Interview: Huston Huddleston, Founder of the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum

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At Comikaze 2014, reporter Stephanie Hayslip was able to sit down and talk with Huston Huddleston, Founder of the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum, a Non-Profit Educational 501c3 Foundation aimed at creating a home for science fiction props, costumes, and replicas in order to educate and inspire with the uplifting vision of the future.

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Photo by Victoria Irwin

 

 

FGN: What is the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum?

Huston Huddleston: This whole thing began because I found the Enterprise bridge from Star Trek: The Next Generation and the Original Series that had been made for touring.  They were about to be thrown out, and I didn’t know what I was going to do with them, I just knew I had to save them before they were just…dumpstered.  I went to all the the Star Trek creators, the producers, the writers, the actors, and I said “If I do this, will you guys help me.  And miraculously they said yes. Ronald D. Moore came through, Brent Spiner, William Shatner, all those guys.

So then a year went by, we raised some Kickstarter money but not quite enough to finish the bridge.  Once again, we were stuck not knowing what to do with it because no museum out there could logistically handle our bridge.  The size was a factor, but also they weren’t going to do with it what we wanted to do with it.  They wanted us to put things behind glass.  I don’t want that.  I want people to sit in it, play with the buttons, have fun.  So we’re creating our own museum.  It’s Star Trek, it’s Star Wars, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Babylon 5, going down the list.  And it’s non-profit; it’s about education.  What we’re doing right now is working with the studios to find out how to do that, to make them understand things like this aren’t only about money money money, but it’s inspiring to people.  It makes this world a better place.

FGN: What got you into Sci-Fi?

HH: I’d say the toys when I saw a kid.  Yeah.  It was Meego action figures from Star Trek and Star Wars, and the movies of course.  They were cool, they were fun, they were exciting, and what kid wouldn’t want to play with that?  As immature as that sounds, I could lie to you and tell you “Oh, when I saw Star Trek I wanted to be an astronaut and become a physicist,” but I’m a writer, I don’t think like that.

FGN: Is your goal to have all original pieces, or a blend of original and replicas?

HH: We are doing half and half.  So much stuff has been thrown out, or has rotted, or has been obtained by collectors.  And of course I don’t want to take things from people that clearly mean so much to them.  Besides, if you were to get an original Batmobile you can’t let people sit in that, it’s worth millions of dollars.  So replicas are good enough.  Our KITT from Knight Rider and Back To The Future Delorean are replicas, as is our Captain Kirk chair, but they are absolute, dead-on replicas.  That’s a way we can have people sit in these things, and play with these things, and make them happy.

FGN: Is there a certain piece that is your favorite or that you’re hoping to one day get?

HH: I always say the one piece I wish I could get is Maria from Metropolis, but that was lost in 1928.  Still, a replica of Maria would be genius.  I would love to have a Millennium Falcon cockpit, and would also love to get the cockpit from Firefly, which is doable.  Right now with these pieces it is about creating something under the auspices and permission of the studios.  I have been dealing with Disney, Warner, Univeral, Lucasfilm, and all the others to logistically make it happen, legitimately.

FGN: Are you open yet or do you have a date you are shooting for?

HH: Right now we are still trying to raise the money.  Once we have that, I think we can aim for opening the end of 2015.  For a phase one, at least, or the beginning of 2016.  And that would probably be the Next Generation bridge, the Original Series bridge, a few robots and Sci-Fi cars and quite a few pieces we have been given.  There will be costume as well, just an overall feel for what we are doing.  Anything is better than nothing.  If we can find one build to put stuff in and make people happy, even on a temporary basis, that works for me.

FGN: That’s fantastic.  It’s really wonderful that you are making this hands-on.  It’s definitely frustrating to see something like the Delorean, something from your childhood or your development as a person, and it’s right there, but you can’t connect with it.  This way, people get to interact with something that truly means something so much to them.

HH: These shows touch people’s lives.  It’s as simple as that.  And I want to be the instigator of letting people experience it for themselves.

FGN: And where can people donate and get more information about the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum?

HH: www.hollywoodscifi.com is the website for the museum, as well as www.newstarship.com.

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We thank Huston Huddleston and the Hollywood Sci-Fi Museum for their time, and please be sure to visit these websites and see what you can do to help this become a reality.

 

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