“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!”
It’s Superman! Anyone familiar with the old television series can recall this introduction.
George Reeves may be known for the TV show – “The Adventures of Superman” – but several actors have worn the tights and cape on both the big screen and the TV.
Superman remains one of the most popular icons of the hero industry.
But, do you know where the museum dedicated to all things Superman is located? Metropolis! As in Metropolis, Illinois.
Once I realized Metropolis was in the area where we spent Labor Day weekend, it was a must-see stop. The trip was worth it!
The Super Museum, as it’s officially called, was the brainchild of Jim Hambrick. His mom bought him a Superman lunch box when he was five-years-old, and that’s all it took, according to the museum’s website (www.supermuseum.com).
The museum has thousands of pieces of Superman memorabilia, ranging from lunch boxes and action figures to actual prop pieces from the films and television series to underwear.
The museum is in a small building near Metropolis’ city hall, in the Superman Square. The square is home to a giant Superman statue. People pose with it on a regular basis.
The items on display appear cramped together, but that adds to the appeal, in my view.
As you enter the exhibits, there is a Clark Kent display. A pair of glasses worn by George Reeves during the series is on display. A set of telephones and typewriters that were props in the Superman series, as well as the series “Dragnet” are also displayed.
Props from the movie series are available for viewing.
An astronaut’s costume used in “Superman II” hangs from the ceiling. Inside the outfit is a dummy with Sylvester Stallone’s face. Funny.
A pair of knee-high black boots worn by actress Sarah Douglas’ character Ursa in the movie is displayed.
Also, from “Superman,” the museum has the Kryptonite crystals Superman (portrayed by Christopher Reeve) used to build the Fortress of Solitude.
In addition to the George Reeves’ TV series, the small screen has featured the stories of “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and “Smallville.”
“Lois and Clark” starred Terri Hatcher and Dean Cain. While I was not a regular viewer of the show, based on some of the outfits on display, my guess is they dressed Lois in some “interesting” outfits.
A pay phone from that series is on exhibit.
“Smallville” starred Tom Welling as a young Clark Kent. It wasn’t a bad series, and probably told the story in a decent manner.
The latest movie reboot, “Man of Steel,” wasn’t among my favorite movies. It did well overall.
The museum includes exhibits on Superboy and Supergirl.
Visitors can spend all day in the museum if they really wanted to check out every piece on display. It is amazing that this DC Comics character developed such a following for more than 75 years.
The museum only charges $5 for admission. That’s a great deal. The museum has so many items that it could easily quadruple its space.
A few blocks from the museum is a statue honoring Lois Lane, based on her original portrayer, Noel Neill.
Metropolis has a few tourist attractions other than the Super Museum, but there is no doubt that this is the No. 1 attraction in the area. We checked out a series of murals along the downtown district. For more information on the area’s attractions, please visit www.metroplistourism.com.