From the Canadian Press (via Yahoo! Canada Travel):
Twenty-five years after stuntman Karel Soucek survived his trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel, a new exhibit highlights the daredevils who have been drawn to the site.
Soucek, from Hamilton, suffered only minor injuries in his plunge on July 2, 1984. He died, however, about six months later after a barrel-drop stunt at the Houston Astrodome.
The exhibit, which opened last month in the lobby of the city’s Imax theatre, features Soucek’s red barrel and seven others used by daredevils ranging from Annie Taylor (a school teacher who went over in 1901) to Steve Trotter (a bartender who did it twice, the last time in 1995).
I stopped in at the IMAX Theatre on Saturday to look at the renovated daredevil museum. I don’t know if all of the details were in the article I linked to before… if they were, I missed them.
The museum has moved to another part of the building and is now called the Niagara Daredevil Exhibit. It used to be at the exit of the main theatre behind the gift shop. Admission was free. Now it’s beside the snack bar and has paid admission.
The Niagara Daredevil Exhibit costs $8.00 to get in. The movie costs $12.50, but you can get both for $15.00. Kids under 4 are free.
I wasn’t willing to pay for something that was free before, so I didn’t go in. If any of you do end up going, take some pictures and send them along so I can post about it.
On June 30 I posted about one of Blondin’s trips across the gorge. The Nashua Telegraph has some more detailed information (more than the blurb I put below):
Dressed in pink tights and a yellow tunic, world-class funambulist Jean-Francois Gravelet (better known as The Great Blondin due to his fair hair) became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope today in 1859. This extraordinary feat took him all of five minutes.
According to the Minneapolis – St. Paul Star Tribune, on this day in 1859…
French acrobat Charles Blondin (born Jean Francois Gravelet) walked back and forth on a tightrope above the gorge of Niagara Falls as thousands of spectators watched.
From the Niagara Falls Review:
In a city full of museums, it’s one that’s often overlooked.
But you’ll be hard pressed to find one more fascinating.
This weekend, the Daredevil Gallery inside the Niagara Falls IMAX Theatre gets a long overdue makeover. For weeks, Toronto company BaAM Productions has been souping up the historic collection, adding more video, more stories and more pizzazz.
General Manager Gil Perez feels it will shed new light on one of the city’s claims to fame.
“We’ve got the world’s largest collection of barrels that have actually gone over the falls, (but) we were displaying them in a low key way throughout the lobby,” he says.
“We’ve decided to take these barrels, put them in their own separate space, and really do some good interpretive research to provide a much better experience to people visiting our theatre.”
I had no idea they were doing this. I will definitely go next week and take some pictures!
From the Niagara Falls Review:
It was supposed to be famed wirewalker Jay Cochrane’s fourth summer performing in Niagara Falls. But now he’s making other vacation plans.
What would have been a spectacular daily walk from the top of the Skylon Tower to the top of the new Niagara Falls Hilton on Fallsview Boulevard was derailed when the Fallsview BIA recently voted not to contribute toward the $250,000 price tag to bring Cochrane back to town.
“It’s such a shame,” he said over the phone from Florida. “I think some people live in a box.”
The plan would have seen Cochrane, 65, walk between the two buildings once a day, sometimes twice, for a total of 70 walks this summer. He believes it would have been the highest (55 storeys) and longest (450 metres) wirewalk in history between two man-made structures.
Cochrane’s three previous visits, in 2002, 2005 and 2007, generated massive publicity for Niagara Falls.