The Arizona Pop Culture Museum is putting the finishing touches on its new location in preparation for Saturday’s grand opening Desert Ridge Marketplace.
The public grand opening will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix. The nonprofit museum, which was formerly located at CityNorth, now occupies the first floor of a former high-end audio/video store, but will expand to a second floor two weeks later.
Founder and director John W. Edwards says the new location, with its compartmentalized structure, made it easy to create themed exhibit halls around such iconic pop culture properties as Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who and DC and Marvel comics. In addition to case after case of collectibles, each room is decorated with artwork appropriate to the property on display.
While parts of the facility might resemble the toy store of your dreams, make no mistake: This is a museum, and the displays are not for sale. There is, however, a gift shop, which is already open and does business 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Edwards says visitors to the grand opening celebration can check out the gift shop for themselves and also will be able to pose for photos with their favorite pop-culture icons, thanks to the involvement of local fan costuming organizations such as the Justice League of Arizona, Arizona Ghostbusters and the Arizona 501st Dune Sea Garrison. The event will also mark the AZPCM debut of costumes worn on screen by the cast of the canceled Syfy series Caprica, as well as props from Babylon 5 and the original Star Trek.
Arizona Pop Culture Museum admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and ages 13-17 and free for those under age 12 with an accompanying adult. Active military, police and fire personnel get in free with an ID. School tours, beginning March 1, are always free with advance notice.
CORRECTION: The Arizona Ghostbusters will not be participating in the event at the Arizona Pop Culture Museum. They will be appearing at the Parade del Sol parade on Saturday. Nerdvana regrets the error.
UPDATED: See some submitted photos of the new location here.