Edmonton man gives Hollywood its props in new museum
An Edmonton man is revealing some Hollywood magic at a brand-new museum on 124 Street and 108 Avenue.
“Someone called me the Penn and Teller of the effects world,” said Darren Bland. “We’re just telling people how it is.”
Bland has taken items out his basement and put them on display to create the Edmonton Prop Museum. It features make-up, costumes, wigs and prosthetics used in dozens of Hollywood movies. Bland has been obsessed with the behind-the-scenes elements of films for almost all of his life.
“I’ve always been a movie fan. My earliest memories are of me sitting in front of the TV watching films and trying to think how they did that.”
People can now see items such as molds used to sculpt masks, replica weapons and prosthetic teeth and limbs, including one smashed with a hammer in the movie Misery.
“It’s a gut-wrenching scene. Everyone remembers it,” Bland said.
Each one-of-a-kind item was sourced and bought by Bland, who spends hours scouring the internet searching for authentic props. He says obtaining a screen gem like the leg used in Misery brings him joy.
“If you can actually watch something on screen and then that piece on screen is right there in the collection next to you, it’s just pure nerd,” said Bland. “There’s no other way to describe it.”
The non-profit museum is Bland’s way of preserving movie props that may have otherwise been cast aside by producers who didn’t recognize the value of them.
“I’d like to think just us having it and the environment we’re putting it in allows people to enjoy it for generations to come.”
The Edmonton Prop Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday.