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The former Starlite Theatre in Branson is being converted into National Enquirer Live.
Rendering provided by FrontPage Attractions LLC
The former Starlite Theatre in Branson is being converted into National Enquirer Live.

$10M Branson National Enquirer attraction in the works

Posted online

An attraction paying tribute to an infamous supermarket tabloid is coming to Branson.

Orlando, Florida-based FrontPage Attractions LLC is developing a $10 million, 30,000-square-foot project called National Enquirer Live at the former home of the Starlite Theatre, 3115 W. 76 Country Blvd., said Rick Laney, a spokesman for FrontPage. The Taney County assessor lists the building’s owner as Next Level Entertainment LLC, dba Starlite Theatre. No recent transactions involving that LLC are on file with the Taney County recorder. Laney did not say by deadline whether FrontPage is buying the property.

“While print publications across the country are downsizing, the National Enquirer brand is as strong as ever,” said Robin Turner, a FrontPage partner, in a news release. “People have shown that for nearly 100 years, they just can’t get enough of the storytelling in the National Enquirer — they know what their readers want — and we’re excited to take those stories off the page and bring them to life.”

Laney said the Branson attraction is slated to open in June. The museum invites visitors to “explore new National Enquirer exclusives on the stories that changed the course of history,” including conspiracy theories revolving around the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy, the goings-on of the British royal family, celebrity gossip and crime coverage.

FrontPage is privately funding the development, Laney said.

FrontPage, according to its website, is led by former Ripley Entertainment Inc. executive Bob Masterson; former Ripley’s Believe It or Not! franchisee and Ocean Breeze Water Park owner Bill Sims; Steven Nichols, the funding owner of the Adventure Landing attraction chain; and Turner, who co-founded WonderWorks in Orlando and Panama City Beach, Florida, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Syracuse, New York.

Alongside the Branson plans, FrontPage is developing a $15 million National Enquirer Live in Pigeon Forge, according to the release.

Laney said the operators may add more National Enquirer Live locations, as well as other attractions based on media.

The National Enquirer is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Amazon founder and The Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, who alleged blackmail by the publication over photos of the billionaire’s extramarital affair, according to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, the Washington, D.C., Newseum is scheduled to close by the end of 2019 after the building’s sale to Johns Hopkins University for $372.5 million, according to Variety. The museum, a tribute to journalism, is reportedly seeking another location in the Washington, D.C., area.


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