Friday, September 10, 2010

Breaking: Liberace Museum Closing

This is actually a pretty big deal. The 31-year-old Liberace Museum is shutting down on Oct. 17 because of a decline in visitors, so the Liberace Foundation says it will focus specifically on its scholarship program. They say they're planning a national tour with some of the exhibit items.

That's an incredibly sad development. It adds to the list of museum closings in recent years and puts some fantastic relics of Old Vegas beyond the reach of the public, but it also eliminates a unique show space where singers from Strip shows have been enjoying creative outlets. They just redid the sound system in there, in fact.

Here's hoping someone on The Strip or downtown sees an opportunity in this. The museum is really well done -- years ago it was pure kitsch, but in the past decade it had improved to being well-curated kitsch -- and could be a serious attraction if tourists could walk to it instead of taking a bus, cab or rental car. Cancer-stricken actor Michael Douglas told USA Today just yesterday he's still committed to playing Liberace in a biopic opposite Matt Damon, and that could jumpstart public interest.

Maybe it could end up at the Tropicana alongside their mob exhibit, making for a retro-Vegas museum center?


Anonymous said...

They should move it. It's not only in an incovenient location but I never could go in it. I drove by it so many times and said I'd go there and never did. Maybe it was the outside of the building and the way it looked? The ads for it were unappealing too. If it were in town and among modern Vegas, like part of a hotel, it might get more visitors.

Dasan 888 said...

Agree- i think they should put it in a Strip hotel so it would be easier to visit. It's really interesting

Matt said...

I hope a strip hotel will take on the project, that's a great idea. I think it would be a great attraction if it were just more convenient, the current location is very ghetto and when I took a cab to get there I was a little weirded out by it. The location takes away all the fantasy of Las Vegas.

Liberace was one of my Mom's favorite performers, little did she know at the time. She loved him. He was one of the major early forces in being proud, even when you couldn't exactly be out, wink, wink. It's hard to think of anyone else who's had such a great obvious effect on gay culture.

He deserves to be taken out of the strip mall and placed in a resort, even if it's a tacky resort, which would probably be more appropriate.

Here's to inappropriate hot pants at an inappropriate age! We love you Lee!

detroit1051 said...

I also would like the museum to be on the Strip, but realistically, how many people under 50 or so ever saw Liberace. The fact that I still remember watching Liberace's TV show in the 1950's with my Mom while he introduced his brother George and his mother sitting in the front row is an indication that the market for Liberace is dead or dying.
I enjoyed the museum in the early days, but everything has its season.