Robert L. Ripley Inducted into Coney Island's Sideshow Hall of Fame

Top Quote The Creator of the Famous Believe It or Not! Cartoon and Odditoriums Wins By a Landslide. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) April 18, 2012 - ORLANDO, Fla - It was a hard fought campaign, but when it came down to voting, there remained little doubt that the legendary Robert Ripley would be inducted into Coney Island's prestigious Sideshow Hall of Fame.

    Voting took place on Friday, April 13, during the first night of the 10-day Congress of Curious Peoples, sponsored by Coney Island USA. That night, one of the first showmen to bring the strange and unusual to the masses with his odditoriums and his cartoon panel "Believe It or Not!," took center stage."

    "What a great event at Coney Island USA this was! " said Tim O'Brien, VP Communications for Ripley Entertainment Inc. "Our fans came out in big numbers to support us, including many well-known alumni of the Coney Island sideshow community. This is a natural honor for Robert Ripley, who worked, lived, and created his global empire in New York City, from late 1912 until his death in 1949."

    Today, the country's largest Believe It or Not! Odditorum operates in New York City's Times Square. "We are proudly carrying on the Ripley tradition on a daily basis," said Michael Hirsch of the New York Odditorium. "We worked hard to get him into the Hall of Fame, he certainly deserves it. Anyone who walks through the New York City odditorium will easily see the love and interaction Ripley had for the Big Apple."

    Although their votes weren't officially counted in the Hall of Fame selection process, nearly 500 fans cast a vote on Ripley's Facebook Page. Ripley's gave fans around the world the opportunity to show their allegiance, and that massive support of Ripley, "was presented on Friday night and surely must have swayed the judges," according to O'Brien.

    The Hall of Fame ceremonies took place in the Freak Bar of Coney Island USA, located at 1208 Surf Avenue in Brooklyn. (718) 372-5159. Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square is located at 234 W. 42nd Street in Manhattan. (212) 398-3133.

    Tim O'Brien
    VP Communications
    Ripley Entertainment Inc.
    (615) 646-7465
    (615) 496-5949
    obrien ( @ ) ripleys dot com

    About Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square
    Located in Times Square in the heart of New York City, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium brings people of all ages face-to-face with the world's most unbelievable curiosities. With 18,000 square feet of astonishing artifacts, exclusive oddities, exciting interactive exhibits and heart-stopping sideshow performers, this one-of-a-kind attraction welcomes visitors to experience the unusual and unexpected, where the entire family will rediscover wonder around every corner. Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square is open from 9 - 1 a.m. Follow us on Twitter. Tell us your most unusual stories and like us on Facebook.

    About Robert Ripley
    Robert Ripley lived and worked in New York City from the time he was 23, created his first Believe It or Not! cartoon for the New York Globe in 1918, published his first Believe It or Not! book in 1929, opened the city's first Believe It or Not! museum in 1939 and operated the Odditorium at the New York World's Fair in 1940. He also starred in his own radio show and later his own television show - being a pioneer in both mediums - all while living in New York. Read Ripley's life story here and a Timeline of his activities here.

    About Ripley Entertainment Inc.
    Ripley Entertainment Inc. (, keepers of the venerable Ripley's Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment, entertaining more than 12 million annually at its 80-plus attractions in 10 countries. In addition to its 32 Believe It or Not!Odditoriums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.

    About Coney Island USA
    Coney Island USA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation based in the amusement park area of the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn New York. In existence since 1980, Coney Island USA has developed and produces a number of different programs including some of New York City's best loved summer programming, such as the Mermaid Parade and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. Coney Island USA, also operates the Coney Island Museum and produces Ask the Experts, Burlesque at the Beach, the Coney Island Tattoo and Motorcycle Festival, Creepshow at the Freakshow, and the Coney Island Sideshow School. Coney Island USA also produces the Coney Island Film Society and the Coney Island Film Festival in association with The purpose of Coney Island USA is to defend the honor of American popular culture through innovative exhibitions and performances.

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