Alcatraz East Crime Museum Announces Reopening after COVID-19 Closure

'Doc' Alcatraz East Crime Museum new mascot

Alcatraz East Crime Museum will be reopening, following the COVID-19 closure, on May 15, 2020. The museum, located at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is taking new safety measures to help keep visitors safe and healthy. To help “police” these new safety rules, the museum is introducing their mascot, “Doc” (law enforcement abbreviation for Department of Corrections). Guests will see various signage and friendly safety reminders from Doc throughout the museum.

“We are taking COVID-19 measures seriously and making numerous changes throughout the museum to help ensure the safety of our visitors,” explains Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “We are thrilled to reopen and look forward to seeing both locals and tourists.”

The museum surveyed its fans to get an idea of when they planned to visit and what some of their expectations would be upon reopening. Most responses aligned with government expectations. 

When asked: “Once the museum is allowed to reopen, how quickly do you plan to visit?” 

            59% said ASAP

            38% said This Summer

            3% said This Fall

            0% said Indefinitely 

When asked: “What would prohibit your visit?”

            The most common answers were “Nothing; Being too crowded; Please don’t make me wear a mask.”

When asked: “What could the museum do to make you feel comfortable”

            The most common answers were “Additional cleaning and spatial distancing.”

Museum changes will include reduced hours and capacity, heightening cleaning efforts, spatial distancing protocols, employee health screening and employee PPE. Guests are encouraged to review all safety rules prior to their visit on the museum web page devoted to COVID-19:

While visiting the museum this summer, guests can enjoy these temporary exhibits: 

Alcatraz Art Escape– Extended through July 5, 2020. Scheduled to close in April, Alcatraz East is pleased to be able to extend this exhibit for visitors. Alcatraz Art Escape features artwork by incarcerated artists to tell the story of Alcatraz Penitentiary. This temporary exhibit is made possible through a collaboration with the organization Prison Arts Touching Hearts. 

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation– Opens in July 2020. In partnership with TBI, this exhibit showcases the important work that is done on a daily basis, sharing information about some of the most famous cases the bureau has investigated.

“We have a lot of repeat visitors, so it’s important for us to have rotating exhibits in addition to the ones on permanent display,” added Vaccarello. “The museum offers a variety of topics from infamous fugitives to famous lawmen, having temporary exhibits allows us to emphasize additional topics.  We look forward to sharing all we have to offer once again.”  

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden; Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief; and Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: Please check out our traveling safe page with more safety tips and information:

Cher Murphy

Cher Murphy, owner of Cher Murphy PR, brings with her a wealth of experience in covering a variety of interesting fields. As an expert in public relations, she works with clients in some of the most popular sectors, including health and wellness, education, restaurants, travel, and entertainment. With a nose for news and a gift of professional presentation, she is able to deliver high quality, ent...(Read More)

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