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  • Babylon 5 mall tour ?

    Rereading some old Universe Today's, There was a mention or two about a B5 mall tour that hit several cities. Did anyone have a chance to attend one of these events? I'd love to hear a first hand account of it. The size the scope of it, any cool props shown, and/ or actor encounters, etc..

    Thanks in advance.
    What a wonderful world you live in. -
    Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

  • #2
    Some friends and I trekked from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PA area to the stop the tour made at White Plains, NY. There we got to meet Richard Biggs, an absolute prince of a guy. Although I know that props often don't look as good in real life as they do on TV, I was still a little taken aback by how, well, I don't want to say cheap, they look.

    I also saw writer Peter David, who lives in the area, walking around, checking out the exhibit.
    Last edited by frulad; 01-25-2009, 03:11 PM.
    Got movies? www.filmbuffonline.com

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    • #3
      Crestwood Plaza - Babylon 5 Experience

      Originally posted by glindros View Post
      Rereading some old Universe Today's, There was a mention or two about a B5 mall tour that hit several cities. Did anyone have a chance to attend one of these events? I'd love to hear a first hand account of it. The size the scope of it, any cool props shown, and/ or actor encounters, etc..

      Thanks in advance.
      I was there, but first some background information.

      Coming to a location near you?

      This will be advertised in local media, and there MAY yet be some
      changes, but I thought this group might like to know about what our
      Marketing Department has planned: "The Babylon 5 Experience"

      *****************************************
      The Babylon 5 Experience is an 8-city mall tour featuring a traveling
      recreation of the actual set that engages visitors in exciting
      interactive experiences including: Live appearances of B5 cast members
      to sign autographs for fans; Face painting and tattoos; Costumes and
      props from the series; An exclusive clip of the 2nd original feature-
      length original movie, THIRDSPACE (premiering on TNT late '98) to be
      shown at the tour.


      The tour travels to the following markets:


      À 3/14 Atlanta at Perimeter Mall
      À 3/21 Dallas at Irving Mall
      À 3/28 & 3/29 San Francisco at Northgate Mall
      À 4/4 & 4/5 Los Angeles at Glendale Galleria
      À 4/18 Chicago at Navy Pier
      À 4/25 St. Louis at Crestwood Plaza
      À 5/2 White Plains, NY at The Galleria
      À 5/9 Washington, DC at White Flint Mall
      *****************************************
      Anticipating certain inevitable FAQs:
      *No, I do not know (at this time) which cast members will be
      appearing where.
      *No, no other cities are expected to be included. (Sorry!)
      *Yes, I have seen the set (disassembled) to be used and they have
      done a good job getting the feel of the actual B5 set...It does NOT
      represent a specific place on B5, but is instead designed to
      accomodate the needs of the displays. Colors may not look accurate
      to you because of lighting differences.


      Kat Slonaker, TNT
      I attended the Babylon 5 Experience at Crestwood Plaza, which has been renamed Crestwood Court mall.

      Originally Jerry Doyle was scheduled to be the guest of honor for the event. I still have the poster promoting his appearance. About a week before the event, TNT announced that Andreas Katsulas would appear instead of Jerry Doyle. The substitution made a lot of sense, since Mr. Katsulas was originally from the St. Louis area and has family who live in the area.

      I arrived very early, around 7:30 am, because my wife and my mother-in-law had other things planned for the day and we only had one vehicle at the time.

      Most of the exhibit was set up the night before. The set up crew arrived around 8:00 am in preparation for a 10:00 am starting time. Even though I was literally the first person to show up, I did not get in line immediately. As a result, I waited in line for around an hour.

      The exhibit included actual props and costumes from Babylon 5. The costumes looked good, but the props were somewhat disappointing. If I recall correctly, the exhibit was a twenty-foot by twenty-foot square with passageways on the sides and exhibit space at the corners. Mr. Katsulas was seated in the middle of the side farthest away from the entrance to the mall. The line extended from the entrance to where Mr. Katsulas was seated.

      A local radio station broadcast during the event and interviewed fans. They also had trivia contests about Babylon 5.

      The closest I have come to meeting JMS is when someone mistook me for JMS. Andreas Katsulas appeared at Crestwood Plaza in St. Louis on 25 April 1998 as part of TNTÆs promotion of THIRDSPACE and the fifth season of BABYLON 5. I had arrived earlier than anyone else, including the set up crew. Someone from the company that was hired to provide balloons, face painting and tattoos saw me reading "The Complete Book of Scriptwriting" by J. Michael Straczynski. This person had only a vague knowledge of BABYLON 5. She innocently asked me whether I was the person who wrote the show and mangled JMSÆs name in the process. It probably was an honest mistake. Joe and I both wear glasses, both have full beards and were both born in 1954.

      I was fortunate enough to have Andreas Katsulas sign the first page of the script for "The Coming of Shadows". I also gave him three buttons with the phrase: "I've been Straczynskied" with the definition of "Straczynskied" given below. I told him that one button was for him. I also asked him to give the other two to Mira Furlan and Peter Jurasik.

      Straczynskied -
      (1) vt past tense - To have been inspired towards simultaneous and profound curiosity, anticipation, awe, dread, and somber reflection through the skillful use of misdirection, foreshadowing, mental torture, and other literary devices leading to disturbed sleep, frightening nightmares, hallucinations, compulsive behavior, and general obsession.

      (2) vt past tense - To have been obliterated by a large asteroid with the name 8379 STRACZYNSKI that doesn't go boom today, but boom tomorrow.

      (3) vt past tense - To have been visited by the fifth horseman, where the first 3 horsemen were sabotaged and destroyed, and the fourth horseman disappeared mysteriously, and....

      Only the first definition was used on the button.

      Many of the people who attended the event were there were fans of Star Trek who wanted to meet Mr. Katsulas because of his role as Commander Tomalak on Star Trek: the Next Generation. Mr. Katsulas graciously signed items from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. From what I observed, he chatted with everyone who went through the line. Although, the event was rather long, he seemed to enjoy interacting with the fans.

      I talked with a number of other fans during the time I was there. There were people who drove to St. Louis from throughout the country to attend the event.

      While looking at the exhibit I had a brief conversation with a very bright young lady in her early twenties. Her enthusiasm was infectious. She had indicated that she had driven from the east coast to attend the event. I had hoped to introduce her to the online Babylon 5 community, but she started talking with one of her friends and I lost my opportunity.

      I left around 5:00 pm, when my wife picked my up.
      Last edited by Dan Dassow; 01-25-2009, 12:26 PM.

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      • #4
        Thanks Dan, You hit the nail on the head for me. You're descriptions are great. Thanks for sharing this little piece of B5 history with everyone.

        Anybody else?
        Last edited by glindros; 01-25-2009, 01:18 PM.
        What a wonderful world you live in. -
        Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sadly, the mall tour never came near here and that was in the days before I'd jump on a plane to check out interesting things at the drop of a hat.

          I do have some tall plastic cups that were purported to be from the tour, though, white with a black B5 logo.

          Jan
          "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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          • #6
            I went to the one in L.A. (Glendale actually) and it was interesting. I met JMS, Tracy, Jerry, and a couple of others IIRC. Saw a bunch of props as well. I came across a few of the pictures I took of theevent, but I know I have more somewhere in the garage.
            All generalizations are false, including this one.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by frulad View Post
              Some friends and I trekked from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PA area to the stop the tour made at White Plains, NY. There we got to meet Richard Biggs, an absolute prince of a guy. Although I know that props often don't look as good in real life as they do on TV, I was still a little taken aback by how, well, I don't want to say cheap, they look.

              I also saw writer Peter David, who lives in the area, walking around, checking out the exhibit.
              Wow, I'm in Wilkes-Barre. You don't see that place on the internet too often. Sorry, off topic.
              "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
              "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

              "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

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              • #8
                I went to the Texas stop of The Babylon 5 Experience. The foregoing accounts pretty much summarize what I saw. Tracy Scoggins was meant to appear, but there'd been some problem with her flight. My friends and I eventually had to leave as we'd bought tickets to a large X-Files event in a nearby hangar where they were promoting Fight the Future.

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                • #9
                  I saw Stephen Furst in Maryland at the B5 mall tour. (The 5/9 Washington, DC at White Flint Mall one.) I had a great time there and probably wrote about it somewhere. There were a number of people from the local B5 collectible card game group there and we played for a while in line.

                  This is the only image I quickly find online about it:
                  Last edited by nottenst; 02-25-2009, 11:34 AM. Reason: added info

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nottenst View Post
                    I saw Stephen Furst in Maryland at the B5 mall tour.
                    I was there too! I missed out on getting a Babylon5 "PDA" because I couldn't dredge up the name of the night club in Downbelow (which was really stupid on my part because I love the movie Dark Star)...

                    Zeno
                    No matter where you go, you're only halfway there...

                    BB of Elias

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dan Dassow View Post

                      I attended the Babylon 5 Experience at Crestwood Plaza, which has been renamed Crestwood Court mall.
                      I WAS THERE ! ! ! I was searching the internet to get the exact date of this event to check my memory. I found a link to this and couldn't resist reactivating the thread.

                      That was one of the best days ever. The sets and props were great. I remember how overwhelmed Mr. Katsulas looked when he saw the line of people waiting for him. I brought my girlfriend at the time who had absolutely no interest in being there, but was happy to take the road trip. Thanks to her I was able to get two autographs. They are both on TNT Promo postcards that were given out at the event. I think I brought a couple of magazines for him to sign, but opted for the postcards and I don't regret it. They look great.

                      We were parked at the opposite end of the complex and when my girlfriend was finally able to drag me away we just happened to have to go past the mall's Suncoast Store. If I recall they had cardboard standees for Boxleitner, Christian, and I think Doyle. I had to pick one and Claudia won the debate because I was a fan of hers even before she was on Babylon 5. I wish I'd gotten all three, but it seemed way overboard at the time.

                      That was a really great experience and I wish we had something like that to look forward to again. (I mean a promotional tour for upcoming projects.) I feel so lucky that I was able to meet Andreas. I do wish I had talked to more folks in the crowd. I might have met some local B5 fans. I mean, I might have been standing right next to Dan, and probably was at some point. Sorry Dan, I focused on talking to my girlfriend instead. I missed that opportunity for us to meet and in the end that girlfriend and I broke up a year later, so it was a pointless waste of time talking to her.

                      And yes, I have posted this story in other places before. I repeat good stories (or any story) all the time.
                      Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Looney View Post
                        I WAS THERE ! ! ! I do wish I had talked to more folks in the crowd. I might have met some local B5 fans. I mean, I might have been standing right next to Dan, and probably was at some point. Sorry Dan, I focused on talking to my girlfriend instead.
                        Wow! It's hard to believe that happened over 15 years ago.

                        I would have been fun to meet.

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                        • #13
                          Yep. It would have been great. And thanks for reminding me how old I am.
                          Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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                          • #14
                            Sadly, the Saint Louis location of the Babylon 5 mall tour, Crestwood Court mall closed its doors in April 2013. Demolition on the mall started April 17, 2016 and a new development will be in on the site.

                            It's hard to believe that I met Andreas Katsulas at the mall more than 18 years ago.

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                            • #15
                              Looney and I were just talking about his meeting Andreas at the Mall Tour yesterday. We're both at Space City con in Houston.

                              Jan
                              "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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