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August 4, 2009

Merlin Entertainment Opens Madame Tussauds Hollywood

London — Merlin Entertainment opened its newest attraction, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, on Saturday, August 1st. The $55-million attraction is the ninth Madame Tussauds worldwide and the fourth in the US.

Merlin Entertainment says that Madame Tussauds Hollywood is the brand's biggest and most ambitious project to date.

"We are delighted to be opening a Madame Tussauds in Hollywood which feels like the most natural home for the brand," said Glenn Earlam, Merlin Entertainments Midway Managing Director.

The attraction is located in a new building designed by John Ash and Michael Rotondi, next door to the world-famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Merlin expects it will become a must-do attraction for Hollywood visitors.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood is called the ultimate celebrity experience. Sculptors produce wax figures of such quality and so lifelike that visitors, and celebrities themselves, often do a double take. This is the result of 200 years of Madame Tussauds' expertise and painstaking research for every figure.

Each featured figure takes a minimum of 3 months to make.

Celebrities and studio wardrobes also often supply clothing for the figures, or designers will reproduce significant or iconic outfits as exact replicas for us.

The inclusion in Madame Tussauds is considered a huge honor for a celebrity.

The Hollywood location will be unlike any other Madame Tussauds location. The content and design of the attraction reflect its location. Guests who visit the Hollywood attraction will get up close and personal with over a 100 of their favorite movie heroes.

The location features celebrity greats like Brando, Hepburn, Bette Davis and Cary Grant. There are contemporary stars on display as well as local sports stars and LA glitterati like Kathy Griffin.

Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk, of course with a skateboard, is part of the Hollywood attraction.

The Hollywood project is the third new attraction Merlin has opened this year. The company's strategy is to roll out three to four of its primary midway brands each year.

"The Hollywood attraction is also quite different from most of our other 'midway' projects," said Earlam. "It is for example the first time we have designed and built a new building of our own which will show the figures off to a maximum advantage, and add to the overall excitement."

"Hollywood is primarily about movies, and we have had great support for the project not just from our neighbors and the people of Hollywood; but importantly from both the talent and studios alike," added Earlam.

Merlin also operates Legoland and the neighboring Sea Life Aquarium in Carlsbad. The sister Madame Tussauds US attractions are located in New York, Las Vegas and Washington DC.

Madame Tussauds opened in London some 200 years ago. Since opening more than half-a-billion people have experienced the attraction.

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