Abraham Lincoln is coming back to life just a block away from Ford’s Theatre.
A wax figure of the 16th president will be the first thing visitors see when they enter the next Madame Tussauds wax museum scheduled to open in the United States.
The attraction is set to open in October and will be located in the former Woodward & Lothrop department store, a Washington landmark located down the street from the historic theater where Lincoln was fatally shot, company officials said Thursday.
Not surprisingly, the new museum will have a special focus on politics and history, featuring the likes of George Washington, President Bush and former President Bill Clinton. But visitors looking for Beyonce, Will Smith, Tom Cruise, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie won’t be disappointed either.
“What would a wax museum be without them?” said Janine DiGioacchino, general manager of the Madame Tussauds in New York and the future museum in Washington. The Tussauds Group operates six wax museums around the world, including the original in London. In the United States, there is one in New York and one in Las Vegas.
DiGioacchino said Washington has long been No. 4 on the company’s U.S. expansion list. No. 3, Los Angeles, has met more red tape, but is scheduled to open in 2008, she said.
Tussauds is still deciding how much to charge in Washington, but said it would likely be about $20 or $25. Admission to Madame Tussauds in New York costs $29. In Washington, Madame Tussauds will have to compete with the Smithsonian Institution museums and many other free attractions.
“The average stay in D.C. is three days, so the question is, in the experience people are looking to have, would Madame Tussauds fit into that?” said Victoria Isley, a spokeswoman for the Washington Convention and Tourism Corp.
But Isley noted that other museums charging admission have had success. Notably, the International Spy Museum, which charges $16 and is located in the same neighborhood as the future Madame Tussauds, has been an unexpected draw, she said.
DiGioacchino said each wax figure costs about $125,000 and takes three to six months to make.
The Lincoln figure has been designated as the official “greeter” at the Washington museum, she said.