Neon Museum Hopes Tim Burton’s “Lost Vegas” Is the First of Many Traveling Exhibits

Tim Burton's "Lost Vegas" Neon Exhibit Sign in Downtown Las VegasThe Tim Burton “Lost Vegas” display at the Neon Museum has been a sought-after attraction by Burton fans since it opened on Oct. 15, 2019. It’s been so popular, in fact, that it’s substantially benefited the downtown economy, and has been extended an extra two months until April 12, 2020. The Neon Museum’s CEO hopes this is just the first of many successful traveling exhibits to come.

What the “Lost Vegas” Exhibit is All About

The exhibit features large-scale artworks by the quirky American director, known best for his Gothic-style creations. “Lost Vegas” is the first U.S. showcase of Burton’s original artworks in nearly a decade, since his name and work drew more than 800,000 visitors to the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2009. Some of his pieces at Lost Vegas are being seen for the first time anywhere since Burton created various sculptures and installation specifically for the Las Vegas exhibition.

The director of “Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands,” and “Batman” to name a few, is no stranger to Las Vegas. His 1996 science-fiction comedy “Mars Attacks!” was partially set here. In fact, a 1995 real-life hotel implosion of the Landmark Hotel and Casino just off the Strip was recast as part of the alien attack. In the movie, it was known as the Galaxy Hotel.

Visitors are able to explore Burton’s artworks alongside the museum’s antique sign collection (called the Neon Boneyard), throughout the museum’s 2.62-acre indoor and outdoor spaces. You’ll find some iconic signs from the “Mars Attacks!” film in the Boneyard, including the unrestored Jerry’s Nugget sign, The Fox Theater Marquee from the Charleston Plaza Mall, and the Desert Rose Sign from the south end of the Strip.

In addition to the main exhibit show, which is a $30 general admission price that grants a one-hour entry to the museum’s Boneyard, the exhibit also features the Tim Burton Brilliant nighttime show, which costs $24 and is a separate admission.

The Tim Burton Brilliant showcases the artist’s infinity for Las Vegas, and uses light projections, music, and archival footage to illuminate unrestored signs from the museum’s collection and the history of the town.

Here are what some visitors had to say about the experience:

“The exhibits are a little on the weird side, but I like weird, so that’s good,” museum visitor Gary Arsenault said.

“A little bit bizarre,” visitor John Baccile says of the exhibit, “but I think that speaks to all of us.”

The Exhibit Has Doubled the Museum’s Numbers

Neon Museum’s CEO, Rob McCoy, says the exhibit has doubled the museum’s attendance numbers. Last year, the museum welcomed around 250,000 visitors. Thanks to the Burton display, that number is expected to reach 400,000 this year alone.

“I don’t think this is a one and done,” said McCoy. “I think we’ll be looking for other traveling exhibits at the Neon Museum, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Tim Burton doesn’t come back and do something else. The little Neon Museum has become quite an international attraction. And it’s so special because it’s our history.”

Catch Tim Burton’s aliens, spiral-eyed girl and flying saucers while you can. Tickets are available at NeonMuseum.org.