Saturday, February 01, 2014

Gina in wax

Here we see a July 1964 photo showing the Movieland Wax Museum's very loose interpretation of Italian sex-pot Gina Lollobrigida in a tableau that is supposed to represent her 1954 film, "Flesh and the Woman." The movie was entered into the Cannes Film Festival; this tableau was not. Let's compare with a shot of the actress herself:

Not as good a likeness as the Museum's Jean Harlow, which is pretty much spot-on:

This vintage 1967 ad from Vacationland Magazine touts the Museum's lavish sets:

Fans of this kitschy Orange County landmark were saddened when it closed for good in 2005.

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K. Martinez said...

I find Wax Museums creepy. It must've been the film "House of Wax" with Vincent Price that I watched as a child that gave me that feeling.

MRaymond said...

I didn't know Movieland closed. That's a shame. I have pictures from my last trip in 93. Any idea what happened to the figures and the props?

Edward Allen said...

I heard some of the better figures were taken to another wax museum owned by the same people who owned Movieland. The rest of the figures were auctioned off.......meaning there are people who have these things in their homes. Now that's creepy.

Movieland was on our vacation agenda in 1963 and it cultivated a classy and dignified vibe (chandeliers in the lobby, etc.). Instead, it seemed to my 7 year old mind to be a lot like a funeral home, very quiet, chilly, etc. And all the figures - which had hair, wore clothes,and stared at you with dead glass eyes - were a lot like corpses. Frankly, it scared the hell out of me.

Anonymous said...

I took the girlfriend and kids to Knotts in early 2006 and thought I'd surprise them by renting a hotel room and going to see the wax museum the night before. The surprise was on me. Welcome to an abandoned memory of my youth, everyone! Enjoy! My favorite story about this place was that Vincent Price came in one day and stood in for his own wax figure for a few hours. People would walk by and comment how life-like he looked and he'd say "Yes, it's really quite surprising, isn't it?" and they'd freak out. Truly, he was a master entertainer.

Anonymous said...

I visited the wax museum once, in the late '70's, on a school trip.

It felt then much as Edward Allen describes it, "...a funeral parlor."

I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. Not sure what the draw was, takes all kinds I guess.