The Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center, the newest and one of the most notable Myrtle Beach attractions for the 2014 season is now open for business.
The museum, which sits at the corner of 21st Avenue North and U.S. 17 Bypass in Myrtle Beach — across from Broadway at the Beach in the former NASCAR Cafe restaurant — began its run earlier this month and is already wowing visitors with its variety of exhibits and attention to detail.
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From the eyelashes on Salma Hayek to the faint freckles on Nicole Kidman’s right arm, to simply the stern stare in Vin Diesel’s eyes, the bevy of seemingly little accuracies in replication have made an immediate mark on Myrtle Beach visitors.
In all, the museum features 112 celebrity wax replicas spanning the decades and a variety of genres, many placed in themed areas.
For instance, one musical corner honors Beyonce Knowles, who might come across as taller than she looks in concert, standing next to Lady Gaga, with Pink, in a bent-over pose, and Katy Perry, clad in red, white and blue, nearby.
In other areas props and music to set the mood for famous characters or scenes, such as the area by Clint Eastwood where whistling accomodates the classic western gunman shown in a “Fistful of Dollars” moment.
According to Paul Barnes, the wax museum’s curator, heavy research goes into presenting each figure, and for a figure like Eastwood's that means being choosey with the hat, poncho, belt, spurs and other parts, “down to the snakes on the gun handle” equipment look-alike in the holster.
This museum also stands its figures to encourage photo-friendly moments for guests, who can tower over petite Dolly Parton, or give George Clooney some company in a wing with wedding music playing.
In the horror chamber, Myrtle Beach visitors can feel dwarfed next to Frankenstein or sidle up to a totally redone Leatherface from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” for which the blade on the chain-saw in the museum was made smooth and safe with a rubber lining, among various safety steps taken with such specialty displays, Barnes said.
Want to go?
Hollywood Wax Museum is located at 1808 21st Ave. N. Extension and it is open 9:30 a.m. to midnight daily through Sept. 1. Visitors can save up to $3 off box office rate by buyting online at HollywoodWaxMyrtleBeach.com. Children ages 3 and younger are free:
• All three sites: $26.95 (ages 12-55), $24.95 (ages 55+), and $14.95 (ages 4-11)
• Choice of two sites: $20.95, $18.95 and $10.95
• Wax museum: $16.95, $14.95 , and $7.95
• Outbreak: Dread The Undead: $13.95, $11.95 , and $6.95
• Hannah's Mirror maze: $8.95, $6.95 , and $5.95 Having tons of room in this new attraction gives the museum staff to update, tweak and change exhibits – just as art museums change their inventory and displays. Barnes said plans are under way to bring in figures for Charlie Chaplin, Tim Curry in his role in “Legend,” and Daniel Craig, an acclaimed actor even before his becoming the sixth man to play James Bond.
To re-create real-life experiences, the museum shows Jim Carrey wearing pretend giant feet with which he once graced the red carpet, Martha Stewart at home in the kitchen, and sprawled on a bed, Playboy magazine patriarch Hugh Hefner, complete with white, combed hair and facial wrinkles, all gleaned from a “seven-second” digital head scan that Barnes said “Hef” allowed to help in preparation for an artist to create the figure.
To tip a hat to classics, look for Audrey Hepburn sitting at a cocktail table, and Marilyn Monroe, smiling in her trademark white dress.
Sports score in their own right here, too, with Tiger Woods standing alone by a golf course backdrop, with room to add other pros, Barnes said, and space for any visitor to stand between two NASCAR champions, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr.
Also, when checking out the wax figures, don’t miss a display on each person, with “fluky facts” and famous quotes, such as with the late Lucille Ball, as the “I Love Lucy” TV show theme fills the speakers overhead. Married 20 years to co-star Desi Arnaz, she was born with the middle name Desiree.
In addition to the celebrity figures, the new wax museum attraction includes an “Outbreak: Dread the Undead” hall — a zombie-themed attraction — and Hannah's Maze of Mirrors for guests to explore.