Blow out the candelabra and hang up the feathered cape: Las Vegas' Liberace Museum is closing this October
"I wish my brother George was here."
The strip mall owned by the Liberace Museum has fallen on some hard times.
I don't think Liberace ever sang "The Times They Are A-Changin" but that's the tune they're singing at the Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, closing their doors on October 17. Open since 1979 in a retail location about 5 miles from the famous Las Vegas Strip, the museum has fallen on difficult financial times lately, with attendance dropping from a peak of 450,000 15 years ago to 50,000 today. The Museum, part of a strip mall owned by Liberace himself and left to maintain his legacy, had been using its rental income to fund the museum and other charitable projects, but like many other commercial locations, it now sits only partially occupied, hurting the bottom line of the memorial. Perhaps a bigger issue for the museum is the recognizability of Liberace as a showbiz icon to anyone under the age of 40. Unlike Elvis, who Liberace outlived by 10 years, Liberace's music and image are not constantly in the public eye and he represents a bygone era of Las Vegas entertainment. What a shame, too, because for sheer over the top glitz, kitsch and bling, he couldn't be beat. Perhaps interest will be renewed if some long-planned projects about him ever get off the ground. A biopic directed by Steven Soderberg has been mentioned since 2009 but it was to star the now-ill Michael Douglas as Liberace so its future seems uncertain.
I would suggest if you're in Vegas before the middle of October, check out the museum because it may be your last chance to see the possessions of a man who thought that too much was never enough.
This blog is devoted to old fashioned American roadside attractions... the wonderfully big, bizarre, crazy, wacky, quirky, weird, funny, unique and mundane sites you see travelling cross-country by car in the USA, where getting there really is all the fun!