With everything bigger in Texas, Ripley Entertainment Inc. has opened the doors to the all-new Ripley’s San Antonio Odditorium, the largest and most interactive Ripley’s to date. The all-new Odditorium houses the ultimate in the odd and bizarre, including the mortician’s toe tag from Lee Harvey Oswald, a two-trunked elephant, a 512-pound iron meteorite and the mummified head of American cannibal Alfred Packer.
To celebrate the grand opening, Ripley’s hosted a large collection of “Human Believe It or Nots!” with performers and human anomalies from all walks of life including the 999 Eyes Freakshow, The Traumatic Stress Discipline Suspension Group, Sideshow Bennie the Human Pincushion, Jalisa the Eye Popper, Larry the Leopard, Katzen the Tiger Lady, Wildthing (a trained buffalo!) and many more.
“Ripley was first in Texas at the World’s Exposition of 1936 in Dallas, and in San Antonio for the past 20 years. We are thrilled to present our biggest Ripley’s to date in the great state of Texas, ” said Jim Pattison Jr., President, Ripley Entertainment Inc. “This fantastic collection captures the essence of Mr. Ripley, the eccentric collector who proved to the world that truth could indeed be stranger than fiction.”
The phrase “Believe It or Not!” is as much a part of the American psyche as the automobile, the Beatles, or the desktop computer. The man who coined the phrase—Robert Leroy Ripley—is an icon in the world of cartoon art; the first person to be elected to the Trivia Hall of Fame, and the founder of an entertainment empire based on the premise that “truth is stranger than fiction” that includes books, newspaper comics, television shows and international museum attractions.
The San Antonio Express was among the very first papers to syndicate the original Ripley’s cartoon in 1929, making them the longest continuous carrier of the iconic comic strip.
The Ripley’s San Antonio Highlights
Like the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! attractions around the globe, each item inside Ripley’s San Antonio appeals to man’s basic curiosity and desire to know more about this world. Guests will find only authentic, original and unbelievable exhibits in the San Antonio Odditorium, including locks of hair that belonged to Marilyn Monroe, a 23-foot Eiffel Tower made from toothpicks, a Japanese Kimono made from tea bags and a deer with eight feet on four legs.
Some key exhibits include:
Lee Harvey Oswald Car
Buell Wesley Frazier was Lee Harvey Oswald’s neighbor and close friend. Oswald had no driver’s license and regularly had Frazier drive him to work. On the morning of Nov. 22, 1963 Frazier drove Oswald to the Texas School Book Depository. In the back seat of this car wrapped in papers was the $12 rifle that Oswald used to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. Frazier thought the package contained curtain rods. Stricken with grief and haunted by the memory, Frazier sold the car years later for a mere $10.
North American Indian Scrimshawed Buffalo Skeleton
Ripley’s San Antonio houses one of the world’s largest samples of scrimshaw, the ancient Native American Indian and Inuit art form of carving into animal bones. Typically only individual bones are carved, and occasionally an animal’s skull might be used, but this sacred buffalo is the only scrimshawed buffalo. From the time of his vision, to completion, including the creation of the symbolic wood base, it took more than seven years for Lakota, Sioux descendent James Durham of (South Dakota) to complete this masterpiece. Covered with more than 100, 000 etchings on virtually every bone of the real skeleton, the artwork depicts the seven sacred rites of the Lakota Sioux Nation, including the famous Sundance ritual in which an innate becomes a full-fledged warrior by being suspended from long house rafters from skewers pierced through his chest to prove his valor.
Believe It or Not!, this full size bull African elephant legally culled on Nov. 9, 2004 in Zimbabwe, Africa, had two fully developed usable trunks! DNA analysis confirmed the authenticity of this, the rarest animal oddity in the entire Ripley’s Believe It or Not! collection.
About Ripley Entertainment
Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com) is a leading global attractions company with annual attendance of more than 13 million. In addition to its 60-plus attractions, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the globally syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 200 newspapers in 42 countries. There are now 30 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museums (also known as Odditoriums) in operation.
About Ripley’s Believe It or Not!® San Antonio Odditorium
Address: 307 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, Texas 78205
Phone Number: 210-224-9299
Hours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. -10 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Pricing: Adults – $21.99, children ages 4-12 – $12.99 (includes ticket to Odditorium and Plaza Wax Museum). Ticket to single attraction – Adults – $16.99 and children ages 4-12 – $9.99
For additional information, please contact:
Judee Sidorsky, PMK/HBH (212) 373-6135, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim O’Brien, Ripley Entertainment Inc. (615) 646-7465, email@example.com