Liberace Museum to Close Doors

by Libby Zay 
Posted Oct 12th 2010 02:48 PMUpdated Oct 12th 2010 03:43 PM

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Liberace Foundation and Museum

The Liberace Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada is set to close its doors on October 17th.

Founded in 1979, the museum contains a dazzling array of Mr. Showmanship's pianos, costumes, jewelry, and car collection.

In a press release, the Liberace Foundation stated the museum is being forced to close due to "the economic downturn and the decline in the number of visitors."

According to the Foundation, the memorabilia at the museum will be saved and there are plans to put together a national touring exhibit.

"The traveling exhibit is an exciting way to share the life and legacy of Liberace while providing an income stream for the Foundation," said Jeff Koep, chair of the Foundation.

Liberace Museum Closing

Liberace Foundation and Museum

Pauline Lachance, the historian and archivist at the Foundation, told MSNBC: "He's made such an impact on my life; it's unbelievable. I get kind of choked up talking about him."

The flamboyant pianist and showman Wladziu Valentino Liberace, or "Walter," died in 1987 at the age of 67. At one time, he was the highest paid entertainer in the world.

Liberace himself opened the museum 31 years ago to provide scholarship money for students in the arts. In its lifetime, the Foundation has provided more than $6 million to over 2,700 students.

Liberace Museum Closing

Liberace Foundation and Museum

In its heyday, the museum brought in 450,000 visitors a year -- a number that has since dwindled to around 50,000. Foundation president Jack Rappaport told MSNBC the museum is "just geographically not desirable." Located three miles off The Strip, the museum is not easily accessible to tourists who would rather not stray from the casinos.

Since the museum announced its closure a week ago, attendance has nearly tripled. The museum is staying open extra hours to accommodate visitors. For more information, visit www.liberace.org.

More photos of what's inside:
Liberace Museum Closing

julialat34, flickr

Liberace Museum Closing

julialat34, flickr

Liberace Museum Closing

julialat34, flickr

Liberace Museum Closing

Ethan Prater, flickr

Filed Under: News

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janice

Who goes to these crazy things. I like the Costume Exhibit at the Met in Nyc, but even that is very crazy with the girls and women looking at these sometimes beautiful showswith such adoration it is entirely out of place. liberace's gay hand of flamboyance seemsto be running rampant through thee crazy people who just wait to mbe swept off their feet by the most ridiculous things I have evr seen. I might rent one of these costumes, though and bring it down to earth for fun.

October 13 2010 at 7:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ms2001

I had the pleasure of seeing him live 3 times and anyone who missed his performances really missed one of the rare treats of life. when he played to his famous "Dancing Waters" it was beauty not just to your ears but to your eys beyond belief. I've only been to Las Vegas a few times and never had an opportunity to go to the museum. Now I'm sorry I didn't cancel something else and just go!

October 13 2010 at 7:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph Papierz Jr

I'm dissappointed that I never got the opportunity to visit the museum. I loved his show which I too watched with my parents. He was a great entertainer and showman. He is missed. There was nobody who could take his place.

October 13 2010 at 5:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brianna

I really wanted to see his museum. But now I never will have the chance to. I am a pianist myself so I admire him, in a way.

October 13 2010 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cutie

..too bad. It had some pretty fascinating things to view.

October 13 2010 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dispatchjeff

I hope he is remembered for the Gracious Person he was, My Mother once rode in a elevator with him and after a short conversation recieved a autographed handkerchef, something she treasured. He was truley a SHOWMAN and Loved his Fans.

October 13 2010 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
exoticdoc2

If it were really that popular it woudn't be closing.

October 13 2010 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rene

Unfortunately the younger generation doesnt even know who this entertainer is. I being 64 remember watching him perform on tv with my parents, not that I thought he was someone that I wanted to see, but there were limited shows back then.. And his famous line "My brother George and I".... so lets see his stuff on Ebay and "on with the show"...

October 13 2010 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Missy

Who actually owns the museum?

October 13 2010 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Makimaus

Are you talking about Madame Tussaud's?

October 13 2010 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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