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Hi All, I was asked to run a new Museum here in North Eastern Pa and I would like some ideas, My general question is what do you expect from a museum when you go and visit them?

Just so you know Yes there are cars in this Museum and Music Boxes and an old time movie theater.

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Cars, music boxes, old time movie theater.

Ok, that makes me wonder if this is being billed as an auto museum, local historic society museum, someones private collection(s), or....?

The answer to that will affect what folks expect to see when they visit.

(We just got back from a trip through psrt of the SE USA during which we visited 14 or so museums.)

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Something between the Nethercutt and my garage,

but leaning more towards the former. :)

The Nethercutt...


Larger, click once after opening to enlarge.



And my garage...




See what I mean?

All joking aside, you're charged with a great responsibility, one that many only dream of realizing. As a generalist, I like to see a bit of all years and types; a good mix of all between brass and muscle. Signage is great, as long as it's real and doesn't overwhelm (don't junk it up with repro trash, if possible), and dealership stuff is the bee's knees for me. Try to make it somehow interactive, for the youngsters, 'cause many don't understand our penchant for collecting brochures and such; when new model intros, visiting a showroom and the buying of cars was perhaps less like a pitched battle.

Try to impart that every vehicle, no matter how ordinary or exalted, matters, 'cause it's important to someone; alot more people drove Plymouths than Packard Twelves. If you could capture the smell of gas at the station as it exited a visible pump, the ball whirling away, man, that would be awesome (but too much to ask). Relating the aspects of family trips/vacations, though, is very doable, and has been happening since we first took to the wheel.

Please, please stay away from the tired Malt Shop-Marilyn-Elvis-James Dean cliche, with it's black & white checkerboard flooring and poodle skirt mania; remember, folks have cameras and they'll be taking pics home and showing them all over the Web (hopefully). (This hobby is way bigger than just the '50's, or any era for that matter). Have you ever tried to get good pics of cars on a black & white floor? Or green, or mustard, etc? Think carefully of staging your vehicles and other items so that they are effectively flattered. In the pre-digital days, I took tons of pics at a Texas museum that had shiny, clean, pea soup green floors. Not one of those pics was worth the paper it was printed on, and it almost hurt the eyes to look at them!

The movie theater is perhaps the most exciting aspect of what you mentioned, and offers a real chance to make a difference. As I sit here Memorial Day Weekend with TCM WWII classics on, I think of what it was like to have seen The Battle of Britain (1969), and others at the movies as a kid, before the days of the megaplex.

When I lived in Manhattan in the early'80's (pre-TCM), there was this great revival house around '59th St. that showed old movies, and it was a treat! The screen wasn't huge, but just seeing flics like the re-mastered Rear Window was an absolute thrill. Mix some great old B&W in; Keystone Kops to Cars , and you'll have a winner *.

If it's a Short-Attentioon-Span crowd, that's different; there are loads of cool snippets on Youtube that had to come from somewhere (Museum of Broadcasting?). Will you be showing feature-length films? Tell us more about the movie angle.

Okay, 'nuff said, you asked, and I threw out a few thoughts; please keep us posted.

And the best of wishes and luck!


* Take what the AACA Museum does with their theater room a step further.

Are you talking of an actual theater experience?

Edited by TG57Roadmaster (see edit history)
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It's actually more cars than Music boxes and theater but it's in the same building , there is also going to be a Carosel eventually with More cars.

But it really doesn't matter what's in the muesum. the question was what do you expect from a muesem when you go and visit it?

You can look at cars at any car show or at Local events but What do you expect from Museums? not just car or Music box ones but any??

I'm looking for ideas of what folks expect when visiting museums. Like when you go the Smithsonian why are you going? etc.

I want to make this the best of what it is. and need help that's why I asked.

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Well, first of all NO auto museun will make any money from admission paid by visitors. The only ones I care to visit are the ones built by the owner who has/had a true passion for the cars. The cars must be ones I'm interested in seeing. I wouldn't drive over an hour just to see a car museum, there would have to be a tie in to another event in the area. The Nethercutt collection is the only collection in the USA I haven't seen, and want to. I will not enjoy the jacket and tie monkey suit, but I'll wear it if that is what it takes to see the cars.

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I will not enjoy the jacket and tie monkey suit, but I'll wear it if that is what it takes to see the cars.<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

No need for coat & ties at the Nethercutt anymore, just don't show up wearing flip-flops and shorts.

The Mullin Museum is going to be special, and definitely worth a visit. Watch Peter Mullin

as he explains his passion and vision in this video short.

Very special, indeed. And pay attention to the cars' lighting...


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