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Pennsylvania's Stoogeum Memorializes the Comedy Legends' Careers

By Kelly Church

The headquarters of The Three Stooges fan club, the Stoogeum holds nearly 100,000 artifacts that date as far back as 1918 and honor the comedy trio. The Ambler, PA museum's founder has been collecting memorabilia for more than 35 years and opened the Stoogeum in 2004 after outgrowing his previous exhibit space.

"I think people should visit the Stoogeum because it is a one-of-a-kind experience," Erin Smith, an archivist for the museum, said. "Not only is the collection second to none, but there is something for all ages and interest levels."

Exhibits include an art gallery that represents a large number of artists' renderings of The Three Stooges, from charcoal drawings to watercolor paintings, animations and sketches. The museum also has a large display of rare movie posters and lobby cards from the group's earliest films. Another exhibit includes an assortment of movie props and costumes, including the famous Quinto puppet and the costumes worn by the three men in Snow White and The Three Stooges.

"My personal favorite [collection] is the set of three coats that Moe, Larry and Joe DeRita wore for live appearances in the 1960s," Smith said. "They are fun, colorful and Moe's coat still has his comb in the breast pocket."

The Stoogeum also has interactive exhibits, including an arcade game, custom pinball machine, a trivia game and Stoogeology 101. There's a lot encompassed in the building's 10,000 square-feet, trickled across three different floors of sights and activities. According to the Stoogeum, it takes the average visitor about an hour to go through the entire museum.

"Many people come in saying that they don't like the Stooges, and leave saying that they are now fascinated by them," Smith said. "The Stoogeum is a place where you can learn, laugh and have a grand time. What could be better?"

The museum is open every Thursday, except for holidays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments can be made for other days during the week, but not on weekends. Adults are admitted for $10, and students, seniors and military are admitted for $8. Children 12 and under get in for free. For more information on the Stoogeum, visit stoogeum.com.

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