Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon

PALACE OF WAX AND RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

Original Building of the Southwestern Historical Wax Museum
The original building of the Southwestern Historical Wax Museum circa 1970. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Palace of Wax Fire
The destruction of the second building that housed the Palace of Wax in 1988. Image courtesy of The Dallas Morning News. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Current Palace of Wax
The current building of the Palace of Wax and Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum. The building was fashioned after an Arabian palace. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

PALACE OF WAX AND RIPLEY'S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! The Palace of Wax and Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum, in Grand Prairie, was called the Southwestern Historical Wax Museum and the Wax Museum of the Southwest until 1989. The institution originally opened in the Varied Industries Building at Fair Park, Dallas, in September 1963. It was founded by W. Thomas Bolton, John A. Prather, and J. C. Brown. The museum's exhibits included scenes of western gunfights and many historical figures of the southwest such as Cynthia Ann Parker and Antonio López de Santa Anna. A number of other figures included Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, John F. Kennedy, and Elvis Presley. The museum also included a collection of firearms once owned by the outlaws and heroes of the Southwest. By 1982 the museum had moved to its Grand Prairie location and was operated there until a fire destroyed it in October 1988.

In January 1989 the owners of the museum, Classic Attractions, Incorporated, announced the construction of a new wax museum on the site of the old museum. They renamed it the Palace of Wax. The new structure also included a Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum. Both museums are housed in a 41,000-square-foot building fashioned after an Arabian palace. The new wax museum contains approximately 100 wax figures crafted by the museum's sculptor, Peter Carsillo.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Dallas Morning News, January 13, 1989. Ann Ruff, Amazing Texas Monuments and Museums from the Enchanting to the Bizarre (Houston: Gulf, 1984).

Matthew Hayes Nall

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Matthew Hayes Nall, "Palace of Wax and Ripley's Believe It or Not!," accessed September 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lbpgl.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 12, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.