Oct 12



Saturday could have been the busiest day of the year. Even at 10:00 AM, those standing in lines to purchase tickets were lined up from right to left, and then started coming towards the camera on the left side. At 1:00 PM, all the Movie/Cyclorama shows for the rest of the day were sold out. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 10:00 AM on Saturday, October 11, 2008.

This was an extremely busy weekend at the Gettysburg Visitor Center. One of the “veteran” Licensed Battlefield Guides stated that he hadn’t seen it this busy since 1994, the summer after the Gettysburg movie debuted. So this means the Film/Cyclorama shows were sold out for the rest of the day by 1:00 PM on Saturday. And now when the shows are sold out, a new fee structure kicks in.

See our related posts: How Not To Get Into the Gettysburg Museum For Free (October 6, 2008),

17% of Visitors Pay to See $8, 22 Minute Film (June 28, 2008),

Gettysburg All-In-One Ticket Logistics: Hilarious, Disturbing, and Inconvenient (October 5, 2008),

First Day for Gettysburg Museum Fee (October 2, 2008),

Grand Opening and Lower Prices Equals Busy Cyclorama (September 27, 2008),

and Charade Over: NPS and Gettysburg Foundation Propose Fee for Museum (August 28, 2008).



Visitors now have two choices after all of the Movie/Cyclorama shows for the day have been sold out. They can purchase their All-In-One $7.50 ticket for a show time tomorrow, OR they can purchase a Museum Only Ticket for $5.00. There were big lines again Sunday morning. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



Let’s think about this for a minute, as is Licensed Battlefield Guide John Tudor. The All-In-One ticket is $7.50, and it includes the Museum and the Film/Cyclorama Show. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 8:20 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



Now the Foundation is stating that the Museum portion of the All-In-One ticket is worth $5.00, and the Film/Cyclorama portion of the All-In-One ticket is worth $2.50. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



Now we can look at this two ways. Is our Gettysburg Foundation Donation Box half full or half empty? The donation box is half full comment would be: “Isn’t it great that the Foundation has in effect, lowered the Movie/Cyclorama rate from an original (ludicrous?) proposed charge of $12.00, and it’s now all the way down to $2.50?” This view was taken from the north facing south at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



The donation box is half empty comment would be: “We’re still not pleased that the Museum (primarily consisting of the Rosensteel Collection) fee has been raised from zero/free/nothing, to $5.00.” This view was taken from the north facing south at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



It’s now official that the museum (the free “gift to the American people”) is the primary money-maker for the Gettysburg Foundation. Note: Don’t go through those doors on the right. If you do, you will be able to enter the museum for free. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 7:45 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



If you’re keeping score at home, and breaking down the $7.50 All-In-One ticket price, the Museum is worth $5.00, the Movie is worth $1.25, and the Cyclorama is worth $1.25. Here one of the ticket purchasing lines was backed up to the restaurant. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



When the Cyclorama was located in the Cyclorama Center on Cemetery Ridge (oil drum building), the fee was $4.00 to see it. And that, of course, was before the multi-million dollar restoration and the diorama addition. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



After the multi-million dollar restoration and diorama addition, the Movie/Cyclorama ticket was originally going to cost $12.00. Then the Foundation realized they wouldn’t sell many tickets at $12.00 and lowered the fee to $7.50 when the Cyclorama reopened on September 24th. This view was taken from the north facing south at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



Remember, in the week between the Cyclorama opening, and before they began charging for the museum on October 1st, the Movie/Cyclorama ticket was $7.50. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



Now the Movie/Cyclorama programs are valued at $2.50. To whom does this make sense? Believe it or not, this is what John Tudor calls his “questioning look.” This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 8:20 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



It makes sense if you’re now trying to make up the losses from the brilliant idea of charging $8.00 for a 22 minute movie, and few people paid to see it. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



It makes sense if one believes that the Foundation will do whatever it takes to make money. But that can’t be true, because the Foundation spokesperson told the Hanover Evening Sun in Saturday’s edition that the Foundation was an “educational organization. Our top priority is educating people about what happened here.” Which seems to contradict the fact that for the first time ever, school groups and everybody else are charged to view the museum. This view was taken from the north facing south at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.



Remember, the new fee structure only kicks in after all the Movie/Cyclorama shows are sold out. But look at these crowds this weekend. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 11:00 AM on Sunday, October 12, 2008.


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