Friday, October 3, 2008
Dick Clark's American Bandstand '57 Heaven Museum
The past couple of weeks were such a whirlwind with my parents visiting from the Phoenix area. So much to catch up on, so much to do and so little time. I know you can probably relate to this. Life is just too short, isn't it?
My parents were kids back in the 50's; it was definitely my dad's favorite era. One room in their home is like a mini museum of 50's toys, collectibles and memorabilia--kind of like a mini museum. Needless to say, they were the inspiration for one of our destinations while they were in town - Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater and '57 Heaven Museum in Branson, Missouri. This unique tourist destination houses a restaurant decorated with huge 45 records attached to the ceiling, collectibles from Rock-N-Roll legends encased in glass displays and signed photographs and memorabilia hang on the walls throughout the entire restaurant. The displays include a real surfboard signed by Frankie Avalon and Carl Perkins' signed guitar and appearance contract from 1958, when he was paid a mere $155.00 to perform for an American Bandstand-related event. Video screens throughout the restaurant played vintage clips of American Bandstand from different decades.
After we ate lunch there, we headed into the '57 Heaven Museum, which is located downstairs. This was definitely a blast from the past. Hundreds of classic vehicles from 1957 can be found there, among an environment reminiscent of the 50's. The vehicles were displayed in different settings, such as at a faux drive-in movie theatre, repair shop, hotel and gas station (complete with the retro gas pumps.) In addition, there were also exhibits of the inside and outside of a 1957 home, complete with authentic decor, pink kitchen and the "family" gathered in the living room. Music from the era played throughout the museum and helped set the tone. I'm not a person who will normally attend car shows, but this was a whole different ballgame. We all had a great time at the museum and my parents really were in "heaven" during our visit there.