I can't believe it. When I heard back in March that the Laclede's Landing Wax Museum had closed for "renovation," I was sure it was closed for good and I was devastated. Awesome kitschy attractions are closing down every day all over the country and I've become a pessimist. Thank goodness I was wrong!
I was browsing RoadsideAmerica.com earlier this week and saw recent updates to the Wax Museum's entry, so I made tracks down there as soon as I could. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. One of the things I loved so much about the Wax Museum was it's low-budget eccentricity and DIY style. Some of that was lost in the remodel, but I hope that I'm just seeing a work in process.
Some may point out that a lot of these new figures are mannequins, not wax, but I'm not one to quibble. What's the point in paying hundreds of dollars for a wax figure that is completely covered in a costume?
Also, Charlie was not there, and he's half the fun. The people who were working there were polite and friendly, but they didn't have Charlie's enthusiasm. I hope he is still working there. I didn't see his wax figure (or did I...?)
Above is a picture from last year's post. That's Charlie. If you are new to the blog, you should definitely go back to read that one, so you have a sense of what is new (and what is blessedly the same.)
We went straight to the top (still 5 Levels of Fun!) and worked our way down. I was going to say something completely different in regards to how I feel about them taking away Madame Tussaud's hooch and pistol, and then as I was previewing this entry I realized THAT IS CHARLIE'S HEAD. At least I think it is. If so, WELL PLAYED.
Neil Armstrong is still missing his helmet, but you can see one of the major improvements they made to many of the cases: video screens. With a Dell computer and keyboard in full view in most cases.
Liz Taylor still has her amazing rack, though.
Here's a new one I just have to share, despite the poor lighting. It's supposed to be Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in Men In Black, but someone said they look like Will Ferrell and Jesse Jackson.
Standing in for Barack Obama's wax figure: Barack Obama's cardboard cutout. Now THIS is what I expect from the Laclede's Landing Wax Museum.
Check out Swayze's sweet mullet. I'm guessing he's next to Whoopi because of Ghost (they should just throw a Kevin Bacon into every ambiguous display.)
Creepy Snow White? Check. Now with creepier display. Speaking of creepy, did Michael Jackson ever look like this?
The expanded "Chamber of Horrors" is pretty amazing. The old Chamber of Horrors is still in the basement, but the first floor is full of horror displays, some of which are animatronic. I was startled more than once. However, while these are pretty awesome, I doubt many of them qualify as wax figures.
I didn't want to do too many repeats, so you will be happy to know that Henry VII and all his wives are still there, the Hall of Jesus remains virtually unchanged, and the room of musicians is still there but somewhat rearranged. Inexplicably, they got rid of Liberace's piano. Maybe it's out for rhinestone repair.
Laclede's Landing Wax Museum is located at 720 North Second Street and admission is $8. This is double the old rate, but still more than reasonable in my opinion. See the website (linked at the beginning of this post) for seasonal hours of operation.