When AstroWorld closed down in 2005 to the dismay of all Houstonians, Maria Mendeles bought up a ton (literally) of fixtures and merchandise from the theme park. For years it’s sat in various warehouses, but it looks like the Emiliano’s owner might actually be looking to sell off some of the iconic items that so many of us remember from childhood.
I was contacted by Benjamin Rosales, who is trying to partner with Ken Spicer, a local auctioneer, to bring these items to public sale. Spicer told us that he hoped to have them available either for an in-person or online bidding by mid-November.
Mendeles says that’s unlikely. She has just returned from a trip to Italy, and is still deciding how best to organize and catalogue the materials that she has. Nonetheless, she has said that she is “ready to sale,” even if the details are not yet finalized.
In addition to the items that she and Rosales sent pictures of, Mendeles also has a selection of smaller pieces of memorabilia such as personalized mugs and umbrellas with the AstroWorld logo. These sorts of items can regularly be found on eBay.
What can’t be found are some of the signs that Mendeles has, particularly for Greezed Lightning and the Looping Starship. The former remains disassembled and in storage at Cliff's Amusement Park as of 2015. The latter was moved to Six Flags Over Texas and rebranded the ACME Rock-n-Rocket before being retired in 2014. She also has a collection of Looney Tunes statues that once inhabited the park, including a Daffy Duck that resides in her condo and she jokingly refers to as her bartender.
Mendeles has promised the Houston Press that we’ll be the first to know when these one-of-a-kind Houstonia artifacts are ready to move, so keep checking back if you want to own a piece of AstroWorld. More pictures below.
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