legion of talented actors and beloved stars come and go. At the Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, California, many of those figures actually gathered and lived together for decades... in wax.
Created in 1962 by Allen Parkinson, Movieland went through several shifts in ownership but enjoyed a hugely successful run as America’s biggest wax museum and a frequent tourist attraction. Visitors could gaze at their favorite screen icons and learn about their lives and work as they strolled through the building’s many ‘sets’ designed for the ambience of their Tinseltown subjects.
Those subjects included everyone from Rudolph Valentino and Tom Mix to Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable to Jennifer Lopez. An accompanying ‘Starprint Gallery’ collected famous cement hand prints to view as well.
Inevitably, time has cast a curious shadow on some of the choices that the artists made for the subjects of their creations. Bill Clinton, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ricky Martin and the Olsen Twins are a few that might have seemed appropriate for about a week or two but now only serve to forever boggle your pop culture mind.
In 2005 the waxy star palace finally closed its doors after 43 unrivaled years. The building itself has since been demolished and will apparently be set aside for what will be the world’s largest butterfly observatory!
Now only a fantastic memory of ‘celluloid heroes’, the Movieland Wax Museum is remembered for its first-rate showcasing of those greats of the silver screen with imagination and artistry that brought it all to the masses in style.
Acknowledgement: Thank you to Daveland for use of the photos in this story. Check out his blog, photography and art at davelandweb.com.