Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Alcatraz East - Crime Museum to Open This Fall in Pigeon Forge

Welcome to the Big House! Alcatraz East, a new crime museum, announces they are scheduled to open in East Tennessee in fall 2016. The museum, which will give visitors the behind-the-scenes story to our nation’s crime history, will be located at the entrance to The Island at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. The museum’s neighbors at The Island include Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and Margaritaville Hotel, and will offer historic objects and activities for the entire family.

“This is going to be the place for the public to learn about crime history, law enforcement, and all things related,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East, “We look forward to being part of this community!”

The museum’s fa├žade will be themed as a 19th century prison, which was always the desire of museum-owner, John Morgan.

“He was originally inspired to do this project after visiting Alcatraz in San Francisco over 20 years ago,” states Vaccarello, “So it’s only fitting that we create John’s original vision.”

Morgan previously owned the Crime Museum in Washington, DC, which permanently closed on September 30, 2015, allowing for the creation of a more ambitious attraction he says will be even better than the previously “must-see” DC museum.

The interactive museum will feature a variety of ways for visitors to learn more about criminal intent, criminal profiles, the penal system, victim’s stories, crime prevention, law enforcement, forensic science, and our justice system. Spread over two floors, the 24,000 square foot museum will include interactive displays on these subjects as well as original artifacts.

“Alcatraz East is going to make a great addition to our city,” added Earlene Teaster, the Pigeon Forge city manager. “Our city truly offers something for everyone, making it a great family-friendly destination. We look forward to having this museum become a part of our community.”

Some of the interactive features of the museum will be a CSI lab, a simulated shooting range, safe cracking, digital fingerprinting, and DUI interactive safety training. Artifacts from the museum’s extensive collection that will be on display include John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, a Bonnie & Clyde collection, the Bronco from the OJ chase, an FBI polygraph machine, Al Pacino’s submachine gun from the movie Scarface, items related to the 2012 Benghazi attack, and the latest in law enforcement technology. The museum’s mission is to provide guests of all ages with a memorable journey into the history of American crime and its consequences, law enforcement, forensic science, and crime scene investigation (CSI) through a captivating interactive and entertaining educational experience.

“I’m looking forward to having Alcatraz East as my new neighbor! I’m fascinated with forensic science,” says Paula Deen, of Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. “After spending time at the museum, people can stop in for a good meal. Together we make a great family friendly combination for spending a day at The Island in Pigeon Forge.”

There will be 20 different exhibit areas covering five themes for guests to explore; history of American crime, the consequences of crime, crime scene investigation, crime fighting, and pop culture.

"Last year we experienced record high visitors to our area," says David Wear, Mayor of Pigeon Forge, "We know that this attraction will enhance our visitors’ family entertainment while staying with us."

For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.

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