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Springfield, MO

Roy Rogers museum closing, band moving to Gilley theater

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Anyone planning to visit the Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Museum Attraction in Branson should hurry.

The attraction, which moved to Branson in 2003 from Victorville, Calif., is closing later this month, according to a news release.

The Rogers family cited a combination of factors in the decision, including the overall economy and a lack of visibility; the museum is located at 3950 Green Mountain Drive, away from the main Branson Strip.

The museum includes an extensive memorabilia collection, including Roy Rogers' first guitar, the mounted figures of his horse, Trigger, and Nellybelle the Jeep. Roy Rogers died in 1998, and his wife Dale Evans passed away in 2001.

The family hopes to find a single buyer for the collection, but it could be auctioned off in pieces as well.

"Roy said, `At the end of the day, it's just things,'" Dustin Rogers, Roy and Dale's grandson, said in the release. "He didn't want it to be a financial burden to anyone."

The theater is owned by Branson developer HCW LLC, which also built Branson Landing, and the Rogers family has time left on its lease, according to the release.

Roy's son, Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr., said in the release that he hopes the legacy of his father - who was in 88 films and more than 100 episodes of his TV show in the 1940s and 50s - will live on in the future.

"Kids today don't know who Roy was," he said in the release. "But what he stood for - the morals - don't get old, and that needs to be passed on. My dad was in show biz for 60 years, and he never failed anyone."

The family's show business career will continue, as Dusty and Dustin's group - Roy Rogers Jr. and The High Riders - will perform the morning show at the Mickey Gilley Theatre beginning in March. The group, which performs cowboy and Western music, plans to add more contemporary music to the act while maintaining a traditional feel.

Rogers said the theater's proximity to Mickey Gilley's restaurant - a big draw for motorcoach tours - was part of the reason for the move.

"Mickey Gilley's Theatre is the perfect venue for our show, and we're just thrilled to be teaming up with him," he said in the release.[[In-content Ad]]

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