New Exhibit at Alcatraz East Crime Museum Commemorates Closing Anniversary of Alcatraz

Closing Anniversary of Alcatraz

March 2023 marks 60 years since Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, one of the most infamous American prisons, officially closed. Despite its closure, the public has remained fascinated by the facility’s history. Alcatraz East Crime Museum is opening a new exhibit about Alcatraz, commemorating the anniversary of the closing in 1963. The new exhibit will open on March 18, 2023, and remain until March 2024. Additionally, the museum is launching an updated audio tour, providing people with more information, fascinating details, and trivia.

Alcatraz is a piece of American history that intrigues people,” says Ally Pennington, artifacts and programs manager at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “Learning about infamous places like the Rock is always interesting.”

The new exhibit, Closing the Rock: The Anniversary of Alcatraz’s Last Day, will feature information, photos, and memorabilia. Highlighted objects include Al Capone’s rosary, P.A.T.H. Alcatraz Artwork, and Alcatraz guard handcuffs. The temporary exhibit will be displayed for one year and is included in the general admission price.

According to the National Park Services, 1.5 million people visit Alcatraz annually to roam the halls where such famous people as Al Capone, “Machine Gun” Kelly, and James “Whitey” Bulger served time. For three decades, Alcatraz was considered one of the most secure prisons in the country because of its location on an island off San Francisco. 

The government closed Alcatraz in March 1963 due to the needed repairs and the high cost of operation. In 1969, American Indians occupied Alcatraz for 19 months as they waged a campaign for civil rights. It was in 1972 that Congress established it as a national park, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. 

Alcatraz East Crime Museum is also launching the update of its audio tour. The audio tour allows visitors to stroll, learning about the different exhibits from a narrated voice. The audio tour gives visitors flexibility and greater engagement and is more entertaining, helping people get more out of the information provided at each exhibit.

“Our new audio tour has been updated and expanded, and people will love it,” adds Pennington, artifacts and programs manager at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “Come hear about American crime history and how to protect yourself from criminals.”

With over 100 temporary and permanent exhibits that are crime-related, Alcatraz East Crime Museum focuses on the history of crime, crime scene investigation, consequences of crime, crime-fighting, counterfeit crimes, pop culture, and more. There are numerous popular items on display for people to see, including the famous white Bronco from the O.J. Simpson chase and Ted Bundy’s famous Beetle. There are several temporary exhibits always being offered, which can be found online:

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has updated its board of crime experts, which includes Derwin Bradley, a retired master police officer, James R. Knight, a crime writer, Robin Maynard, a certified crime scene investigator in Florida, Derek Newport, a law enforcement veteran who was with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for 20 years, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who presided in the notorious case against Casey Anthony, among others.

This top museum is open at 10 am daily. The last tickets are sold 60 minutes before closing. These interactive experiences are available for birthday parties, school groups, scouts, team building, or other special events for an additional fee. For more information about tickets, discounts, temporary exhibits, and all the museum offers, visit the site

More about Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime-solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at The Island’s entrance, 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. The last ticket is sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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