A Boardwalk Landmark Is Shutting Down

Ripley's Believe It Or Not! museum in Atlantic City will close Dec. 31
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 1, 2022 6:55 PM CST
Jersey Shore to Lose a Little Weirdness
A photo showing what the museum says are strands of hair from each of the Beatles is displayed at the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! museum in Atlantic City on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

Believe it or not, an iconic part of the Atlantic City Boardwalk is closing soon. The Ripley's Believe It Or Not! museum said Thursday that it will close on Dec. 31 after more than 26 years of tempting Boardwalk strollers with oddities including shrunken heads, mutant animals and models of unbelievably tall or small humans, the AP reports. The building that houses the museum is an instantly recognizable feature of the Boardwalk. It is designed with a giant globe that appears to have smashed into the front of the building and wedged part of the way inside it, cracking the foundation from top to bottom. (The actual foundation of the building remains intact.)

"We're grateful for the support of our fans and guests, whose curiosity, open-mindedness, and enthusiasm have contributed to our success for over 26 years," Chris Connelly, the museum's manager, said in a statement. Connelly said the Jersey Shore museum is closing because its local franchisee is reaching the end of its agreement with Ripley's. "They're going to reimagine the space and come up with something new and fresh for the future," he said. The future of the famous facade is uncertain, though it is possible it may be incorporated into a future use, Connelly said.

The New Jersey museum opened on the Boardwalk at New York Avenue on June 22, 1996, between the Bally's and Resorts casinos. It became popular with families looking for non-gambling entertainment, gamblers taking a break from the action, and curious passersby. It has 14 themed galleries and over 400 exhibits. They include a spider made out of scissors and knives, a roulette table made of 14,000 jelly beans, and what it describes as the world's smallest production car. Ripley's also debunked several carnival-show oddities, including what purported to be the skeleton of a mermaid, but which was actually a monkey skull sewn to a fish tail.

(More Atlantic City stories.)

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