A new museum celebrating movie legend John Wayne is set to open next week in the actor’s hometown of Winterset, Iowa. Irish actress Maureen O’Hara, Wayne’s co-star in The Quiet Man, is expected to attend some of the events marking the museum’s opening on May 23.
The John Wayne Birthplace Museum will be the largest collection of John Wayne artifacts available to the public and will feature a small theater showing highlights of his films, the LA Times reports.
Wayne also shared Irish roots-- his brother was named Robert Emmett Morrison after the Irish patriot.
The theater will feature seats from the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (now the TCL Chinese Theatre) in Hollywood. Two dozen of the theatre’s 916 seats were obtained during a remodeling in 2013.
John Wayne was born Marion Morrison on May 26, 1907, in a four-room home that lies only 100 feet from the new museum. When he was 9-year-old, his family moved to Southern California, where he graduated Glendale High School and attended USC. He would go on to star in dozens of films, winning an Oscar in 1969 for the role of Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit.” He died on June 11, 1979.
The 6,100-square-foot museum will feature exhibits such as the rifle he used in “The Alamo” (1960), the saddle he used in “The Cowboys” (1972), and set pieces and a bloody shirt from “The Shootist” (1976), the last movie he ever made.
Museum-goers can also view the actor’s 1972 Pontiac Grand Safari station wagon, which was custom made with higher ceilings and door openings to accommodate his 6-foot-4 frame.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at the museum on May 23. That evening, a benefit dinner for the museum will be headlined by country-music star Marty Stuart, a lifelong friend of Wayne. Tickets cost $150.
The John Wayne Birthplace Museum is at 205 S. John Wayne Drive, Winterset. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children 12 and younger; (877) 462-1044.