WARRNAMBOOL will need to prepare for an invasion of aliens, robots and tourists when an Australian-first exhibition of sci-fi movie and TV props lands at Warrnambool Art Gallery (WAG) this summer.
The collection of artefacts — which has never left the UK before and is a Warrnambool exclusive — will open on December 1 and is expected to be a multi-million-dollar tourist blockbuster.
To be titled Invasion, the exhibition will feature items such as a full-sized alien from Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic Alien, a Dr Who costume, props from TV shows Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Red Dwarf, Michael Jackson’s mask from Moonwalker, and one of the most iconic costumes from a galaxy far, far away.
The props are part of the collection of the Museum of Movie Magic in Scotland, and WAG director John Cunningham said they were all genuine articles.
Mr Cunningham said Invasion had been organised almost on a whim to fill a gap in the WAG’s program.
“We had a gap in our program in December and January and based on the success of the Mary and Max exhibition we thought let’s look at something family-friendly and fun,” he said.
Having seen part of the Scotland museum’s collection online, Mr Cunningham said he approached the museum’s director and said “what do you think about bringing it to Victoria?”.
“They said they’d never even thought about doing that but they immediately said yes. They were really accommodating.”
Invasion will be the gallery’s first ticketed show since ’95-’96, when the exhibition of artefacts from the Tudor warship Mary Rose attracted more than 53,000 people.
That remains the most popular show WAG has ever had and while there is no suggestion Invasion will attract similar numbers, it doesn’t have to be a money-spinner for the region.
“Our conservative number to break even is 9000,” Mr Cunningham said. “We presented it to council and said 9000 and that’s only 150 a day over eight weeks and that’s what we get at the moment.”
He said council figures estimated that 9000 would bring close to $1.3 million to the region.
Mr Cunningham said the last hurdle was for council to give formal approval for the exhibition on Monday.
“The team in the art gallery, the council staff, the councillors and mayor all seem to love it,” he said. “There will be a whole summer program of events incorporated in with it.”
Invasion is expected to run from December 1 to January 31.