Movieland Wax Museum, with over 300 wax figures in 150 sets, was the largest wax museum in the United States. Located in Buena Park, California, it was one of the most popular wax museums in United States for decades. Allen Parkinson founded the museum on May 4, 1962, but sold it to the Six Flags Corporation in 1970.
In 1975, Six Flags opened a Movieland Wax Museum clone called “Stars Hall of Fame” in Orlando, Florida, located near the intersection of the Bee-Line Expressway and I-4, close to Sea World and just north of Walt Disney World. However, in 1984 after a drop in attendance, the Florida museum was closed and sold to publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Having no interest in the museum but an interest in the land alone, Harcourt sold off the exhibits to the American Musical Academy of Arts Association and turned the property into a showroom for the company’s educational materials.
On April 1, 1985, the Six Flags Corporation sold the California-based Movieland Wax Museum to Fong & Paul Associates, the owners of the world famous Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Twenty years later, on October 31, 2005, after forty-three years in business and 10 million visitors, Movieland closed.
In the museum’s heyday, several actors and actresses attended the unveilings of their wax likenesses, and even went so far as to donate costumes to be worn by their likenesses, accompanied with sets replicated from well-known movie scenes. Movie themes and sound effects also added to the authenticity of the museum. A movie clapperboard on each set included the name of the wax figures and facts about the movie, props, costume, and the person whom the wax figure was modeled on.
Many of the wax figures and sets from the Movieland Wax Museum were auctioned off in March 2006. Those that were not sol were sent up north to The Wax Museum in San Francisco.
The former Starlite Gift Shop in front of the museum is now a Starbucks Coffee.
The Starprint Gallery, with hand prints and footprints of celebrities in cement, dating from the early 1980s, still exists on the front part of the property.
The tall tower sign, pictured on the right, is the tallest sign in Orange County, California. It still exists on the property.
The Movieland Wax Museum property was purchased by the City of Buena Park in May 2007.
On August 15 2013 The Wax Museum at Fisherman’s Warf, where the the figures that were not sold that were sent to be displayed also closed it’s door.