Rendering courtesy of the Comic-Con Museum
The Comic-Con Museum, located at the historic Balboa Park, held a soft opening on November 26. The grand opening will take place summer 2022.

Rendering courtesy of the Comic-Con Museum The Comic-Con Museum, located at the historic Balboa Park, held a soft opening on November 26. The grand opening will take place summer 2022.

The long-anticipated Comic-Con Museum has finally opened to the public - albeit in a soft launch.

Located at Balboa Park, the museum, which aims to celebrate “the magic of Comic-Con year-round,” held a limited unveiling on November 26, with the experience continuing throughout the year.


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David Glanzer Chief Communications and Strategy Officer Comic-Con

Comic-Con Museum features six exhibits and special programming and screenings. Nighttime activities will be held leading up to the official grand opening in the summer of 2022.


At approximately 68,000 square feet, the space will be able to host up to 650 attendees at any given time, according to David Glanzer, chief communications and strategy officer of Comic-Con.

 
Comic-Con is projected to garner roughly $3 million in revenue its first year, he said.


15,000 Members


“When Comic-Con began as a tiny gathering of fans in a hotel basement in 1970, no one could have imagined that one day the convention would have its own Museum dedicated to comics, science fiction, movies, cosplay, video games, and other popular arts,” said Glanzer. “We are both proud and excited to announce the opening of the Museum and its inaugural exhibits.”


The Comic-Con Museum project is spearheaded by The San Diego Comic Convention, the purveyors of Comic-Con International: San Diego.

 
The Museum was originally set to open in 2020, said Glanzer, however, challenges with COVID-19 delayed the efforts.


The budget for the Comic-Con Museum project was $26 million and funding came via grants, donors, sponsorships and the San Diego Comic Convention.

 
KCM Group in Pacific Beach was the project manager for the construction and Miramar-based Bycor the general contractor.


Currently, Comic-Con Museum has north of 15,000 members, Glanzer added.


Popular Arts


The six exhibits available at Comic-Con Museum cover a wide range of popular arts.

 
This includes “Gene Roddenberry: Sci-Fi Visionary”, an exhibit highlighting the career and legacy of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek; “Chas Addams… Family and Friends”, an exhibit on the creator The Addams Family television series, and multiple films; “Eight Decades of Archie”, an exhibition that celebrates the legacy of Archie Comics; “Pac-Man Arcade”, a nostalgic showcase of the recognizable brand; “Cardboard Superheroes”, through which pop-culture characters come to life as cardboard figures; and “Out of the Darkness: Comic Art in the Times of COVID”, a collaborative exhibit between Comic-Con Museum and A Reason to Survive (ARTS), a creative youth development nonprofit serving young people across South San Diego County, that explores the experiences of the past 18 months.


“Chas Addams… Family and Friends” and “Out of the Darkness: Comic Art in the Times of COVID” are limited engagement and will run until February 28, 2022.


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Peter Comiskey Executive Director Balboa Park Cultural Partnership

Over the next few years, the Comic-Con Museum will continue to evolve, said Glanzer, “as each phase of the museum comes to life. There are three floors in the building that will be renovated and expanded to increase exhibit area, the educational center, theatre, retail outlet, cafe, community programming and special event areas.”


Activations will include panels, creator meet-and-greets, experiential cinema, watch parties, eSports, cosplay shows and concerts, among other planned experiences, he said.

 
Once the museum is completed, it will include interactive experiences, classrooms, and exhibits on all areas of popular art, Glanzer added.


Great Addition


The Comic-Con Museum is a great addition to Balboa Park, said Peter Comiskey, executive director of Balboa Park Cultural Partnership.


“As the much loved heart of San Diego Arts and Culture for San Diegans and a key destination for tourists, Balboa Park will take an exciting new step forward with the opening of Comic-Con,” he said.

 
“From an economic impact perspective, in a normal year, the Balboa Park Cultural District delivers over $670 million in economic impact for the city of San Diego,” Comiskey added. “We can be certain that the introduction of such a unique destination venue with such a strong and identifiable brand will elevate that further.”


Comic-Con Museum
FOUNDED: Nov. 26, 2021
ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Rita Vandergaw
HEADQUARTERS: Balboa Park
BUSINESS: Museum inspired by Comic-Con International: San Diego
REVENUE: Nearly $3M projected first year.
EMPLOYEES: 15-20 full-time
WEBSITE: 
www.comic-con.org/museum
NOTABLE: Has Over 15,000 Members.
CONTACT: 619-414-1020