Tuesday, March 6
by Poppa on Tue 06 Mar 2007 10:53 AM GMT
I read today that Tussauds has been taken over by the people who own Legoland, Sea Life and the London Dungeon.
It seemed like a good opportunity to email them about a recent tragedy:
Congratulations on your purchase of Tussauds Group, and good luck with the enlarged business.
Can I make a suggestion about Madame Tussauds? Resurrect the Planetarium, or build a new one. It failed, I think, because Tussauds were running it badly.
I'm in my late 30s and, like half my generation I'm sure, have fond memories of coming to London to see the Planetarium. Now I live and work round the corner from it and when I heard it was closing, went to visit for old times' sake.
It turned out my old friend had died years before. For a start, you couldn't just go to the Planetarium: to get to it you had to pay the ridiculously inflated prices to see the waxworks, which surely appeal to quite a different market.
The Planetarium itself seemed to have shrunk, but that may be just because I've grown! Or it may be that they wanted space for another David Beckham. Either way, it certainly wasn't as grand, just very basic wipe-clean metal benches. And the wonderful Heath Robinson machine was gone, replaced by LCD projectors - well, that's progress I suppose. But worst of all, there wasn't even an attempt at stargazing. Instead of a presentation to fill you with awe at the scale of the universe (like watching the lunar eclipse last weekend), there was a moronic three-minute flyby of the solar system with Red Dwarf-level special effects.
It was a cheap and empty spectacle, instead of something to inspire a lifetime of interest in science and astronomy. It felt like an insult to the memory of an experience that was formerly on a par with the Science Museum or the Natural History Museum. I bet they haven't had a school trip to the Planetarium in a decade. A shame, because there IS demand, if only it were done properly.