a little in the Starlight gift shop. And I would love to hear from someone that worked there around the same time. The Keystone Cops (security) were nice guys. I remember one named "Ed" that was the best of the bunch. For a time there was a plain clothes security guy from India. His name was "Singh" and he wore a turban.
One of my supervisors name was Lori. And I believe I remember Marilyn Westbrook named above.

I also worked in the Wolfman and Frankenstein photo booth I had to listen to Shirley Temple's "On the Good Ship Lollipop" for 8hrs. Through the trellace fence I could see those working in the carnival. I also worked in the SPock photo booth.
We had an employee Halloween party where we all dressed as someone in the museum. That's where I got the idea to dress like Redford as Sundance. This was a great job and I'm sad it's closed.

Les Young