Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ripley's Believe It or Not!...reopens

Robert LeRoy Ripley
December 25th, 1890 to May 27th, 1949

In my youth I recall passing among my buddies [and budettes] worn paperbacks of Ripley's Believe It or Not...a curious collection of a world full of natural and human oddities.

"Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium reopens at Fisherman's Wharf"

July 5th, 2010


The Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium in San Francisco has reopened at Fisherman's Wharf after a $5 million renovation.

New additions to the attraction, which reopened Wednesday, include the Marvelous Mirror Maze, a candy shop where visitors can buy candy by the pound, and more than 70 new interactive and hands-on exhibits.

Oddities in the collection include a wedding dress made from toilet paper and a ball of hair weighing 167 pounds. But the Odditorium also has a new emphasis on the Bay Area, with artifacts related to local history and icons, including a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge made from a single toothpick, the restraint chair from the gas chamber of San Quentin Prison, and a car in which an earthquake survivor spent 89 hours under tons of rubble before being rescued following the 1989 quake.

The Mirror Maze challenges visitors to navigate a course that appears to be filled with dead ends amid 200 mirrors in 2,000 square feet.

Ripley's grew out of a newspaper series called Ripley's Believe It or Not, compiled by Robert Ripley, who was born in Santa Rosa, Calif. Ripley joined the San Francisco Bulletin as a cartoonist in 1909 and moved to the San Francisco Chronicle until 1912, when he moved to New York.

Ripley's, located at 175 Jefferson St., opens daily at 9 a.m. It closes at 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and at midnight Friday-Saturday through Labor Day. Admission is $18 for ages 13 and up, $10 for 5-12, with additional admission to the Mirror Maze of $10 per person (combination tickets, $23 or $15 for kids).

Ripley's Believe It or Not! [Wikipedia]

Robert LeRoy Ripley [Wikipedia]

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