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Movieland Wax Museum sign in Buena Park is finally coming down

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Movieland Wax Museum sign on Beach Boulevard in Buena Park is finally coming down

 

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The Movieland Wax Museum sign in Buena Park, CA is removed on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. (Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)
By ALICIA ROBINSON | arobinson@scng.com | The Orange County Register
PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

It’s the end of an era for Buena Park, when what used to be the biggest, tallest, brightest sign on Beach Boulevard is getting torn down.

 

Even after the Movieland Wax Museum closed in 2005 because of low attendance, the 1960s sign that advertised it remained as a landmark recognized by longtime residents and passersby. Workers began dismantling it this week, but problems with a crane and beehives inside the sign delayed its removal.

 

Longtime Buena Park resident and City Councilman Fred Smith is among those with fond memories of the sign.

 

“When the sign would be on at night, when it would rotate, it would turn night into day,” Smith said. “All the kids thought that was pretty neat.”

 

A new rain forest-butterfly attraction is under construction on the former Movieland property, and a digital sign will take the place of the iconic neon one.

 

Milton Solomon, whose AD/S Companies will build the new sign, told the city in 2017 the Movieland sign is rusted and he couldn’t find records to verify its safety.

 

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On Tuesday, Solomon said it’s in poor condition, but several people have asked to salvage parts of the wax museum sign.

Construction of the $1 million digital sign will start sometime in 2019, Solomon said. It will be 80 feet tall, the same as the old sign, and will sport a high-resolution LED display and two butterflies – one with a 20-foot wingspan – that change color.

Solomon expected the Butterfly Palladium to open around Thanksgiving 2019.

 

Smith said he’s upset to see the old sign removed. He remembers the wax museum holding ribbon cuttings to introduce new celebrity figures, including singer Frank Sinatra, actors Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor, and radio and TV personality Dick Clark.

 

However, Smith said, he wants the new attraction to be a visitor-attracting success.

 

“I hope everybody loves it as much as they did the Movieland.”

 

 

Originally opened in 1962, Six Flags owned Movieland Wax Museum from 1970 to 1985, which ultimately closed in 2005.

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I went to Movieland Wax Museum for the first time back in 1977.  At the time the attraction was very popular and the queue for the museum looped throughout the parking lot.  I can remember standing at the base of the sign looking up and thinking how it was so huge.

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