Arizona Pop Culture Museum Moves from CityNorth to Desert Ridge for a Bigger Space and Better Neighbors

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Batman meets Superman at the Arizona Pop Culture Museum.

The Arizona Pop Culture Museum, home to thousands of comic book action figures, posters, and memorabilia, has moved from its location at CityNorth to Desert Ridge Marketplace. The museum held its grand opening in the new space on Saturday, February 12, and general manager Veronica Garmo says they couldn't be happier with their new digs.

APCM opened last March in CityNorth, a spot that turned out to less than ideal. Garmo denies rumors that surrounding retail businesses complained about them, but she says management at CityNorth wouldn't help promote the museum, which was surrounded by restaurants and empty spaces.

"CityNorth didn't really have any entertainment at all," Garmo says, adding that management never promoted anything in the complex besides Blue Martini.

But the other businesses were cool with them, she says. Mojo Yogurt wanted the museum's costuming group to cross-promote in front of their shop. But eventually, the CityNorth space became unsustainable -- especially when something better opened up at Desert Ridge Marketplace.

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The museum's costuming group, Justice League of Arizona, at the grand opening bash.

Unlike CityNorth, which predominantly consists of restaurants, Desert Ridge Marketplace has numerous retail outlets that share a demographic with the Arizona Pop Culture Museum. Game Stop is next door, and Hot Topic is right around the corner. Garmo says traffic's been a little slow at the new spot, "but in CityNorth, we weren't really doing anything."

The museum space at Desert Ridge is much larger than their old storefront. Where the CityNorth museum was a single room filled with stacked shelves, the new spot has less of a warehouse aesthetic and more of a bona fide museum vibe. There are individual rooms for various heroes and stories, like the Star Trek room, the DC room, and the Marvel room, and they've added display cases for the action figures and props from the sci-fi show Caprica.

Arizona Pop Culture Museum's Desert Ridge store also includes a second floor, which is not yet open to the public. Garmo says she's hoping to open the upstairs portion of the museum the first weekend of March.

The Arizona Pop Culture Museum is now located at 21001 N. Tatum Boulevard, Suite 36-1310. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission costs $5 for adults. Call 480-515-4376 or visit www.azpopculturemuseum.com for more information.


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1 comments
David Bickford
David Bickford

"the CityNorth space became unsustainable" -- Is Desert Ridge sustainable? It seems this museum has traded one location on the suburban fringe for another next door. The museum sounds like an interesting, fun place that could draw visitors from throughout the entire metropolitan area, so why hide it at one end of town? Imagine this place instead at the space LGO won't be occupying at CityScape, the old Circles store on Central, the closed Borders store on Mill Avenue, or the soon-to-be-closed one at Biltmore Fashion Park. There are any number of more central and accessible locations that would be more appealing. I hope the museum keeps them in mind as it grows.

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