You can hardly deny that Superman is truly a US-American hero. While the comic figure and superhero has first been published in 1938, it took him 34 years to find a “real” home town. Just in line with the original, Superman is home to Metropolis. Okay, while you might think of some fancy huge city with skyscrapers and at least half a million people or more, his “real-life hometown” is a bit smaller. Since 1972, the town of Metropolis in very Southern Illinois is officially the home town of Clark Kent’s alter ego. The place has some 6,000 inhabitants and the Super Museum, a place just dedicated to the most famous “son” of this city. I had to have a visit on the ninth day of my trip supporting the Pittsburgh Penguins in March 2022.
Super Museum – Location & Admission
You already see by the Superman print on the water tower next to the Interstate, that Metropolis, Illinois, is special. The Super Museum itself is located right next to the county courthouse, which features a huge Superman statue. In this area, you will find numerous Superman references (see also below). To get to Metropolis and the Super Museum, you have to take a car. The directions from I-24 are not fully given, but the city is small enough that you will easily find the place.There used to be another place with movie memorabilia in the city, but unfortunately, it has closed down.
The normal adult admission to the museum, which was under renovation during my visit, is 8 USD. Due to the inconvenience, I only paid 5 USD. During summer months, the museum is opening daily, 8:00 to 19:00 hrs – which was very convenient when I was driving from Central St. Louis to Nashville.
Super Museum – The Visit
You enter the museum through an entrance at the rear of the store (see below). The first impression of this place is already amazing: it is really packed with items, most of them in really good condition. The exhibits range from merchandise to original movie items. You also see a lot of donation from the actors and pictures and similar signed and dedicated to the museum.
I can’t really state that I am a huge Superman fan – but the museum fascinated me from the moment I stepped into it. I just liked the masses of items. Even if you don’t like one display too much, you likely love the next one. Thereby, the Super Museum is not only featuring the Superman movies and TV series, but also any kind of spin-offs.
Super Museum – The Store
If you are a Superman fan, you will also like the Super Museum’s store. They have a huge range of items for sale – of course, including museum merchandise. The staff was very friendly, I had a really nice chat with them about the city and the future of the museum.
Super Museum – My View
I feel Metropolis, Illinois is a bit of a shame. What a great opportunity and what a great commercial potential to be named the official home town of Superman. Yeah, there is the museum and some stuff around it – but overall, I feel they should try to do more out of that potential and attract more visitors. The Super Museum is a great spot already. Unfortunately, it is lacking space here and there, which makes it feel a bit of chaotic. The amount of items, the store and the staff is excellent, though.
USA Museums & Exhibitions
Trip Report Inceptions
Here are the starting postings of each Trip Report I posted in here so far