MUMBAI: Merlin Entertainments (Merlin) is opening Madame Tussauds Hollywood, on 1 August. The $55 milion 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 a new building designed by John Ash and Michael Rotondi, the building provides an iconic new landmark for the area.
Like all the other Madame Tussauds, 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. 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.
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 around the world every year.
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."