The top celebrity attraction brand – Madame Tussauds, is opening in the global home of celebrity – Hollywood on August 1st – a perfect partnership
Global visitor attraction operator Merlin Entertainments (Merlin) is opening its newest attraction, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, on August 1st. The $55m attraction is the ninth Madame Tussauds to open worldwide and fourth in the USA, joining sister attractions in New York, Las Vegas and Washington DC. It is also the brand’s biggest and most ambitious project to date.
Housed in an exciting new building designed by John Ash and Michael Rotondi, and located right next door to the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Madame Tussauds Hollywood is destined to be the “must do” attraction for all visitors to the area. More than that, with its striking contemporary architecture, courtyard and roof garden, the building provides an iconic new landmark for the area.
200 Years of Quality
The biggest new leisure development in LA this year, Madame Tussauds Hollywood is the ultimate celebrity experience, and not like any other attraction. Its sculptors produce wax figures of such quality and so lifelike that visitors – and celebrities themselves – often do a double take. Our visitors have no problem believing that they really are standing beside or acting/competing with their heroes.
This is the result of 200 years of Madame Tussauds’ expertise and painstaking research for every figure. Each one takes a minimum of 3 months to make, and many are produced following sittings with the celebrities themselves. They are all produced as a result of hundreds of separate measurements, hours matching skin tone, eye and hair colour – with every individual hair inserted separately. Celebrities and studio wardrobes also often supply clothing for the figures, or designers will reproduce significant or iconic outfits as exact replicas for us. A famous example of this is Princess Diana’s wedding dress for example which was on display in the London attraction the day after the wedding and was made in tandem with the original dress by the designers – and with her approval. No one else has this relationship with the famous – who regard inclusion in Madame Tussauds as a huge honour and recognition of their status and achievement.
A movie lovers dream
Like all the other Madame Tussauds, the content and design of the Hollywood attraction reflects its location – in short it majors on movies. It is a chance for visitors to get up close and personal with over a 100 of their movie heroes from Golden Greats like Brando, Hepburn, Bette Davis and Cary Grant ……to contemporary stars like Jackman, Willis and Depp. They will be joined by local sports stars and LA glitterati like TV presenter Kathy Griffin; Grauman’s creator Johnny Grant; Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; and of course the late ‘Michael Jackson’ – in his BAD persona.
Madame Tussauds Hollywood will also offer a host of fun ways to interact with the stars – to see exactly what it is like to be and feel like them. It is the only place in which you can ‘star’ in a classic movie scenes via green screen technology; or co-star with Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate; try your scream in the Alfred Hitchcock area; ‘climb’ on the ceiling with Spiderman; be photographed with President Obama; or race against cyclist Lance Armstrong or champion skateboarder Tony Hawk….and much more. Madame Tussauds’ undoubtedly offers the opportunity to be the closest to the celebrities we admire that most of us will ever be – and there will be nowhere else quite like this attraction anywhere in the world – let alone in Los Angeles.
Continued Merlin Growth
The Hollywood project is the third new attraction Merlin has opened this year, in line with the company’s strategy to roll out 3 / 4 of its primary ‘midway’ brands (short stay, indoor attractions) around the world every year. Madame Tussauds Hollywood is the Group’s 59th attraction globally; third in California – alongside LEGOLAND and SEA LIFE – and eighth in the USA overall, a key development market for Merlin.
Commenting Merlin Entertainments Midway Managing Director Glenn Earlam said: “We are delighted to be opening a Madame Tussauds in Hollywood which feels like the most natural home for the brand. The Hollywood attraction is also quite different from most of our other ‘midway’ projects. It is for example the first time we have designed and built a new building of our own which will show the figures off to a maximum advantage, and add to the overall excitement.”
He continued: “Hollywood is primarily about movies, and we have had great support for the project not just from our neighbours and the people of Hollywood; but importantly from both the talent and studios alike. Like our visitors, they appreciate Madame Tussauds is a unique experience. There are no ropes or barriers here, and our wax figures are so lifelike our visitors really do feel they are not just meeting but ‘starring’ with the finest collection of movie figures from the past and present to be found anywhere.”
More than half a billion people have experienced Madame Tussauds since it first opened in London some 200 years ago. Today there are nine Madame Tussauds around the world in London, New York, Amsterdam, Las Vegas, Hollywood, Washington DC, Berlin, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Each one is quite different in its figure content and design, but equally each one offers the same unique opportunity to get up close and personal with historic and modern day ‘celebrities’ who have shaped the world; and which represent the heart and interest of the City in which each individual attraction is located.
MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. The world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 58 attractions, 6 hotels and two holiday villages in 13 countries, across 3 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 35 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 13, 500 employees.
Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – SEA LIFE – the world’s biggest aquarium brand, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo, Heide Park, and Earth Explorer. All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative – and which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.