Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN

2757 ParkwayPigeon Forge, TN 37863
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Overview

Discover the history of American crime at Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge — if you dare! This expansive museum features artifacts from notorious crimes, criminals, and prisons such as Alcatraz. Featuring five hands-on galleries, guests can learn about everything from crime scene investigation to crime in pop culture. From mugshots to forensic science, this crime museum has it all.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Pigeon Forge Travel Experts
  • Located at the entrance to The Island in Pigeon Forge.
  • Additional parking located behind the building and at The Island.
  • Plan to spend 2 to 3 hours, or more if you're a crime buff.
  • The museum features over 500 authentic artifacts.
  • Open 365 days a year.
  • Lockers are available for rent on a first come, first served basis.
  • A crime museum featuring an in-depth look at American crime history as a whole, not just the penitentiary on Alcatraz Island.
  • Look for the famous O.J. Simpson chase Bronco, John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, a submachine gun from the movie Scarface, and Ted Bundy’s VW Beetle.

Description

from Alcatraz East Crime Museum
Explore American History from a different perspective. Five unique galleries burrow deep into the studies of criminal intent, criminal profiles, the penal system, victims, crime prevention, forensic science, law enforcement and the Judiciary Branch of government. The museum is 25,000 square feet spread over 2 floors and includes over 100 interactive exhibits.

Located at the entrance to the Island in Pigeon Forge, Alcatraz East has 20 exhibit areas highlighting 5 themes: History of American Crime, Consequences of Crime, CSI, Crime Fighting, Counterfeit & Pop Culture.

Kids can enjoy:
- Jail Cell Escape
- Prohibition Shooting Gallery
- Modern Police Shooting Range
- Heist Laser Maze (additional cost)
- Numerous Photo Ops
- Our Top Detective Challenge! (additional cost)

Some of our famous artifacts include:
- John Dillinger’s Car
- Al Capone’s Rosary
- The Bronco used in the OJ Simpson chase
- Al Pacino’s machine gun from Scarface

NEW Temporary Exhibit - "It Happened Here"
From local stories of moonshiners and vigilantes, to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that rocked the nation, those interested in learning more about the state’s notorious crime history can do so at the new temporary exhibit, “It Happened Here,” open now through April 2019.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, and the exhibit will include items that belonged to assassin James Earl Ray and related to the nearby Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary where he was held.

Legendary lawman Buford Pusser will be featured, along with crime stories local to Sevier County, such as the Perry Camp Murders, and the little-known Knoxville native and inmate at Alcatraz Penitentiary, Kenneth Jones. He was one of only two inmates released directly from Alcatraz Island. “It Happened Here” will also include notables such as labor leader Jimmy Hoffa, moonshiner Popcorn Sutton, and President Andrew Jackson.

Reserve Pigeon Forge Customer Reviews

23 Reviews
Jason Salyers
Princeton, WV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"VERY cool!!"
October, 2018 NEW
We spent around 4 hours in the museum and could have easily stayed longer. So much cool stuff! Loved it and would highly recommend it.
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Victoria R.
McMurray, PA
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Very Educational"
August, 2018
This was definitely an educational experience. The whole family enjoyed the fun.
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Tip: Paying extra for the audio tour wasn't worth it because everything is thoroughly documented throughout the museum.

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Cynthia Weaver
Bowie, MD
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Not what I expected"
August, 2018
It was ok. I will not be doing that again. All it was reading boards after boards. The website said it was interacted. I did not see much of that and it did have interesting pictures. The website should said that kids under the age of 10 should not come. It was boarding to them. So of the exhibits did not work either for interaction.
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Tip: Keep youi little ones at home.

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Amber Grigston
Monroe, NC
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Very cool!"
July, 2018
Had a date night out with the hubby, sister and her boyfriend. Loved the different sections! My favorite was the World Trade Center remembrance and driving the cop car after OJ Simpson in the Bronco! Haha
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Tip: It takes 3-4 hours to go throug

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Betty Miller
Augusta, GA
13 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Very Interesting"
July, 2018
I really enjoyed it very informative and educational. The kids even enjoyed it they had things for them as well. I was very impressed.
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Tip: This is very nice We spent as least 3 hours there.

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belinda Geyer
GRAYSON, KY
5 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Alcatraz!!"
July, 2018
we had a blast here, we got the VIP package, make sure you don't have any other reservations after this because you can spend hours in here!!
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Tip: have fun and crack the safe!!

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Candie Tanner
douglas, GA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Alcatraz"
July, 2018
We absolutely loved this museum. We spent about 3 hours in here just submerging ourselves in the sights and trying to "crack" the safe. I highly recommend it. We got the VIP deal and we loved it.
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Tip: plan to spend time there, there are alot of things to look at and read.

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Stephanie Carey
Bowersville , GA
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"So educational!!! Exciting!!"
June, 2018
I loved this museum!! All of it!!! My family did as well!! Fun for all ages!!! My group is 18 mo - 40 yrs old and we had no complaints!! Well worth the trip!! We got the VIP deal, totally interactive!!! Will recommend it!!
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Tip: If you are going if recommend devoting 3 or 4 hrs in here to get the best memorable experiance!!

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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hf1981
"Great place"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 15, 2018 NEW
I have wanted to do this the last two times we have been in Pigeon Forge. This time I made sure we had time to go and wish I had done it sooner. It is a very imformative museum with lots of history. We were in there for 3 hours and easily could have spent more time.
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a1z2j345
Winchester,TN
"Lots to see, lots to learn"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 14, 2018 NEW
Parking here was a bit of a challenge but overall we had a great time. We had purchased 4 VIP tickets from Groupon for this place prior to going and it was a great deal that was handled quickly at the register/check in by the young ladies working. We had 4 audio sets, 4 case cracking game booklets to solve the "mystery" (small prize), and 4 passes to do laser beam challenge. While there is no restroom on the ground floor at entrance there are restrooms in many other locations. You have a picture taken before you start your visit. Plenty of stairs up and down as you wind your way through so many interactive exhibits, crime memorabilia, video kiosks. So much to read and so much to do. All very interesting and touching on some level. The 9/11 memorial area was good. The memorial to fallen police officers was also good. Seeing O.J.'s Bronco was something else (we actually watched it live on t.v. the day of the chase). Alot of the bug criminal names were in there as well as the wild west and pirates and medieval torture devices. Leave yourself plenty of time to visit here. Our sons are older so they enjoyed this. Little children will like parts of it but there is a lot of reading that they could lose interest in. This should still be on your list to visit. This seems unique to me and we are so happy we went!
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Ken B
Vero Beach, Florida
"Very informative."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 14, 2018 NEW
We enjoyed all the displays about law enforcement history and the incarceration of criminals over the years. My being interested in subject made it more interesting.
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Brian A
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
"Very interesting place"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed October 14, 2018 NEW
Very interesting place with lots of different exhibits and interesting information. They say you can do the tour in a couple hours and you can if you just skim through. I think they tell you that so you have to come back.
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Chris H
Nashville, Tennessee
"Everything you want to know about Crime and Incarceration"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed October 14, 2018 NEW
All in one place. Not a bad place to spend a couple of hours on a rainy day in Pigeon Forge. The national spy museum it isn't but it's got some interesting displays. In case you're thinking this is an homage to Alcatraz, it really isn't. Not much in the way of interactivity but still plenty to see. Older kids might really enjoy this. Younger ones, eh not so much maybe.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Alcatraz East Crime Museum

How long does it take to complete the museum?
Guests should allow about 2 to 3 hours to complete the entire museum.

Is there somewhere to buy food and/or beverages at the museum?
The museum does sell drinks and snacks but does not have an eating facility. Fortunately, the museum is located at the Island, so there are plenty of places within walking distance to grab a snack or a meal.

Is the museum appropriate for children?
The museum is appropriate for all ages. Please do note that due to the nature of the museum, there is mature content. The museum has gone to great lengths to ensure that children and adults alike have a pleasant experience.

What are the hours of operation?
The museum is open 365 days a year from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Hours are subject to change based on seasonality or events.